Smart Planning have successfully obtained retrospective planning permission from Southend-on-Sea Borough Council for the change of use of a former boutique clothing shop (use class A1) to an aesthetics clinic (Sui Generis) in the Broadway, Leigh-on-Sea.

The existing business had been operating for over a year without the relevant permission in place and consequently there was the threat of enforcement action being taken by the Local Planning Authority (LPA).

Through the submission of relevant plans and information regarding the specific operations of the business, the LPA were satisfied that the proposal would be compliant with both the nationally and locally adopted planning policies, and that it would fall within the Sui Generis use category sought.

Furthermore, the application site was located within the Leigh Cliff Conservation Area and within a designated Primary Shopping Frontage, both of which added further sensitivities to the application.

However, the assigned Planning Officer concluded that the proposal “has enhanced the vitality and viability of the centre by offering a greater range of services and has retained an active frontage with display of services offered on the premises. As such, given the particular circumstances of this application, it is considered that the change of use is, on balance, acceptable in principle.

No other harm was identified in respect of the character and appearance of the site, the Conservation Area, highway safety, parking, nor the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers.

Planning permission was therefore granted subject to conditions. The clinic can now continue to operate lawfully with enforcement action subsequently halted by the LPA.

7 October 2020