R/O 80 High Street

Consent was given in July 2010 to an application by the Diocese of Rochester for reinstatement of the building extensively fire-damaged in 2008. Then in September 2010 plans submitted with a Building Regulations application indicated that the works proposed would involve an increase in height and alterations to the elevational appearance and therefore that these changes would require planning permission. An amended plan sent more recently to the LBB showed the increase by four courses of bricks to the height of walls to eaves level prior to reconstruction of the roof. A complaint that work was already in progress, followed by a site visit early in September 2011 led to consideration as to whether it was expedient for the Council to take enforcement action. The agent for the owner was reminded that planning consent was required and was invited to submit an application. Works on site were suspended, the retrospective application was received by the Council in October and the matter was therefore discussed again at a Plans Committee on 13th October. As the new application was to be considered in due course by a future Plans Committee, it was decided to retain the authority to serve an enforcement notice if works recommenced meanwhile. A further complaint was received on 16th November alleging that works had resumed on site and a site visit confirmed that 3 of the 4 courses of new brickwork had been removed and works had commenced on the new roof structure in advance of the determination of the current application. However, the roof currently being constructed appeared to be in accordance with the submitted plans and substantially lower than the building permitted in 2010.  Therefore, following legal advice, it was decided that, given the latest application was ready for determination, the matter should be referred to Members for their instructions. The proposal was given urgent consideration at a Plans Sub-Committee on 24th November 2011 and, subject to a number of conditions, consent was given for removal of the fire-damaged buildings and for a replacement building for light industrial  and leisure use as a dance studio.

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