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How the past can guide the future: Historic mapping and the planning system

How the past can guide the future: Historic mapping and the planning system

When it comes to identifying the best use of redundant buildings, or a building’s planning history, the past often has a strong influence over future planning decisions.

Using historic mapping, such as tithe or ordnance survey maps, can reveal previous changes of use that contemporary planning history cannot. This can be key in constructing a planning argument and invaluable in obtaining consent for a change of use back to a previous historical use of land. Conversely, using these mapping tools in a desktop appraisal can be a money saving exercise for our clients in guiding them towards appropriate decisions on developments which might seem feasible but turn out to be an incorrect course of action.

A good example concerns development of land that historically housed two dwellings, but in modern times supports two rusted agricultural buildings. In using the mapping tools, it was possible to argue from a planning perspective that developing the land and returning it to domestic use would in fact be development which would enhance the historic environment of the wider area.

Conversely, the mapping tools helped in a case where a client who owns property in Dartmoor National Park wanted to amalgamate two dwellings into one, as they believed the dwelling had originally been a single unit. Using historical data, it was possible to demonstrate that this had never been the case, and the Park Authority would be unlikely to support such development. Thus, the mapping exercise saved the client a substantial amount in abortive costs.

If you have redundant traditional buildings or plan to undertake development on older buildings and would like to use historical analysis to determine whether such plans are feasible or would like professional advice on the matter, please contact Joe Yardley of Stags Planning and Development department via or 01392 439046