Princess House, Manchester concerned a proposal to locate a business school catering for foreign students within a listed building in the heart of Manchester City Centre. We were instructed by the owner of the building after a planning application for a change of use, submitted by the operator of the business school, had been refused permission. Time was of the essence in order to secure approval for the business school from the UK Border Agency. Despite strong political support for the proposed use, the operator had failed to appreciate the planning issues arising from the proposed use and the potential impacts on the character of the listed building.
We submitted a new planning application. This was approved within two months of being instructed to act on the case.
It is inevitable there will be occasions when an adversarial approach becomes necessary in the planning process. However, a constructive working relationship with Local Authority Planning Officers, as in this case, can save time and money and deliver the outcome desired without recourse to an appeal. Experience is vital to the development of good productive relationships.