West Oxfordshire District Council
This 4.23 acre site consisted of underused agricultural land on the edge of Enstone village in West Oxfordshire.
Rosconn Strategic Land were selected to promote the land parcel by a large family that owned it, post a meeting with our team and following advice from their land agent. The decision was made on their alignment with Rosconn’s core beliefs of being Trusted, Transparent and Innovative. We felt very lucky to have been chosen to work in partnership with a wonderful family who wanted a helping hand along the land promotion journey and to maximise their financial return.
Having resolved a number of technical issues, all seemed well, until our Planning Director, Dan Hatcher was informed by the planning officer that the application was going to be refused.
It’s fair to say, we were in shock as discussions had appeared to be travelling smoothly until that juncture.
At all stages our landowner clients were kept calm and relaxed, reassured by Rosconn’s dedicated team that we would succeed. We took the planning refusal in our stride and immediately started reviewing the decision notice in preparation for the planning appeal. Selection of the team for the Public Inquiry was made easy by having long-standing relationships with high calibre consultants with vast experience in expert witness work.
A new addition to the team this time around was Thea Osmund-Smith from Number 5 Chambers, as our Planning Barrister. The tenacity and innovation that Thea brought to the project over the next few months was excellent. This assisted Rosconn to focus on the key issue of heritage and landscape harm. These two highly subjective matters were dealt with by Andy Williams of Define handling landscape, and Gail Stoten of Pegasus shouldering heritage harm. Both dealt with these matters in their usual intellectually dexterous manner.
This enabled our planning witness Peter Frampton, of Framptons Planning, to articulate the relevant weighting of both landscape and heritage harm when juxtaposed to the acute housing need in the area. Peter, who enjoys working with Rosconn’s Planning Team, always comes into his own when in this arena and makes the Planning Inspector comfortable in their decision making, which is crucially important.
The Rosconn team go the extra mile on each and every occasion.
A four day Planning Inquiry took place next, which is a massive operation, but one that our team are very well versed in. John Breese is Rosconn’s link man for the entire team when we’re in a planning appeal, taking the strain like a true Rosconnite. We felt that the appeal had gone well but now had to wait some six weeks for the planning decision to be issued, and were delighted when the appeal was allowed. With planning permission granted for 29 houses in a popular Oxfordshire village, all was well in the world of Rosconn. Roll forward 5 weeks and a legal challenge had been issued by West Oxfordshire District Council against the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government.
Put simply, a legal challenge against the Inspector for having allegedly erred in his decision making by not giving sufficient weight to an emerging Local Plan.. Once again, Rosconn stood tall and defended the case, as second claimant to the challenge. Our planning litigator for this case was Emily Williams of Addleshaw Goddard, who is vastly experienced in matters of The High Court and once again, Thea acted for us as barrister. The case was won and the planning challenge quashed, at long last leaving in place a planning permission. The land parcel was then marketed and purchased by a private housebuilder, Grevayne Properties. These houses will provide much needed market and affordable housing to the area. Our landowner clients were over the moon with the result and can certainly testify to the fact that Rosconn go the extra mile on each and every occasion.