Permitted Development Rules

The project was the conversion of an existing commercial building into residential apartments. The scheme created 10no. apartments in the centre of Worthing, and the client has recently completed construction.

The project was the conversion of an existing commercial building into residential apartments. To maximize the GDV there were extensions to the rear of the property and a vertical extension to the roof of the building. The project was within a conservation area and therefore certified CGI views were produced to show how the extensions were designed to minimise the impact on the conservation area. The rear extensions were designed in an art deco style to reflect the listed terraces to the rear of the site, while the vertical extension was more contemporary in design to show a modern addition to the building. The scheme created 10no. apartments in the centre of Worthing, the client has recently completed construction.

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South Street Site Photos e1637672108321

The Setting

The site was originally a mothercare shop, a huge shop on the ground floor with retail on the upper floors above.  

Unfortunately in today’s market there is no requirement for such shops and the government has introduced permitted development rules for conversion of both offices to residential and shops to residential. 

Our clients acquired the building and wanted to maximise the GDV of the project by converting the space into as many residential units as feasible, whilst retaining a commercial unit on the ground floor which was much smaller in scale to make it marketable.

The Challenge

Permitted Development Rules

The site is in a conservation area, has groundwater flooding issues, but is in a great location, just up the road from Worthing Pier, 4 or 5 miles West of Brighton. Due to the conservation area, we had to work closely with the council conservation area, as there was a row of listed terrace buildings behind to come to a scheme that was acceptable.

We broke the project down into several parts for the planning project, in order to keep the project a private scheme and avoid crossing the 9 unit or 1000m2 threshold.

The first application was for a rear extension to the back of the property, it was currently single story but the adjacent units went right up to the road line over 3 storeys. Giving plenty of precedent for 2no. additional storeys for the extension.

We also submitted for a vertical extension on top of the existing shop, which created 8 new units at this stage. When we submitted this consent well over 2 years ago, we did it through a full planning applicaiton as the Permitted Development Rules didn’t exist then. 

The Return

Permitted Development Rules

This scheme was quite 1930s art deco style, quite similar to an old debenham store further up the road, including the details around the windows, and the window in vernacular form. 

The rear, ground floor and first floor were in that style, whilst for the second floor, we looked at Art Deco precedent, and actually trying to make it more lightweight and more glazed so it read differently to the first and second floor, we looed at the Rennie Macintosh school of Art in Glasgow and tried to do something similar to that, and the glazing, vernacular and how the windows were broken up in a critical style. Working closely with the LPA and conservation officer, they were quite happy in the end.

To the rear, we looked at a typical contemporary extension, a render, lots of area of glazing and a nice zinc profile detail to the parapet, to create a hidden gutter detail, which made it look very slick.

For the last application, the client had retained the ground floor shop, and we looked to convert this into 2 units, giving 10 apartments and at this stage our client decided to dispose of the site.

The Final Twist

Another client acquired the site with a view of building the schemes out and selling the units. We were retained for the building regulations and adhoc support on site. The client looked to see how they could add further value and we identified that the addition of a lift and undercroft parking for the penthouse and 2 beds had a space, we went back in for planning consent to make these changes and then we started working on the building regulations.

The developer was very experienced and asked us to provide a light package of information as they were used to working out details on site. We provided ad hoc details as required to help them through construction. The project is built out of reinforced concrete, quite unusual but the existing building was reinforced concrete, and so it was also the best structural solution.

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