McLoughlin Planning was delighted to succeed at the appeal for 45 new homes to be built in the Gloucestershire village of Gotherington, on the outskirts of Cheltenham. Appeal for 45 Homes in Gotherington. This appeal is now being referred to as a landmark appeal in terms of referencing Tewkesbury’s planned 5-year housing supply shortfall.

Five-year housing supply is a figure that is generated by Local Authorities to give the best guess on how many homes they need to create to meet future needs. The calculation is derived primarily from census figures and patterns in human reproduction and migration.

It’s an important calculation in our society because homes cannot and will not be created quickly enough if we do not have an idea of what the demand will be. In 2021/22 around 233,000 new homes were supplied, against a calculation that 340,000 are needed each year, of which 145,000 should be affordable. (

This is why one of the outcomes of this appeal is so significant. By Tewkesbury Borough Council admitting it does not know its 5-year housing supply figure (best guess is they have 3.39 years), it presents an opportunity for landowners in the Tewkesbury district to present their land for development, knowing they have at least one of the consideration factors on their side. Tewkesbury no longer has carte blanche to bat away applications on the basis of needs already being met.

In many respects, this is an uncomfortable lack of action on strategy on Tewkesbury’s part, which was demonstrated by McLoughlin Planning’s Managing Director Nathan McLoughlin ably supported by Joe Seymour at a challenging appeal on a site in Gotherington on behalf of .

This demonstrates the skill the McLoughlin Planning team has in strategic development applications and at appeal. If you would like any advice or for  Nathan McLoughlin to take a look at your land for an initial free assessment, please don’t hesitate to call us, email, or make an online booking.








McLoughlin Planning are overjoyed to have helped a landowner secure permission in principle for the development of a new family home near Thornbury, South Gloucestershire.

The landowner tried to secure planning permission for a new home on the outskirts of Thornbury. Unfortunately, planning permission was refused by South Gloucestershire Council because the proposal site is outside a defined settlement boundary where local planning policies prevented development of new homes.

The landowner approached us to discuss submitting a planning appeal against the decision on their behalf. Whilst we believed the site could be considered sustainable, we advised against submitting a planning appeal because the proposal did not fully comply with the requirements of Local Plan policy. However, the Local Plan was over 5 years old and we believed key planning policies were not consistent with the Framework.

Therefore, to evidence this position, we advised awaiting the outcome of a large development planning appeal in Thornbury, as this would advise us further on the weight and relevance of the planning policies which were considered in this case.

Upon determination of the planning appeal in Thornbury in December 2022, it was found that the Council did not have a 5-year housing land supply. Furthermore, it was found that key strategic Local Plan policies were no longer consistent with the National Planning Policy Framework. As these key policies formed part of the previous reason for refusal issued to the landowner, this change in position offered an opportunity for the site to be re-considered for development.

To act on this, we advised the landowner to submit a Permission in Principle, which would allow the principle of developing a new home to be tested without the need for full detailed plans or supporting information.  This offers both the benefits of saving both initial time and financial resource whilst applicants test the principle of development before progressing with a later technical matters planning application.

We prepared a case setting out the sustainability of the proposal site, benefits of the proposal and the weight applied to relevant planning policies as part of the decision-making process. The case officer agreed with our assessment, and we welcomed their support in ensuring the case could be determined favourably as a delegated decision, despite objection from the local Town Council.

The proposal offers a useful case study on how a change in the Local Plan’s weight and the outcome of important planning appeal decisions can influence the outcome of planning applications. In this instance, we are excited to have after many years of waiting helped this landowner secure the principle of development for their new family home.

📞 If you would like a FREE initial consultation call, then please get in touch!


Chris Moore,

01242 895008

Possibly Yes!

We are pleased to have secured planning permission for a series of wildlife ponds with the Dorset Council.

The application for Wildlife ponds required planning permission because of their need for engineering operations to implement. The initial concept was to introduce a single pond within the site, however, the original application had to be withdrawn due to concerns around landscape impact.

The key issues raised throughout the application:

  • Larger centred around landscape impact.
  • Impacts on existing biodiversity on the site.

After consultation the scheme was updated to include 3 smaller ponds, this was done to ensure that there was greater habitat diversity and to create additional complementary habitats as well as the main features. The 3 smaller ponds were all connected to allow water flow and of different sizes to promote greater diversity.

Working alongside Petra Ulrik Landscape Architects to ensure that the proposal was sympathetic to the landscape and utilised native non-invasive species of planting to be consistent with the area’s existing character, whilst providing biodiversity enhancements. Having Petra on board from the start ensured that the proposal was developed with a clear understanding of how the proposal would alter the existing landscape and to ensure that native species were included at all stages.

The proposal offers useful insight into the possibilities of developing agricultural land for biodiversity net gain. By implementing a wildlife haven in this location the biodiversity and landscape character for the area are richer than if existing agricultural practices were to continue.  In our experience, providing wildlife ponds in a sympathetic manner adds both to the character and the biodiversity of the site and the wider setting. The pre-application process allowed for open discussions on the proposal’s concerns to overcome issues including landscape impacts at an early stage and ensure a smooth application process.

By working proactively with the Local Authority through the application life cycle we were able to ensure a smooth process where the application was determined within the statutory deadline.

Our experienced team can help you secure green infrastructure and other wildlife improvements in a wide range of circumstances.

📞 If you would like a FREE initial consultation call, then please get in touch!


Chris Fleming,

01242 895008

Tuesday 18 July saw the next step in Wiltshire Council’s review of its Core Strategy with the Wiltshire Council Local Plan Review being presented to Full Council. At this lively meeting, members agreed that it should move forward to the Regulation 19 Consultation and we thought it useful to summarise the key strategy points arising from it.

Given the number of site-finding platforms available on the market, we thought it timely to provide some context & nuance for those searching for new opportunities, whether large or small. Those who are familiar with the current Plan know that its settlement strategy is based on:

Principal Settlements
Market Towns
Local Service Centres
Large and Small Villages

Policy 1 of the Local Plan continues where its predecessor left off and the hierarchy remains largely unchanged as does the approach to new housing development. The new Plan looks to maintain its predecessor’s approach in directing new housing development to allocated sites (in the Plan or a Neighbourhood Plan) or to those locations with Settlement Boundaries. The exception is in Small Village locations where only “infill” will be supported (as these settlements have no defined boundaries).

Policy 2 The Plan’s overall housing target has dropped from earlier consultations, now running at 36,740 homes, as opposed to over 40,000 to 45,000 previously suggested in 2019. The Officer’s Report accompanying the plan reports the approximate distribution of housing is:

Principal Settlements – 40%
Market Towns – 36 %
Local Service Centres/Large and Small Villages – 22%

Policy 1 identifies the towns and villages which form the top three tiers of the Settlement Hierarchy. In terms of Large and Small Villages, these total 58 and 148 settlements respectively and require reading of the relevant parts of the Plan. Policy 2 provides more detail on exactly how development will be delivered.

The Regulation 19 Stage of the Plan is the critical part of the Plan-making process and those with land interests whether large or small be they greenfield or brownfield are strongly encouraged to get involved with this process to promote their interests.

Having reviewed the Plan, there are some interesting policy avenues to explore and development opportunities to explore and Nathan McLoughlin and his team would welcome the opportunity to discuss these with you.

Delays with the planning system are often cited as a barrier to commercial development, hindering the ability of successful companies to grow and expand their facilities. Whilst new industrial development requires careful consideration, there are substantial rights available to occupiers to extend their operational buildings without the need for planning permission. Understanding these rights is paramount as it allows permission to be more rapidly secured with less cost and risk than would otherwise be required via a planning application. We have recently obtained a Lawful Development Certificate with Cheltenham Borough Council for a new High Voltage (HV) Substation on a light industrial site in Cheltenham.

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 – Part 7, Class H (“the GPDO”) allows for alterations and extensions to be carried out at industrial and warehouse sites without the need for planning permission. This is subject to the following criteria which this development satisfied fully:

  • The floor area of the building must not exceed 200 square metres;
  • The gross floor area of the original building must not be exceeded by 50% or 1,000 square metres, whichever is the lesser;
  • The height of any part of the new building must not exceed the height of any existing building on site, or 15 metres, whichever is lower;
  • The height of the building being extended or altered must not exceed the height of the building being extended or altered;
  • No part of the development can be within 5 metres of the site boundary;
  • The development must not lead to a reduction in the space available for parking or turning of vehicles.

It is often assumed that infrastructure such as HV substations will require full planning permission, but this decision shows that significant structures can often be constructed on industrial sites under permitted development in the correct circumstances. There are additional criteria for sites in Conservation Areas and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, none of which were applicable in this case.

Our experienced team can help you find the best route to securing infrastructure at industrial and warehouse sites.  If you would like an initial free consultation call, then please get in touch with Joe Seymour, or 01242 895008

The South Warwickshire Local Plan (SWLP) is an excellent case study for the current political battleground of whether to develop the green belt or not. Covering both Stratford on Avon and Warwick District Councils, it is a Plan which has its fair share of green belt land and difficult decisions to be made about the scale and location of growth.

Following the recent local elections, Stratford is now controlled by the Liberal Democrats (won from the Conservatives) and Warwick continues to have no single party in overall control but is governed by a Labour and Green coalition. The changes have led to an immediate delay in the next stage of the SWLP.

It was originally hoped that the SWLP would undertake a Preferred Options consultation in the summer, but this will no longer be the case as the Joint Strategic Committee needs to be reformed to reflect the changes in the political administrations in both Councils. Politics aside, the SWLP Team has been working through the significant 700-plus consultation responses on the Plan.

It will be interesting to see how the new Joint Strategic Committee and political administrations deal with SWLP and the thorny issue of Green Belt development. Crucially, Green Belt is currently high on the political agenda and appears to be something of an acid test of the Labour Party’s thinking about new housing in the green belt and the Conservative Party seemingly taking the opposite.

We are going to be watching this with considerable interest on behalf of clients as Local Plan Reviews are the only real opportunity to develop green belt land. While the delay is frustrating, it still leaves the door open for sites to be promoted, so if you would like to understand the situation in more detail please contact Nathan McLoughlin at 0773 6821475 or

McLoughlin Planning has successfully secured prior approval consent for the conversion of a disused Agricultural Barn to provide 2 x new residential homes in the Forest of Dean.

Class Q of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (As Amended) grants permission for the change of use and conversion of disused agricultural buildings to residential dwellings. Under the Legislation, you can secure up to 8 new homes within the same agricultural unit!

To qualify, criteria within the legislation need to be met to successfully apply to the Council for consent. If successful, permission can be given within 56 days of the Council receiving your application.

Common pitfalls with Class Q tend to be around the structural condition of the barn (is it capable to be converted without structural intervention?) and the amount of external operational work which is required to bring the building into residential use. The latter is often subjective, with the degree of change accepted often varying between different Councils. However, usually, the introduction of new doors and windows is accepted.

The applicant in this instance had previously submitted two previous Class Q applications which were unsuccessful because of the level of proposed operation work and the proposed footprint of the homes exceeding the maximum limit set by Class Q.  After reviewing the Council’s previous reasons for refusal, we worked with the applicant and their chosen architect (RRA Architects) through the identified issues to find solutions. We were able to put forward a design that responded to the Council’s concerns while demonstrating through a clear table format in our supporting planning statement that the proposal complied with the relevant criteria in the Class Q legislation.

The Council agreed with the proposed changes and granted the consent within the 56-day timeframe. We are so pleased that our client has a barn they can convert to provide two beautiful new homes.

Navigating the Class Q prior approval can be complex, particularly given the inconsistency in decision-making often found in different local authorities. Therefore, engaging with professionals can greatly assist in ensuring your proposal is robust before submission. Even if Class Q may not be achievable, a full planning application may be possible to secure your aspirations (see our previous article on planning for barns here).

Our recent successes in securing barn conversions mean we are well-placed to help you with your aspirations. If you would like an initial free consultation call, please contact Chris Moore at 01242 895008 or Alternatively, you can book a meeting via the “book an appointment” contact form on our website.

If you have received a Planning Enforcement Notice, it means that your Council has reason to believe that you have breached planning control. This can be stressful, but seeking professional advice early on can help you understand what your options are and what steps you need to take next.

What is a Planning Enforcement Notice?

A Planning Enforcement Notice is a legal document issued by your Council to enforce a breach of planning control. They are issued to land or property owners where an alleged breach of planning laws has been identified and the Council requires the owner to take action to remedy the situation. Some reasons for receiving a Planning Enforcement Notice may include:

  • Building or engineering operations were undertaken without planning permission.
  • Changing the use of a property or land without planning permission.
  • Breaching planning conditions which are within planning permission.
  • Carrying out works or a change of use that is not in accordance with planning permission.

In most cases, you will normally have already received a letter, Planning Contravention Notice, or have had an Enforcement Officer from the Council visit you regarding the alleged works/change of use before receiving an Enforcement Notice.

Already at this early stage before the notice is served seeking professional advice can be worthwhile as in some instances you may be able to agree to submit a retrospective planning application to avoid an enforcement notice altogether. Furthermore, in our experience working diplomatically with the Council is recommended to ensure a proactive solution or next steps (if possible) can be agreed upon.

What Should You Do if You Receive a Planning Contravention Notice?

 A Planning Contravention Notice is a way for the Local Planning Authority to gain access to information about an alleged breach from the land/property owner. It is not yet a legal charge on an alleged breach of planning. However, you must respond to the Contravention Notice (normally within 21 days), as not doing so is an offense (as is providing false or inaccurate information).

What Should You Do if You Receive a Planning Enforcement Notice?

You mustn’t ignore the Planning Enforcement Notice. Read through the Notice carefully to make sure you understand for what reason the Council is taking action against your property or land. The Planning Enforcement Notice will also provide information on what works or actions are required of you to remedy the breach, the deadline for when the actions required take effect, and the amount of time you are given to remedy the breach (for example, you may be given 3 months to remove unlawful works to a building).

It is important that you seek advice from a professional to understand what is required of you and what your options are before the deadline takes effect as set out in the Planning Enforcement Notice.

Responding to the Enforcement Notice

Whether you accept or deny the alleged breach of planning set out in the Enforcement Notice, you will need to act. How you respond will depend on the type of Enforcement Notice and whether you agree/disagree with the alleged breaches outlined. For example, if you are served with a breach of planning condition Enforcement Notice, then you have no right to appeal. Therefore, your options would be limited in this instance.

You may also accept the alleged breach and want to remedy the breach as outlined in the Enforcement Notice. In this instance, liaising with the Council’s Enforcement Officer will help in working towards resolving the requirements of the Notice. As stated before, in our experience working diplomatically with the Council’s enforcement team is advisable to work towards a solution.

However, if you have received an Enforcement Notice for an alleged breach of planning control for unlawful building works or a change of use of land, then you may have a right to appeal the Enforcement Notice to challenge the contents and requirements set out by the Council.  Enforcement Appeals can be under different “Grounds” depending on the area of disagreement. The planning appeal process can be complex and time-consuming, therefore seeking advice on whether this is the best route for you is considered important.

McLoughlin Planning has experience helping land and property owners with Enforcement Notices and Enforcement Planning Appeals. If you would like an initial free consultation call, please contact Chris Moore at 01242 895008 or email via Alternatively, you can book a meeting via the “book an appointment” contact form on our website.

McLoughlin Planning welcomes the decision to allow planning permission for the development of four new homes in Upper Rissington at Planning Appeal against Cotswold District Council’s planning decision to refuse.  

In October 2021, Cotswold District Council refused planning permission for the proposed development on the alleged grounds that the proposed development would harm the character and appearance of the area, including the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB); and the living condition of neighbouring and future residents concerning privacy and access to open space.  

The proposed development is on a parcel of land sited within an existing residential area on an underused piece of land inside a defined settlement boundary. Due to our good working relationship with case officers at Cotswold District Council and understanding of Local Plan policy, the proposed development was recommended for approval. Officers recognised the proposed development would make use of brownfield land, the separation distances would accord with the Cotswold Design Guide and would be surrounded by neighbouring residential development.  

Unfortunately, the case was called in by a local ward member to Planning Committee. Despite officers recommending approval, members refused planning permission. McLoughlin Planning supported Tyack Architects and the applicant through the planning appeal process, constructing a Statement of Case, Final Comments, and liaising with the Inspectorate throughout the process.  

The appeal decision is useful for the following reasons: (1) the Inspector recognised that the development would not result in an encroachment into the countryside. Whilst the site could be seen from some public viewpoints from the AONB, the houses would be read as part of the wider settlement and therefore it was concluded the development would not harm the beauty of the AONB; and (2) Given the established layout of the existing housing in the area, a degree of passive surveillance and overlooking already exists. With the new housing being in excess of 20 metres on separation distances, the Inspector agreed that this would not result in harm to neighbours or future residents’ privacy.  

When planning permission is refused, deciding whether to appeal or re-submit can sometimes be challenging. Whilst McLoughlin Planning believe planning appeals should be seen as a last resort in most cases, where proposals have demonstrated care and compliance with important Local Plan policies then a planning appeal can be worthwhile to secure the development you aspire to create.  

Our team has years of experience working on planning appeals, for both the public and private sectors. If you would like to speak with us further about your recent decision, a case due for determination or a new site you are exploring, then please contact Joe Seymour at 01242 895008 or Alternatively, you can book a meeting via our website’s “book an appointment” contact form. 

McLoughlin Planning is pleased to have secured planning permission for a replacement dwelling with South Kesteven District Council.

Planning permission had previously been refused for the proposed development, due to the orientation, siting, scale, and design of the proposal when assessed against the character and scale of development on the street scene.

Collaborating closely with the architects at K Design and Development, we were able to work through the reasons for refusal and develop a robust case for resubmission to illustrate how the applicant had responded to the Council’s concerns. This included working with the architect to assess local building heights, window/dormer layout and design, and the size/siting of the proposed dwelling in the plot to ensure the proposal did not result in overdevelopment out of character with the wider street scene.

Following further engagement with the case officer during the application process, it was agreed that the proposal had overcome the Council’s previous concerns and that the new development could be supported. By ensuring sufficient information was also submitted supporting the planning application, the number of planning conditions was reduced and allowed the applicant to proceed with development without the need to discharge any pre-commencement planning conditions.

The proposal offers a useful case study on how a refused planning permission can offer helpful information in assessing a landowner’s options for a re-submission or a planning appeal. In our experience, working proactively with the Council through a resubmission can save time and expenses. Therefore, we advise our clients to treat a planning appeal as a ‘last resort’.

In this instance, the applicant’s willingness to reimagine their dream home in response to the Council’s comments allowed us to secure planning permission in a much quicker timeframe than if we had progressed with a planning appeal. We are so pleased our client can now develop a house they can call their own.

We have had several success stories with replacement dwellings across England. If you are exploring a new residential development and would like an initial free consultation call, please contact Chris Moore at 01242 895008 or Alternatively, you can book a meeting via the “book an appointment” contact form on our website.