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Planing Appication submitted for Change of Use of former office building to resindetial use to include three self contained flats in Hanley, Stoke on Trent. En-Plan: Planning Consultanst for Stoke on Trent.



Trinity House, Hanley, Stoke on Trent.

Prior Approval Planning Application for the creation of three self contained flats in former office building.



En-Plan: Planning & Architecture are now acting as the Planning & Architectural Consultants for developers looking to change the building from commercial to residential use in Hanley,  Stoke on Trent.   The application has been submitted under the governments Prior Approval Scheme which looks to allow the change of use of former office blocks to residential use with the minimum of fuss.

This is a prior notification application for the change of use of the first, second and third floor of offices within Use Class B1 to dwellinghouses within Use Class C3 submitted under Class O, Part 3, Schedule 2 of the GPDO. This legislation allows for a change of use without the need for a full planning application subject to certain criteria. The proposal consists of 2 x 1 bedroom apartments and 2 x 1 bedroom apartments. No external alterations are proposed.


The only issues for consideration for this application are:
(a) transport and highways impacts of the development;
(b) contamination risks on the site;
(c) flooding risks on the site; and
(d) noise impact on future occupants.

Site Context

The site is located in gthe cenyre of Hanley, which  is one of the six towns (often referred to as the "Six Towns") that amalgamated in the early 20th century to form the city of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, England. It's generally regarded as the city's main commercial and cultural center. The history of Hanley dates back to at least Roman times, with evidence of Roman settlement in the area. However, it was in the Medieval period that Hanley began to see more significant development. Like the other towns in Stoke-on-Trent, Hanley grew in significance during the Industrial Revolution, particularly due to its involvement in the pottery industry. By the 19th century, Hanley was a major center for pottery manufacturing, and many famous potteries and ceramics companies had their origins or factories in or around the town. Hanley's growth as an industrial town was accompanied by urban development. It expanded rapidly in the 19th century, leading to the construction of new buildings, streets, and infrastructure. In 1910, Hanley, along with the towns of Burslem, Fenton, Longton, Stoke-upon-Trent, and Tunstall, combined to form the federation of Stoke-on-Trent, which was granted city status in 1925.  Hanley has become Stoke-on-Trent's primary commercial and cultural hub. The Potteries Shopping Centre (now known as Intu Potteries) is a central retail destination. Hanley is also home to cultural institutions like the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, which houses a world-class collection of ceramics and the Staffordshire Hoard, a significant Anglo-Saxon treasure. Today, Hanley is a mix of modern developments and historic buildings. There have been efforts to regenerate areas of the town to make it more pedestrian-friendly and to support the arts and culture, such as the Cultural Quarter development.

In essence, Hanley has been pivotal in shaping the industrial, cultural, and commercial narrative of Stoke-on-Trent. It remains an integral part of the city's identity and a testimony to the region's rich pottery heritage.

The 4 storey building currently consists of a bar/nightclub at ground floor with offices on the 3 floors above.
The existing office use has been established and the proposed use does not raise any concerns in respect of drainage, contamination or highway safety. However, the Environmental Health officer has raised concerns about potential noise and disturbance to future occupiers from nearby commercial premises, particularly the late night clubs and venues. The proposal therefore fails point (d) above. The applicant states that the 4th floor office suite is independent from the remainder of the building and are already soundproofed from the uses on the lower floors. The applicant also states that the conversion works would be carried out in accordance with building regulations and would include acoustic insulation upgrades to meet the required standards and would be sound tested upon completion.

The buildings stands on the corner of Trinity Street and Gitana Street in a commercial area and where there are several public houses and clubs that contribute to the late night time economy. The existing (and original) windows are not double glazed but have what appears to secondary internal glazing on the 4th floor. Ventilation, therefore, would only be achievable from opening the windows to the apartments. In light of the above it is considered that a noise assessment should be carried out to show what noise mitigation measures are required to achieve acceptable living conditions in terms of noise and disturbance from the commercial premises in the locality. Mitigation measures may result in external alterations being made to the building which would also need to be considered. It is considered therefore that prior approval is required and approved at this time.

As of March 2021 the application has received approval and the developer is going out to tender for the conversion work.

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