Shearwater House


Planning Potential worked closely with a private client and Ben Adams Architects to secure planning permission for the extension and refurbishment of an existing office building within the Richmond Green Conservation Area.

Planning permission was secured for the erection of an additional storey of office floor space at Shearwater House, and associated works, in order to maximise the potential of the underperforming office building. We provided initial advice on the development potential of the building, advising that office development would contribute positively towards Richmond Council’s local development priorities.

We then liaised closely with planning and design and conservation officers at the Council to devise a scheme that could be supported in design terms. The ‘front-loaded’ pre-application discussions were essential given the site’s sensitive location within the Richmond Green Conservation Area, and the potential for the development to impact on views from Richmond Green. Prior to submitting our application, we agreed a series of design characteristics with the Council, which facilitated a smooth passage towards obtaining planning approval.

Our in-house consultation team also contacted neighbouring residents and businesses to explain the proposals and ensure that any potential questions or concerns could be addressed at an early stage.

We also negotiated on behalf of the client in respect of sustainability credentials. Although the Council requires all developments, including extensions, to achieve a BREEAM “Excellent” standard, we were able to agree a derogation to “Very Good” through an analysis of the site’s individual characteristics and local precedent. We also provided advice in respect of S106 contributions and agreed planning conditions prior to determination.

Planning permission was granted under delegated powers in September 2016.

Summary of achievements

  • Initial site appraisal advice and coordination of pre-application discussions
  • Negotiation with LPA in respect of design and conservation matters, and sustainability
  • Preparation of Planning and Heritage Statement
  • Monitoring of planning application and securing of planning permission under delegated powers
  • Delivery of regeneration benefits and economic development to Richmond