Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council: Dan Wilden is pleased to have secured planning permission for the conversion of an existing building and a shepherds hut into two units of holiday accommodation at a farm near Overton in Basingstoke and Deane Borough. The site lies in the North Wessex Downs National Landscape (the new name for areas of outstanding natural beauty) and adjacent to the Wayfarer’s Walk long distance public footpath.

The application process took around 11 months in total from the submission to decision with most of that delay due to issues around nitrate neutrality – the site being located within the catchment of The Solent. Early negotiations centred around the impact on the AoNB with concerns raised by the Council’s Landscape Officer. With some amendments to the proposed conversion and to the landscape setting, we were able to convince the Council that the proposal would not have a harmful impact on the protected landscape and would have a beneficial impact including for biodiversity. After a lot of back and forth, the nitrate issue was finally resolved using a combination of removing the immediate site from agriculture and off-site credits.