In recent years with the continued expansion of Internet retail storage and distribution units have become very popular and retail things like Amazon and associated internet-based businesses have a huge need for substantial millions of square foot of B8 use class storage and distribution facilities.
The nature of such B8 use class storage and distribution facilities is such that generally, the operators want to be located in easily accessible locations for rail and road networks which may conflict with the most sustainable locations in planning policy terms.
Often combined with B2 (General Industrial) buildings B8 use class buildings are located on industrial parks and/ or out of town centre locations. In addition storage and distribution buildings often have either ancillary or dual-use B1 Offices associated with them.
The issues associated with B8 use class (storage and distribution) units often related to hours of operation with many distribution businesses, for example, the Internet business mentioned above requiring 24 hours a day, 7 days a week hours access which can place pressure on the highways network and have impacts on neighbouring properties, including noise and disturbance and therefore the location of such buildings is critical in allowing planning permission to be granted.
Existing B8 use class (storage and distribution) buildings in areas such as primarily residential, green belt or open countryside also create unique issues, particularly where such uses wouldn’t be allowed if not already existing. When changes are proposed to such existing uses, especially where the uses are long-standing and established prior to the planning system conflicts can exist between the needs of the business, the impacts on neighbouring properties as well as the issues of sustainability etc.
Assuming there are no permitted development restrictions, there limited opportunities to change existing B1 & B2 uses as well as Agricultural Buildings to a B8 use class although there are limits to sizes and Prior Approval may be required.
Similarly, there are limited opportunities, under permitted development to change from a B1 Use Class, including to B1 (offices) and C3 (dwellinghouses), again subject to Prior Approval.
Advice, and confirmation, from the Local Planning Authority or relevant RTPI Planning Consultant, should be sought prior to any change of use taking place.
At Plande we have a range of experience in B8 use class storage and distribution units including submitting planning applications and working as a planning consultant in a range of scales and for a range of different clients ranging from small and temporary facilities all the way through to large HQ facilities for blue-chip companies.
If you are looking to construct a new build B8 use class storage and distribution facility or looking to change use either from or to such use please contact the experts at Plande today.