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

Dovecot Farm, Haddington

We secured Planning Permission in Principle for 113 homes on this site at appeal, contrary to the approved development plan. A subsequent further phase of 80 homes was then approved by the Council, again contrary to the approved development plan.

A key issue in delivering both phases was the need for all members of the project team were required to demonstrate compliance with requirements set out in planning policies and supplementary guidance.

All technical work was reviewed by Geddes to ensure that a fully co-ordinated submission was made to the Council. Demonstrating that the Council was not maintaining a five year effective housing land supply at all times and sustainability credentials of the location and the proposal were important considerations.

  • Geddes managed and co-ordinated the application and appeal process
  • An evidenced based submission demonstrated compliance with planning policies
  • The Council could not undermine the evidence submitted
Phase 1 Masterplan and Phase 2 Indicative Development Framework
The site is located on the southwest edge of Haddington
Recently completed new homes
New homes marking the southwest approach to Haddington

Consortium working – Barrhead South SDO

Geddes was jointly appointed by a consortium comprising Miller Homes; Wallace Land Investments; Avant Homes and the Council to prepare an indicative masterplan for a Strategic Development Opportunity (SDO). This allocated site can accommodate over 1,000 homes including a new railway station funded under City Deal.

This indicative masterplan was guided by a set of site wide surveys and assessments which identified development constraints and necessary mitigation measures. The process also clarified a consistent set of planning obligations for the entire SDO site.

This work was then drafted into supplementary guidance to assist in the delivery of an integrated proposal and approved by the Council.

The approach adopted received a Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning in 2015 in the Delivering in Partnership category.

  • Geddes managed this partnership approach over a five year period
  • Planning applications were lodged for Planning Permission with planning obligations known in advance
  • Approach allowed common infrastructure constraints to be resolved collectively rather than individually
Barrhead South SDO Masterplan
The site lies adjacent to the southern edge of Barrhead
View of the site, looking towards Barrhead
Receiving the Delivering in Partnership award at the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning 2015

Working with Landowners – Claish Farm

We have worked with the landowners of this 250 acre farm over a six year period. An important consideration in securing future development on the farm is that development needed to be delivered in a way that respected the ongoing farming and business interests of the owners.

We promoted part of the farm (over 60 acres) to the Local Development Plan in the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. Our case and approach successfully secured the allocation of the largest mixed use development site in the National Park.

We have identified and secured potential house builders to develop parts of the allocated site, including the sale of a site for 50 homes, unconditionally and without planning consent.

We continue to seek development opportunities to develop the remainder of the site.

  • Long term commitment to deliver income to the land owner in a slow market
  • Introduce development opportunity to existing network of contacts
  • Provide continuity of expertise to incoming developers as well as landowners
The site sits within the landscape context of the Trossachs

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

Environmental Impact Assessment

We undertake environmental impact assessments from requesting a Screening Opinion to project managing the multi-disciplinary project team appointed to assess the impacts.

All work is produced to a standard template, allowing the completed Environmental Assessment to read as a single document.

We review all technical work produced to ensure that the mitigation required can be delivered post planning approval. This review process also ensures that the impact assessments accord with an evolving proposal and that the proposal also has incorporated all mitigation measures.

Projects assessed include large scale urban expansions, windfarms and smaller developments in sensitive locations.

  • Fully co-ordinated Environmental Assessment delivered
  • Our process ensures all mitigation measures can be delivered
  • Mitigation measures are the evidence adopted to justify compliance with planning policy
Assessing the landscape and visual impact before and after planting has established
Our EIAs provide a complete assessment package
A number of assessments are prepared for the site
Assessing the site and its context at Halbeath