Rooted in the Countryside

News

6 August 2020 – White Paper on the future of planning has green tinges

The government’s new document on the future of planning is a strange beast: it’s described as a White Paper but there are dozens of questions and it’s also described as a consultation; so to my mind it’s more of a Green Paper.

First impressions are that the focus is on housing, with rural areas barely getting a mention. It’s in rural areas that zonal planning – essentially the proposed approach – tends to be quite problematic; the danger is that we essentially have a green belt approach everywhere though with even less flexibility: ‘not on the list? Well it’s a no then.’ I must dig out a MA dissertation I did 30 years ago comparing our system with those in Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands, where they have had a zonal approach for a long time.

17 July 2020 – 48 years later, construction can resume

Today we had good news from the Welsh coast, which is always a bonus on a pleasant summer’s day. Our client’s family had been granted planning permission way back in 1972 for two dwellings near the coast. They began work on the site but at the time only had the funds to build one of the houses. Having produced ample, persuasive evidence, we have now obtained a lawful development certificate confirming that the second house can be built; the permission had been implemented (we had made a start) so it did not lapse.

7 July 2020 – Don’t call me Yosser

Many years ago a colleague was fond of describing someone whose aspirations exceeded their ability as ‘like Yosser’. He meant they were like Yosser Hughes, from ‘Boys from the Blackstuff’, a TV series written by Alan Bleasdale and first transmitted on the BBC in 1982. Yosser was known for saying ‘gizza job’ and ‘I can do that!’.

It’s important that a professional recognises their limits and does not get out of their depth. I specialise in planning but do not design buildings, which is a very different discipline. I refer clients to architects (or people with related qualifications such as architectural technologists) for such work. Some architects have a dual qualification enabling them to act as planning consultants, though some offer planning services without the depth of understanding provided by a period of structured study and experience.

I encouraged my client with the listed building (see below) to make use of a conservation architect to deal with the application for listed building consent. It would turn on matters of design and the details of construction, which an architect would be better suited to deal with. And when I was contacted a few days ago by someone wondering whether she had been offered enough money for her property I recommended that she approach a land/estate agent.

Sometimes a team is needed. I frequently work with an ecologist and designer and maybe a heritage expert or noise expert or transport specialist. Like a cobbler sticking to his last, we are careful to stay within our areas of expertise, and stifle any desire to be like Yosser.

7 July 2020 – Lightning response over listed building works

I have mentioned before that, while some projects can take years to reach fruition and a final decision, others are completed very quickly. I have another good example of the latter type.

I was approached by someone interested in buying a building originally built as a single dwellinghouse but since divided into a number of flats. He had approached his local planning authority for pre-application advice and been told that they would require a planning application for the change of use and a listed building consent (LBC) application for the internal works. I provided a report that concluded that LBC was indeed required though it should not be necessary to apply for planning permission.

The difference was significant: LBC applications are determined primarily by reference to the effect of the proposed works on the heritage value of the building. The application would need to be accompanied by a heritage impact assessment and details of the works, but little else. A planning application, on the other hand, would need to be accompanied by an ecological assessment (also a Habitat Regulations Assessment because the building was near a site of international importance), details of surface water and foul drainage, and Community Infrastructure Levy documents.

Impressed by my analysis, referencing relevant case law, my client asked me to contact the planning officer and share my conclusions, in the hope that the Council would change its mind about the need for a planning application. I did so, and precisely 48 hours and 35 minutes later received a reply confirming that they agreed with my analysis and conclusions.

The Council’s decision means that my client will avoid unnecessary expense and should have the go-ahead for the required works much more quickly.

1 July 2020 – Plan the World We Need

The Royal Town Planning Institute has produced a short (one minute) film on what can be done to get the economy going again after the pandemic. You can view it here: –

Click Here to view.

30 June 2020 – Stable plans approved in Green Belt

Our success with the building conversion approved last week was the second in as many months for our alliance with Bailey Design. We secured consent for a stable block (including tack room and hay store) and manège in the Green Belt in Warwickshire. Planning officers were initially concerned about the scale of development and the position of the access, though after amendments they granted planning permission.

Crucially, they accepted that while taken literally any new building must reduce the openness of the Green Belt, the real question is about whether said openness is harmed. Hence where policies require that the openness of the Green Belt be ‘preserved’ this does not amount to a ban on new buildings or enlargements. We do need to continue to be careful over the footprint and volume of proposed development, though all being well it will be more than an arithmetical exercise.

29 June 2020 – Building conversion will lead to site improvements

Our latest success will result in quite an improvement to a site in rural Warwickshire. Our client, who lives on the site, had inherited a 18th/19th century brick building used for a number of purposes over the years, including as a garage for car repairs and ‘breaking’. The building is now surrounded by well-maintained gardens, though at one time the open land had a large number of cars, including scrap ones, stored on it. We applied for planning permission to convert the building for residential use – and at one point during negotiations looked into demolition and rebuilding as an alternative. The Council has now accepted that we benefit from an exception to strict Green Belt policies that allows the conversion of buildings to create isolated homes where an enhancement of the immediate setting will result. The planning officer noted that our proposal included demolition of an unsightly extension and a reduction in the ‘footprint’ of the buildings, together with removal of a commercial use, and accepted that there were a number of positive factors. The Council also approved of the design, by Tim Bailey of Bailey Design in Tamworth, which featured an extension, separated from the main building by a lightweight glazed ‘link’.

Planning officers noted that there had been a windmill nearby. This was built in the 1820s and demolished in the early 20th century. They concluded that the brick building, given its age and historical association with the former mill, would have a degree of heritage value meriting retention. There were no highway objections and the Council accepted that there would be a net gain for biodiversity. There will be a charge point for an electric vehicle. This paved the way for an approval, much to the delight of our client.

18 April 2020 – Twin successes to mark Easter break

We learned of decisions on two unusual cases either side of the Easter break. There was some tension over the first, because if we hadn’t had the approval on the day before Good Friday we would have needed to resubmit an appeal soon afterwards.

The details of the proposal are unimportant to the story. Our application was for the discharge of a planning obligation (also known as a section 106 agreement), and in tandem we had two applications for ‘non-material amendments’ to two related planning permissions. The drawback of the ‘non-material amendment’ (NMA) application is that there is no right of appeal (though the advantage is that it is inexpensive, so where the local planning authority is ‘onside’ it works well). But after seven months the Council had made no decision; in fact they had not even told us who the case officer was, and our emails went unanswered. We therefore appealed against non-determination of the planning obligation application, and sent the Planning Inspectorate the NMA documentation as well. We asked that our costs be awarded against the Council, mainly because of their tardiness.

The Planning Inspectorate decided that technically we were trying to have three appeals decided in one fell swoop, which they were not prepared to do. They ruled that we must resubmit the planning obligation appeal on its own. That gave us less than a fortnight, though it meant that the Council had another window in which to make a decision on all three of the applications.

The planning officer made himself known and promised to make a decision in our favour. Then it was a race against the clock; their legal department needed to act swiftly.

There was relief all round when the decisions came through on the final day. We won’t have our costs paid by the Council, though we have the decisions we need.

Then on the day after Easter Monday we had more good news. A different Council had been dealing with our application for a wet dock on a canal. It is used for boat restoration and sign writing. One complication is that the wet dock is in a Conservation Area, where policies are strict. We had a heritage assessment done, and this was submitted with our planning application. A second complication is that the Canal and River Trust believed they have an interest in ‘the land’ because the wet dock is on ‘their’ canal, and so they suggested we needed to send them a special notice when we applied. We were aware of the potential for difficulties, so when we submitted the planning application we sent a copy of all the documents to the CRT. Everything went quiet. The CRT made comments on the proposal. The planning officer was positive, though there was one problem: he felt we should have formally notified the CRT and completed a certificate to that effect. Rather than argue the toss we co-operated, and just over 21 days later we received confirmation that planning permission had been granted.

Our client needs to install a bat box and artificial bird nest to ensure there is a biodiversity gain, change the dock covering to something more likely to blend into the surroundings, and produce a management plan for the site, though he is delighted and relieved to get the permission. Although the business is currently quiet because of the Covid-19 restrictions, he can now plan securely for its future.

Meanwhile, our other client can now get his business on to a firmer footing (once the lockdown restrictions are lifted), because the discharge of the legal agreement allows him to borrow on better terms.

17 March 2020 – How Covid-19 is affecting planning

Many aspects of our lives will be affected by the current Covid-19 pandemic, and it is possible that some goods and services will be harder to find or even unavailable for a time while special restrictions are in place. But the planning system should not grind to a halt entirely. Maintaining normality will only happen if sufficient key players remain healthy, though the system will enable decisions to be made as normal.

These days it is possible to prepare and submit planning applications and other documents online. The client’s planning consultant will have visited the site – taking reasonable precautions – and collected relevant information. After that, most correspondence is via email, and this enables documents to be circulated, reviewed and modified as necessary. Then the planning application is submitted online using the Planning Portal.

Once the fee has been paid and any initial queries dealt with, the application is confirmed valid and registered. Documents are uploaded to the Council’s website and views invited from interested parties. Consultees such as statutory bodies are contacted electronically and they respond in the same way.

You may be wondering about Planning Committees. Won’t their meetings be cancelled while the crisis continues? Perhaps, though 19 out of 20 planning applications are decided by officers. As for the other five per cent, each local planning authority will be considering how best to make their decisions; involving a very small number of elected members – such as the chair and vice chair – and a senior officer may be the answer in many instances.

Where the local planning authority cannot be persuaded to approve an application, it will refuse it. The applicant has a right of appeal against most such decisions. If an application is submitted in the next week, it is likely that Covid-19 restrictions will still be in place when the decision is made, though they may not be by the time an appeal is lodged.

Most appeals are not decided via a public inquiry – at the time of writing at least two inquiries have been postponed because witnesses are in self-isolation – and the Planning Inspectorate is being encouraged to continue with local hearings even if that means making use of video-conferencing or discussions over the phone. But the default arrangement is that an appeal will be decided via written representations. Those appeals are likely to continue with little change, though the Planning Inspectorate will need to ensure that no one is likely to be compromised during an inspector’s site visit. Many of these take place ‘unaccompanied’, which means that neither party need attend; provided someone can let the inspector into the site, the visit is expected to happen.

This is the current situation as far as individual planning applications are concerned (though of course things could change). Progress on at least two local plan examinations has been halted as a result of Covid-19, though that’s a story for another day.

13 March 2020 – How to upset your predecessors

Yesterday I received a government press release. It said: “Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP sets out proposals to bring Britain’s planning system into the 21st century.” One’s bound to wonder what this says about his predecessors, all of whom since May 2010 were from his political party.

6 March 2020 – Garden extension approved

Our latest testimonial is from a client in Staffordshire who had extended an outbuilding and extended his garden into the neighbouring field without realising that both needed planning permission. There were many complications along the way but we finally obtained the permission we needed a couple of weeks ago. His reaction this morning was: “I’m delighted we finally have it resolved, thank you so much for your very professional help.”

6 March 2020 – Quick turnaround

The farm building I wrote about last month can now be built. On 4 March I received a letter from the Council confirming that they are happy for us to proceed. That’s just one month from instruction to successful outcome, which shows that it can be done.

5 February 2020 – Fast response

I’ve made the point before that some planning applications can take not weeks or months but years to prepare. In some instances, a design will evolve at what seems a glacial pace. But not always…

I visited a prospective client on Monday this week and sent him a fee proposal yesterday. This morning (Wednesday) at 9.21 he confirmed the instruction and by 3.18 this afternoon I had submitted a prior approval notification with location plan for an agricultural building.

I’m thinking of contacting the Guinness Book of Records….

31 December 2019 – Rural Development Growth Programme window opens

We don’t get involved in Rural Development programme grant applications, though we follow events not least because a client may need to get planning permission in order to draw down the grant.

The RDPE Growth Programme has opened for a further round of applications with funding for Business Development, Food Processing and Rural Tourism Infrastructure. Priorities for funding vary from region to region with strategies set by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). Potential applicants can see if their LEP area is offering a grant in the relevant handbook at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rdpegrowthProgramme.

Grants generally cover 40% of eligible costs with the minimum grant being reduced from £35,000 to £20,000. The minimum project size is £50,000.

The maximum grant varies. For Food Processing projects it is £750,000, whereas for Business Development and Rural Tourism Infrastructure the maximum available is £175,000.

The deadline for Expressions of Interest is midnight on 16th February 2020.

20 December 2019 – Success, and our costs awarded against local planning authority

One of the highlights this week was a decision on an appeal – and on my request that our client’s costs be awarded against the local planning authority (LPA).

Our appeal became necessary because, many months after being asked to approve ‘reserved matters’ after outline planning permission was granted, there was still no decision. After nine months we were instructed to intervene, and produce a report to go to the LPA, addressing their concerns, which we did in December 2018.

Extraordinarily, the LPA issued a decision notice (approving the reserved matters subject to conditions, one of which we found objectionable), on the very day that our appeal against non-determination was validated.

It appeared that we could have accepted the reserved matters approval and gone ahead with construction, though the Inspector concludes that it was issued too late, so the approval was not valid and did not constitute a planning permission.

Fortunately, the Inspector agreed with us that it was unreasonable to withdraw five classes of householder permitted development rights, and approved the reserved matters without said condition.

Even more pleasingly, the Inspector has awarded costs against the LPA, essentially because it took far too long; the Council should have granted consent shortly after receiving our report addressing all of its concerns in December 2018.

This should serve as a warning to other LPAs who take far too long to deal with straightforward approvals and rely on flawed arguments to withhold consent.

19 November 2019 – The complexity of government simplification attempts

Is the planning system being simplified, which is mentioned as a government objective from time to time, or not?

Here’s a simple way of getting a sense of the simplification (or otherwise). In 2015 a solicitor called Martin Goodall published a book on permitted changes of use (you know, the simplified system: things that don’t require a planning application, just a request for prior approval). It ran to 265 pages of text (plus 42 pages of tables etc).

The following year the second edition was published with useful additional information. There were 341 pages (plus 42 pages of tables).

Now the third edition has been published and my copy arrived this morning. It runs to 487 pages (plus 52 pages of tables).

This does not necessarily reflect fresh changes meaning that more types of development are being removed from the usual scrutiny and fast-tracked (although to be fair there has been a net increase in the number of freedoms). It has more to do with the burgeoning library of court and appeal decisions clarifying the meaning of the (frankly, very complicated) rules.

You can’t get much simpler than that.

17 October 2019 – Time to get your stopwatch out

When a planning application is referred to Committee there’s always uncertainty. The elected members – councillors – can overrule the recommendations of officers, so it’s always with some trepidation that I enter the meeting room. Last night was no exception. We were proposing to change 3,772 square metres (40,600 square feet in ‘old money’) of agricultural building floor space into a mixture of light industry and storage & distribution. The local Parish Council and some neighbours had objected, primarily reflecting concerns about traffic. So I focused on highways issues when I gave my three-minute address to the Committee. I was relieved and delighted when the Committee voted overwhelmingly in favour of our proposed scheme.

It got me thinking about how people use the three-minute slot to persuade the Committee of the strength of their argument. One application last night was for a two-storey rear extension; I assume neither the applicant nor her neighbour had experience of delivering these ‘mini-speeches’, yet they both did a good job. But then an architect spoke in favour of his application for another site; we were well into the final minute before he began to address the main objection (lack of parking), and he ran out of time. Had I been his client I would have been furious.

During a recent training session when we discussed best practice for using public speaking slots, we identified key points including structure, focusing on the key issues, and of course timing. I rehearse and edit until my contribution is 2 minutes 50 in length; any longer and I would worry that a cough, sneeze or stumbling over a word would result in my being cut off during my final sentence. You wouldn’t want a committee to miss your final flourish, would you?

18 September 2019 – Red faces all round as building is approved

We have been heartened this week by a climbdown that must have been embarrassing for the planning officers concerned. We had applied for prior approval of some agricultural buildings and, in view of the fact that our previous applications for the farm had gone through, were optimistic about the outcome.

When the Council (which shall be nameless) refused our application, it came as a shock, and disappointment was followed by astonishment. The Council’s reason for refusal was that the buildings exceeded 465 square metres in area. I immediately wrote to the head of development management pointing out that the law changed in 2018 and the limit was now 1,000 sqm. Although he stopped short of an apology, he admitted to the error.

We reapplied, quoting the correspondence with the senior officer, and awaited their decision. It should have come quickly, because the officers had already considered our proposal and done any necessary consultations; and because they should have been contrite. But they waited until the last moment to announce that we were free to get on with the scheme. It seems that even red-faced officers believe that, given 28 days to make a decision, they have to use at least 27.

4 September 2019 – Successes flooding in

We are celebrating an unusual victory today. Not that we are a stranger to success; it’s just that we are mostly on the side of the applicant, whereas in this instance we were assisting third parties.

The proposal was for affordable homes, which in principle is something we would normally support, though we agreed to help near neighbours concerned about the proposal. We drafted objections that focused on the unsuitability of the location.

Then more recently the Council were in touch to invite our views on a new Sequential Test report, which was designed to show that there was no site available that enjoyed a lower risk of flooding. We pointed out that the area chosen for the study was very limited and therefore it was unsurprising that the applicant could not identify a more suitable site. We added that the report was flawed because it made absolutely no reference to a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment done for the county less than a year ago.

It seems the Council agree with our assessment, because they have refused the planning application citing the deeply flawed Sequential Test in their reasons for refusal.

Our instructing client has written to repeat his thanks for our work, commenting that our demolition of the Sequential Test was a ‘game changer’.

24 July 2019 – Clawback clauses

If you have bought a property subject to a ‘clawback clause’, what should you do?

The first thing to do is understand what the implications will be for you and your plans for the property. Let’s say the clawback clause (in a covenant related to the transaction), says that the original owner gets a share in the uplift if you obtain planning permission for development of the land. That means that if you increase the value of the property by, say, extending it, you will be liable for a share in that uplift that might be half of the value gained.

The second thing to do is ascertain whether the clause applies to all uplifts or only those for which planning permission has been granted by the local planning authority. You might be able to avoid liability by carrying out only ‘permitted development’ (which is granted by the Secretary of State subject to checks made by your Council). And you need to check whether relevant permitted development rights have been removed; this might happen because, for example, the property is deemed to be in a sensitive area. A lot of residential barn conversions have no permitted development rights because a condition attached to the planning permission was used to remove them.

Getting it wrong could be very costly. That world cruise you’ve been dreaming about for years might have to remain a dream.

Disclaimer: general guidance not the same as specific, legal advice; if affected, seek professional advice geared to your circumstances; no liability to anyone relying on this guidance, etc etc.

15 July 2019 – How useful is pre-application advice?

If you were thinking of putting up a building or changing the use of an existing one – or some open land – would you approach the local planning authority (LPA) for pre-application advice?

Some people assume getting ‘pre-app’ advice is an essential part of the process of trying to develop land. But is it always needed, and is the advice good value?

In a lot of cases, the delay and cost associated with ‘pre-app’ advice means it is hard to justify. Yes, it tends to be regarded as a necessary step where a major housebuilder wants permission for a large residential development. But for a good many small projects it may be sensible to go straight to the application stage, particularly if you have a planning consultant on board who can assess feasibility and check the LPA’s validation requirements. (These are the reports and other documents that an LPA asks for to accompany certain types of application; without them they will refuse to ‘validate’ and register the application.)

Certain LPAs offer ‘pre-app’ advice free of charge. This can be a bargain though it means that if the case officer takes their time you have less leverage to bring things to a head.

Where LPAs do charge for pre-app advice, those fees can vary hugely depending on where you are in the country. With a few exceptions (Trafford, for example), the highest charges are levied by London Boroughs. Kensington & Chelsea charge more than £450 to advise a householder on what might be a very modest scheme, and two London Boroughs charge around £10,000 to provide feedback on a scheme of 10 residential units. More locally, Stafford and Wolverhampton are among the LPAs offering a free service, and most of the charges in the West Midlands are unlikely to excite controversy.

If you want to know how much your LPA will charge you for pre-app advice you can generally find out by visiting their website. There may be a scale of charges depending on the size and complexity of what is proposed, and whether the option of a meeting is taken up. Bear in mind, though, that there can be no guarantee that positive ‘pre-app’ advice will be followed by approval. The planning officer cannot anticipate every issue that might be raised by consultees including neighbours while a planning application is under consideration. I can even think of examples of policy requirements (for a specific type of report) that became crucial to the outcome of an application and yet went unmentioned in the planning officer’s letter providing pre-app advice.

Broadly speaking, you get what you pay for, though it is quite possible that you will get more reliable advice, provided more quickly and cheaply, if you approach a chartered town planner in private practice and ask them to do a feasibility assessment. Paying for a couple of hours of their time could save you a fortune in the long run.

28 June 2019 – From drawings to reality

I don’t always get to see the fruits of my labour, and it’s rewarding to be able to take a snapshot of a building or two that I was instrumental in getting through the system. In this case the buildings are in a Conservation Area as well as the Green Belt near Sheffield, so it’s a sensitive site.

31 May 2019 – A week of contrasting applications

As another busy week draws to a close, I can reflect on three contrasting applications sent to the same Council over the past seven days. One is for conversion of several large agricultural buildings to a mixture of light industry and warehouses. At the other end of the scale, we are trying to convert a much smaller agricultural building in a Conservation Area to form a one-bedroom dwelling. The third application is for a rural enterprise worker’s dwelling, and it is a reapplication. We now have more evidence to show that CCTV would not provide an adequate substitute for a person living within sight and sound of our client’s stallion block.

Our next task is to get each application registered as valid, which can be a struggle. Sometimes we have to persuade a validation officer that what they think is a ‘requirement’ is no such thing.

20 May 2019 – How patience may be rewarded

Sometimes I am commissioned to do a feasibility study or make an application for minor development and the case is closed after only a month or so. But this week I shall be doing work on four cases dating back to 2017 and one that was opened in 2016. Some projects are ‘slow burners’ – with extensive pre-application enquiries and such like – while others require several stages; it might be necessary to get a lawful development certificate establishing the status of the land before submitting a planning application, and it may be necessary to appeal against a refusal.

Where possible we do our bit quickly and efficiently, and the client is free to begin construction. Other clients know that patience will be required and may be richly rewarded.

9 May 2019 – Bring in the new

Today’s treat was to visit a client and at the same time view her new agricultural building, for which we gained prior approval a while ago. And very tidy it is too. Here are a couple of pictures.

8 May 2019 – Riding arena extension approved

We have just been granted planning permission to extend an indoor riding arena in Leicestershire, which is very good news for our clients as they were keen to complete it in time for summer events. They may be able to do it, too, as they have an excellent group of Polish construction workers putting the finishing touches to the original building.

During construction of the arena our clients were advised that slightly enlarging the riding area would enable a wider range of events to be hosted, so they decided to seek permission to make the building larger and move kitchen and offices out of the way. They also wanted a cafe for competitors and other visitors. The planning officers posed some difficult questions, which fortunately we were able to answer, and the approval was confirmed yesterday.

Our clients’ reaction? “Brilliant news. Thank you for all your help.”

1 May 2019 – More business for the local blacksmith

Our success in getting the green light for a new agricultural building led to the following note from a delighted client: “Hoorah!! – common sense did prevail thank goodness.

Thank you very much for all your help and guidance, I can now liaise with the blacksmith to fabricate the frame work for us. Brilliant.”

13 April 2019 – Grilling over planned farm building survived

Good news for a client this week, when the Council told us that we did not need its full approval for the design and location of a proposed farm building. Straightforward, you might think, though to reach that happy state of affairs we needed to satisfy it on several matters.

Initially they questioned whether there was an agricultural business on the land (without one, no permitted development rights), suggested that the presence of horses meant there was no agricultural use, and indicated that several mobile field shelters should have had planning permission. They also demanded to know what we meant when we said that the proposed building would occasionally be used for livestock. Fortunately, we were able to provide the right answers, so our client can get on with the erection of her new building.

24 February 2019 – Conservation Area building nodded through

It’s good to be able to brighten up a client’s weekend by notifying them of a new approval. This morning I was in touch with a client in Derbyshire to say that the Council have a told us to go ahead with construction of a new agricultural building. They don’t need to see full details even though the site is in a Conservation Area (and Green Belt). Our covering letter (and completed form and location plan) must have given them the necessary reassurance.

14 February 2019 – A Valentine’s Day gift

Our latest success concerns a proposed farm building in the Green Belt. It qualified as permitted development so we put in a request to the local planning authority for a determination: did they want to study the proposal carefully or just nod it through? They waited until day 28 of their 28 days, but the key thing is that they decided that their prior approval is not required and our client can begin building immediately.

1 February 2019 – Three residential conversions for Warwickshire site

A delighted client has been in touch to say he’s off to celebrate prior approval (under Class Q) of his scheme to convert his redundant agricultural buildings into three dwellings.

Our client, a Warwickshire landowner, said: “Thank-you very much for all of your help in getting to this position- I am obviously very happy with the outcome and wouldn’t have got to this position without your help and guidance throughout the process.”

Naturally we’re very pleased with the outcome too.

28 January 2019 – Sitting in judgement

Off to London on Thursday this week to sit on the judging panel for RIDBA building awards. On the matter of individual entries, my lips are sealed. All I can say now is that there are some very impressive entries with really interesting solutions to design challenges. I’ll be able to say more in due course; meanwhile, back to my assessment.