SF Planning have recently secured flexible use planning permission in Newent (Forest of Dean District). The quirky site is an important community hub, with several businesses and organisations relying on the low-cost units it provides. Although well established, planning permission was required to enable these businesses and community organisations to continue to operate.
Innovative and flexible land use
The application site is owned by a local charity and has historically been used for parking. Having been subdivided several years ago, the site is now let out and used for a wide variety of purposes. These include:
- Upcycling Facility. Located within seven shipping containers, this a place for members of the community to take unwanted furniture, clothes and other items where they are refreshed and refurbished before being resold at a reduced price.
- Container Refurbishment. Unwanted shipping containers are delivered to site where they are renovated and repaired (to a customer’s specification) before being removed from site and delivered to the customer.
- Meeting Hub. A former shipping container which has been renovated and is now available for community groups and the local parish to book for holding meetings. This is also used for yoga / pilates groups.
This application, therefore encompassed several usage classes as the above had all been operating without the relevant planning permission. These included:
- Storage (Class B8)
- Retail and indoor recreation (Class E)
- Community meeting place (Class F2(b))
There was significant local support for the site, significantly from Newent Town Council, who recognised the site as an important community hub and provider of local employment opportunities.
Following proactive engagement with the local Planning Officer, SF Planning submitted an application on our client’s behalf. We’re delighted that planning permission was subsequently granted. As a result, the innovative use of this otherwise redundant land means it will remain a vibrant part of the community, which is in overwhelming support of its continued operation.
For more information on this flexible use planning permission project please contact Gary Dickens.
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