C2C Planning Consultants has assisted the Handelsbanken to locate to the ground floor of Salt Quay House in Plymouth, completing the ‘professional services building’ with our colleagues the Foot Anstey law firm, an accountant and now the bank.
The ground floor unit has been empty since the building was constructed in 2009. Despite the strong and sustained marketing of the premises by companies such as JLL and Vickery Holman there has been no serious interest in the ground floor unit for its designated A1/A3 Use Class (a shop or café/restaurant) .
We submitted an application to remove the condition so that the ground floor unit can be occupied either as a shop, a café/restaurant, a financial institution (A2), or as an office (B1).
Having met initial resistance, we successfully argued that the original restrictive condition and a short temporary grant of planning permission were contrary to the Framework in that they did not encourage a strong, competitive economy, but rather acted as an impediment to sustainable economic growth in this part of Sutton Harbour. The amendments to the GPDO in 2014 allows the change of use of an A1 unit to A2 without requiring the benefit of planning permission.
We still had to fight hard to show the Council that the use of the ground floor by an A2 use was more active and inviting to the Quayside than the empty unit! Eventually, we were granted the benefit of planning permission and Handelsbanken moved in last week.
With over 10,000 employees, 800 branches and opening over 140 branches in the UK alone in the last 15 years, this Swedish bank has ambitious growth plans.
Please take the opportunity to pop in and say hello if you are passing. The manager is Phillip Harvey. Their official launch will take place later in the summer. May we wish them every success !