Heritage Consultancy

Wedding Venue within the Setting of a Grade II* Listed Building

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Background We are pleased to have gained planning permission for the expansion of a wedding venue in Essex, which included buildings within the setting of a Grade II* Listed Building.

The Proposal

The proposal provides a conversion of and extension to an existing office building. This will provide en-suite rooms for guest accommodation associated with the wedding business. The proposal also involves the demolition of an existing modern steel storage shed. This will be replaced with a new building serving as both office space (above) and a flexible space for breakfast, meetings, etc with kitchen and toilets for guests (below).

Our Advice For this project, Parker Planning Services provided planning consultancy involving preparing and submitting the planning statement, as well as providing heritage consultancy and ecology services. The planning statement considered planning policy in-depth in support of the application, and emphasised that the proposal results in operational, day to day benefits for the business, as well as economic, social and sustainable benefits. Therefore, to ensure continued growth of the business, the development to offer these new facilities will enhance the surroundings of the Grade II* farmhouse and sustain the hospitality business for the long term.

It was highlighted that there is already a direct need for the accommodation due to the presence of the existing wedding venue on site. Many guests have had to stay off site and travel to and from the venue when a wedding takes place. The provision of some accommodation, albeit of low scale, will make this more sustainable and is likely to result in a reduction of vehicular traffic movements. The proposal would result in a modest increase in terms of the availability of on-site accommodation, improving the business income, offering to clients and sustainability of the site.

To complement the planning application, our Heritage Consultant provided a Heritage Impact Assessment to assess the impact of the proposal on the adjacent Grade II* Listed Building, as well as its setting and character. It was highlighted that the proposal will enhance the setting and character of the listed building by improving the quality of the existing building and by replacing the dilapidated shed. This is both a public benefit to the wedding business, but a heritage benefit to the Listed Building. The new buildings are designed to sit comfortably within the site, modest but of quality and subservient to the listed Farmhouse. The proposal therefore gives an opportunity to not only preserve the setting of the Listed Building but enhance it through improving the visual appearance and quality of the new buildings.

Parker Planning Services also provided an extensive Preliminary Ecological Appraisal to identify any ecological constraints within the site and recommend mitigation measures.

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