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You are here : Home / Latest News > 2013 News > March 2013 - Indescon Court, London

Change of Use for a Building in London

March 2013 at our Architectural Practice

Located at Indescon Court in London, the project which Reid Brewin Architects have recently worked on is near the footbridge to Canary Wharf. The client, a French investor, wanted to develop a co-working space in London to be shared by several companies and / or self-employment offices. The project involves the transformation of commercial space into offices.
Construction à Londres par architecte de ParisProjet à Londres

The original building in its environment

Indescon Court is located in an area of ??mixed-use development south of Canary Wharf, next to the business center. The site is a residential building originally designed to accommodate shops on the ground floor. However, for 3 years, the retail space found no takers so the property owner has requested that the space be reallocated to allow office space to be developed.

The proposed reallocation

Completed in 2010, the commercial space located on the ground floor had never been developed although the housing floors were all occupied. The building owner called for the reallocation of local shops (Class A1: retail) to offices (Class B1: office) as well as the creation of a mezzanine. The project presented several difficulties relative to the change of use: the issue of treatment of facades and roofs of the building, the sound reinforcement and the integration of the mezzanine.

Regulatory and architectural constraints

To develop this project, a change of use and planning permission (planning application) were required. This application requires a lot of preparation and a well presented application. It is first necessary that the project is compatible with the various regulations in the United Kingdom and the ??London urban planning guidelines: The London Plan, London Legacy Development, Local Development Framework (LDF), Unitary Development Plan (UDP), and the Street Design Guide.

To change the use of the property, it must be demonstrated that other commercial properties exist in the area and are available for local businesses to let in the short and medium term. It is also necessary to prove that the client has tried to find tenants without success.

Regulatory Compliance for French and Anglo-Saxon Architectural Projects

There are many differences between the development of architectural projects in France and the United Kingdom. In the UK there are precise and detailed rules, unlike in France. In the UK, the planning officers are not architects which has an impact on the way that the applications are prepared and analysed. This, coupled with the complex regulations means that a specialist knowledge is required in order to submit a planning application in the UK. 

Reid Brewin Architects have experience of both the French and UK building regulations and planning application procedures. Do not hesitate to contact us for advice on a planning application or building control permit in France or the UK. 

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