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Viability, Feasibility & Change of Use

The current Planning legislation has remarkable flexibility of “crossover” within the same Use Class Order that contains Public House, Restaurant and other licensed uses. A full change of use application is required to move out of that broad band of alternate options (shop, office, bank, etc.) into residential use. Linked with that application for change of use (which is mandatory), is the applicant’s / developer’s need to prove non-viability. There is now a more robust stance being taken by London Boroughs in the enforcement of the National Planning Policy Framework and the London Plan linking with Local Authority Local Plans.


Many years of the production of viability studies for private or corporate Clients and Parish, District, Borough and City Councils, have refined our wide-ranging professional disciplines. We are noted for the accuracy of these in-depth studies to assist properly placed objections to change of use.


Two of the more high-profile successes – at which expert evidence on viability issues was given – were:

1) The Phene Arms, Chelsea where, acting for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, an application at a full Planning Appeal hearing resulted in the Inspector’s refusal to grant a change of use to a single residential unit;

2) an instruction from Bromley Borough Council concerning a change of use application by Lidl for a convenience supermarket on an ex-Enterprise Inns pub – The Porcupine in Mottingham.

Again, this was refused.


Direct involvement in planning/viability issues has linked our expertise with Camden, Wandsworth and Westminster Councils, plus Stroud District Council and Oxford and Wolverhampton City Councils, to name but a few.


Morgan & Clarke also undertake feasibility advice for communities wishing to purchase often closed local pubs to re-open successfully. Recent such successful involvement has been in Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Oxfordshire.

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