Connect and Trident House

We were appointed by Halycon Offices Ltd to support the redevelopment of a partially vacant office block to transform it into high-quality residential living situated within a highly sustainable location in Leatherhead, including Leatherhead train station and town centre. The proposal sought the demolition of the existing office building and the provision of 75 residential apartments. The site also benefitted from extant planning permission for permitted development rights for the change of use from office to residential; however, the redevelopment of the site was proposed to provide higher quality residential dwellings.

Our Solutions

Mole Valley District Council did not offer pre-application services at the time, so it was important to identify key areas of risk with the design team. This was done via a review of the Development Plan and undertaking public and key local stakeholders consultation in June 2020.

Demonstrating the many varied benefits of the proposal within the outline planning application process was fundamental. Stand out benefits included: the redevelopment of partially vacant brownfield land; the provision of 75 dwellings towards the Council’s Five-Year Housing Land Supply; sustainable location; high-quality design; along with economic and biodiversity enhancements.

During the application process, the Economic Development Team raised concerns about potential loss of protected employment space; however, we were able to successfully demonstrate the loss of office floorspace was acceptable through extant prior approval applications at the site and the relocation of workers to existing office space within Leatherhead.

The Outcome

We worked closely with the Local Planning Authority and key statutory consultees such as the Affordable Housing Officer, Drainage Officer and the Economic Development Team to overcome concerns throughout the application process. The application was recommended for approval at Planning Committee. However, the Committee members overturned the Council’s decision in March 2021. We worked with the applicant to produce a robust appeal, and in December 2021 the appeal was allowed with costs awarded.