Change of use from A1 retail unit to a beauty spa (Sui Generis) at 61 West Street, Dorking, RH4 1BS
Preferred Partner Involvement
The property is a Grade 2 Listed building, dating back to the C17, comprising of 3 storeys with attic space. The site is also within the Primary Shopping Frontage of Dorking High Street. Primary shopping frontages are those which contain a high proportion of retail uses. At the time of the application, the retail unit had been vacant for 12 months and the Council required Marketing evidence to justify the change of use. Working with Robinsons Commercial we successfully demonstrated that the site was no longer viable as a retail premises.
Both our Planning & Architectural teams were involved in this project. Our architectural team prepared the drawings following a building survey prepared by our Preferred Partner, AT Land Surveys, while our planning team prepared a supporting statement and monitored the application. The case presented several challenges, particularly relating to the Grade II listing on the property as well as falling within the primary shopping frontage.
The business name “Mayflower Beauty Spa” derives from the English ship “The Mayflower” that transported the first English Pilgrims, from Plymouth, England, to the New World (America) in 1620. Mr William Mullins who lived in this property along with his family were passengers on the historic 1620 voyage to America. Dorking museum, located next to the application site, states this is the only surviving home of a Pilgrim Father.
Applications for Changes of Use, can often be challenging, particularly when dealing with a historic building and change of use in a Primary Shopping Frontage. It was crucial that we provided marketing evidence to show this unit was no longer viable in its current use. The change of use would respect and conserve the historic fabric of the building with the internal alterations being sympathetic to its Grade II listing, the original features to be preserved, whilst bringing new life to this area of Dorking High Street. eing able to keep open communication with the client, their consultants and the Council. We were also able undertake further work in obtaining the advertisement consent which is vital yet often overlooked part of this type of commercial change of use.