Knutsford 01565 757500 -
Bourne End 01628 532244 -
Bristol 0117 325 2000

Walsingham Planning

We’re a town planning consultancy with a long track record of helping commercial and public sector clients and landowners successfully apply for planning permission for their property development projects. Following our acquisition of Ian Jewson Planning in March 2016, we now have 3 offices in Bristol, Buckinghamshire and Cheshire, we operate across the whole of mainland UK.

We have a wealth of experience helping clients in the following sectors:

If you need planning advice, please contact us for a free initial consultation.

Spotlight Image

We take a personalised, pragmatic and no-nonsense approach to helping clients overcome their planning challenges. Find out more about us

Job Vacancy

We currently have no vacancies - No unsolicited enquires from agencies please.

Some of our work

Lidle twickenham

Permission granted for a Lidl Foodstore in Twickenham, which will house a brand Primary School above it, with a first floor Playground.

read more
Premier Inn High Wycombe

We have advised Cardinal Newman College for over 10 years. In this time we have secured permission for a number of significant schemes

read more
Millbay Plymouth

Full planning permission has been secured by Walsingham Planning for a breath-taking new building designed around the character of a ship.

read more
Thomas Hall Hotel

We obtained planning permission and listed building consent for a high-end hotel and leisure redevelopment at Thomas Hall in Exeter.

read more

Walsingham Planning | Specialist planning and development consultants

The People Over Wind Ruling ? – Does it matter ?

The ruling relates to 931 EU-protected Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) in the UK, covering 17 and 11 per cent of the land surface respectively. For example, it affects the Thames Basin Heaths SPA, which extends across 82 square kilometres in Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire.

There are two steps that a decision maker must follow in determining whether a plan or project is likely to affect a Special Area of Conservation under the Habitats Directive or a Special Protection Area under the Birds Directive (given domestic effect by the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017). For plan making this is carried out in what is termed a Habitat Regulation Assessment (HRA).

The first step is what is commonly called “screening”, although it is not a formal procedural process as there is with EIA. At this stage the question is whether the plan or project is likely to have a significant effect on an SAC or SPA (either alone or in combination with other plans or projects). “Likelihood” is a low threshold – as summarised in People Over Wind). The practice has been for mitigation to be offered at this stage to allow the decision maker to conclude that the risk is not significant and therefore the more detailed second step of “appropriate assessment” is not required.

Appropriate Assessment (AA) is a detailed process to ascertain that an adverse effect on the integrity of the site can be ruled out. Where such an adverse effect on the site cannot be ruled out, and no alternative solutions can be identified, then the project can only then proceed if there are imperative reasons of over-riding public interest and if the necessary compensatory measures can be secured.

To pass the Appropriate Assessment stage, Natural England will need to be consulted and the test that a site allocation or project will have "no significant effect" upon protected sites "on the basis of objective information". To pass the Appropriate Assessment test, this has to be proved "beyond reasonable scientific doubt".

The consequences will be slower decision making both in terms of plan making but also decisions on individual sites. This will also be more expensive for all concerned in the process at a time when Local Authorities and Natural England lack expertise and resource to answer these complex questions.

Will leaving the European Union help ? Probably not in the short term as it will need the UK courts to take a different view to the European Courts, but in the longer term there are major questions still to be answered over what does the UK want to protect. Is this say habitats and species that are common in the UK, but are rare in Europe ?

As with all judgements of this nature, it is often the following judgements that allow better understanding and how future decision trends might follow. We will watch such matters with interest, and will be sure to update our clients appropriately in relation to their specific sites and interests.

Job Vacancies at Walsingham

We currently have no vacancies

No unsolicited enquires from agencies please.

30 Years in business 1984 to 2014

WP Logo
2014 saw Walsingham Planning celebrate 30 years in business as a town planning consultancy. We would like to thank all of our clients for their continued support and look forward to the next 30 years.