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Residential Development

We get results on a wide range of development projects – from single homes up to strategic sites.

Our expertise in supporting development projects from single homes up to strategic sites allows us to work on one of the biggest challenges the UK experiences; delivering housing to meet demand. We take an innovative, collaborative and strategic approach to sites in developed and undeveloped areas, including those that are allocated for homes and others in the promotion phase.


400 Homes in Elland

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.

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Appeal for 45 Homes in Gotherington

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.

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Land South of Steeds Farm

Working through viability issues and negotiation on section 106 contributions to secure outline permission for 125 new homes.

We are delighted to have secured outline planning permission for 125 extra homes on the edge of Faringdon, Vale of White Horse District by appeal last week on behalf of our long-standing clients, Welbeck Strategic Land.

The Appeal decision has generated comment in the Planning press, primarily due to the viability issue. However, there are other areas of note for our clients to consider for their own development interests.

The Appeal site formed part of an allocation in the Local Plan for “around 200’” dwellings. 200 dwellings had already been provided on the northern half of the allocation. From the very outset, we secured the support of the Case Officer that the use of the term “around” did not preclude additional dwellings coming forward.

This principle was very important in the determination of the application. It highlights that there may be opportunities within allocations to increase levels of development, depending on the terminology used on the number of dwellings.

Prior to the Appeal process, the application was subject to 18 months of detailed, careful negotiation with the Case Officer and her advisers on viability matters. With an agreement secured on viability, the Application was presented to Planning Committee with a recommendation that planning permission should be granted.

Despite the Case Officer’s best efforts the Planning Committee disagreed with her recommendation and refused the application for, in their mind, failure to deliver a sufficient section 106 package of contributions.

The appeal decision is interesting in that the Inspector decided that not all of the Councils’ leisure contributions should be upheld, despite them being agreed at the time of the Planning Committee.

This shows the value of negotiation and evidencing the value of contributions and we are pleased that the Inspector could see the reasonableness of the situation.

We are very happy to secure the Appeal and be part of a great team led by Dankolinsky QC, working alongside Will Seamer of Montagu Evans, John Baird of Osborne Clarke and Anthony Hooper of Wakemans.

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