Land south of Blacknell Industrial Estate, Crewkerne
In 2021 our planning team was instructed by Conrad Energy to secure a flexible employment-based permission on a vacant site on Blacknell Industrial Estate in Crewkerne.
The application comprised an outline planning application with all matters reserved aside from access for Class E (Commercial, Business and Service), B2 (General Industry) and B8 (Storage and Distribution) uses and associated infrastructure.
The application was brought forward following the recent amendments to the Use Classes Order to allow more flexibility for applicants to move between a wide range of commercial uses without the need for planning permission. This flexibility will ensure that the proposed units better suit occupiers’ changing needs. Flexible planning permissions like this are a useful tool that can make space much more attractive to occupiers.
The main issues that were considered by the Council in their assessment of this application included the suitability of the site for the development proposed, the proposed indicative layout and controls required over the site.
Although the site formed part of a longstanding employment allocation on an established industrial estate, the Council still felt it was necessary to make sure controls were put in place in order to ensure the development would fulfil its primary purpose of delivering uses compatible with the setting and policy framework.
For instance, the Environmental Protection team at the Council stipulated that noise mitigation proposals would need to accompany any application for reserved matters in the future in order to ensure adequate protection for existing residential development to the south of the site.
All other matters relating to highways, ecology and drainage were satisfied as part of the planning application negotiation process.
The Council felt that the development proposals would make an efficient use of land to deliver a mix of employment uses within a district that requires sustainable economic growth. planning permission was granted accordingly.