Project 

Belmont Hill

Lewisham

Planning permission was secured for the return of a listed building to its original use as a family home, using a careful assessment of the planning history, and a common sense approach to the application of the policy framework and material considerations, including the optimal use of a heritage asset.

The application sought permission for an early-mid-century listed villa to be brought back to its former purpose as a single-family dwelling. The property had been used as a clinic, a specialist children’s home and for other health uses in the past, but there was no clear planning history setting out the established lawful use.

Whilst the Local Plan, and emerging London Plan policy, seek to resist the loss of community floorspace, it was not clear that this policy was engaged, due to the most recent use of the former dwelling as a residential institution.

Our application demonstrated that, even if the policy was applied, there had been a net gain in community floorspace in the local area, as set out in the most recent monitoring report for Lewisham for 2017-2018. We also demonstrated there was no shortage of community uses in the local area. In addition, there had been no expressions of interest for community uses since the property became vacant.

The property is not suited to community use, and the conservation officer agreed that its optimal viable use was as a family dwelling. Moreover, the Council had also identified a need for large family homes.

The applicant intends to occupy the property as their primary family home and is keen to restore lost or damaged features of heritage significance. The property will be lovingly restored for its original purpose.

Overall, this permission represents a common sense approach to the consideration of policy and material considerations, including the weight to be attached to securing the optimal use of a heritage asset.

Achievements

  • Review of Policy and Planning History
  • Heritage and Planning Advice
  • Pre-application process
  • Securing planning permission within the 8 week determination period
  • Advice on conditions