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Case Studies

Settlement boundary

The Old Pike House is a detached, two storey dwelling located in rural Worcestershire.

The existing dwelling has an extensive rear garden; however the site lies in a position outside the nearest village.

In normal circumstances the Council would be able to resist the development of new dwelling outside of a settlement, however given a lack of housing supply we were able to successfully argue that the development would be sustainable and that it would not lead to any harm.

In order to establish the principle of development, Foxley Tagg submitted an Outline Planning Application so as to justify that, in policy terms; the site and proposal were both suitable and compliant with relevant national and local planning policies.

The Outline application was approved by Council Officers who conceded that the site was indeed sustainable, the proposal would not impact on the local landscape or neighbouring properties and the access was safe.

Conditions attached to the Outline decision required a Reserved Matters application to be submitted within a year.

A Reserved Matters application was therefore prepared and submitted to provide details of the proposed design and landscaping. The application was approved by Officers with the site owner, subject to the releasing the remaining conditions, having 2 years to proceed with the build.

This development is classic example of where an in-depth understanding of planning policy and housing supply are required to bring forward a site for a self build project. Many Councils around the Country still have housing supply issues so such opportunities may be available in your area.

Listed Building breach

This project fathered an article written by Foxley Tagg, published in the ‘Listed Heritage Magazine’, where we explained that a wide range of seemingly minor works to a listed building were likely to require consent and that not regularising such breaches would at least complicate and at worst lose the sale.

When our client began thinking of selling his listed property he was unsure as to whether all the improvements that he had carried out were lawful.

Over the years a wide range of works were undertaken both to the property and in the garden.

As such our first involvement was to carefully catalogue the works undertaken to ascertain the extent of any breaches and which would require the correct consent.

After this review it was clear that there were a significant number of breaches where listed building consent would be needed to rectify the changes made.

These referred to such things as replacement windows, new flooring, new doors in addition to a requirement for planning permission for new stables and fencing.

Foxley Tagg were contracted to submit a listed building consent application and a planning application to regularise all of the breaches.

In this case the client was fortunate that the works undertaken were generally sympathetic to the nature of the building e.g. wooden windows similar to those replaced and not UPVC.

Both submissions were approved by Officers which enabled the client to sell his home with no issues.

It is of course worth noting that such permissions relate also to buildings which are located within the curtilage of a listed building when at the time of listing or where there is a physical attachment.

In such case these buildings are afforded the same status as listed buildings.

Land off Hampton Park Road

Foxley Tagg were approached by our clients who wanted to self build two dwellings for their own use, however such a scheme would need to be economically viable.

Upon viewing the site it was clear that a case could be made for the development of four new dwellings so that two plots could be sold to facilitate the construction of the homes for our clients.

The site was located outside of any local settlement boundary and was cut off from the City as a footway along the main road ended before the site.

An Outline Planning Application was therefore submitted which included the addition of the new section of footway along with the development of 4 new dwellings.

With a new footway to be provided the site was considered to be sustainable so that new residents would not have to rely on private cars for travel.

The Council, given their housing shortage, considered that the site would be suitable for development with permission to be granted subject to a legal agreement.

Breinton Lee

Foxley Tagg prepared an Outline Planning Application for a development comprising 15 residential units of which some will be bespoke self-build plots.

Once the application was submitted technical consultation responses e.g. highways, flooding etc. were received from the Council which outlined support for the scheme subject to conditions being added to any decision.

However, a large number of objections were submitted by local residents the impact upon visibility of cars using a nearby layby and in relation to a historic but localised flooding problem.

Residents considered that the scheme would cause more problems, especially in relation to flooding.

Despite support and a recommendation of approval from the Case Officer, the application was refused by the Planning Committee who agreed with the local objectors, despite there being no technical merits for such a decision.

Foxley Tagg still considered that the application was robust and therefore submitted an Appeal on behalf of our client which the Inspector approved.
The overall conclusion was that “the proposal would not result in any detrimental impacts which could not be offset or mitigated and it would constitute sustainable development”.

Green Belt

Foxley Tagg are pleased to have secured Outline Planning Permission for the redevelopment of a former agricultural nursery to a mixed use scheme which includes 2 dwellings and business premises.

The site, whilst including an array of glass houses, is located in the Greenbelt and outside of the local settlement boundary. However and despite these obstacles the application demonstrated that the site was indeed sustainable and suitable for development.

The main issue at the heart of the planning case was the impact on the Greenbelt. Foxley Tagg’s submission demonstrated that the proposed buildings would cover less than half the footprint of the existing glass houses with the layout of the dwellings mirroring the pattern and grain of the surrounding area.

Given the location and a desire to maintain the openness of the site, the scheme included local highway improvements which were designed to enhance safety on a nearby lane.

Although Council Planning Officers recommended that the application should be refused, given the Greenbelt location, there was a groundswell of local support within the Parish Council from a local Ward Member and by a number of residents for the development.

The benefits for local people were that the proposal would enhance the entry to the village, provide housing for a local family and be visually sympathetic to the area.

The application was debated in depth by Members who voted to approve the scheme, subject to the imposition of conditions.
This project was testament to the policy of preparing a well-balanced scheme which responds to the setting thus benefitting from the provisions of localism.

Field House Barn – listed building

Owning a listed building brings with it a large number of responsibilities and the removal of many of the rights normally associated with improving or expanding a home.

Firstly with regard to responsibilities, there is a statutory and legal duty to protect the building and its intrinsic qualities (both inside and out) so that the special merit of the building e.g. historic and architectural is preserved for future generations.

Secondly the normal rights of homeowners to modify or extend properties are amended on listed buildings so that even the most mundane of changes would normally require at least listed building consent if not planning consent as well.

Often it is the mundane changes that homeowners wish to make, so as to enhance their living environment and to improve their quality of life, however even small changes can be thwarted by difficulties when it comes to obtaining the relevant planning and listed building consents. Once example that demonstrates such a set of circumstances is Field House Barn.

Field House Barn, together with the remainder of a group of former farm buildings were converted to residential use in the late 1990’s, and are set around a south-facing courtyard to the north of a Grade ll* listed building known as Field House.

The rear elevation of the property has minimal openings, save for one small window and a large set of doors/windows in a central position as formed by the enclosure of a historic opening.

Our client simply wanted to add an a new doorway into the rear elevation to provide ease of access from a ground floor reception room into the garden as well as letting in more light.

Foxley Tagg produced and submitted the relevant plans and supporting statements to justify the proposal with regard to planning policy and the historic context, however the Council’s Conservation Officer objected to the application given that it would, “detract from the special architectural and historic interest that the building possesses therefore it would result in the loss of historic fabric and bring a more domesticated appearance”.

We and our client considered that the addition of a solitary door would not lead to a domestication of the elevation and that such a simple doorway would not impact on the historic qualities of the building or its rural character.

The application was refused by the Council based on the Conservations Officers advice, however we submitted an Appeal in order to allow an independent Inspector to explore the merits of our case and come to an impartial judgement. After visiting the site and reviewing or the submitted material the Inspector allowed the Appeal with his summary outlining that:

“I am satisfied that the proposed works would have a neutral effect which would retain the building’s essential qualities, and that the special architectural and historic interest of this curtilage listed building would be preserved”. The impartial judgement sets out that the works were “modest in scope” and therefore would “preserve the special architectural and historical interest of the Grade II listed building”.

We are increasingly finding that listed building owners are running into protectionist conversation issues when attempting to make very minor improvements to their properties.

These issues make the pursuance of even simple projects, such as in our example, a very long winded and time consuming process. We understand that listed buildings need to be protected, however they are still homes and work places. It is therefore important to be able to strike a balance between preservation and adaption as the upkeep of our historic buildings depends on them being used and loved.

In summary simple changes or even extensions can be achieved in respect of listed buildings, however it is not always a straightforward process and can most certainly be drawn out.

The Kennels, Sopley

Affordable housing contributions can knock applications on the head – but not always.

A creative solution from Foxley Tagg to a potentially costly problem.

The Kennels, Sopley.

At one of the HBR NEC Shows we were approached by a client who owned and farmed a smallholding, which historically formed part of a wider estate associated with a Manor House. On the smallholding stood a former Kennel building used to house hunting dogs which was in an isolated position away from the Manor House.

The current and only apparent use was as a store after an unsuccessful application for the conversion to a dwelling. The LPA outlined that conversion to a dwelling would be against policy and in addition, a contribution of £80k would be needed in relation to local affordable housing provision. Such a contribution would simply make the scheme unviable and as such an alternative approach was necessary.

It was established that, because the building was in a good state of repair, the Local Planning Authorities (LPA) polices would support the conversion of rural buildings but subject to the prioritisation of employment uses and without permission for any extension to the building.

After much thought and discussion Foxley Tagg introduced a new and alternative suggestion and the strategy turned towards the conversion of the building to holiday let accommodation with a small extension (previously outside LPA advice) to provide an office as part of the conversion to be used small holding business use.

Foxley Tagg prepared the planning application and designs on this basis with special attention to maintaining the traditional vernacular and the historic linear nature of the building and to minimise the impact on the local setting.

Given the small scale nature of the Kennel and key historic features such as beams, retaining walls and railings, Foxley Tagg took great care and attention was needed in designing the internal layout so as to maximise space and light.

The design solution involved creating an open plan kitchen/diner and living space which opened out to a seating area in what was formerly the kennel runs. A new bathroom was added with a separate bedroom area created; all with vaulted ceilings too so as create a light and airy feel.
In addition, a separate but attached office space was created in a linear formation, so that the extension is not obvious when viewing the building as finished. The office has been provided to support the small holding but also to assist with the operation of the holiday let i.e. storage given the constraints on internal space.

Much to everyone’s delight the LPA’s Conservation Team and the Planning Officer were happy that the proposals to retain the character and nature of the historic building, the extension was, although outside policy, modest and supported the employment function. The application was therefore permitted by Officers with the conversion now complete and ready and provides a bespoke and unusual holiday retreat.

The benefits of good planning go beyond the application, sympathy with the environment and creativity are hallmarks of the value that professional advice can bring.

Kettering 3G Pitch Application

Foxley Tagg was involved with work on the Kettering 3G Application for a new Pitch.

Location: Kettering, Northamptonshire

Client: Tresham Institute of Further and Higher Education

Development: Floodlit all weather pitch,

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Brecon Beacons

In January 2009 Foxley Tagg provided training for Planning Committee Members and Professional Planning Staff at Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.

Location: Brecon Beacons National Park

Client: Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

Development: Provided training for Planning Committee Members and Professional Planning Staff

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Worcestershire County Cricket Club

Worcestershire County Cricket Club is an example of Foxley Taggs preperation and submission of a Planning Application and Project Management.

Location: New Road, Worcester

Client: Worcestershire County Cricket Club

Development: New stands located within a flood zone.

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Northamptonshire County Cricket Club

Foxley Tagg was involved in extensive work with Northamptonshire County Cricket Club to support the application for additional seating.

Locations: The County Ground, Abington

Client: Northamptonshire County Cricket Club

Development: Provision of two new spectator stands.

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Northamptonshire County Cricket Club

Foxley Tagg was involved with the Floodlighting and Ground Improvements at Northamptonshire County Cricket Club.

Location: The County Ground, Abington, Northamptonshire

Client: Northamptonshire County Cricket Club

Development: Provision of 6 x 48m flood light,  2 x commentary boxes and extension to pavillion.

Work Areas: Preparation of the Planning Submission, Design and Access Statement, Transport Statement, Flood Risk Statment, Travel Plan and public exhibition.

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Hampton Grange Nursing Home

Foxley Tagg have experience in small residential schemes such as this example in Hampton Grange.

Location: Hereford, Herefordshire

Client: Private individual

Development: Residential scheme for nine luxury apartments.

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Tresham Institute Corby

Foxley Tagg was involved in the re-development of Tresham College.

Location: Corby, Northamptonshire

Client: Tresham Institute of Higher and Further Education

Development: Re-Development of an existing school to include a 10,300m², £35m, college campus including floodlit sporting facilities.

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