Hitchin, Hertfordshire – Residential Conversion

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Aitchison Raffety secured consent for the conversion of two office buildings and a night club in Hitchin Town Centre, Hertfordshire, to provide 32 flats.

The premises suffered from low levels of off-street parking, making them unsuitable for modern business needs.  In addition, one of the buildings was Grade II Listed.

The team at Aitchison Raffety successfully argued that local policy guiding the retention of unallocated employment sites was out of date and inconsistent with more recent Government policy, seeking to avoid their long term protection.  Through a detailed planning statement they demonstrated that retaining the buildings for office use was unviable.

Aitchison Raffety argued that conversion to residential would make more efficient use of the land and significantly boost local housing.  They also successfully demonstrated to the Council that the scheme would have an acceptable impact on the historic fabric and character of the Grade II Listed Building.  The Council originally sought a very significant S106 contribution, however. were able to successfully negotiate a zero payment on the basis of recent changes in legislation. Planning permission was granted for both schemes accordingly.

For planning advice, please contact James Holmes, Associate Director in Aitchison Raffety’s Planning Division on 01442 874087 or via email at james.holmes@argroup.co.uk.