Introduction

Our Planning Team have extensive experience in providing assistance to Local Planning Authorities for planning appeals through written representation, hearings and public inquiries. Typically, we have dealt with Officer overturns, due to Council Officers being conflicted; however, more recently we have been appointed to also deal with appeals, due to a lack of internal resources at Authorities.

Recent appeal work has covered a number of Local Planning Authorities, including Daventry District Council (now Northamptonshire Council), Harborough District Council, Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, Rugby Borough Council and St Albans City and District Council. These have covered a wide variety of topic areas including residential, gypsy and travellers, employment, prisons and truck stops. Despite the complexity of many of these appeals, we are delighted to have secured a number of decisions in favour of the Local Planning Authority.

Recent Appeals 

Three employment appeals have been undertaken recently, with two dismissed. A linked pair of appeals for Hinckley and Bosworth was undertaken in 2021. These proposed 89,200 square metres and 144,200 square metres of employment and warehouse floorspace adjacent to an established area of employment buildings. Designated as open countryside, the key matter was the visual impact of the proposal versus the benefit of economic development. The smaller scheme was allowed but the larger scheme dismissed. We also successfully defended an Officer overturn for 33,500 square metres of B1, B2 and B8 Employment Uses on behalf of Daventry District Council in late 2021, on Greenfield land adjacent to, but
outside, the limits to development.

Six residential appeals were undertaken for Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council in 2021/22. These were a mix of Hearings and Inquiries ranging between 55 and 176 dwellings, with all appeals being Officer overturns. The appeals were all determined during a period where there was no five year Land Supply, meaning that the National Planning Policy Framework’s (NPPF) ‘tilted balance’ was engaged. Each case involved provision of a planning balance, with the identified harms needing to significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits. In association with technical consultees, areas for consideration included: locational/hierarchical sustainability; highway matters; heritage; and landscape and visual harm, including upon important vistas and open spaces. Two of these appeals were dismissed and a third withdrawn, resulting in half the appeals being unsuccessful. In no instances were costs awarded to the appellant.

A number of gypsy and traveller appeals have been undertaken on behalf of St Albans City and District Council. The Green Belt issue and lack of an updated Local Plan means that there has been a number of appeals relating to the provision of additional plots, with need versus impact to the Green Belt as the main focus. There has been a mix of appeals allowed and refused over the last decade whilst our team have assisted the Council on this matter.

More specialist appeals have also been undertaken on behalf of Harborough District Council for a new prison, and for Rugby Borough Council in respect of a new HGV Truckstop and supporting facilities. The latter was recently dismissed whilst the decision on the prison is still awaited.

Testimonials 

Jonathan is a dedicated and very able planning consultant who is experienced in giving effective evidence
in planning inquiries.” Howard Leithead, No 5 Barrister’s Chambers

 

For further information, please contact Jonathan Weekes, Director, on 01604 979 465 or via email to jonathan.weekes@argroup.co.uk.