Staines Town Hall, Market Square, Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 4RH 16/01197/FUL
Change of Use from a pub/restaurant use (Class A3/A4) to 14 residential units, comprising 2 studio flats, 7 no. 1 bed flats and 5 no. 2 bed flats with underground car park and associated alterations. (Revisions - basement car park omitted and replaced with ancillary gymnasium, changes to internal layout and subdivision of the building)

OBJECTION The application description remains as 14 flats although the revised proposal is for 13, with a basement gym. As far as the flats it is evident that they are inaccessible to wheelchair users and other disabled people by virtue of there being steps at the entrance. This lack of accessibility is compounded by the lack of any parking provision or drop off. As this proposal is a change of use Building Regulations only apply as far as existing access is maintained. It is noted that the existing lift to the basement is being removed and it is contended that a lift should be retained and extended to at least the first floor, thus creating accessibility. The first-floor flats should then be designed to be, at least, adaptable.

The gym is far larger than would be needed for 13 flats and it appears likely that this would be a commercial enterprise. Access for disabled people should be provided and the lift would facilitate this.

Note- Opinion sought from building control surveyor on the following and confirmed

 As far as I can see the Building Regulations 2010 would make no requirements under part M since:

  • Regulation 5 would consider this being a change of use case (b) (or possibly (a))
  • Regulation 6 makes no requirements under Part M in either of these cases (and even in those cases where Part M is listed, it is Part M1 and not M4)

The matter was raised with the Assistant Head of Planning - There is a requirement that the planning permission be specific to which standard applies if more than the default (lowest) is to be enforceable under the building regulations.  How has this been resolved by Spelthorne Planning?   - the answer was incomplete although she did raise the matter with the Building Control Manager.