Chris is a solution orientated planning consultant with over 7 years working in the planning Industry. Having worked with over 200 local planning authorities, particularly in the South East, Essex and London, he has in depth knowledge of local requirements and constraints to help inform individual planning strategies.
Initially starting as a Transport Planner at Oxfordshire County Council, Chris moved into the private sector progressing from a Graduate Planning Consultant through to an Associate Director.
Chris has in depth knowledge of the residential, commercial, tourism and rural planning sectors, including experience in managing; planning enforcement, lawful development certificates, conservation/listed building consents, paragraph 55/79 houses and planning appeals.
Keen to give back to the planning community, Chris is actively involved with Gloucestershire RTPI Young Planners, organises local professional education/social events and regularly gives talks at the University of Gloucestershire and Business Events to promote the profession.
Photography, Hiking, Running, Rugby, American Football, Drumming, Skiing, Mountaineering, and travelling.
McLoughlin Planning are pleased to have helped secure Permission in Principle for up to 6 residential flats in the London Borough of Lewisham. This is the first Permission in Principle application determined, and approved, by this London Borough.
The landowner approached us to help find opportunities to holistically enhance and expand an existing mixed-use commercial and residential property to provide additional apartments. Through our initial planning research, we found evidence of neighbouring regeneration taking place and upward extensions permitted on other corner plot properties within the Borough offering comfort that such a proposal could be supported. However, because of site specific planning constraints (such as a nearby listed building) and the Council’s lengthy planning validation requirements for a project of this nature, the landowner wanted some reassurances from the Council that in principle the proposed development could be supported before investing in the work required for a full planning application.
Permission in Principle applications (PiPs) are a useful planning tool for landowners seeking to initially secure an “in principle” agreement with a Council on their proposed development. The application type considers only the location, land use and amount of development. PiP’s are limited to up to 9 residential units and therefore are suited for smaller rural development proposals or intensification or smaller brownfield developments in urban areas.
Following submission, as this was the first PiP in the London Borough of Lewisham, McLoughlin Planning worked closely with the Council to help ensure the Permission in Principle application was being determined correctly and to assist with providing additional information and reassurances (where required). Working with a proactive case officer, we are pleased to have successfully provided the landowner with the required comfort for a new sustainable development, and a new local case study on the benefits of Permission in Principle for property owners within the Capital.
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.
McLoughlin Planning are delighted to obtain planning permission on behalf of our client to construct an outbuilding to the rear of their property to be used as a garden office. This is a development that is becoming ever more popular in the aftermath of the Covid-19 Pandemic which has seen working patterns change with a greater propensity for people to work from home.
The property in question is in the village of Upper Dowdeswell in the Cotswolds. The period building is within a Conservation Area where the design of extensions and outbuildings are more strictly controlled. The property is also next door to a Grade II* listed building which meant the design of the outbuilding could not harm the setting of the nearby designated heritage asset.
Despite these constraints, McLoughlin Planning achieved planning permission for a contemporary garden office constructed with vertical timber cladding, slimline aluminium windows and doors and an asymmetric sloping roof expertly made by Koto Design. The Local Planning Authority agreed that the modern design was a refreshing addition to a period building, and it blended in with its surroundings seamlessly.
Outbuildings are often seen by Local Planning Authorities as a good compromise for allowing additional floor space to be created at historic buildings without causing harm to their historic fabric, as is often the case with an extension.
The result of this development is a quiet working space away from the noise and disruption of a family home. If you are considering the construction of your own home office please feel free to contact us to discuss your project further.
McLoughlin Planning is pleased to have secured planning permission for the extension and alteration to an existing Garden Centre, the erection of a new Commercial Storage Building and a new on-site café in South Gloucestershire.
As a result of Enforcement Action being taken against the landowner, we were engaged to review the property’s planning history and the alleged breaches in the enforcement notice to provide a planning strategy to regularise the use of the site. The property had a long and complex planning history, but following a detailed assessment, we managed to establish that the lawful use of the site was a Garden Centre.
As the enforcement notice had taken effect by the time of our instruction, we advised the landowner to comply with the notice. In parallel, we worked with the landowner on preparing a planning application which would allow the lawful business to diversify and secure the necessary on-site secure storage needed for the business’s products and equipment.
Without on-site improvements, the landowner would have been left with a small structure to display goods, and shipping containers to the rear to act as storage for goods and equipment. We made the case that the proposal would allow for the visual enhancement of the proposal site and would support the growth of a rural enterprise by providing a high-end café and garden centre as an alternative shopping option to the adjacent Dobbies Garden Centre.
With close work with the Council, we were able to proactively resolve any queries regarding the development. For example, concerns were raised about whether the business would harm the neighbouring Dobbies Garden Centre; for which we were able to demonstrate that the offering at this business is aimed at a different audience to Dobbies. We were also able to agree with the Council means to secure on-site improvements, such as EV charging, new vehicle hardstanding, and cycle parking.
We are thrilled that the landowner has secured planning permission for a well-designed and high-end Garden Centre and Café. Given the importance small businesses play for the economy, particularly in rural areas, we are pleased that we were able to support the retention and growth of a valuable business in South Gloucestershire. It was a pleasure working alongside Southpoint Architects who were leading on the design.
If you are interested in finding out how we can help you please get in touch