We were approached by a local gymnastics club who had been seeking a suitable premises as a base and training gym and had found a large vacant building on a local business park. Having visited the site it was clear that the building was ideally suited for their needs, but that local planning policy required a strong case to be made as the presumption was that such premises should be retained for use by ‘traditional’ employment uses. Having spoken with the Estate Agent for the premises it was clear that the building had been on the market for some time. This was highlighted to the Council in pre-application discussions and it was agreed that the application could proceed subject to detailed evidence being provided of the search for other premises in and around town centres in the form of a sequential test.
Having presented a detailed case setting out how the scheme addressed the challenges posed by planning policy, as well as highlighting the benefits of providing a base for a key local sports club, we were delighted to receive permission for the change of use. This is great news for our client as they can now continue the growth of their club with the security of their own premises to operate from and which they can build out to meet their specialist requirements.