Nathan is the founder and Managing Director of McLoughlin Planning with over 25-year experience in both the public and private sectors. He has overseen a wide range of development projects and provides planning leadership for the company.
Outside of work, Nathan is a keen cyclist and clay pigeon shooting, whilst trying to improve his golf handicap. He also sits on the Gloucestershire Committee for the Country Landowners Association and Constructing Excellence Gloucestershire.
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 and Joe Seymour worked with the team of consultants that has successfully secured full planning permission, at appeal, for 45 new homes at Gotherington on behalf of Lioncourt Strategic Land Limited.
This Appeal Decision is noteworthy because it led to confirmation that Tewkesbury Borough Council (TBC) cannot demonstrate a 5-year housing land supply; the best estimate of its housing supply is judged to be 3.39 years. This leaves the Council in a difficult position, which originates from its failure (as part of the Joint Core Strategy (JCS)) to undertake the immediate review that it promised in return for the JCS’s adoption over 5 years ago. This is compounded by the fact that the JCS review process is a number of years away from being resolved. So, there is no easy fix without more speculative applications and/or the long-delayed strategic housing sites coming forward.
However, 5-year supply is only one part of the case for a planning proposal, it is essential that there is a well-designed and reasoned scheme, which fits with the principles of development in the NPPF and the Development Plan. Working closely with the wider team Nathan and Joe explored the previous Appeal and the sensitive landscape issues which affected it. A detailed analysis of the state of the community facilities and services in the village was undertaken to demonstrate that contrary to the Council’s position, the development would not lead to social cohesion issues.
The Inspector at this appeal made remarks on TBCs development plan that were significantly damaging to this and any future counter-argument, the council might have, against developments in Tewkesbury District; the “most important” policies in the development plan were deemed to be out-of-date by the Inspector and paragraph 11 d(ii) of the Framework was held to apply. In addition, the Inspector judged that Policy SP2’s numerical limits on housing development in service village locations were for making allocations and not determining applications.
In paragraph 158 of the Decision, the inspector states:
“In my view, it is of central importance to keep in mind that housing is occupied by people. Dealing with numbers obscures that. The lack of a sufficient forward pipeline of deliverable housing sites will inevitably mean that the housing needs of many people will not be met.”
This is why the team at McLoughlin Planning do what they do, we care about creating enough homes for everyone.
Nathan McLoughlin was the lead planning witness, Joe Seymour provided support and great skill in assembling and running the Appeal. The wider team included fellow witnesses Cameron Austin-Fell (RPS), and Mike Davies (Davies Landscape Architecture), overseen by Peter Goatley KC on behalf of Vicky Bilton and Andy Faizey at Lioncourt.
McLoughlin Planning was approached by Unity Land to support its efforts to promote the comprehensive redevelopment of Fairoaks Airport to provide a modern general aviation airport, with a focus on providing facilities for supporting sustainable aviation and the latest EV technology. This was as a direct competitor to other proposals which sought the redevelopment of the site for a new garden village in Surrey Heath.
Situated in the Green Belt, on the outskirts of Working and adjacent to Mclaren HQ, Fairoaks is an important general aviation airport in the south east. Its faciliites are delipidated and in need of urgent upgrading. Unity Land is commited to acquiring and heavily investing into the Airport to make it a modern facility, securing and promoting jobs in high skill positions in the aviation industry.
Working with John Steel QC (a leading aviation specialist) McLoughlin Planning is responsible for the preparation of the planning case for the development, working with the Unity Team (including 5Plus Architects, ARUP and specialist aviation consultants) to provide a conclusive case for the redevelopment of the site and demonstrate the clear economic benefits of development in an area where there is a high demand for commercial floorspace.
This has involved examining how the unique permitted development rights enjoyed by airports can be used to engineer a case for the wider redevelopment of the site and how planning policy at both local and national level, supports the retention of general aviation airports across the country.
The work is currently on-going.
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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