Pubs are often viewed as the heart of a village, but a decline in traditional and passing custom in recent years has left many pubs commercially unviable.>

As a result we have assisted clients with their change of use applications, from a public house (Class A4) to dwellings, and other uses. One example of this was a rural pub in Surrey to be converted into two residential dwellings.

Clients may face local objection from residents due to the nostalgia attached to village pubs, but the importance for applying to a change of use from a public house to a residential use is providing evidence to the Local Planning Authority of the unviability of the pub. Further evidence needs to be presented that all other commercial and community uses have been considered while highlighting the strengths of putting residential use in place of an underutilized and unviable business.

The viability report commissioned and project managed by our consultants as part of the planning application provided evidence that the pub’s limited customer base, large capital investment required, the presence of alternative pubs nearby, and the fact that the property had been marketed unsuccessfully for 12 months, provided strong evidence that the pub was an unviable business. The viability report together with Fuller Long’s Design, Access and Planning Statement also provided evidence the site was not suitable for other community or commercial uses.

The proposal would provide much needed housing on previously developed land, and therefore reduce the need to develop on virgin countryside, which was supported by Local and National planning policy. As a result, the scheme received planning permission.

As shown by the above, Fuller Long recognises the importance of a sound viability assessment in support of a planning application if the client wishes to be successful in converting commercial property into residential dwellings.

If you wish to discuss your change of use opportunities with one of our planning consultants please contact us on 0808 164 1288 for a no obligation conversation.