Commercial, Heritage Consultancy, Tourism and Leisure
Summary We are pleased to have gained an unanimous approval at planning committee for the full planning application of the change of use from an office (Class E) to a Mixed-Use site comprising of a Hotel (Class C1) and retention of an existing Bank (Class E) in Stratford, London.
Proposal The proposal will see the conversion of the existing office to a hotel which would look to provide 151 hotel rooms, with 98 of the rooms being double rooms, 37 being family rooms and 16 being accessible rooms. There will be minimal changes to the external appearance of the building as the majority of the changes are internal. The proposal will also retain the existing parking arrangements (37 car parking spaces) whilst improving them through the addition of 4 disabled parking bays and 15 bicycle spaces.
Our Advice The change of use from an office to a hotel will look to increase tourism within this part of Stratford, and as a result of the change of use, expect an increase in demand for rooms at the location, which is driven by significant investment in the area such as the ABP project at Royal Albert Dock and the new Elizabeth line which stops at Stratford. The fast and ever improving transport connections into London generate very good demand for guests who prefer to avoid higher rates of more central London based hotels but can easily commute into the city. The demand for additional overnight accommodation in Stratford will also be driven by visitors to the Olympic Park and Westfield shopping centre with over 51 million visitors per year. The proposed hotel will look to meet the demand for a different market segment than the existing hotels in the area and make use of a largely redundant office space.
The viability of the proposed scheme is dependent on the change of use application as it is no longer viable to continue operating as office space due to the lack of demand for this in Stratford, which we established in our report highlighting the marketing of the property and availability of alternative options which saw the property marketed for 2 years with no interest, and extensive options for the rental of office space on the market in the area.
We also provided Heritage Consultancy in the form of a Heritage Impact Assessment that demonstrated that there are elements and features, both internally and externally that add to the buildings character and interest. These were highlighted so that both the end user and the council are aware of their contribution to the building and suggestions were made on how to retain these.
As part of our services, we also provided Community Engagement services, which involved the creation and circulation of leaflets and speaking to locals. We advertised the consultation on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter with a dedicated consultation page available on our website, with comments regarding the proposal to be sent to a dedicated email address which were collated and addressed in the application. Local councillors were also engaged with, and a pre-app was submitted to the Local Planning Authority which resulted in positive feedback.
Outcome With increase in local investment, the demand for quality hotel accommodation in Stratford is increasing. This proposal addresses this demand for hotels within Stratford. The Proposal has been carefully considered with input from a speciality design team and consultation with Newham London Borough Council. The overall layout of the proposal has been carefully designed to provide an economically and structurally viable scheme which adds value to the St Jons conservation area. As a result of this, the proposal has been approved unanimously and a planning decision will be issued shortly.
If you have unwanted office space, and would like to change its use, contact us for a desktop appraisal to look at your change of use options.
Heritage Consultancy, Surveying, Unique Homes and Self Build
Commercial, Planning Appeals, Residential