Corbin Business Park
dha led a project team comprising architects, transport planners, ecologists and landscape architects to secure planning permission (subject to s106 legal agreement) for a c. 1,600 sq m extension, designed by RDA Architects, to an existing office building in the Kent countryside. The extension represented a 200% increase in floor space, allowing GForces, a successful web design and management company, to expand and employ up to 60 new staff as well as establish the GForces Academy.
A Unilateral Undertaking was offered to secure places at the Academy for local school children, as part of the economic development justification for the proposal. Detailed analysis of the existing and proposed staff profile established the economic sustainability of the scheme, providing young, local and skilled employees with high quality, well paid jobs. A full Sequential Test was also undertaken in accordance with government policy, demonstrating that there was no alternative office accommodation in more sustainable located sites within the Borough which were available, viable and suitable.
In order to demonstrate sustainability, notwithstanding the rural location, a full Travel Plan was provided whilst a detailed landscape proposal and ecological appraisal of the site were also submitted given the Special Landscape designation of the local area.
A lengthy process of pre-application consultation with Officers and local stakeholders ensured that full planning permission was secured at Committee as an exception and departure from Local Plan policy owing to the special economic circumstances of the case.
For more information on G Forces please visit www.gforces.co.uk.
For more information on dha's involvement with the project please contact Matthew Blythin.