After receiving less than favourable pre-application advice, Planning Insight were appointed to manage the planning process. The objective was to achieve planning permission for new community floor space, in order to accommodate the existing church, provide new services and a new market family sized residential unit.
The scheme was for a new building on under-utilised land and, working with Paul Henry Architects, the delivery of a community asset.
We prepared a new strategy in light of the pre-application advice received. The key issue to overcome was demonstrating the acceptability of the proposal in principle, and the need for the new facility – quite the substantial policy hurdle.
We worked with Paul Henry Architects to resolve the outstanding issues relating to design. Our strategy was to adequately demonstrate that there was need for a new nursery in the locality, and that the existing church needed new space in order to effectively accommodate the vibrant youth church. The compilation of evidence in order to do so was critical for the local authority to accept that there was indeed need for such a new facility. We prepared an initial Needs Assessment for the purposes of pre-application, and the proposal was met much more warmly in this regard.
We knew that in order to gain permission a detailed Communities Facilities Statement, alongside a Planning Statement, would be required to successfully demonstrate that the proposal was acceptable and in accordance with the Development Plan. In consultation with our client and other stakeholders, including service providers; London Borough of Newham Early Years Team and local agents, we prepared a compelling case for the proposal.
The need for the facility was accepted, as well as a glowing review of the urban design credentials of the proposal by the Strategic Urban Design Manager.
The application for full planning permission was submitted with a full suite of documents that we aided our client in procuring. Our effective engagement with the local authority paid off, and no amendments to the scheme were required. Crucially, our position with regards to the need, and the evidence submitted within the Communities Facilities Statement, was accepted.
The proposal was heard at the Strategic Development Committee in May 2020. Planning Insight spoke on behalf of the applicant and answered questions from Councillors. The application was unanimously voted in favour for approval, and the Decision Notice was with our client in days.
- A detailed understanding of the policy scenario including both at a local and strategic level was critical in order to achieve permission.
- A comprehensive Planning Statement and Community Facilities Statement to support the proposal was prepared.
- Effective engagement with the local authority led to a smooth application process with no hiccups.
- Negotiation removed the need for S106 Agreement.
- Presented the case to the Strategic Development Committee and secured unanimous approval.
‘Planning Insight were appointed at a time when the planning process for our scheme had become an uphill battle. Peter, Troy, and Alex quickly became integral part of the project team. Their insightful advice and meticulous preparation/ review of the validation reports greatly contributed to the achievement of positive feedback at the pre-application stage, and the subsequent approval at full application. Planning Insight consulted with us throughout the process, ensuring the final submitted designs fully reflected our requirements. I am extremely pleased with the quality of their service.’