McLoughlin Planning is pleased to have secured planning permission for the conversion of a Poultry Barn to provide a large new family-sized home in the Forest of Dean.

The barn was previously used to house poultry, but this has become unviable due to changes

in farming practices which have impacted the number of birds which could be housed, and the bread of birds reared, the farm owner needed to find an alternative use for the building.

Given the barns’ location, away from services and settlements, planning policy provides a very limited list of exemptions for what can be secured. However, it is structurally sound, has a large footprint, has good access to a public highway and has impressive countryside views; its regeneration into a dwelling was considered a sensible way to make efficient use of the property.

Referring to paragraph 80 of the NPPF, which allows for the re-use of disused or redundant buildings in the countryside, in conjunction with Class Q permitted development rights as a fallback position, we were able to successfully argue that the principle of converting the barn would be acceptable.

In addition to the principle of development, consideration needed to be given to the impact of the proposed conversion on the countryside. Working closely with the team at RRA Architects, a design was proposed which would set back window openings into the elevation to reduce visual impact and incorporate parking, bin, and cycle storage all internally to avoid any external domestic paraphernalia that may otherwise be perceived as harmful to the countryside.

Furthermore, working with Ros Wilder Ecology, additional planting, landscaping, and bat/bird boxes were proposed to enhance biodiversity net gain and reintroduce foraging flight paths for bats and local birds.

The Council worked proactively with us to include reasonable planning conditions to secure the environmental benefits of the scheme. We are really pleased to see the efficient re-use, great design and new home an unviable poultry barn can provide.

At McLoughlin Planning we work on several rural development projects across the Country. If you have any questions about securing planning permission for a similar proposal you wish to discuss, then please contact Chris Moore on 01242 895008 or

McLoughlin Planning has successfully challenged the decision of Vale of White Horse District Council to refuse Permission in Principle for the redevelopment of a farmyard to provide up to 4 dwellings, in the village of Shellingford.

This decision is important because it hinged on the definition of “infill” and how it is used in the Local Plan to control development in non-green belt locations in the District, especially in small villages such as Shellingford.

The Council’s case was based on the fact that the redevelopment of the site was not infill (as in an undeveloped gap in an otherwise built-up frontage), relying on recent appeal decisions elsewhere in the District (in the green belt) to support its position. However, we were able to successfully argue that given the location of the farmstead, flanked by other forms of development on either side, it was part of the village. A point accepted by the Inspector, who also commented that comparisons with green-belt definitions of infill were of “limited relevance”.

It might seem a minor point, but it’s a key part of the Local Plan’s ability to regulate development in ‘smaller villages’ which are the smallest defined settlements in the District. What this decision allows, by virtue of concluding on what infilling means, is to allow for the development of small sites in villages, thus allowing modest levels of housing to take place, supporting the critical small housebuilding sector and allowing village vitality to be maintained.

At McLoughlin Planning, we promote both large and small housing sites in a variety of locations. The continued vibrancy of rural communities is a cause which is close to our hearts and new housebuilding is an important part of that. If you’d like to discuss the case in more detail or a similar proposal, please contact Nathan McLoughlin on 01242 895008

We’re delighted to announce the promotion of Joe Seymour to Principal Planner.

In the past 3 years, Joe has become an invaluable member of our team. He has been instrumental in many complex and challenging planning projects and has always brought enthusiasm and a keen eye for commerciality and technical skills to his work.

Please join us in congratulating Joe and wishing him the very best in this well deserved new role.

McLoughlin Planning is pleased to have helped a local London developer in discharging planning conditions associated with a recently approved residential flat conversion in the London Borough of Croydon.

Once planning permission had been granted, the developer was tied by some pre-commencement and pre-occupation planning conditions. Discharging these correctly is key to ensuring development progress and is inhabited lawfully to avoid any future enforcement action being taken.

Whilst planning conditions can in some instances be straightforward to manage and discharge, in this instance, the Council were raising concerns and further requirements with reference to the developer’s proposed cycle and bin store layouts. The Council did not believe the design appropriately complied with the relevant design guidance and wanted to see electric charging for the proposed cycle shelter for electric cycles.

On review of the referenced guidance, and further relevant documents, it was noted that some of the Council’s requests, including the electric cycle charging points, were not policy requirements and therefore, as much as desirable, not required. Working closely with the applicant and case officer minor revisions were made to address some of the concerns raised and push back on areas which were not required and costly for the developer to implement.

This diplomatic approach was not challenged by the Council and the relevant conditions were successfully discharged allowing the development to commence. In addition, working closely with the architect, landscaping was also introduced in alternative places to help soften the frontage of the building and ensure positive placemaking.

We are excited to see the homes completed and occupied and are glad that our input helped ensure a timely decision and a result which can be considered positive by the Council, developer, and future occupiers.

Chris Moore has over 8 years of working on various scaled projects across the City of London and Southeast England. If you have land and/or property where you are considering your options, please contact him on 01242 89005 or email to start a conversation.

The longer Spring days are becoming a welcomed reality again. The survey season window for ecology is now back in action, starting in early April, with the summer bat roosts and activity surveys, breeding pond surveys for great crested newts, and water voles breeding birds, dormice, and reptiles underway.

In preparing and managing planning applications, it is crucial to plan and prepare for survey season so that the necessary work is carried out early in the process, this ensures applications do not stall for want of an ecology survey. Seeking input and interpreting the data from ecologists, arboriculturists and other specialist consultants can be crucial in understanding the opportunities and constraints of a development site early on.

For example, in recent work we carried out on a proposed barn conversion submitted to planning in the Forest of Dean, we worked alongside ecologists to confirm that the barn and its immediate surroundings provided no suitable habitat for bats or other protected species.

Whilst preliminary habitation roost surveys were undertaken in January, we were able to advise the client early on that any evidence of bat roosting may result in a delay to the project until further work could be undertaken in the survey period starting in April. Therefore, this timetabling for a “worst-case” scenario was scheduled early on.

Working with the ecology consultant, we were able to use the findings to propose bat and bird nesting boxes and planting throughout the site, creating new habitats for local native species, including some protected species. This is an important benefit in planning considerations and contributes to required biodiversity net gain requirements.

Whilst we are not ecologists or arboriculturists, we have the pleasure of working with several experienced consultants on projects across the country. Our experience also allows us to advise clients early on what surveys may be required, offer guidance on what impact this may have on their project timeline and speak with our trusted professional colleagues to collect quotes on our client’s behalf.

Therefore, if you are planning a new development and would like more information about the likely planning requirements, opportunities, and timetabling because of seasonal survey work, then do get in touch with Chris Moore or Chris Fleming for an initial conversation on the best next steps.

Call on 01242 895008 or email us at

McLoughlin Planning is pleased to have helped a homeowner in the London Borough of Camden in securing planning permission for amendments and improvements to an existing roof terrace space.

The existing property had a centrally located roof outbuilding which housed a staircase leading up to the outdoor space. However, the structure leaked both heat and rain due to historically poor construction. Furthermore, its central location meant the outdoor space could not be used to its full advantage.

As the property is also located in a conservation area, care was taken to ensure the proposal would also find ways to visually reduce its impact on the street scene and support the visual interest of the historically significant surrounding built form.

Working closely with the architect the initial proposal sought to move the stair opening to the southern edge of the building to provide a modern interpretation of the existing outbuilding which would visually reduce its built form and architecturally provide a distinction between the historic and modern built form. The scheme also includes an air source heat pump to help improve the property’s energy efficiency and overall sustainability.

Unfortunately, the Council raised concerns during the application about the overall design and height of the proposed cover and that this would likely be refused. Despite efforts to demonstrate how the structure complied with planning policies and would result in the alleged harm, the Council’s position remained too far apart from the applicants to reach a suitable comprise on the design presented. However, in the interest of securing planning permission and a functional alternative, we worked with the architect to address the Council’s objections and proposed an amended opening with shared visual similarities to a Velux window. This would also help provide further access to sunlight/daylight internally.

The Council agreed that the amended proposal addressed their concerns and planning permission has now been granted. We are pleased that working proactively with the Council, architect, and the applicant meant a solution could be presented, providing a more aesthetically pleasing and functional outdoor space in time for the summer!

Chris Moore has over 8 years of working on various scaled projects across the City of London and Southeast England. If you have land and/or property where you are considering your options, please contact him on 01242 89005 or email to start a conversation.

McLoughlin Planning has had recent success in promoting land for 400 homes in the green belt at Elland in Calderdale Borough. For the past three years, the Local Plan has been at Examination, where we have made the case for the allocation of the site for housing and its release from the green belt. Last week, the Local Plan Inspector confirmed that the site should be allocated for development in her recommendations to the Council.

The history of the Calderdale Local Plan is complex, being one of the last Local Plans to be examined under the 2012 NPPF. These Plans were reliant on Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) to calculate the Local Plan’s overall housing requirements.

At the Regulation 18 stage, we successfully secured the allocation of the site in the Plan as part of the Plan meeting its SHMA housing requirement. Unfortunately, Council Members decided to removed the site from the Regulation 19 version of the Plan as they sought a lower housing target, ignoring the findings of their own SHMA.

Presenting evidence to the Examination, we were able to demonstrate the case that the Regulation 19 version of the Plan did not meet the requirements of the 2021 Framework. The Inspector agreed with our arguments and directed the Council to revert back to the Regulation 18 version of the Plan in terms of providing a higher housing target and re-allocating the site for development.

This success is the result of many years of perseverance, first working with the landowner in 2015 and then subsequently with Avant Homes. As part of our wider work, we have been responsible for assembling and managing a team of consultants to produce a Site Promotion Document, undertake EIA Screening and engaging with the Council on pre-application advice. We are currently advising on detailed layout matters with a view to submitting a planning application later in 2022.

Nathan McLoughlin is a specialist in strategic land promotion. He has over 25 years of experience of delivering allocation of sites for his clients. If you have land and are considering your options, please contact him on 01242 89005 or email to start a conversation.

Please join us for the next Property and Construction Catch Up Event, held at the Hotel du Vin in Cheltenham on Thursday 24th March.

We last ran this event in January and was delighted to see over 70 people attend and witness the buzz of great conversation around the room.

The event is free to attend, but it is helpful for us to get an idea of numbers, so please book by following this link:…

Our event partners for the evening are Move Property and Abbey Business Interiors. and https://www.abbeybusinessinter…

With thanks to… for their support in running it.

Look forward to seeing you there!

We understand the importance of submitting your Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment Form (SHELAA) with the best possible case presented to get your land allocated in the local plan process and we have a track record of success in getting results for our clients in Gloucestershire and across England.

Forest of Dean has issued its annual call for development sites.

This is an important part of the evidence gathering process in making the big decisions about where new developments should go. If you have land that could be developed in the Forest of Dean, now is the time to present this land to the Council.

The benefit of our input is our knowledge and expertise in understanding National and emerging planning policy to make the best case possible and make your site stand out in a highly competitive marketplace.

The call for sites runs until 31st March 2022.

Nathan McLoughlin is a specialist in this and has a long track record of adding significant value to his client’s land. He doesn’t charge for that first conversation and is more than happy take a look at your land to advise you on the next best steps. Call him on 01242 895008 or email

McLoughlin Planning has successfully advised landowners and their trusted advisory agents in promoting land through Call for Sites in Gloucestershire and other counties in England.

The benefit of our input is our knowledge and expertise in understanding National and emerging planning policy to make the best case possible and make your site stand out in a highly competitive marketplace.

Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, and Gloucester have jointly issued their annual “Call for Sites” to find appropriate developable land. The Call for Sites will consider the suitability of land and the amount and type of development that all the authorities can deliver through their Local Plans.

Any sites which are submitted will have the opportunity to be considered for incorporation in the next stage of plan preparation

The Call for Sites runs until midnight 14th March 2022.

Nathan McLoughlin is a specialist in this and has a long track record of adding significant value to his client’s land. He doesn’t charge for that first conversation and is more than happy take a look at your land to advise you on the next best steps. Call him on 01242 895008 or email