Whether we are advising on agricultural development, diversification projects or redevelopment, we know how the right approach to get results.

We have a history of working with agricultural advisors and agents which gives us valuable links and insight to the community, as does our committee membership of the CLA, ALA and support for the Royal Agricultural University.


Planning Permission Secured for New Dwelling in Rural Mid-Sussex

McLoughlin Planning has secured planning permission for a new rural exceptional farmstead home in Sussex.

Our clients own a parcel of land in Sussex, isolated in the idyllic Sussex countryside. Whilst planning permission would not normally be achievable for a new home in such a location, paragraph 84 of the National Planning Policy Framework sets out limited circumstances where new homes are permitted in isolated locations.

Point (e) allows for new homes where the design is of exceptional quality, reflecting the highest standards in architecture, raising the standards of design more generally in rural areas and significantly enhancing the immediate setting. To offer a brief history of the intention of Paragraph 84(e), it is widely accepted that Paragraph 84 is a modern continuation of what was originally referred to as “Gummer’s Law”, a means of protecting the long-standing tradition of building large British Country Houses. Therefore, Paragraph 84 sets out a series of scrupulous tests to demonstrate the proposal embodies this tradition.

Because of this high threshold, we worked closely with an experienced Architect and project team to develop an initial concept scheme. The vision for this proposal was to create an authentic country home, which is intimately connected to its place, improving the immediate habitat. Using the client’s and Architects’ extensive knowledge of renewable energy technology, the home aspired to be Net-Zero Carbon and install various technologies. The result was a home which visually resembled a typical Sussex Farmstead at a distance, but when approached, the building’s form, detail and sculptural quality give a clear indication of its contemporary design, successfully blending traditional building methods and materials with modernity.

With the support of ecologists and landscape consultants, a landscaping scheme was also prepared which would see the strengthening of a small woodland with further tree planting, wildflower meadows and work to an adjoining watercourse to support significant biodiversity net gain and enhancements to the surrounding character of the area.

McLoughlin Planning assisted in managing the planning strategy and the application through initial pre-application engagement with the Mid-Sussex District Council and through Design Review Panel presentations before developing and undertaking the submission of the planning application.

During the planning application process, McLoughlin Planning engaged with the Case Officer to assist in responding to statutory consultees, reviewing, and agreeing to relevant planning conditions and assisting in the preparation of an S106 agreement. Working proactively and maintaining regular contact with the case officer, we were able to secure planning permission under delegated powers.

We are overjoyed that this new multi-generational and exceptionally designed home has secured planning permission and look forward to seeing the development progress over the coming years to provide a new landmark in Mid-Sussex.

If you would like more information on the above, our Director, Chris Moore, is more than happy to help answer any questions you have in regard to new home builds in a rural setting:

Chris Moore


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Cotswold Barn Conversion

Planning permission secured for a barn conversion, providing a high quality and tranquil new family home near Hinchwick in the Cotswolds.

The barns form part of a small cluster of three barns situated in an isolated location in the open countryside and in the Cotswold AONB. Working closely with the architectural team and client, we evolved a scheme which would make best use of the two structurally sound barns, whilst re-using the land of one barn in a poor state of repair as a new residential garden and landscaping area.

Being in an isolated location normally results in conflict with planning policies, which seek to direct development to what are often considered more sustainable locations. However, as the project was seeking to make use of existing rural buildings, we were able to successfully argue that the project complied with paragraph 80 of the NPPF and a local planning policy which supports the reuse of modern rural buildings, permitted they are structurally sound and readily convertible. By providing a supporting structural report as part of the application, we were able to demonstrate this requirement.

In addition to structural issues, the development site’s location in the AONB and in a sensitive landscape area meant that the architectural design, landscaping, and layout of the proposed garden needed to be carefully considered to ensure the final buildings would not result in a significant visual increase of residential paraphernalia in the countryside. In addition to providing a detailed landscaping scheme, the architectures harmony with the buildings agricultural heritage meant the Council agreed that the project would not result in a visual harm to the wider countryside or AONB.

As is common with rural buildings, evidence was also needed that the barn did not provide valued habitat for protected species, such as bats. In this case it was demonstrated that the barns did not provide suitable habitat for bats and evidence was provided that the landscaping works proposed would provide significant biodiversity net gain and future habitat for local wildlife in accordance with National Government requirements.

This project demonstrates the importance of carefully considering what information could be requested and required to ensure the submission of a robust planning application. For barn conversions, the provision of structural surveys, ecological assessments, landscaping and carefully considered architectural design are just some of the requirements which commonly arise.

Nathan McLoughlin and Chris Fleming have successfully secured planning permission for many client’s barn conversion projects across the UK and are so pleased we could offer our experience to provide our client with a beautiful new home. It was also a great pleasure working with the team at Tyack Architects.

If you are considering your options for a barn conversion and would like to learn more about what is involved, then please give us a call on 01242 895008 or email

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Cotswold Equestrian Facilities

Planning permission secured for the conversion of an agricultural building in Moreton in Marsh to new purpose built equestrian facilities.

Cotswold Riding School approached McLoughlin Planning to help support their plans and aspirations to relocate their riding facilities to a new site near Moreton on Marsh, Cotswold. The riding school had secured a previous agricultural site with a derelict barn and wanted support to secure the conversion of the land and barn, as well as advice and support for the erection of a new purpose built stable and riding arena to allow the new business to move onto the site.

Chris Fleming worked with the riding school to support their aspirations and advise on an appropriate planning strategy. Following an initial site appraisal, Mcloughlin Planning helped with assembling the planning application with the project team, by preparing a supporting planning statement and submitting and managing the application with Cotswold District Council through to a decision.

The case was structured around being able to evidence the importance equestrian businesses have in supporting the rural economy and how stables are visually common and expected built forms in the countryside.

Officers agreed with the assessment and planning benefits provided by the proposed development and we are pleased that planning permission has now been granted. The new riding school will be a positive new addition to the Moreton on Marsh community.

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Cotswold Shooting Lodge

Mcloughlin Planning has successfully secured planning permission for the conversion of an agricultural building in Sandhurst, Gloucestershire.

Our client had previously secured prior approval for the erection of an agricultural barn to support their existing wider farming operation.

Having secured this approval the owner included (as part of the build) an internal space to provide a shooting lodge.

As their prior approval had limited the use of the barn to solely agricultural use, we were asked what could be done about this? Having a strong working relationship with the Council we were able to agree steps forward and therefore prepare and submit a planning application.

Chris Fleming, one of our Associate Directors, has years of experience working with rural land and property owners across Gloucestershire and the South West. His experience and expertise offered useful insight into the best planning strategy to ensure a robust planning application.

Demonstrating that the shooting lodge offered opportunities for farm diversification and that the proposal would not result in any planning harm, Chris worked closely with the Case Officer and Head of Planning at Tewkesbury Borough Council to reached a positive outcome.

This project is a great example of the importance of understanding restrictions and opportunities from planning decisions and experience in understanding rural planning policies.

We are so pleased that our team were able to add value to our client’s project and that the Cotswolds has a handsome new shooting lodge in its midst.


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