Charlie Hopkins
Planning and environmental consultant

Cases and campaigns

Latest

Sheep in front of a quarry equipment.

  • Sidmouth, Devon—East Devon District Council has now refused permission for an application to develop a business park at Two Bridges Road, Sidford. I advised objectors and assisted in drafting objections opposed to this major development in an AONB. Even though the site was allocated for development in the new Local Plan, the application conflicted with a broad swathe of plan strategies and policies.
  • Wrington, North Somerset—acting for local residents, opposed to a proposal to build up to 56 houses on a greenfield site, outside the village boundary in a highly unsustainable location. Adverse impacts on landscape, ecology and amenity.
  • Corsham, Wilts.—acting for local residents' association, the Pickwick Association, opposed to a series of major residential developments with potential adverse impacts of the Bath and Bradford Bats Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
  • Clyro, Powys—proposal to construct two poultry units housing up to 23,500 hens. Advising local residents on objections. Issues include potential water pollution of the River Wye SAC, fugitive ammonia emissions, and adverse visual impacts.
  • Winchester, Hants.—advising the owner of a trout fishery on the River Itchen on matters relating to discharge consents, abstraction licences, negotiating with the EA.
  • Wallingford, Oxon.—acting for local residents opposed to a proposal by the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) to build up to 91 houses in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Despite the Officer recommending approval of the scheme on the grounds of exceptional circumstances, the Planning Committee of South Oxfordshire District Council were persuaded to refuse the application in June 2016.
  • Woodbury Salterton, Devon—acting for local residents opposed to a revised application to build up to 60 houses and a retail unit on a greenfield site. Following refusal by the local authority on the grounds of lack of sustainability, an appeal was lodged, but eventually withdrawn in April 2016. (Read the earlier decision notice [PDF format].)
  • Bideford, Devon—advising a local group for a public inquiry into the refusal by North Devon District Council to allow a major housing development to proceed. Issues involve biodiversity losses and offsetting. Inquiry held in June 2016, Inspector's decision awaited.
  • Dorset Minerals Plan—advising local residents in the Woodsford-Moreton area on the proposed inclusion of sites for limestone quarrying in the emerging Dorset Minerals Plan. Also opposing planning applications for the extension of existing quarries in the area.
  • Devon Minerals Plan—advising local residents for the Examination in Public (EiP) which took place in May 2016. Also opposing planning applications by Aggregate Industries to quarry for sand and gravel at Straitgate Farm and extend the life of the processing plant at Blackhill in the AONB. For further information see Strait Gate Action Group.
  • Clyst St Mary, Exeter—acting for Bishops Clyst Parish Council and Save Clyst St Mary residents' group opposed to a proposal for mixed use development at Winslade Park by Friends Life involving Listed Building Consents and the construction of up to 217 dwellings. The applications were refused in May 2016. Reasons for refusal include adverse impacts on landscape and character, adverse impacts on the social cohesion of the village, failure to mitigate against residential impacts on the nearby SACs, as well as heritage issues and flood risk. For further information see Save Clyst St Mary.
  • Barnstaple, Devon—advising a local group on a series of planning applications which, in total amount to over 440 dwellings on greenfield sites in Pilton, North Devon. For further information see Pilton Residents' Group.
  • Dartington, Devon—advising a local group, Don't Bury Dartington, on the disposal of land owned by the Dartington Trust to a housing association for development. A grant of planning permission by South Hams District Council has been challenged in the High Court, a full hearing due in July 2016. For more information see Don't Bury Dartington.
  • Thorncombe, West Dorset—advising a local group opposed to a solar farm adjacent to the West Dorset AONB. The main issues involved adverse impacts on the landscape and the AONB. The planning application was refused by West Dorset District Council in April 2016. For more information see Stop Sadborowsolar

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.