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Retail & Public Sector

We work with various public sector partners, including local government, Town and Parish Councils and County Councils, to guide important infrastructure projects through the planning process. Taking a collaborative approach with councils and communities helps us understand all parties’ needs and deliver the projects required.

Our retail and public sector experience of working on numerous retail units and alongside multiple public sector agencies has strengthened our appreciation of the pressures, restrictions, budgeting scrutiny, and opportunities available for clients within this sector.


Clearwater Primary School, Gloucester

McLoughlin Planning was appointed by Kier Construction to provide planning consultancy advice as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

McLoughlin Planning was appointed by Kier Construction to provide planning consultancy advice as part of a multi-disciplinary team to deliver Full Planning Permission for a new 2 Form Entry Primary School and nursery in the Quedgeley area of Gloucester.

The application was complex and contentious, as it involved the loss of an area of undeveloped land in the City, which was used by local residents for informal recreation, notwithstanding the fact that it was allocated for educational purposes and not protected for open space. This eventually saw the application being successfully determined at Appeal.

Through the Appeal process, we were able to provide a robust planning case, highlighting the development plan context for the site and the compelling guidance provided by Government regarding the provision of new schools. In addition, we were also able to draw on the Council’s own evidence regarding the availability of open space in the area to demonstrate to the Inspector that there was a surplus of the type of open space in the area, thus allowing him to better balance the competing needs of the Case.

We also provided extensive support in negotiating the Statement of Common Ground, which resulted in a number of Reasons for Refusal being dropped by the Council, thus ensuring that Inquiry time was minimised.

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Warden Hill Primary School

Working on behalf of EG Carter and Gloucestershire County Council, McLoughlin Planning was part of a team that successfully delivered planning permission for the replacement school building at Warden Hill Primary School in Cheltenham.

Warden Hill Primary School is a two form entry primary school (420 pupils) located in Durham Close, Warden Hill, Cheltenham. The school is rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted and there had been consideration to expand the school to three form entry. The birth data, alongside existing primary provision in the area showed that the expansion was not required. However, the condition of the school buildings was reviewed and it became clear that they were of significant concern. Detailed investigation showed that an extensive maintenance programme would not be an efficient use of resources and it would be better to replace the school buildings.

In November 2020 Gloucestershire County Council’s cabinet approved additional funding to replace the existing school buildings.

Warden Hill School’s site is large enough that the new school building can be built, whilst the old school building is still in daily use by staff and pupils. Once the new building is complete, the old school building will be demolished.

McLoughlin Planning was able to demonstrate the planning policy case as to why this development should go ahead, despite the controversial use of playing fields for development. It was demonstrated that using the playing fields for the new school building was necessary and that it allowed the space currently occupied by the old school building to be re-used after it’s demolition as an improved play space for pupils.

There are specific conditions that have to be met to allow such development because of the value we all place on open spaces for our children. This includes Section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, that local authorities are required to apply for the consent of the Secretary of State for Education to dispose of, or change the use of, land used for maintained schools and academies and following the guidance from Sport England.

The school has been developed to deliver an exemplar 21st
century learning space that has been designed to be the most environmentally friendly low carbon primary school in the country. To enable this, it will have high building fabric efficiency, a low carbon heat source using an air source heat pump, on-site electricity generation through PV array, sustainable urban drainage systems and a “Pocket” forest.

Externally, there will be nature areas, playing pitches, daily mile and pump track and external amphitheatre seating for the pupils to enjoy.

We are delighted that ground was broken in November 2021 and that we were able to assist in this exciting project that reflects our continuing involvement with the County Council in the provision of new schools and school buildings.

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If you are interested in finding out how we can help you with your project please get in touch.