Armstrong Rigg Planning News

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11 May 2023

Alex Munro - Promotion

We are delighted to announce the promotion of Alex Munro to Principal Planner.

Alex has worked for ARP for 6 years and is a valuable member of our team. 

We congratulate Alex on his well-deserved promotion and wish him every success in his future position

20 May 2021

David Jones - Promotion

We are delighted to announce the promotion of David Jones to Principal Planner.

David has worked for ARP for 6 years and has been a committed member of our team. 

We congratulate David on his well-deserved promotion and wish him every success in his future position

05 May 2021

Oxfordshire Authorities need to demonstrate 5yr HLS

The Housing Minister has announced that transitional arrangements afforded the Oxfordshire Authorities to only need to demonstrate 3yr HLS to avoid the tilted balance being applied, while a Joint Statutory Plan was to be produced by 2021. This has not happened so in the best interests of housing delivery the Minister has announced that while the time period for the Joint Plan to be in place has been extended to 2023 the housing land supply flexibilities have not and the Oxfordshire authorities will be judged against a 5yr HLS.

Written statements - Written questions, answers and statements - UK Parliament

05 May 2021

Challenge to End of Virtual Meetings Fails

The Court Judgement has been issued which confirms that new primary legislation is needed to extend virtual planning meetings. Therefore while Robert Jenrick has indicated that there is a case for this, until and unless new legislation is brought forward all meetings after 6 May 2021 will need to be held in person.

Hertfordshire County Council & Ors v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities And Local Government [2021] EWHC 1093 (Admin) (28 April 2021) (

05 May 2021

Chief Planners Letters

Two Chief Planner letters have been released this month. The first provided details of the amendment to the GPDO, which allow for the change of use to resi (effective from 1 Aug 2021); allows for larger extensions to schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and prisons and make it a requirement that planning permission must be sought to remove a statue, monument or memorial where it has been in place for 10 years.

The latter later provides details of funding the Government is making available to support the uptake of Neighbourhood Planning, particularly in urban areas where the take up has been low.

Chief Planners Newsletter April 2021 (

Chief Planner letter on additional support for neighbourhood planning (

05 May 2021

Isolated homes judgement

This recent ‘Bramshill’Judgement has concluded that the crucial test of whether new homes are isolated is whether the homes are remote from a settlement, as opposed to other existing buildings. Therefore it could make it easier for authorities to resist new homes under this judgement, as reflected in the recent appeal decision (link below) see footnote 3.

How a court ruling will affect decisions on whether new homes are too isolated | Planning Resource

Heading 9 ( appeal decision quotes above case

19 Jan 2021

Bewley Housing Scheme Quashed by High Court

A local resident was successful in her case that Council officers had not advised of members of the statutory requirement to have special regard to preserving historic or architecturally important buildings in accordance with the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act and para’s 193 and 194 of the NPPF which require great weight to be given to conserving heritage assets. The Court found that Guildford officers had not properly advised on the heritage tests and in so doing advised members to balance less than substantial heritage harm against public benefits without taking into account the requirement to accord ‘considerable importance and weight’ to a finding of harm to  a listed building. The officer report had therefore mislead committee members, leading to the Courts decision to quash the planning permission.

Wyeth-Price, R (On the Application Of) v Guildford Borough Council [2020] EWHC 3355 (Admin) (08 December 2020) (

19 Jan 2021

Green Belt Appeal Allowed

In this appeal the Inspector found a pre-existing Class Q prior approval permission for a barn conversion amounted to an implementable fall-back position. By comparison of the appeal proposals with the fall-back position the Inspector was satisfied that there would be a reduced impact on the openness of the Green Belt, by virtue of reduced floorspace and volume and these amounted to VSC to justify inappropriate development in the Green Belt. Having satisfied the VSC test the Inspector found there was no reason to refuse under the first limb of paragraph 11d of the NPPF and in the absence of 5yr HLS the appeal proposal could benefit from the tilted balance.

19 Jan 2021

Government Consultation on extending PD Rights Further

Ending at the end of this month the consultation seeks views on extending the prior approval process further to support the delivery of homes from commercial premises within the new broad E use class.

Supporting housing delivery and public service infrastructure - GOV.UK (

19 Jan 2021

VALP LP Inspector Indicates minded to Hold further Hearing Sessions

Bucks Council are currently consulting on Further Main Modifications with an end date of 9 Feb 2021. The LP Inspector has already confirmed in December 2020 that he is minded to hold further hearing sessions. In doing so the Inspector indicates he does not reject the Council’s responses to the representations received, including that to a new housing allocation, but that the range and complexity of further representations received merit a further debate, at which interested parties can contribute.