Consent for new external feature to heritage asset

In November 2018, the Vineyard Life Church (VLC) was in an advanced stage of negotiations with a local school to provide it with “pack away” nursery accommodation on its premises. This would only be feasible if the inside space, which is approximately half a storey up from the general ground level, could be linked to the rear garden with a new external stair.

Having previously resolved other access issues and gained planning consent for these, VLC commissioned Philip Kassanis to deal with the planning application for this new feature. Time was of the essence because it is planned to open the nursery in September.

Last week consent was granted. The church is a BTM (Building of Townscape Merit) and even though this feature is largely hidden from view the planners were very concerned about “harm to a heritage asset“. Philip Kassanis successfully negotiated some changes during the application period which not only met the planner’s concerns but improved the design from the brief originally presented by the client – a “win-win“. However the main success was expediting a consent for the stair within a timescale that allowed the contract with the school to be finalised and for the considerable adaptation works to be commenced.

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