To Pre-App or not to Pre-App
We wanted to have a conversation with the planners to show how our plans optimised the potential for delivering the type of residential units much needed in the Borough. So, we took the decision to have a Pre-Application meeting with the Local Council planning department.
Challenges to overcome
We took the planners on a journey of how the design had been conceived and evolved. The first image above shows the the design of the proposal as submitted for a 4 storey building. We discussed with them how we planned to overcome a number of challenges, including:
- Land that was designated as a Publicly Accessible Open Space
- Unusual shape of the land
- Flood plain meaning there could be a flood surge (1 in 100 years)
- Loss of daylight and sunlight quality to the residents of the neighbouring row of 2 storey Victorian terraced houses
- ‘Car-free’ scheme in order for the building to have good design and optimum use of the ground floor
- Air quality and noise of the nearby main road needed to meet pollution standards
The three planning officers attending the meeting generally liked the scheme proposal, feeling that it was a good use of the site. It fitted in with the surrounding properties. They noted that our consultation with local residents had found that there was support of the scheme in the community. Ideas for improvements and possible changes were fully discussed.
What a surprise
The outcome of these discussions with planners took us slightly by surprise. They suggested that we revise the plans in order to add an additional storey on the block – taking it to a five storey building!
The benefit of a Pre-Application Planning meeting is that there is the chance to discuss the proposal in detail.
Having submitted the full planning permission proposal with the amendments suggested (as per the second image above), we have been awarded planning permission for this block of nine family apartments.
“A Pre Application Planning meeting was definitely the best way forward on this proposal. It was great news that local planners were so supportive – enabling us to provide more family apartments than originally planned within our development. We will be starting the construction work on this exciting project within the next few months, creating fantastic family accommodation for Londoners.”