The Star Youth Club, Francis Street, Preston
Demolition of community hall and the erection of 2no blocks of flats (12no 1-bedroom and 12no 2-bedroom) with associated car parking, cycle and bin stores
The applicant had originally employed a different planning consultant from the area to apply for a scheme of 16no apartments and 8no dwellings on the site. When that application was considered by the planning officer, the response was extremely negative on design grounds and the LPA wanted the application to be withdrawn, and a pre-application submitted. The original planning consultant was subsequently ‘fired’ and the client approached DHPC to take over the project.
DHPC assessed the application, understood the objections, and then made an approach to the planning officer. Using his persuasive skills, Darryl was able to convince the planning officer to allow the application to continue and be used as a pre-application without withdrawing it. Darryl and the planning officer then discussed everything from design, layout, height, materials, form, car parking, relationship to trees, etc. At the end, DHPC had the agreement from the LPA that if the application were to be withdrawn and then reapplied using the applicant’s free-go, the LPA would be willing to support the application.
Prior to the submission of the application, DHPC mentioned to the client that there would be an opportunity to avoid paying the affordable housing contribution if we challenged it. The original consultant had not suggested that approach and indicated a substantial payment would be made. Using Darryl’s advice, the client obtained a viability report that concluded no affordable housing could be provided and the LPA accepted that conclusion after verification by the Council’s preferred partner.
DHPC subsequently applied for planning permission for the revised scheme using the applicant’s free-go. There were some minor negotiations undertaken, but then the LPA confirmed the scheme would be supported by the officer’s delegated powers.
Both client and DHPC are extremely pleased with the outcome, especially as the original application was taken over halfway through, but still DHPC were able to negotiate a solution with a positive outcome.