Following the collapse of retailer BHS, this large four-storey former department store located in the heart of Bromley town centre lay vacant. Firstplan demonstrated that there was no longer a demand for stores of this size, as a result of the changing retail market. A strategy was devised to reduce the size of the unit to make it more attractive to prospective retail tenants and to convert and extend the upper floors of the unit to provide 51 new residential apartments.
Robust justification was provided for the loss of existing retail and office floorspace and it was demonstrated that it is not financially viable to provide affordable housing as part of the scheme. As a purpose built 1970s department floor with extremely deep floor plates, conversion of the building to residential use presented significant design challenges, particularly in terms of ensuring adequate daylight and sunlight and outlook. The permitted scheme provides a new, viable use for this out-dated, multi-floor former department store.