Noise mitigation package secures flats conversion

After deciding that noise impact on future residents could be mitigated, an inspector has approved conversion of the upper floors of a five-storey building in inner Birmingham to 11 flats.

The premises were used as offices and lay in a busy commercial conservation area. The council had decided that the scheme was not permitted development under class O, part 3, schedule 2 of the GPDO because it did not meet paragraph O.2(d) in relation to the impact of noise from commercial premises, including a ground floor bar, on intended occupiers. It argued that mitigation measures involving mechanical ventilation and fixed shut secondary glazed windows would result in poor living conditions.

The inspector opined that the convenience of city centre living often means residents are prepared to compromise on factors such as not having windows that open. Having regard to Planning Practice Guidance, which requires consideration of noise mitigation relying on windows being kept closed most of the time alongside suitable alternative means of ventilation, she concluded that a good standard of residential amenity could be secured through appropriate conditions.

Inspector: Victoria Lucas; Written representations

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