It has been another successful week at Globe, with planning permission being granted for a residential development within the village of Middle Rasen and an appeal allowed for the conversion of an inner-city Nottingham single home to two separate dwellings.
In Middle Rasen, Globe worked on behalf of a local developer and successfully demonstrated that the application site was clearly located within the established village boundary and as such represented an appropriate location for development in the eyes of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan. Despite this, there was a level of local concern raised regarding the susceptibility of the site to flooding, and so Globe was able to ensure that the development had been located and designed in such a way so as to improve the surface water drainage conditions on the site. In addition to this, Globe held extensive discussions with West Lindsey District Council in order to reiterate that the development would not negatively impact the existing ecological conditions on the site, with the Council granting full planning permission for the erection of seven dwellings upon receipt of this information.
Over in Nottingham, Globe had been asked to review an unsuccessful application (reference: 19/002244/PFUL3) which had been made to Nottingham City Council seeking to change the use of a single four-bedroom home to that of two separate dwellings. Originally refused by the Council on the basis that the proposals represented that loss of a ‘family sized home’, Globe became involved at the appeal stage and successfully demonstrated to the Planning Inspector that the scheme would still provide a three-bedroom ‘family’ home as one of the dwellings. This interpretation of a family home was consistent with Local Plan policy, and, given the property is not afforded with a great deal of outdoor amenity space, Globe considered that restricting the use of the property to a single-family dwelling would not represent its most efficient use. The Inspector agreed with this view and allowed the property’s conversion to two separate dwellings (one two-bed and one three-bed) on the basis that this would retain the family sized accommodation whilst also adding a further dwelling to the city’s housing stock.
Though these two cases involved different residential schemes in different areas of the country, we think these outcomes show the key role we play for our clients by applying our specialist skills and experience to manage the planning process, negotiating and tailoring the information provided to councils and the Planning Inspectorate to maximise the chances of a successful outcome.
Those visiting the Tithe Barn may have noticed my hair has been particularly long recently, but the time has finally come to have 12 inches cut off to donate (along with my sponsorship money) to The Little Princess Trust for them to make into a wig!
This fabulous charity provides real hair wigs to children and young people with hair loss due to cancer and other conditions, supplying over 100 wigs free of charge a month.
The charity also funds research projects into many types of cancer (including neuroblastoma, leukaemia, teenage and young adult brain tumours, Wilms’ and rhabdomyosarcoma) and a variety of less toxic treatments (including Immunotherapy, Proton Beam Therapy and Drug Repurposing). You can read more about the charity at https://www.littleprincesses.org.uk/
We’re pleased to introduce you to the newest member of the Globe team, Joe Hall.
Joe joined us at the beginning of October as a Graduate Planning Consultant, having completed a Masters Degree in Urban Planning at Sheffield Hallam University.
After spells of work experience with us while studying for a first degree in Geography, when Joe approached us to say that the experience had led him to pursue a career as a chartered planner, it was an easy decision to welcome him to the office as a full time member of staff as we continue in our objectives to grow the business while supporting and developing new, young, and local professionals in our field.
Joe will be working alongside the senior team developing experience of a wide range of planning projects, and having previously drawn on his data and research skills to work with the team in making economic development arguments to support planning applications and funding bids, Joe hopes to develop a specialism in the economic aspects of planning.
This week is European Mobility Week (16-22 September) with the focus on ‘safe walking and cycling’ and the ways active mobility can benefit our health, environment and bank balances.
The Globe team agree that walking is an excellent way to travel as it is cheap – a pair of trainers or comfy shoes and you are ready to go – and one of the best forms of exercise with both physical and mental benefits.
We accepted the challenge to be more active, put on our most comfortable shoes, and have been walking to our meetings and site visits when we can. Phil has even hand-delivered information leaflets yesterday and managed 13,000 steps so is definitely winning the competition so far for the most steps in a day!
Today I had the pleasure of attending the opening of Lincoln College’s Construction College and ECOnstruction Centre of Excellence by the Chairman of Lincolnshire County Council, Cllr Tony Bridges, and Gusto Group’s Steff Wright. As you may know the Construction College at the Gainsborough campus was the UK’s first Construction Career College opening in 2016, and Lincoln College is continuing to innovate with the opening of the new employer-led centre of excellence.
The event was well attended by representatives of the local construction industry and offered the fascinating opportunity to enter the college’s Monks Road campus and have a look around. I have not previously been onto the campus and it is truly impressive, more like a village then a further education institute!
The speakers at the event were very engaging and it is clear the college is keen to get local businesses involved and encourage them to help the college to design and deliver training to meet the industry’s needs. Globe take their responsibility seriously as ambassadors for the planning profession and look forward to offering our assistance in the future.
This week we received confirmation that Globe’s application to sign the Lincoln Social Responsibly Charter had been accepted.
Social responsibility is one of those elements of business that seems almost designed to be difficult, particularly for a small company. I think there are elements at we all ‘get’ about adding social value and trying to be more socially responsible, like a café changing out their plastic spoons for wooden ones, or a construction company installing extra recycling stations as part of a building project. However, understanding and quantifying social value for some small organisations can be more difficult, especially if like Globe you’re not in the business of selling physical products.
When I first started learning about social responsibility, one thing that struck me was how much we, and I’m sure many other companies, already build socially responsible actions into much we do as employers; from enhanced terms for holiday and maternity pay for our staff, to giving everyone their birthday off work (while some of my colleagues might see a day getting stuck into some planning law as quite the treat, it’s possible they could want to spend the day with their family instead!). A lot of the things we do as a company that we think of as good for the business, such as flexitime and working from home arrangements, are actually led by creating a better work-life balance for staff, which is an important way of being socially responsible.
Then there are the things we do to support development, from funding our graduates through their postgraduate degrees to organising study trips where the whole office takes a day out the office to bond, eat, and hopefully learn a few things along the way. We do them because we think that’s the best way to build an engaged, skilled and committed workforce, but you guessed it, it’s social responsibility again.
Of course, impact on the environment and wider community are also important areas for adding social value, and as a small business we like to spend our time and resources making an impact locally, so are representatives or ambassadors for several local organisations supporting the community and sharing our skills, alongside financially contributing to a number of local sports people and events. While we have a Corporate Social Responsibly Policy that we actively review, as signing up to the charter requires you to log each activity separately, it was an interesting exercise to actually sit down and list what we do individually. The charter also asks you to set out your plans for the future. While we have a power management strategy and try to reduce single use plastic use, there’s always more we can do and it was good to bring those ideas to the forefront of my mind and make some firmer plans.
I’d encourage Lincoln businesses to take a look at the Lincoln Social Responsibility Charter at: https://www.lincoln.gov.uk/business/lincoln-social-responsibility-charter/
News of a successful appeal on Friday drew to a close another busy week for Globe (Appeal Decision APP/R5510/Z/19/3226105). Globe had been appointed to submit the appeal following London Borough of Hillingdon Council’s refusal of planning permission for the installation of a non-illuminated advertisement sign on a property within Ruislip Village Conservation Area.
The property had recently changed use from a shop to a number of residential flats, with the previously allowed signage associated with the shop being removed and leaving an undesirable white-rendered patch on the otherwise red-brick building. In order to make the property more visually appealing to both prospective tenants and passers-by, whilst also providing a level of context to its new usage, the owner of the building installed the replacement signage prior to its relevant planning application being decided. As a result, the owner of the property faced imminent enforcement action being taken against them unless they could gain permission through the appeals process.
Despite not being involved with the original application, Globe was able to demonstrate that the sign did not visually harm the appearance of the Conservation Area, and therefore, permission should not be refused purely by virtue of its inclusion within such a designated area. Inspector Adrian Caines’ thorough assessment of the appeal notes that the scale, design and positioning of the advert does not visually intrude on the property nor the surrounding street-scene, and, given the lack of contribution this street-scene makes to the Conservation Area, the character and appearance of Ruislip Village would be preserved by its siting. It was therefore concluded that the advertisement accorded with the policies of the National Planning Policy Framework and the Hillingdon Local Plan, with Inspector Caines granting express consent for the advertisement to be displayed.
As those of you who attempted to get in touch with the office and were greeted with a unanimous ‘out of office’ response will already know, the Globe team were out of their usual surroundings and enjoying a team training day in Cambridge on Tuesday. Spirits were high having managed to squeeze ourselves into Phil’s car, with Phil keen to explore a development which has been the subject of much discussion of recent best practice, me looking forward to my first ‘study day’ out with the team, and James ecstatic to find himself within a stones throw of where he had experienced the “best scotch egg of his life”.
With Lincoln and Cambridge both being historic Roman cities now home to large student populations, the purpose of our trip was to visit some of Cambridge’s high-profile urban extensions and consider how we may help shape potential similar urban extensions to Lincoln. Our first stop saw us explore the Accordia development situated just south of Cambridge city centre. Located on a former military-owned brownfield site, Accordia was completed in 2006 and was the first housing project to win the RIBA Stirling Prize. Being able to experience such an innovative development first hand, and to appreciate how it had achieved high-density urban living set within generous landscaped public spaces gave us plenty to consider, as we began to bounce around ideas as to what we may look to achieve within a potential urban extension to Lincoln.
After spending the morning racking up our daily steps at Accordia it seemed necessary to grab some lunch to fuel us through the rest of our day out. James was the natural co-ordinator of this part of the day and led us directly to the pub that he had spent much of Monday afternoon talking up to the team. I’m pleased to confirm that James’ recommendation did not disappoint, and that he will continue to take the lead of Globe’s lunch-time destinations on future trips.
Sufficiently rested, we headed on into Cambridge to do a brief spot of sight-seeing (including an obligatory group photo whilst looking out onto The Backs) before jumping in the car once again to travel further south to an extension to the village of Trumpington. Located approximately three miles from the city centre, this gave us an opportunity to consider an extension in an area where space was not at as much of a premium as it was closer to the city centre at Accordia. Whilst this development was therefore not as high-density as the scheme we saw earlier in the day, both were united by their shared preference in favour of large, open, public spaces. After a quick stop here, it was time to head back to Lincoln in a successful attempt to miss the rush-hour traffic.
Overall, we had an enjoyable and worthwhile day tracing back the considerations which had gone into these developments at the planning stage of such schemes. Our observations have continued into our discussions on Wednesday, and it seems a day out in sunny Cambridge provided us with a welcome boost to the start of a new week.
Here’s to our next team trip out!
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