London Russian Ballet School, Clapham
Client: The London Russian Ballet School
LPA: London Borough of Lambeth
Boyer has provided planning consultancy services to The London Russian Ballet School (LRBS) since 2012. The LRBS was established with the intention of offering professional training in Russian ballet, and to widen participation in ballet amongst amateurs and disadvantaged children within the Lambeth area.
LRBS are based at 42 Clapham Manor Street which is a grade II listed building centrally located within a residential terrace forming part of Clapham’s Rectory Grove conservation area. The school has long sought to improve its dance studios and other facilities through the extension and re-configuration of the existing building. Working with the school, we helped develop proposals involving a new basement and rear extension. Applications for planning permission and listed building consent were submitted to LB Lambeth in 2015.
Although recommended for approval by officers, the applications were refused for 6 reasons by Lambeth’s Planning Applications Committee. Reasons included harm to the listed building and the conservation area, unacceptable highways and construction impact, design, and harm to neighbouring residential amenity.
A 6-day public inquiry was subsequently held in January 2017. Central to the inquiry was the planning balance exercise required by NPPF 134 which requires harm to designated heritage assets to be weighed against public benefits. Boyer provided expert witness on this and other planning matters. On this issue, the Inspector found “clear and convincing justification for the slight harm that would result to the conservation area” and concluded that proposals provided “considerable economic, social and environmental benefits in the public interest [which would] far outweigh that identified harm”. In a separate decision, he also awarded full costs to LRBS to be paid by LB Lambeth.
Boyer has significant experienced in obtaining permission on behalf of charities, religious institutions and other community organisations and groups.