Tantallon Road, North Berwick

A comprehensive representation was made to the Main Issues Report which secured the site’s allocation in the Proposed Plan. Working in partnership with the Council, Planning Permission in Principle was secured for this proposal for 125 homes and two sites for Class 4 use in advance of the examination and adoption of the Local Development Plan (LDP).Through pre-application discussions with the Council, and providing the necessary technical information promptly to clarify impacts, a recommendation for approval was secured in three months.

  • Geddes produced the photomontages which clarified the proposal’s lack of impact on the setting of North Berwick Law
  • Geddes successfully project managed the Application with 14 supporting statements and 6 consultancies
  • The Application was submitted in September 2015 and with partnership working to meet consultation requirements, it was determined in November 2015
Indicative Development Framework for the site
View of the site from North Berwick Law
Section through the southern boundary
Photomontage confirming the site does not impact North Berwick Law

Ocean Drive, Leith

We secured Planning Permission at appeal for 57 affordable homes on this brownfield site. The site is allocated in the adopted Local Development Plan but was refused by the Council on air quality grounds.

Geddes co-ordinated a robust appeal submission to rebut the Council’s evidence. This demonstrated that air quality at the site meets relevant standards, and that the proposed mitigation will be effective in ensuring appropriate amenity for residents.

We also successfully challenged the Council’s evidence on financial contributions towards education, transport, and healthcare planning obligations, based on its Supplementary Guidance. This represented a financial saving to the client of over £193,000.

  • Geddes managed and co-ordinated the appeal process, including review and collation of technical evidence
  • A robust evidence-based appeal submission secured Planning Permission
  • Financial savings to the client of over £193,000 were secured through our evidence on planning obligations

Wellhead Farm, Murieston

Consent was granted at Planning Appeal for 280 homes on this greenfield site on the settlement edge of Livingstone.

Key issues were identified in the planning strategy right from the beginning – the sustainability of site; the impact on the local schools and whether a five year effective housing supply was being maintained at all times.

This meant that a comprehensive and up to date evidence base on all determining matters was available to rebut any assertions by the Council.

  • Sustainability of the site and proposal was known right from the start of the planning process
  • School impact assessment proved that catchment schools could accommodate pupils from the proposal
  • Housing land assessment confirmed that there was a substantial housing shortfall and more sites were required
Indicative Development Framework for the site
The site is located on the eastern edge of Murieston
Analysis of the evolution of development in the area
Modelling was used to appraise different landscape strategies

Battle of Pinkie (1547) Assessment

Geddes Consulting along with AOC Archaeology and Dr David Caldwell carried out one of the most comprehensive assessments in Scotland to clarify battle manoeuvres and establish the location of the fighting area for this Battle.

The combination of historical research especially about the period’s battle manoeuvres for both armies; 3D mapping and terrain modelling along with metal detecting resulted in new documentary evidence and new information on the recovery of battle related artefacts.

This made the case for the area of engagement for the Battle of Pinkie being to the south of the A1. Despite intensive archaeological research and fieldwork on areas highlighted as the core of the battle by Historic Environment Scotland, this up to date research indicates that the area to the north of the A1 is not the core of the Battle.

  • Establishing the main fighting area to the south of the A1 enables appropriate action to be adopted to manage the correct site of the battlefield
  • Establishing the location of the main fighting area enables appropriate impact assessments to be carried out across the battlefield
  • Determining the correct battle manoeuvres allows Historic Environment Scotland to update and correct its Battlefield Inventory
Mapping the battle manoeuvres
Extract from the Bodleian Roll depicting the Battle
New artefacts found as a result of the assessment
Modelling the battlefield to identify important views in today's landscape

Planning Appeals

Geddes Consulting has developed an evidence based approach in undertaking appeals. Whether as the appellant’s agent or as a specialist consultant, we forensically dissect the planning authority’s reasons for refusal. We will develop and present a case which rebuts the reasoning and evidence given. This approach has resulted in a high success rate at appeals.

  • Thorough research to justify case presented
  • Meticulous referencing of evidence to assist in the communication of the case
  • Continuous review process with project team to deliver clear written communication of the case

Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment

We undertake Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments at different levels to support planning applications.

All work is produced in line with current and best practice guidance, including IEMMA’s Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment. We agree our  methodology and viewpoint locations with the relevant Planning Authority.

We produce all our graphics in-house, including Zone of Theoretical Visibility (ZTV) mapping, viewpoint photography and photomontages. This ensures a continuous thinking and a confidence in the materials being used to carry out the assessments.

Our photomontages are catered towards the proposal at its current stage. For instance, we generally prepare simple block models of homes for Planning Permission in Principle applications and more detailed models for a Planning Permission application.

  • Demonstration of the acceptability of the proposals in terms of landscape and visual impact.
  • Informs the type and extent of landscape and visual mitigation required as part of the proposals.
  • Verifiable photomontage visualisations demonstrating how the proposals will be viewed within the existing landscape.
Assessing topography
Assessing landscape features
ZTV modelling is used to identify views
Assessing the site using photomontages

School Impact Assessment

Geddes has developed a model to assess impacts on primary and secondary schools for proposed residential developments. This modelling approach and its findings have been tested at appeal without challenge from any education authority.

Our model is used to assess the scale of the impact of new pupils on the existing catchment schools. It can be used to develop scenarios to reduce the scale of impact on a school and these measures can become planning obligations.

This approach is also used to clarify and verify a proposal’s education mitigation requirements including accommodation requirements and the cost of any financial contributions is in accord with the test in Circular 3/2012.

Our expertise is also used to challenge whether emerging supplementary guidance proposed education mitigation solutions are compliant with Circular 3/2012.

  • Our approach reduced the cost of the education planning obligation from £3.5M to less than £100,000 and resulted in the Council abandoning its approved supplementary guidance
  • Our impact assessment led to the Council agreeing that a new primary school was not required and an extension to the existing catchment school was adequate mitigation
  • Our modelling confirmed for several sites in West Lothian that there is education capacity to allow development to proceed
Assessing school catchments and roll projections
Assessing catchment areas
Assessing school capacities against allocated housing

The Geddes Way

Since its formation in 2007, the Directors of Geddes Consulting have developed a particular approach to undertaking work for our clients. This has become known as the ‘Geddes Way’ and underpins our service to our clients.

The ‘Geddes Way’ describes an evidence led approach to demonstrating compliance with planning policies. It highlights our wish to explain the significance of the impacts arising to a planning authority and allow evidence to be properly interrogated.

It also describes our systematic and consistent approach to undertaking our commissioned work, ensuring that the full range of issues has been properly and thoroughly dealt with.

It also indicates that through our QA system, the advice provided is from the company and not just an individual in the company.

  • Our up front approach is designed to identify and address project issues
  • Our approach adds value to commissioned work, drawing upon the expertise and experience of all our team
  • Our approach increases the prospects of a site being allocated or securing planning consent