tel: 01234 867135
email: info@arplanning.co.uk

welcome

Armstrong Rigg Planning is an independent town planning consultancy formed in 2012. Whilst our company is new our core team has been established for more than 15 years and has a reputation for providing a comprehensive, competitive and client focussed planning service to a wide range of clients in both the public and private sectors.

We advise on all types of development and offer a service that spans all aspects of planning, including strategy direction, planning law, planning applications and appeals, public consultation, land supply, environmental impact assessment, project management, S106/Community Infrastructure Levy negotiation and the promotion of sites through the development plan process.

about us

Armstrong Rigg Planning was formed in August 2012 by Geoff Armstrong and Lynsey Rigg who established, and managed, the residential planning team at DPP for more than 15 years. They bring with them 30 years and 17 years of experience, respectively, gained in a variety of posts in both the public and private sectors during which they have advised a wide range of clients across the South East, South West and East of England on the means by which they can maximise the value of land and buildings through the planning system.

Geoff and Lynsey are supported by a team of planners with a wide range of experience in all types of planning, together with administrative support.

At ARP we advise on all types of development including retail, housing, office and leisure, together with large mixed use developments working for a range of landowners, developers and private companies. We have particular experience in the residential sector, having long established relationships with a number of national housebulders, including Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Homes, Bellway Homes and Persimmon Homes, as well as more regionally focussed housebuilders, including C&M Homes, Hopkins Homes and MJH Homes.

We are currently advising our clients on a wide range of projects, including residential schemes of between 10 - 1,500 dwellings for which we are seeking to secure viable and implementable planning permissions and/or allocations via the planning application, appeal and development plan processes.

meet the team

Geoff Armstrong
Director
Lynsey Rigg
Director
Roger Welchman
Principal Planner
Emily Warner
Senior Planner
David Jones
Planner
John Scally
Assistant Planner
Fiona Ridley
Office Manager
Geoff Armstrong
Director
Telephone: 01234 867135
E-Mail: geoff.armstrong@arplanning.co.uk
Geoff’s background:

Geoff has 30 years’ experience working in both the private and public sectors. His career began in London where he worked for the London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Southwark and the London Docklands Development Corporation, following which he moved to Runnymede Borough Council.

Geoff moved to DPP in 1997 becoming an Equity Partner in 2007. During his time at DPP he established the company’s residential team (along with Lynsey Rigg) and was responsible for residential matters within the company.

Geoff often performs the role of planning witness at public inquiries, working closely with a number of barristers on a range of appeals. More recently he has been spending an increasing amount of time negotiating and liaising with parish, town councils and Neighbourhood Forums, as well as attending/organising public consultation events, to the benefit of a number of projects.

Time permitting; he enjoys spending time with his family and on the golf course.

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Lynsey Rigg
Director
Telephone: 01234 867135
E-Mail: lynsey.rigg@arplanning.co.uk
Lynsey’s background:

Lynsey has 17 years of experience gained in a number of posts in the public and private sectors, including the Government Office for London, CgMs Consulting and most recently, DPP. Prior to establishing ARP in August 2012 Lynsey spent 15 years working alongside Geoff Armstrong managing the residential planning team at DPP.

Over her career Lynsey has advised a wide range of clients across the South East, South West and East of England on all types of development including retail, housing, office and education, together with large mixed use developments. She has particular experience in dealing with the planning issues raised by residential and major development projects, including housing land supply, and in advising on and achieving the release of difficult sites such as greenfield, Green Belt and employment sites, through the application and appeal routes, via enabling and very special circumstance arguments.

Lynsey regularly delivers seminars and presentations to clients and colleagues on changes in the planning system and their implications for the development industry.

Outside work Lynsey enjoys running; whether this be half marathons and 10k’s or simply chasing her children round the local park.

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Roger Welchman
Principal Planner
Telephone: 01234 867135
E-Mail: roger.welchman@arplanning.co.uk
Roger’s background:

Roger is a chartered town planner with over 16 years of experience in both the public and private sector. In his most recent public sector post Roger worked for Bristol City Council in their City Centre and Harbourside team and managed a number of major mixed use cases where there was a need to balance regeneration aims with sensitive design and heritage issues. Before joining ARP Roger spent over 6 years working for DPP in their retail and commercial team and was responsible for successfully progressing a number of major and contentious supermarket led schemes.

At ARP Roger works on retail, mixed use and residential schemes. This includes progressing planning applications, appeals, appraisals and development plan representations.

Away from work Roger enjoys spending time with his family and coaching his son’s football team.

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Emily Warner
Senior Planner
Telephone: 01234 867135
E-Mail: emily.warner@arplanning.co.uk
Emily's background:

Emily joined the team in June 2014 as a Senior Planner. Her work includes site promotion and development plan representations, preparing and coordinating planning applications for residential and mixed use schemes of varying scales and advising clients on the development potential of sites.

Emily holds a Degree and Masters in Planning from Oxford Brookes University and was elected as a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 2008. She has over 10 years of experience in private practice having previously worked for a planning consultancy in Oxford where she was involved in a wide range of projects including residential developments, industrial and commercial proposals, healthcare and educational facilities. She also designed and delivered seminars to Oxford Brookes University architecture students on the intricacies of the planning system.

Outside of work Emily spends her spare time running half marathons (very slowly!), battling with the weeds at her allotment and socialising with friends and family.

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David Jones
Planner
Telephone: 01234 867135
Telephone (direct) : 01234 867134
Telephone (mobile) : 07803 501209
E-Mail: david.jones@arplanning.co.uk
David’s background:

David joined the team in August 2015 as a Planner and works on a wide range of residential and commercial projects. His work involves conducting site appraisals and policy research, preparing pre-application advice requests and planning applications and attending public consultation events. Prior to joining ARP, David worked as a Planner for Adams Hendry Consulting Ltd in Winchester, where he was involved in a wide range of projects including residential schemes and large-scale infrastructure developments.

David holds a Masters in Town Planning from the University of Brighton and a degree from the University of Sheffield. He is currently a licentiate member of the RTPI and is working towards full membership.

Outside of the office, David enjoys running and generally keeping fit, spending time with friends and family and exploring the great outdoors.

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John Scally
Assistant Planner
Telephone: 01234 867135
E-Mail: john.scally@arplanning.co.uk
John’s background:

John joined in the team in January 2016 and assists the rest of the team on a range of residential projects. John holds a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Ulster, Jordanstown and is currently a Licentiate member of the RTPI. Previously John worked as an Assistant Planner for Matrix Planning in Belfast and was involved with major retail developments before moving to Canada to work on Community and Public Art projects.

On his spare time John likes to socialise with friends, travel and watch live music.

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Fiona Ridley
Office Manager
Telephone: 01234 867135
E-Mail: fiona.ridley@arplanning.co.uk
Fiona’s background:

Fiona is our Office Manager. She provides administrative support to the planning team and is the first point of contact for our clients and callers. Her administrative skills are an essential part of the smooth running of the office, reflecting the experience she has built up from previous appointments with a house builder, Local Education Authority, the NHS and planning consultancy, DPP.

Outside of the office Fiona enjoys spending time with friends and family and is a keen amateur musician.

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our range of services include:

  • Advertising Consents
  • Certificates of Lawful Proposed/Existing Use
  • Changes of Use
  • Development Plan Representations/ Strategic Land Promotion
  • Discharge or Variation of Conditions
  • Enforcement Cases
  • Environmental Impact Assessments
  • Listed Building & Conservation Area Consents
  • Neighbourhood Planning
  • Permitted Development Applications (Office to residential)
  • Planning Appraisals
  • Planning Applications
  • Planning Appeals/ Expert Witness
  • Planning Strategies
  • Planning Application Audits
  • Planning Policy Documents
  • Planning Briefs
  • Project Management
  • Public Consultation
  • Retail assessments
  • S.106/ Community Infrastructure Levy Negotiation

high density residential

Site: Gemini House, Borehamwood
Client: Taylor Wimpey

Full planning permission was secured in late 2012 for the redevelopment of this industrial site located within Borehamwood’s defined employment area for a high density scheme comprising 172 homes.

The provision of a detailed marketing case demonstrating that the site no longer met the needs of the commercial market allied to a design of exemplar quality that would act as a catalyst for the Council’s planned regeneration of the Elstree Way Corridor on the edge of which the site sat, was such that the Council were convinced that the loss of the site was justified and would bring with it a number of material benefits, not least the redevelopment of unattractive and underutilised urban land and the provision of much needed new housing, including affordable housing. ARP continues to work with Taylor Wimpey to provide strategic advice on other development opportunities within the Elstree Way Corridor, which is now the subject of an Area Action Plan.

high density residential

Site: 170 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford
Client: Gleeson Developments Ltd

ARP was successful in securing full planning permission under officers’ delegated powers for the residential redevelopment of a former commercial site within the urban area of Guildford.

The existing warehouse unit had been vacant for many years and the site had fallen into disrepair to the detriment of the surrounding area. Detailed evidence was submitted to the Council to demonstrate that a retained employment use had been fully explored without any viable alternative being forthcoming, largely due to the building’s poor quality and the availability of better located modern premises. The case was successfully made that the proposal was in line with national planning guidance which advises Local Authorities to take a flexible approach in allowing the loss of employment sites, particularly where there is an identified need for additional housing, which is the case in Guildford Borough.

ARP worked closely with the Council’s Officers and Amasia Architects to propose a high quality, contemporary residential development for this prominent, brownfield site. The scheme comprises 68 flats with a fully policy compliant provision of 24 affordable units which will make a valuable contribution to local housing needs. Given the site’s highly sustainable location close to the railway station and the provision of car club spaces, a parking provision below the Council’s maximum standards was found acceptable.

residential conversations

Site: Bluecoats, Hertford
Client: Bluecoats Joint Venture

Working alongside a team of consultants, ARP advised Bluecoats Joint Venture on the planning strategy to secure full planning permission and listed building consent for the change of use from office use to luxury residential apartments of two Grade II listed buildings within the grounds of the former Christ’s Hospital School (better known as Bluecoats School) in Hertford.

In response to difficulties in securing commercial tenants for the two buildings, which form part of a group of eight Grade II Listed former school dormitory buildings, the successful proposals sought their conversion to provide a total of twelve apartments, comprising a mix of one, two and three beds. The proposals also involved alterations to the external facades of the buildings and internal alterations to facilitate the proposed change of use. Working closely with the Council’s Conservation and Heritage officers it was possible to agree those works to ensure that a viable balance was struck between preserving and enhancing the historic character of the buildings and providing scope for sufficient levels of internal living space and privacy for each proposed dwelling.

As a site in existing employment use, policies presumed against the change of use of the buildings to non-employment uses. However, in view of a demonstrable lack of demand from the market it was possible to successfully demonstrate to the Council that the improvements that would result to the buildings, their setting and special architectural and historic interest, were sufficient to outweigh that policy presumption and that the change of use was justified.

ARP are retained by Bluecoats Joint Venture to advise on the strategy for achieving further residential development at the site.

residential led mixed use

Site: Former RAF Daws Hill, Wycombe
Client: Taylor Wimpey

ARP secured planning permission for the redevelopment of the former RAF Daws Hill site to provide 441 new homes, together with a local centre, community facility, primary school and employment area in December 2013. The success follows more than 2 years of pre-application discussion and public consultation.

The form, content and programme for the preparation and submission of the application, including consultation exercise, was agreed with Wycombe District Council as part of a Planning Performance Agreement and followed the preparation and adoption of a development brief, used to afford the site a policy status and maximise its development potential in response to local opposition.

The key stakeholder was the Daws Hill Neighbourhood Forum (DHNF) which was established in response to Taylor Wimpey acquiring the site. The actions of this group have been well documented in the planning press as they were the first Neighbourhood Forum to challenge a Local Authority’s decision on their preferred neighbourhood plan boundary (they wanted to include RAF Daws Hill within their forum boundary but the council rejected this as they considered that it did not form part of their local area) This matter remains unresolved with further legal challenges on going in the High Court.

The planning committee welcomed the application and the consultation process undertaken by Taylor Wimpey.

residential led mixed use

Site: Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Church Crookham, Fleet
Client: Taylor Wimpey

Planning permission was secured in June 2011 for a mixed use development at the former Queen Elizabeth Barracks for 872 new homes supported by community uses, a new local centre, a school site, employment land and an area of SANGs. The success followed several failed applications and a failed appeal despite the allocation of this derelict, brownfield site for housing development in the 2002 Local Plan.

ARP’s role was to co-ordinate the whole planning process, including public consultation, S106 negotiations and liaison with key stakeholders. The partnership approach has meant that all parties involved see the result as a success. This model of working is something that ARP advocates and can offer all clients.

Work has continued on this site involving the co-ordination and discharge of all conditions, working with the parish council to deliver their new community facilities plus on going applications to re-plan certain aspects of the scheme.

In March 2014 we successfully we successfully secured permission following an appeal for the development of part of the permitted employment land for an additional 100 dwellings.

green belt residential development

Site: Oaklands College, St Albans Campus, St Albans
Client: Taylor Wimpey & Oaklands College

ARP alongside the College’s advisors, VRG Planning, have prepared and submitted a full planning application for 348 new homes on Green Belt land as enabling for the redevelopment of the College’s St Albans Campus to provide new and refurbished buildings. The application seeks to demonstrate that the redevelopment of the campus is ‘appropriate’ so far as it would ensure no greater harm to the Green Belt would result, and the ‘inappropriate’ housing element is justified on the grounds of very special circumstances.

An application was submitted following an extensive pre-application consultation and public engagement exercise. In order to guarantee frequent access and meaningful dialogue with officers so that the tight programme for submission was met, a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) was agreed between the applicants and St Albans City & District Council (SACDC). In view of the competition for, and scrutiny of, housing development proposals in St Albans an Environmental Statement was volunteered to ensure the minimise the prospects of a legal challenge.

The proposals follow on from the approval in 2009 by the Secretary of State of a previous planning application for a new College hub building of circa 32,000m2 and enabling development of 62 dwellings, but which could not be implemented due to the withdrawal of Government grant funding.

commercial development

Site: Fyfield Research & Business Park, Chipping Ongar
Client: Fyfield Joint Venture

Following an appeal, full planning permission was secured for the redevelopment and expansion of this large existing commercial site within the Essex Green Belt. The factors that led to the very special circumstances sufficient to justify the proposed increase in built form included the high quality design approach, which minimised as far as possible impact on the openness of the Green Belt, and the fact that the proposals were needed in order to maintain the viability of the site’s commercial use.

greenfield residential

Site: Moreton Road, Buckingham
Client: Bellway Homes Ltd and Bellcross Co. Ltd

Full planning permission was secured at appeal for 80 houses on greenfield land in Buckingham. Contrary to the approach adopted by the Council, which relied upon a disaggregated approach to housing supply, the Inspector agreed with us that in the context of the National Planning Policy Framework and its emphasis on significantly boosting the supply of housing, the Council’s supply of deliverable housing sites should be considered on a District Wide basis. So far as there existed a shortfall in the supply when considered on this basis and the benefits of the development were not outweighed by any adverse impacts, the Inspector allowed the appeal.

The Council subsequently sought to the challenge the decision on the grounds that inadequate weight had been given to the spatial strategy of the South East Plan. However, the South East Plan was shortly thereafter revoked and the Council had little option but to grant a re-submitted application and to withdraw their legal challenge.

greenfield residential

Site: Moreton Road, Buckingham
Client: Bellway Homes Ltd and Bellcross Co. Ltd

ARP have secured planning permission for a third phase of residential development on greenfield land at the edge of this market town.

Despite being excluded from an emerging Neighbourhood Plan and actively opposed by the Town Council ARP were able to satisfy the District Council that they needed to act now to address their existing housing shortfall. By proactively managing the application ARP were able to get the application reported to planning committee before the Neighbourhood Plan had advanced to a stage when weight could be afforded it in the decision making process.

The District Council accepted that all outstanding matters on the application had been satisfactorily resolved, that the housing proposals for up to 130 dwellings represented a deliverable scheme of housing which would boost their 5 year supply and duly approved the application at local level.

greenfield residential

Site: Wickham Market, Suffolk
Client: Hopkins Homes

ARP has recently secured planning permission for 65 new homes on a greenfield site on the edge of the village of Wickham Market in Suffolk on behalf of Hopkins Homes.

The site is located outside the settlement boundary, however, due to a shortage of housing supply within the Suffolk Coastal District, which does not have a 5 year supply of housing land and the site’s identification within the SHLAA as a potential housing site, the principle of development was considered acceptable by officers.

Public consultation played a large part in securing planning permission, with a number of group and one-to-one meetings being held with residents adjacent to the site boundary. Alongside this meetings with the Parish Council and adjacent Parish Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council also helped to shape the scheme. A public exhibition provided a large number of residents with the opportunity to comment on the proposals.

ARP conducted a competing sites assessment in support of the application, which considered the deliverability of all potential housing sites within and around Wickham Market. It was found from this that the application site was the most suitable to contribute towards the housing shortage within the District and proved a key addition to the submission and applications consideration.

On-going discussions with the planning officer and statutory consultees continued to impact upon the scheme and ensured that upon going to committee an appropriate and suitable development was proposed for the edge of the village. The application was subsequently approved by members at planning committee in April 2013.

greenfield residential

Site: Saxmundham, Suffolk
Client: Hopkins Homes

In March 2015 ARP was successful in securing full planning permission on behalf of Hopkins Homes for 170 houses (including 56 affordable units) on a greenfield site outside the physical limits of Saxmundham.

Development on the site would normally be contrary to adopted planning policy, however, due to a shortage of housing land supply within Suffolk Coastal District, the site’s identification within the Strategic Housing Land Assessment Availability (SHLAA) as being suitable for residential development and the Core Strategy’s recognition that Saxmundham is a sustainable Market Town capable of accommodating significant housing growth, the principle of development on the site was considered acceptable by Officers. In support of the application, ARP produced a competing sites assessment which considered the deliverability of all sites in and around Saxmundham and demonstrated that the application site was the next most appropriate to come forward to accommodate a proportion of the identified housing need for the town.

The approved scheme evolved following an extensive programme of pre-application discussions and a public exhibition was also held for local residents to view the proposal.

residential and healthcare

Site: Former Inland Revenue Sorting Office, Kew
Client: Taylor Wimpey

In December 2014, after a year of negotiation, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Planning Committee resolved to grant planning permission for the redevelopment of the site for a high density, residential led mixed use development comprising 170 flats and a doctor’s surgery.

The brownfield site had fallen into disrepair having been vacant for many years and had been the subject of two highly contentious planning applications both refused by the LPA. Accordingly, the strategy was to ensure that support was forthcoming from all key stakeholders such as Planning and Highways Officers, Transport for London, The Kew Society, the local community and residents associations, Ward Councillors and staff/patients at the North Road GP surgery.

contact us

We’re always happy to have visitors so feel free to drop in, or call one of the team on 01234 867135
 
The Exchange
Colworth Science Park
Sharnbrook
Bedford
MK44 1LQ   (click on the postcode to view map)
 
tel: 01234 867135
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