Case Studies

A selection of our work.

1. Successful Planning Appeal for Hotel Redevelopment


The client had a failing hotel building and an unviable hotel business. The site required redevelopment, but was sensitively located on the coast in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty where development is strictly controlled.

The client proposed to redevelop the site to contemporary apartments offering a mix of tourist accommodation and residential.

Proposals to redevelop the hotel were locally very contentious resulting in the Planning Committee overturning their planning officer's recommendation of approval. The decision of refusal necessitated an appeal.


We provided detailed guidance to our client at pre-application stage, during the planning application and throughout the planning appeal process. We advised our client on a broad range of planning policy issues: 

* Sustainability
* Affordable housing
* Employment
* Tourism
* Design
* Impact on the landscape
* Neighbour amenity
* Drainage
* Ecology
* Visual impact on the South West Coast Path
* Planning obligations

We worked closely with our clients and their design team at all stages. We were rigorous in our pre-application discussions with the local planning authority and consultees and continued to have positive dialogue with all parties during the planning process.

We gathered together a team of well-regarded specialists, collaborating with them to produce a coherent set of technical documents that fully supported the formal planning application and the subsequent planning appeal.


Our good working relationship with our client, their design team and regular, positive dialogue with the local planning authority and consultees resulted in an officer recommendation of approval of the first planning application.

Detailed planning knowledge and experience enabled us to present a strong case at appeal. Our Planning Statements provided fully detailed justification for the proposals. We robustly put forward the economic, social and environmental benefits of the scheme.

The first scheme was allowed on appeal to the Planning Inspectorate and a second revised scheme also received planning permission.

  • “We have worked with Debbie Crowther for the past three years during an extremely complex and challenging planning process. At all times we were treated with the utmost flexibility and professionalism, she was always available to assist and responded to our raft of queries diligently and in good time.

    The advice provided was always straightforward, clear and concise. Without the aid of her undoubted knowledge of the planning process I doubt we would have achieved the successful outcome that we obtained.”
    — Rob Graham

2. Enforcement Notices Withdrawn and Certificate of Lawfulness Issued


Our client was issued with enforcement notices for unauthorised operational development and change of use of land.

An aggressive stance by the local planning authority and unwillingness to act on evidence that supported our client's position necessitated enforcement appeals.


We thoroughly examined the case and associated evidence and were able to demonstrate that the Council was time barred from taking action.

Representing our client, we challenged the Council at every step throughout the process.

We prepared enforcement appeals. Our knowledge of planning law, our tenacity and determination finally paid off.


Faced with overwhelming evidence in favour of our clients, the Council had no alternative but to withdraw the two enforcement notices.

We successfully gained a Certificate of Lawfulness for the client’s building and use of land. This ensured full resolution of the matter for our client.

  • “Debbie was instrumental in helping us obtain a Certificate of Lawfulness for our dwelling in our field. Her meticulousness and systematic approach, ensured that no stone was left unturned and her professional and sensitive nature guided us through the process from start to finish. We would highly recommend her.”
    — Liz & Ian Reddish

3. New Dwelling in a Highly Protected Landscape


The land our client wanted to build their new family dwelling on was outside the established settlement boundary of the village.

In addition, it was in the highly protected landscape of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Development within this area is strictly controlled.


We prepared a pre-application enquiry for the local planning authority detailing a robust justification for the proposals.

Our client was advised on the budget required for the technical documents that would be needed to support the application.

Using our experience and knowledge of the South Hams area, we were able to provide logical interpretations of the local planning policy that supported our client’s application.


Support was gained from the planning officer during the pre-application process, ensuring the formal application proceeded in a straightforward manner.

Our attention to detail throughout the application ensured that no onerous conditions were attached to the granted planning permission.

Planning permission was received by the client allowing him to build his new family dwelling and resettle in the village he had grown up in.

  • “I engaged with Debbie back in 2016 with a view to obtain planning permission for a three bedroom property in order that my young family and I could relocate to the village where I grew up. The property would also allow me to join our long standing family business.

    Debbie firstly carried out a pre application and then expertly put together a full planning application, which was very thankfully approved. The project proposed took all of Debbie’s expertise and knowledge as the site stood in an area of outstanding natural beauty and was outside of the settlement boundary of the village, furthermore the proposed property was of a contemporary timber frame design.

    Throughout the process none of these factors fazed Debbie’s approach as her unquestionable understanding of the planning process was plain to see. If only building the house was as straightforward as the planning process with Debbie...”
    — Simon Hornby