beaconsfield swimming pool planning permission

Change of Use: Swimming Pools in Beaconsfield and Flackwell Heath

Local Authority



  • Commercial
  • Leisure and Tourism
Decoration Decoration

Bringing a vacant commercial unit into a positive long term use with significant community and economic benefits

Client The Pool Centre Ltd
Architect Keyland Estates
Author Rebekah Jubb

Project Overview

Bell Cornwell has now gained planning permission for the first two in what we hope will be many more changes of use that bring vacant commercial and retail units into a positive long term use.

It is widely recognised that many town and village centres and other shopping parades have been struggling to retain their occupancy levels in recent years. The character of these areas and their purpose are changing. A wider range of uses need to be welcomed into these spaces so that they can retain their vitality, viability and relevance to their community.

Our client, with a background in swimming pool construction, spotted the opportunity presented by such vacant units to fill a gap in the market. The Pool Centre offers small private swimming pools, which can be rented by the hour by private swimming teachers, for classes of up to 6 people at a time. This will be available to everyone from young children to adults wishing to learn to swim in a smaller and less intimidating environment. This use offers a much needed service that will draw people to the area, who will then use other shops and services. There is, therefore, a significant community and economic benefit to the use.

beaconsfield swimming pool planning permission

The introduction of Use Class E in September 2020 served to broaden the range of uses in commercial, business and service locations without the need to seek planning permission for a change of use. However, swimming pools are explicitly omitted from Use Class E, meaning that planning permission is always required.

In order to achieve planning permission for the two sites so far, it was necessary to demonstrate to the Council that there would be no unacceptable issues relating to noise, moisture and ventilation, particularly taking into account residential occupiers sitting above the properties.

The pools are freestanding fixtures constructed above ground level, so no excavation or significant construction works are required.

In these locations, the proposed parking provision and traffic impact would be little different to the existing situation, and so were relatively easily dealt with.

The Council was very welcoming of the proposals and we worked closely with them to achieve planning permissions with the minimum of conditions.

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