Successfully appealing a decision refusing additional development

Steven Hopkins
working with a developer to increase development on a residential site

Holmes & Hills Partner, specialist contentious Planning Law solicitor and Head of Planning and Development, Steven Hopkins, provided strategic legal advice and appeal representation to a regional developer following the local planning authority’s refusal to allow additional development on a residential site.

Redrawing of the village development boundary

Holmes & Hills Solicitors’ Planning and Development Team assisted with the successful initial planning application and completing the Section 106 Agreement for the developer’s residential development. The development site was located on the edge of a desirable Essex village, which in policy terms was considered countryside. Steven was enlisted when the landowner/developer’s application to increase the number of dwellings on the site was refused. The application had been refused at Planning Committee.

Steven understood that the site was located on the edge of a village, which was previously located, in policy terms, in the countryside prior to the village development boundary being redrawn to take account of the original planning permission.

Understanding that the appeal site was no longer located in the countryside and inline with the council’s emerging development plan, Steven believed there were strong considerations to support the proposed additional development when weighed against any technical breaches of existing policy.

Steven dealt with a Section 106 Unilateral Undertaking in order to address the supply of affordable housing and contribution towards secondary school travel and a RAMS contribution.

The issues at appeal were:

  • The principle of the development.
  • The fall-back position of the original planning permission and the weight that should be afforded to it.
  • The weight that should be afforded to the Council’s emerging Development Plan.
  • The design and density of the proposed scheme of development.

Steven acted alongside the Appellant’s planning consultant, to provide advocacy at a 1-day Appeal Hearing to give a summary of the relevant case law; in particular in respect of the fall-back position and the duty of consistency in the decision making process.


The appeal was allowed, and planning permission was granted for the revised scheme, providing for additional units to be developed and increasing the bottom-line profitability of the scheme for the developer.

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