Charlie Hopkins
Planning and environmental consultant

Cases and campaigns

Latest

Sheep in front of a quarry equipment.

  • Brixton, near Plymouth, Devon—acting for Brixton Parish Council, opposed to a major residential development on a green field site outside the built up area boundary. Refused planning permission by South Hams DC, now listed for a public inquiry in October 2018. I shall be representing the PC at the inquiry having successfully obtained Rule 6 status. Issues include sustainability, traffic and transport impacts and housing land supply.
  • Trowbridge, Wilts—acting for the White Horse Alliance (WHA) an alliance of national, regional and local environmental organisations opposed to a large scale, mixed use urban extension to Trowbridge, including the Yarnbrook/West Ashton Relief Road. Major issues include potential impacts on the Bath and Bradford-on-Avon Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and on Bechstein's bats, a particularly rare and threatened European Species. Planning and legal matters include the operation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) and Appropriate Assessment. For more details see Wiltshire Council Planning Application Ref.No. 15/04736/OUT
  • Woodsford, Dorset—acting for the local Parish Council and FRAME, a local campaign group, opposed to a major extension of a sand and gravel quarry. Issues include adverse impact on a Grade 1 listed heritage asset, Woodsford Castle and noise impacts on nearby properties. Following a long running campaign of opposition, and the submission of expert evidence the application was refused by Dorset County Council in April 2018. For more details see Dorset County Council Planning Application Ref. No. WD/D/15/001057
  • Dorset Minerals Plan—due to go to an Examination-in Public summer 2018, I continue to act for both the local Parish Council and FRAME in opposing a number of proposed sites near Moreton and Woodsford.
  • Straitgate, Ottery St Mary, Devon—the long running planning application to develop Straitgate for sand and gravel extraction continues. For more information see Straigate Action Group.
  • Chippenham, Wilts—advising a local Parish Council objecting to the Chippenham Gateway development, a 1 million sq, ft. storage and distribution centre just off J17 of the M4 motorway. More details available via Wiltshire Council Planning Application Ref. No. 17/03417/OUT
  • Watergate/Lanherne, Cornwall—advising on opposition to the proposed expansion of a holiday park in an Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV). An application for permission to judicially review the decision of Cornwall Council to grant planning permission has now been submitted.
  • Ilford, Redbridge—advising and assisting Ilford NOISE, a group of local residents opposed to a major urban redevelopment scheme in the centre of Ilford. Main issues concern lack of affordable housing, sustainability traffic and transport. For more information see Ilford Noise. See also Guardian 23 March 2018.
  • St Dennis, Cornwall—advising and assisting the local branch of the Cornwall Waste Forum in relation to numerous complaints over the operation of the SUEZ Incinerator (the Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre–CERC). Matters include statutory nuisance, HGV traffic and operational problems.
  • Woodhall Spa, Lincs—acting for local residents opposed to a proposed retirement community on a green field site outside the built up area of the settlement. Issues include sustainability, the quality of design, housing need and heritage assets. For more details see East Lindsay DC planning application Ref. No. S/215/00195/18
  • Colyton, Devon—successfully opposed a proposal to extend a holiday/tourism development within an AONB. Issues included accessibility of new development, tourism policies, landscape impacts.
  • Broadclyst, Devon—enforcement of planning conditions arising from a pig fattening unit and adverse impacts on neighbouring properties.
  • Wrington, Somerset—acted for the Wrington Village Alliance (WVA) at a public inquiry following an appeal by Redcliffe Homes. Issues included the sustainability of the site (green field, outside the built up area), traffic and road safety, flooding of access roads and housing land supply. For more information see Planning Inspectorate Appeal Ref. APP/D0121/W/16/3166147
  • Sutton Mandeville, Wilts—advising on opposing new tourist accommodation in the Cranborne Chase and W Wilts AONB. Matters of concern included landscape impacts, traffic and transport issues, and sustainability. More information see Wilts Council planning application ref.no. 17/08365/FUL
  • Weymouth, Dorset—advising and assisting local residents who wished to redevelop a derelict house into a retrofitted passiv house. Although the Borough Council recommended refusal, the planning committee were persuaded to grant full planning permission. Issues raised included design and appearance, impact on residential amenity and sustainability of PV cladding. For more information see Weymouth and Portland BC web site, application Ref. No. WP/16/00806/FUL
  • Culm Valley Garden Village and emerging Mid-Devon Local Plan—advising and assisting local residents and Parish Council opposed to the proposed allocation of land east of Cullompton, Devon for up to 5,000 new homes on a green field site. Major concerns include flooding, infrastructure and housing need. For more information see Residents Against Cullompton Exploitation (RACE).
  • Snowdonia National Park—advising and assisting the Snowdonia Society (Cymdeithas Eryri) opposed to a proposal to construct a 5MW hydro-electric scheme near Betws y Coed. For more information see Snowdonia Soceity.
  • West Berkshire Waste and Mineral Plan—acting for local residents opposed to the proposed allocation of a site in the North Wessex Downs AONB for sand and gravel extraction. Matters of concern include Sustainability Appraisal (SA), Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) and Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA).

Earlier cases and campaigns

Representation at public inquiries

Campaigners from the White Horse Alliance, Westbury.

Photo: Campaigners against the Westbury bypass successfully defeated their road scheme in 2009. Photo by kind permission of the White Horse Alliance.

Advisory work at public inquiries

Old rusty wheelbarrow on an allotment

Photo: I've helped a number of allotment societies to resist development schemes.

Planning advisory work

Court of Appeal, High Court cases, and other litigation

Beach huts, Swanage Bay

Photo: Legal challenges can make a long-term difference. "R v Carrick District Council ex parte Shelley" was part of a long-running campaign to make water companies dispose of sewage more responsibly, making beaches and bathing waters cleaner and safer.