In June 2016, HTA secured a complex change of use and listed building consent for a late Georgian townhouse in Haringey, including 2 modern mews houses to the back. The building – within the Bruce Castle Conservation Area - forms part of a lively shopping parade with active retail uses. Adjacent Bruce Grove station, it affords direct rail links to the City of London and a range of nearby cultural offers. Comparable planning applications for conversion to residential in adjacent buildings had been refused, so a planning-led approach to development was sought to reduce risk in so far as possible.
HTA worked closely with the Council’s planning department to negotiate and design a scheme that was considered to best unlock the site’s potential for heritage-led regenerative impacts in the context of the Borough’s pressing need for additional homes.
The historic, Grade II listed townhouse – most recently used for business uses – now has permission for a sensitive residential conversion, providing 2 x two-bedroomed maisonettes, and to the rear of the building backland development of 2 x two-bedroom mews properties, with principal accommodation on the first floor, and parking provision at ground level. The application explains ‘the vision is one of ‘Le Corbusian living’, with access and services on the ground floor and living accommodation raised above.’
Of the scheme, the case officer commented ‘the new houses are of high quality and would enhance the setting of the listed building and the conservation area’.
Similarly, and also in June 2016, HTA secured a change of use application for a Grade II listed former vicarage in Whitechapel. The property was most recently in use as a hostel for young mothers, but had recently closed for funding reasons. Our client, Shepherd’s Bush Housing, had previously been advised by other planning consultants that the politically contentious proposal was unlikely to get approval.
A robust argument was compiled to illustrate the building’s unsuitability for its previous use, in addition to a strategic analysis of the borough’s existing and proposed provision, and overarching strategy with regards to hostel accommodation. Once the acceptability of the change of use was established, a heritage-led conversion was proposed, which drew inspiration from the building’s former use as a vicarage. This considered and sensitive approach also worked to justify the proposed unit mix in planning terms, and permission for four new luxury units was subsequently granted, comprising 1 x three-bed maisonette centred around a grand central staircase, 1 x two-bed townhouse in the adjacent former school building, and 2 x one-bed flats in the historic service quarters of the building.
The delivery of these 8 new homes, in spite of their challenging historic and political context, demonstrates HTA planning’s ability to constructively engage with all stakeholders and bring forward permissions other might have thought not possible.