A Look Back at Our Recent Office Move
From Pub to Office in Just Two Months
On 26th August 2016 we moved into our new office premises at 42 New Road, Aylesford in Kent. However 42 New Road was previously a public house known as the Kentish Quarryman and certainly not an office building, much needed to be done before the premises was ready for the occupancy of AM Surveying & Block Management.
Photographs showing 42 New Road in it's previous life as a pub, the Kentish Quarryman
Planning & Formal Permissions for Conversion
Under planning laws, properties are subject to different “Use Classes” according to the type of use of the property i.e. retail outlet, residential, commercial and many more. Generally, before a building changes from one use class to another, formal Planning Permission must be granted by the local council, in this case Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council.
In certain circumstances, changes from one use class to another are considered “permitted development” meaning planning permission is already deemed to be in place (albeit with certain limitations and conditions) with no formal application being necessary.
42 New Road was previously the Kentish Quarryman public house which is considered a Use Class of Drinking Establishment (Use Class A4), the use class required by AM Surveying & Block Management was Professional Services (Use Class A2). This means a change from pub to professional office is a change of use from A4 to A2 respectively.
Fortunately the change of use from A4 to A2 is considered permitted development so no formal planning applications were necessary, with one small catch, "community assets". Changes of use from A4 to A2 do not require planning permission unless the public house is or could be a community asset.
The Kentish Quarryman was not considered a community asset (under the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012) but even so it is a requirement of the said Act that the local Council be notified before construction works commence so local residents may have opportunity to apply for the building to be formally registered as a community asset pursuant to the Act.
Immediately after purchase of the property the local council were duly notified of our conversion intentions, this particular pub was not popular among local residents so with no such request to register the building as a community asset, work to convert the property would begin.
More information about Change of Use laws can be found via the Planning Portal.
Conversion from Pub to Office
As would be expected, many features of a pub are not needed in an office (unfortunately!) and as such had to be stripped out. The brewery left the property furnished meaning the strip out included furniture, industrial kitchen equipment, the bar & beer pumps (shame!), flooring, other fixtures/fittings and even a disco ball!
Watch the Video: Before and after shots showing the transformation from pub to office
The internal was gutted and brought back to it’s shell before providing a new air-conditioning system, carpets, redecorations, light fittings, data cabling, glass partitioning, office furniture and company branded signage.
The tired external required a facelift which meant full scaffold, external redecorations, window repairs & replacements, roof repairs and new PVCu gutters & facias all round.
Naturally, as a firm of RICS Chartered Building Surveyors all planning and project management was expertly carried out in-house by our Building Surveying department. The project was completed within a tight timescale of 2 months, from purchase in June 2016 to our team moving in August 2016.
Have a project in mind? Contact Us to speak to our team and find out how we can help.
2016 has been a landmark year for AM Surveying & Block Management largely thanks to our move into our new offices at 42 New Road.
Our spacious new office provides large work stations, reception & waiting area, boardroom, canteen, ample parking and crucially; room for growth.
Our boardroom has already been host to many client and resident meetings in 2016 and we look forward to welcoming many new clients in 2017.
Our move into new premises coincided with a re-vamp of our brand, read more about that here.