The organisation works with job centres and local authorities to provide sector-specific skills development, qualifications, re-training programmes and refresher courses. This includes targeting the long-term unemployed plus assisting young adults with practical training that increases their access to work placements and apprenticeship schemes. In practice, this has allowed many young people to improve their life chances and employability.
Many of the people attending these courses benefitted from being able to work on the buildings within the application site itself, to restore them and bring them back into use. Some were even awarded their qualifications at the site!
What did we achieve? Planning was awarded retrospectively for the full redevelopment and change of use of the site, and whilst it was considered to be a departure from the development plan the proposal achieved near unanimous support from the council’s planning committee.
Significant Constraints - This was a complex site! Key Constraints that we successfully addressed and overcame included unconsented building works, departure from the local plan, development in a flood risk area, development in the open countryside and justification for the loss and conversion of historic farm buildings.
Our robust and detailed planning case set out the clear benefits of the development and argued that despite its isolated rural setting in the open countryside the benefits of the new uses and renovations outweighed any harm or policy conflicts. Both the planners and the planning committee fully agreed!