87 Above Bar Street, Southampton (15/01887/FUL)

Planning permission was obtained for the client to convert 4 levels of a core retail street premises to a restaurant within Class A3 and related kitchen extract flue.

The premises had been vacant for some time and the widening of potential uses was seen as a means of more effectively marketing interest in the premises to a wider number of potential occupiers.

Careful survey work needed to be undertaken to address the council’s policy tests relating to non-Class A1 uses in defined primary shopping frontages.

The client ultimately found that potential restaurateurs did not wish to lease 4 levels of accommodation, so a revised strategy of utilising new permitted development rights to create up to 3 flats in 150 sq.m of most of the first and all the second floor was sought under reference 16/02191/PAC3.  The council’s prior approval was granted and it is understood the flats have subsequently been implemented.