RIDGE-NS.jpg October 2019
Town & Country Planning

Welcome to the Ridge Planning Newsletter.

It’s been another busy 6 months here for the planning team at Ridge since the publication of our last newsletter in April. The team has been successful in obtaining a number of approvals, both at Local Authority level and at appeal and in order to meet the ever-increasing workload, we are delighted to confirm that the planning team has taken on three new members of staff. Whilst on the topic of ever-increasing workloads, despite the complexities associated with Brexit, the Government has made time to provide some notable updates on planning guidance whilst pledging fresh planning changes to help first time homebuyers.

For more details on important national planning policy guidance changes and an insight into the most interesting of cases led by the planning team at Ridge, in addition to details regarding Ridge's shortlisting for the RTPI Learning Partners Award, please click on the relevant links below.

Anne Pawsey MRTPI
Senior Planner

Impact of a No Deal Brexit on planning and development.

With the UK government launching a ‘Get ready for Brexit’ public information campaign to help ensure the general public and businesses are ready when the UK leaves the EU on 31 October, Paul takes a look at how a no-deal Brexit could impact planning and development.

Paul Fong, Partner



Eight important national planning policy updates over the last 6 months;

Greater flexibility given to owners of residential and commercial properties as temporary pd rights made permanent.

Homeowners will be able to extend their properties quickly and easily without the need for a full planning application under rules made permanent today (25 May 2019).


Planning Inquiries set to change - PINS publish response to Rosewell’s Review

Following Rosewell’s independent review in February 2019, which aimed to speed up the planning appeal inquiry process, PINS have now issued an action plan which confirms that it intends to meet all 22 recommendations with the aim of implementing all of them by June 2020.


New PPG produced regarding older people's housing

New Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) dedicated to housing for older and disabled people has been published. This documentation, which was promised in the 2017 Neighbourhood Planning Act, was published on 26th June 2019.


All change for developer contribution rules.

Key changes as to how local authorities (LA) charge, collect and report on developer contributions are to come into effect on 1st September 2019.


Updates for Natural Environment Section

Further to the consultation paper published last December, revised guidance published on 21st July confirmed that net gain in planning "describes an approach to development that leaves the natural environment in a measurably better state than it was beforehand. Net gain is an umbrella term for both biodiversity net gain and wider environmental net gain."


Government promises help for first time buyers by pledging fresh planning changes.

Housing secretary, Rober Jenrick, has confirmed that he will be reforming the planning system to increase housing delivery over the coming months. In a discussion paper entitled Making Home Ownership Affordable, published on 28th August 2019, the government has announced that it is exploring how planning changes can increase additional sites for homes that first-time buyers can afford to buy.


Government produces new National Design Guidance

On 1st October 2019 the Government published a revision to the PPG which replaces in its entirety the previous guidance on Design. Entitled ‘Design: process and tools’ this guidance includes reference to The National Design Guide, a document which was also published on 1st October and which is to be read alongside the new PPG.


Government-commissioned review seeks to strengthen planning powers for areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) and national parks.

The review of National Parks and AONBs, led by journalist Julian Glover, calls for a number of changes to the planning system to give AONB bodies a greater say in development proposals. The Landscapes Review: Final Report was published on 25th September 2019.



Appeal Wins


New Headquarters building for CABI

Ridge has succeeded in obtaining planning permission for a 3500 sqm headquarters building and 91 houses in Wallingford. CABI is a non for profit organisation which undertakes scientific research and provides information in connection with addressing problems in agriculture world wide. A significant employer locally, the planning permission, which was granted on appeal, allows for a much needed new headquarters building for CABI.


Image Credit: Scott Brownrigg

Approval of reserved matters obtained on appeal for 170 dwellings at Great Glen, near Leicester.

The planning team at Ridge are delighted to have obtained planning permission on behalf of Miller Homes at appeal for 170 dwellings at Land North of Oaks Road, Great Glen.

The proposal was refused by Harborough District Council on landscape grounds confirming that the proposed dwellings would damage the character and amenity of the area.


Image Credit: Miller Homes

Other cases


Ridge gain planning permission for change of use of hotel to dwellings at Godalming Surrey

On behalf of Beechcroft Developments Ltd, Ridge are delighted to confirm that planning permission has been obtained for the change of use from hotel together with the erection of an extension and detached building to provide 23 dwellings at the Manor House Godalming.


Ridge planning team obtains permission for glamping units despite officer recommendation for refusal

The Ridge planning team are delighted to have obtained planning permission for glamping units at Middle Lypiatt, Stroud. The site, which is detached from any settlement, is located within the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the grounds of a listed building.


Image Credit: RM Architects

Regeneration of brownfield site in Kidderminster

On behalf of Kidderminster Property Investments, outline planning permission has been granted for the regeneration of a brownfield site in Churchfield, Kidderminster to facilitate up to 240 dwellings and 670 sqm of mixed use floor space.


Image Credit: Node

A new 80 bed residential care home to help meet the growing need for residential care provision in Rushcliffe Borough.

On behalf of Octapus Healthcare, Ridge planning team is delighted to have obtained permission for a new residential care home. The planning team at Ridge was responsible for leading the project which is located 1.25 km to the south of Edwalton.


Image Credit: C Squared Architects



Ridge planning team shortlisted for RTPI Learning Partners Award 2019

The planning team at Ridge are delighted to confirm that we have been shortlisted for the RTPI Learning Partner Award 2019.


Latest Planning Matters Forum - updates on Green Infrastructure

Entitled ‘How to increase your chances of getting planning permission by using Green Infrastructure’, the latest Planning Matters Forum was, as always, a highly topical subject.


Ridge Partner Paul speaks at 2019 Glos Climate Change summit

Partner at Cheltenham office, Paul Fong, was delighted to address the audience attending the Gloucestershire Climate Change Summit.


Planning team welcomes a new member

Ridge planning team are delighted to welcome two new graduates, George Elston and Jack Livingstone, who will be based at the Cheltenham office.


New team member

Ridge is delighted to announce that Rebecca Verhaeg (MRTPI) has joined the planning team in Cheltenham as Senior Planner. Formerly part of the strategic policy team with the States of Guernsey, with further experience in the private sector, Rebecca brings a wealth of knowledge to the team.


A huge welcome to Transport Planner, Chris Long

The planning team at Ridge extend a warm welcome to Chris Long who joins the transport planning team as a Partner within Ridge. Chris will lead a transport planning team in Bristol.