New Place of Worship approved in Fakenham, Norfolk.
PF/19/1165 | Change of use of vacant business unit (Class B1) to place of worship (Class D1) | 9H Millers Close Fakenham NR21 8NW.
Following an initial consultation with the applicants En-Plan submitted a Planning Application for the Chane of Use fo a commercial unit in an established business park in Fakenham, Norfolk. Following extensive negotiation with the Council planning permission was finally granted/
his application seeks planning permission for the change of use of a vacant business unit (unit 9H, the end in a block of three units) from commercial use (Class B1) to a place of worship (Class D1) to be used by a local church. The site is located on designated Employment Land within Fakenham which is designated as a Principle Settlement under Policy SS1 of the North Norfolk Core Strategy where the majority of new commercial and residential development should be directed. Policy SS5 of the Core Strategy seeks to retain
the commercial uses within Employment Areas to those which are employment generating and as such a D1 use such as a community church would not normally be permitted. Notwithstanding this, following discussions with the agent, whilst the original scheme sought a permanent permission, the agent has confirmed that the applicant is willing to accept a temporary 2 year permission which would be linked to any lease agreement, which would allow the unit to revert back to commercial use in the foreseeable future. The agent has also supplied supporting information to demonstrate that a sequential approach has been
adopted to identify other sites within Fakenham which have been considered as possible locations for the proposed church use and provided reasoning as to why these premises are not suitable. Furthermore, the existing unit (along with others on this Industrial estate) has also been vacant for 18 months demonstrating that the unit is not currently in demand as an commercial/employment use, is relatively modest in scale (with a floor area of approximately 100 sq metres) and would only be used for limited periods each week.
Therefore, on balance, subject to the permission being conditioned for a 2 year temporary permission tied to the use as a place of worship and a condition controlling the hours of use.
The application site comprises of one of a block of brick built single-storey industrial units. Given that the proposal is seeking the change of use only of the existing commercial unit with no external alterations proposed, the proposals do not raise any design concerns and the industrial character of the area would be retained. An advisory note has been attached to the permission advising of the need to seek Advertisement Consent for any signage where applicable. Once the temporary use ceases, the building can be easily converted back to its previous use. It is therefore considered that the scheme would accord with the requirements of Policies EN2 and EN4 of the Core Strategy and Section 12 of the NPPF.
Given the nature of the surrounding development being predominantly commercial and the distances from any residential properties, the proposals do not raise any concerns in respect of impacting significantly upon residential amenity. The scheme would therefore protect residential amenity in accordance with Policy EN4.
The existing unit lies on an established Industrial Estate and is serve off Millers Close, with a parking area located to the front of the unit. The scheme has been assessed by NCC Highways Authority who have raised no objections to the change of use to a place of worship, stating that whilst there may be a shortfall in parking, given the level of use, it would not result tin any highway safety concerns in the vicinity. As such it is considered that the scheme would safeguard highway safety in accordance with Policies CT5 and CT6 of the
Whilst the scheme has been assessed by the Council's Environmental Health Officer, no objections have been raised on environmental health for the following reasons; The proposed use as a place of worship is unlikely to be associated with significant noise, light or odour disturbances, the proposed hours of use are unlikely to cause problems, and as the building is not in close proximity to residential properties it is therefore unlikely that ‘statutory nuisance’ will occur or other detriment to the amenity of the area in this respect. Although the site is part of the Fakenham Trading Estate, which – like all industrial estates in the region – is by default considered a ‘potentially contaminated site’, there are no concerns regarding contaminated land in this instance as the proposal will not involve breaking of ground or other works which could present contamination hazards to vulnerable receptors. The existing and proposed plans indicate that there will be no change to the current surface water and foul sewerage arrangements and therefore no further information is required in this regard. If there is to be any refuse waste generated through use of the building as a place of worship, then the applicant would be required to organise a commercial waste contract to ensure that any waste is disposed of responsibly in accordance with their ‘duty of care’ as set out under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Therefore, subject to the imposition of an advisory note in respect of waste disposal as requested by Environmental Health, it is considered that the scheme would comply with Policies EN4, EN10 and EN13 of the Core Strategy.
After the granting of Planning Permission En-Plan then formulated an submitted a Building Regulations Application that was then submitted to North Norfolk District Council Building Control and . Following consultation with the Fire Service Full plans Approval.
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