RIDGE-NS.jpg March 2020
Town & Country Planning

Welcome to the first newsletter of this new decade, the beginning of which is dominated by unprecedented times; the huge challenges associated with COVID 19.

Who would have predicted that three months on from our last newsletter, we would all be facing an emergency which threatens the safety of our communities and impacts hugely on every part of our daily lives?

The staff at Ridge continue to operate in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Government on 23rd March and, thanks to technology, are continuing to work in the usual manner and will remain available to our clients. We would urge that similar innovative approaches are employed elsewhere. It is vital that authorities continue to provide a high quality of service within these challenging times, prioritising decision making to ensure the local and national economy is supported. The Head of Planning at Ridge, Paul Fong, has personally written to the RTPI and others urging them to consider this matter.

The Government has reacted to the COVID 19 by releasing a number of statements, details are included within this newsletter. This newsletter also provides details of a policy paper published on 12th March by the Ministry of Housing Community and Local Government (HCLG) entitled ‘Planning for the Future’.

Also included in this newsletter is a selection of cases which demonstrate some pretty impressive results obtained by the planning team here at Ridge. We are also delighted to announce that the Ridge planning team has been shortlisted as a finalist for the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2020.

Finally, in these very uncertain times, we assure you that the staff at Ridge will remain updated with any changes in planning legislation. We hope you all remain safe in these uncertain times and we will continue to update you on all planning matters.

Anne Pawsey MRTPI
Senior Planner



The Government has introduced temporary planning measures to assist with the challenges faced by COVID 19. These include the following;


Introduction of a time limited permitted development right allowing the temporary change of use of a pub (A4 – drinking establishment) and a restaurant (A3 restaurants/cafes) to a hot-food take away for a period of up to 12 months only.

A Written Ministerial Statement has instructed English planning authorities to avoid enforcing controls that unnecessarily restrict the time and number of lorry deliveries to retailers and distributors of food and other essential deliveries during the coronavirus disruption. This statement, which came into effect on 13th March, confirms that as a matter of urgency local planning authorities should take a positive approach to their engagement with food retailers and distributors, as well as the freight industry, to ensure planning controls are not a barrier to food delivery over the period of disruption caused by the coronavirus. Local planning authorities should also use their discretion on the enforcement of other planning conditions which hinder the effective response to COVID-19


Decision Making:

The Government has promised the introduction of legislation to allow council committee meetings to be held virtually for a temporary period of time. The objective is to encourage planning committees to continue and decisions to be made. Local authorities are also encouraged, where possible, to issue delegated decisions to ensure planning applications are decided in the most expedient manner.


Planning Inspectorate Guidance:

In response to the spread of COVID-19, the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) has published guidance on how it will continue to carry out its duties under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and the Planning Act 2008. While some site visits, hearings, inquiries and events will have to be cancelled or postponed, PINS is considering alternative arrangements where possible.

PINS will keep its guidance under review, which could change at short notice to reflect the Government’s wider advice. The planning team at Ridge will be constantly reviewing the PINS website and will keep you up to date.


On 12 March the Secretary of State for HCLG released a policy statement entitled "Planning for the Future". The statement sets out a number of housing and planning reforms, including the intention to bring forward a bold and ambitious Planning White Paper this Spring. Within this statement, the following issues are addressed;

• Supporting communities to deliver more homes for local people
• Helping first time buyers onto the housing ladder
• Creating beautiful, sustainable places
• Ensuring affordable, safe and secure housing for all
• Laying the foundations for affordable, green and beautiful homes for everyone

A copy of the Policy Statement can be found here:

In addition to this statement, the HCLG also announced the following;

• Confirmation that the proposed freedom to build upwards will go ahead
• Confirmation that demolitions will be allowed under permitted development rights (PD) to deliver new housing
• Measure to reform planning fees, linking their level to local authority performance
• Measures to allow successful appellants against refusals of planning applications to their application fee refunded
• Measures to ensure extant planning permissions get built out
• Confirmation that the new ‘Fast Track for Beauty’ will be enshrined in the planning system.

We can assure you that Ridge will continue to keep you updated on any future policy releases.


RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence Finalist 2020

The new stadium on its way for Stroud

On behalf of Ecotricity, the planning team at Ridge is delighted to have secured planning permission for a 5,000 capacity football stadium and other ancillary uses including two full-sized grass pitches, parking and highway improvements at M5 Junction 13, West of Stonehouse, Stroud.


Image Credit: Zaha Hadids Architects
RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence Finalist 2020

Ridge obtains planning permission for Phase II of the Trent Bridge Quays Development, Nottingham.

Ridge planning team are delighted to confirm that, on behalf of Trent Bridge Quays (Phase II) LLP, planning permission has been obtained for Phase II of the Trent Bridge Quays development, Meadow Lane, Nottingham.


Image Credit: BDP Architecture
Racing Point

New Headquarters building for F1 Team

The planning team at Ridge are delighted to have obtained planning permission for a new Headquarters for an F1 Team to include all aspects of Formula 1 car design, Research & Development, manufacturing, car build and test.


Permission granted for 56 dwellings near Evesham

On behalf Bloor and Bellway Homes, the Ridge planning team are delighted to confirm that planning permission has been obtained for the erection of 56 dwellings on land at Hampton, Evesham.


Image Credit: BEA Landscape

New homes for Cam, Gloucestershire

On behalf of Wainhomes Severn Valley, the planning team at Ridge are delighted to have secured permission for the approval of reserved matters for 90 dwellings (including affordable) at Cam, near Dursley, Gloucestershire.


Image Credit: Pegasus


Ridge Planning team shortlisted in prestigious planning industry award

We are delighted to confirm that Ridge has been shortlisted as a finalist for the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2020 for the following categories;

• 'Planning Consultancy of the Year'
• 'Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy'

RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence Finalist 2020

New Member of Staff

In February, we were delighted to welcome Grant Baylis who joined our team as Planner. Grant joined us from Worcester City Council where he was a member of the planning Policy team.

Having obtained his Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, Grant is now working towards his chartered membership of the RTPI.

Grant has already settled well and is involved in a number of exciting projects.