Joe Seymour


Associate Director


Joe has an extensive background in the planning industry with ten years of local authority development management experience before joining McLoughlin Planning in 2019. He has worked on a wide variety of developments, including small, medium and large-scale residential, commercial, leisure, retail, equestrian and agricultural. Joe also undertakes work as a Planning Inspector on a contract basis, which provides McLoughlin Planning with a unique insight into the planning appeal process.

He has a particular interest in development management; listed buildings/historic environment; Green Belt sites.


Joe has successfully secured the following developments on behalf of his clients:

  • Conversion of Grade II listed pub into 4 houses in the Cotswolds.
  • Successful appeal for 45 dwellings outside of a settlement boundary in Tewkesbury.
  • Creation of a new farm shop in the Cotswolds.
  • Permission in Principle for a new dwelling near Bishops Cleeve outside the settlement boundary and within the Cotswolds AONB.
  • Large-scale redevelopment of Spriax Sarco in Cheltenham, including replacement extensions and historic timber windows on their principal Grade II listed Global Headquarters.
  • Permission in Principle for 5 dwellings on the site of a disused ecclesiastical building in the Cotswolds.
  • Permission in Principle for 2 dwellings in the non-principal settlements of both Cerney Wick and Driffield in the Cotswolds.
  • Retrospective approval of an equestrian stables and riding arena in Stroud.
  • Successful appeal for subdivision of a residential dwelling into two dwellings in Stroud.
  • Planning permission, listed building consent and advertisement consent for a new kitchen showroom in the centre of Cheltenham.
  • Removal of retail occupancy condition on a retail unit in Gloucester to allow unrestricted A1 retail to operate from the site.


In his spare time Joe enjoys playing golf, spending time with family, European city breaks and watching live sport (either in the stadium or in the pub!)

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Charlton House, is the global headquarters of Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc, a FTSE 100 company and is one of Cheltenham’s largest employers. It has occupied the site since the 1940s.

Charlton House is a complex site, involving a Grade II listed building and has been extended in the latter half of the 20 Century.


Spirax-Sarco were faced with a dilemma, the modern office extension was reaching the end of its operational life, it was poorly configured and ill-suited to modern working practices.

Given the need for change, the company appointed McLoughlin Planning and Roberts Limbrick Architects along with a multi-disciplinary consultant team to advise on options for redevelopment, to provide a modern, highly energy efficient work-space, fit for the 21 Century.

Working in partnership with Roberts Limbrick Architects we took the company through the various options available in terms of demolition and replacement structures. Refurbishment was out of the question. The fundamental challenge was to balance the need for a modern office space against the need to respect the character and setting of Charlton House. This demanded a creative and bold confident approach.

At an early stage of the project, the company sought to embody its environmental commitments into the project and working with the team, decided on a strategy which would deliver the County’s first ever BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) ‘Outstanding’ building, which is a very high bar in terms of measuring its environmental performance. Less than top 1% of new non-domestic buildings in the UK are within the Outstanding category so this is a significant achievement. ‘Outstanding’ building.

The new extension contains open-plan office space, break-out areas, an auditorium, a gym and changing facilities. Securing the renovation of the company’s global headquarters will help to consolidate their position in Cheltenham and will secure existing and attract new high-skilled jobs in the town for years to come.

McLoughlin Planning explained and guided Spirax-Sarco through the planning process, submitting the planning and listed building applications for the redevelopment. We were able to demonstrate that the bold, superior architectural design of the replacement extension clearly outweighed the minor harm that would be caused to the historic fabric of the listed building.

As part of the process, we equally advised the company on concerns raised from local residents which focused on the height of the new five-storey extension and the disturbance that would be caused during the demolition and construction phases of the development. Again, we were able to demonstrate to the Council that the development would not be detrimental to neighbouring residents and the applications were approved by the Council’s Planning Committee only four months after submission.

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Garden Office

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.



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Repurpose of Church grounds

We have recently been successful on application in using PiP to secure Permission in Principle for up to 5 dwellings on the site of a 1960s building last used as a Catholic Church.

Despite the site being located within the settlement boundary for Bourton-on-the-Water, McLoughlin Planning were initially met with resistance from Cotswold District Council to the prospect of redeveloping the brownfield site for a residential use. The building was previously used by the Diocese of Clifton for Catholic services, these were now mainly being conducted from their church in Stow-on-the-Wold, which meant the site was surplus to requirements.

Being faced with a refusal, McLoughlin Planning had to provide additional justification to comply with Policy INF2 which governs the redevelopment of community facilities such as places of worship. We explained that not only was there a suitable alternative venue in a nearby settlement that was more popular with the church’s congregation, but there are similar community facilities in the same planning use class within Bourton-on-the-Water that could perform the same services.

The Council requested a marketing exercise to prove there was no demand for the use of the site, however we successfully argued that this was not a policy requirement, because this only applied to the loss of a shop or pub. Consequently, McLoughlin Planning was able to demonstrate full compliance with Policy INF2 and the application was subsequently permitted.

This example further serves to demonstrate the usefulness of PiP Applications for private clients in providing highly cost-effective solutions to determine the development potential of their land and secure an uplift in value.

If this were a conventional outline or detailed application, upfront costs would have been considerably higher, reflecting the need for more technical work. Whereas, with the PiP process, the costs are largely focused on the planning case for the development, allowing significant savings to be made.

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