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Nine spacious flats on a greenfield site in a fast-growing Essex town

Location

Hogg Lane RM17

Local Authority

Thurrock Council

Plot Type

Suburban, Greenfield

Project Type

New Build Flats

Accomplishment

Permission in principle for 9 homes

Services by Urbanist Architecture

Project Architect, Delivery Architect, Interior Designer, Planning Consultant, Lead Consultant

Collaborators

Astute Ecology, Evoke, Ferguson Brown, Matter

Team
Ufuk Bahar
Sky Moore-Clube
Robin Callister

Challenge

In 2018, the government brought in a new option for getting planning permission: permission in principle. Because everyone is always complaining that the planning system has too much uncertainty in it, the idea was to create a route for which the first step was more stripped down than outline planning applications, so you could get a quick answer (just five weeks!) to the basic question of: is what I want to do possible here? And unlike when you ask the council for pre-application advice, with permission in principle you end up with an official decision from the council saying yes or no.

Approach

But after five years, permission in principle remains fairly obscure. One possible reason for this is that if you put in an application as minimal as suggested by the government when they brought in this option, either the council will look for a reason to refuse it because they have nothing substantial to make a decision on, or it’s relatively easy for them to say yes to the permission in principle and then no at the follow-up technical details consent stage.

Solution

Our clients had a site in the busy Thameside town of Grays, Essex - it was greenfield, but sitting between a classic suburban development and an industrial area. It’s in the borough of Thurrock, which is nowhere near meeting its housing targets. Could permission in principle be a good first step towards building on the plot?

After

RIBA chartered architect's proposal of the ground floor to include parking bays, closed cycle and bin storage, four 3-bed flats as well as access to the rear communal private garden
Location

Hogg Lane RM17

Local Authority

Thurrock Council

Plot Type

Suburban, Greenfield

Project Type

New Build Flats

Accomplishment

Permission in principle for 9 homes

Services by Urbanist Architecture

Project Architect, Delivery Architect, Interior Designer, Planning Consultant, Lead Consultant

Collaborators

Astute Ecology, Evoke, Ferguson Brown, Matter

Team
Ufuk Bahar
Sky Moore-Clube
Robin Callister

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