A little under 18 months ago we were asked by Green Meadow Limited, who trade as ‘Acorn Recyclers’, if we would act as their planning agents for the former RAF Kirton in Lindsey base. Green Meadow had taken the unusual decision to dismiss their previous planning and legal teams and tasked Globe with bringing several fairly complex planning issues to a conclusion. These included; a planning appeal for 130,000sqft of warehousing; a planning appeal for a 40,000sqft Recycling Facility; a Change of Use application for 11,000sqft of workshops and an Outline Application for approximately 300 new dwellings.
Yesterday saw the successful conclusion of the Outline Application for 302 dwellings, which was granted permission unanimously by the North Lincolnshire Council’s Planning Committee.
Progressing the application has involved overcoming a range of issues including issues surrounding the heritage significance of the site which accommodates two Grade II Listed Buildings; a variety of ‘unknowns’ resulting from the past use of the site that needed to become knowns, including some surprisingly complex WW2 drainage systems; and the interrelationship between the proposed residential and approved commercial uses.
Developing the housing site will now remove a large number of existing derelict MOD buildings which, due to their age and build type, contain significant amounts of asbestos. The development will therefore represent a significant regeneration of this potentially, very attractive location. The number of dwellings approved will allow a low density housing development to take place in keeping with the rest of the town, and the site as currently masterplanned retains most of its mature trees and landscaping, helping to establish a sense of place from the outset.
Along the way, the Appeal for the 130,000sqft was allowed and costs awarded. The Recycling Centre Appeal was dismissed on the grounds of noise, but a further application secured change of use for B8 use. The remaining workshops are currently awaiting the final permission following the submission of a Unilateral Undertaking.
The future for this former military base is looking much brighter than it did a few months ago and, as the housing proposal aims to be very respectful of the existing WW2 Sector Operations Building which is to be retained along with its landscaping, it is hoped that this can provide interpretation of the site’s history and the many sacrifices made by those who served on the Base.
Today, Globe learned that their appeal against a refusal by Islington Borough Council had been allowed, and our client, the Appellant, had been awarded costs against the Council.
This appeal was rather an unusual case. It focused on the change of use of a disused brick Park Keeper’s Hut situated in Dalmeny Park, which is within the Tufnell Park Conservation Area. The Council had previously declared the building surplus to requirements and then sold the Hut to our client, who proposed to create an access from their adjoining garden and convert it into a garden room. The Council stated that the capital generated by the sale would be utilised to make improvements to the park and its children’s play area. At this point, the process appeared to have been entirely normal and sensible, that was until our client made their application for the change of use of the hut to enable their planned conversion. Our client’s application was refused on the grounds of the Hut being within an area designated as Public Open Space, and the Council’s contention that the proposed change of use would therefore result in a loss of Public Open Space, which is contrary to policy.
Globe prepared a Statement of Case for the appeal which challenged Islington Borough Council’s interpretation of the relevant policies contained within the London Plan and their own Local Plan. Globe was also able to draw on its experience of local government and estates management to confirm that the Council had correctly applied the requirements of Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972 before disposing of the Hut, allowing us to demonstrate to the Inspector that the Council had considered the issue of public benefit before deciding to dispose of the building. Globe’s Statement therefore presented a strong argument that, when applying the relevant policies to our client’s application, Islington Borough Council had failed to take account of a significant material considerations. The Inspector agreed with this argument, ultimately allowing the appeal and awarding our client costs on the grounds that the Council had acted “unreasonably contrary to the guidance in the National Planning Policy Framework and the PPG”.
Globe has helped a Skellingthorpe based landowner and developer gain permission for up to 5 additional houses on a previously developed piece of land on Jerusalem Road in the village. The site would extend the recently completed Moss Lane development towards the Sustrans cycle route and see the redevelopment of land formerly used for vehicle salvage purposes and a builders’ store with new one and two storey dwellings, enhancing the local environment in this popular village.
The three Central Lincolnshire planning authorities (City of Lincoln Council, West Lindsey District Council, and North Kesteven District Council) have announced plans for the universal roll out of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on all qualifying developments from 22 January 2018. It is important to note that this will relate to all planning applications (that are CIL liable) which have not been determined by this date. The Councils will spend and distribute CIL revenue in order to contribute towards the costs of the Lincoln Eastern Bypass, and Secondary Education and School-based post-16 Education across Central Lincolnshire – these form part of the Councils’ Regulation 123 List. A consequence of the Government’s rather muddied thinking on the matter means that the local planning authorities still have the ability, where relevant, to request other developer contributions – namely Primary Education, Healthcare, Open Space, and Affordable Housing – through the use of Section 106 Agreements or, in some cases, the use of Grampian planning conditions. For advice on the CIL charging rates, charging schedule zones, or any other matters in relation to the roll out of CIL, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Globe team for further information.
Parliamentary approval has been given to legislation that will increase planning application fees by 20 per cent in England and introduce new categories in regard to applications for Permission in Principle.
You can read a full list of the new fees here: Planning Fees 2018
The changes made by the government will come into force on 17 January 2018. Please feel free to contact us for further information.
Five very positive planning decisions for our clients have arrived within days of each other, putting the Globe team in excellent spirits in the busy run up to Christmas.
First up was the decision to allow our appeal against the decision of West Lindsey District Council to refuse permission for a new four bedroom vicarage with an attached double garage on North Street in Middle Rasen. The application had been refused on the basis of its impact on the street scene and on the setting of the nearby Grade II* listed church. Our statement of case, however, successfully put forward the view that the ‘planning balance’ needed to take account of an existing extant permission in the same location for a five bedroom house, and the extent to which the existing vicarage, a modern building which is to be retained and renovated, screens the proposed dwelling from the church. At risk of over simplifying the Inspector’s view, he was in agreement with our key points and the permission was granted.
Hot on the heels of the appeal outcome came Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent for a property at Bridge Street in Gainsborough. Although the application was led by Venezia, this was a bit of nostalgia trip for Russ, as over 20 years ago it was part of the Foundry Yard development that was done in partnership with the Riverside Regeneration Company he was managing at the time. The application site had been converted into a small family house linked to an artist’s studio and gallery space, while a group of adjoining listed wharf buildings on the bank of the River Trent were developed to form apartments and retail units. In more recent years, the application site was re-used by a community training organisation, but when the training use outgrew the space and moved elsewhere, the logical choice was to return the building back to a dwelling. Supported by a well-considered flood risk assessment, the application was granted approval, leading the way for the building to return to a small but interesting waterfront dwelling.
Next in was the approval of a new car park in Spilsby for our long standing client Robin Hood Parking. Spilsby has an isolated rural catchment of about 8,000 people with limited transport choices, so parking serves an important role. Moving from an existing temporary parking facility to a permanent permission has secured the parking facilities in the long term, and allowed landscaping and visual improvements to be made, bringing further benefits to the town.
Number four was the very long awaited decision to approve a farm diversification scheme at Pear Tree Farm, just outside the village of Beckingham in Nottinghamshire. The application sought to transform a redundant group of farm buildings at Pear Tree Farm into one of Bassetlaw’s premier tourist destinations. Globe were appointed prior to the initial concept stage and undertook considerable research in relation to visitor attractions within the region. The research particularly focused on those which were underpinned by an agricultural theme or formed part of a successful farm diversification initiative. Working closely with the client, a successful local businessman, Globe formulated a business plan which allowed the client’s initial vision to develop into a concrete masterplan for a leisure and tourism attraction comprising: a café; farm shop; children’s adventure play area; animal petting and feeding; horse stables; holiday lodge and caravan site; and, an eco-educational facility. Globe engaged with the local community to explain the vision and we were delighted to secure widespread support from local residents and the Parish Council who recognised the numerous benefits the scheme would bring to the local area. Despite initial positive feedback from the planning officers, progress with the application stalled and Globe were forced to escalate matters with direct communication to the Council’s Chief Executive and the Member of Parliament serving Bassetlaw. This intervention saw the application referred to the Council’s Planning Committee as a matter of urgency, and we were delighted that the proposals were backed unanimously by members, with a planning permission duly issued on 7th December.
The final result in this flurry of successful outcomes, was the approval of a change of use on the remaining aircraft hangar at the former RAF Kirton Lindsey air base. The building will now be put back into productive use for storage and distribution and will work alongside the other three hangars we obtained permission for earlier in the year. We are now awaiting a decision on an application for the same uses for five smaller buildings that sit within the same area of the site as the hangars.
North Lincolnshire Council’s Planning Committee voted unanimously to support a proposal for 22 new houses off Applefields in Wrawby.
Whilst the proposal provoked strong opposition from local residents as the site was beyond the settlement curtilage it was acknowledged that the Council is not able to demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply. Moreover, it recognised the need to deliver much more housing than had been achieved in recent years and that development at this site, as proposed, constituted sustainable development which would make a valuable contribution in addressing the housing shortfall. It was found that none of the impacts were sufficient to outweigh the clear benefits on offer here.
Permission is granted subject to conditions and a legal agreement to ensure the delivery of affordable housing units and contributions to leisure and open space provision.
The North Kesteven Lafford Planning Sub-Committee confirmed their clear support for the proposed development of this well located brownfield land for a commercial development at its meeting last night. Having carefully considered a thorough report explaining the officers’ assessment of the proposals they concluded that the new office, industrial and warehousing units would deliver sustainable development which would benefit the local area, the district and beyond. The development is adjacent to the Hykeham Transport Hub and, as such will bring a highly sustainable site into beneficial use. It will delivers investment in strategic highways infrastructure that will directly help relieve congestion; enhance the hugely successful Transport Hub with improved access and additional car parking spaces; deliver public access to a previously closed site, opening up new landscape and water spaces for local people and provide safe pedestrian routes to the site boundaries, allowing future linkages to Teal Park.
Please note that the views expressed here should not be taken as professional advice nor should they be relied upon in relation to any specific case or matter or in substitution for formal and case-specific advice. No liability or responsibility is accepted for any reliance placed or steps taken as a result of reliance upon any view(s) expressed in these blogs.
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