London basement office deemed to provide flexibility

The excavation of a basement for office use and subdivision of part of an existing ground floor office for residential use in connection with the upper floors of a London mews property was allowed by an inspector who decided the resultant office to be fit for purpose.

The council was concerned that the change in format of office space, in particular being split over two levels, would reduce its quality and that the proposal failed to demonstrate it would not result in the future loss of an office unit.

The inspector’s reading of local plan policy seeking to protect very small offices revealed no requirement for proposals to demonstrate there would be no future loss of office space. The proposal would not result in the loss of office space and consequently complied with policy. In the inspector’s opinion, different users of very small offices were likely to have different layout requirements and accommodation split over two levels provided flexibility that might suit some users.

Inspector: R Exton; Written representations


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