Planning and Expert Witness

Patrick Moss, Director, is a chartered planner and transport planner with 25 years post qualification experience. He has successfully guided schemes through all stages of the planning process including appeals  and local plan examinations. Moss Naylor Young offer a comprehensive service tailored to the client’s needs and budget, we look to simplify the process for clients and for ourselves and the applicant to remain in control of the process, thus avoiding unnecessary objections and difficulties.

The consultants at Moss Naylor Young have substantial experience of transport planning at all levels, from preparing a transport statement or responding to a transport related objection for small developments to involvement with large scale highway and public transport projects. Our involvement with inland waterways has led to working with innovative schemes for the transport of passengers and goods by water, whilst we have also worked with developers, bus companies and local authorities on service level agreements and similar.

In addition we also guide projects through the development plan process and similar processes, for example getting developments included in the local plan as policy emerges and also making representations when a clients aspirations are affected by infrastructure projects such as HS2.

Moss Naylor Young provide expert witness services for clients at public inquiries and informal hearings: these typically cover, but are not limited to, planning appeals, local plan examinations in public, and CPO appeals. We have represented public, private and voluntary sector at over 70 different hearings and inquiries.

On occasion, where clients require such a service, we have also acted as advocate: this service is generally more useful to private individuals and charities where finance to make a case is limited, but has on one occasion been used by Somerset County Council.  Moss Naylor Young can also work with the clients advocate of choice, or recommend a solicitor to act as advocate.

Frome Town Football Club Solar Stand (2015)

Frome Town Football Club play in the Southern League and have to maintain and improve their ground to continue playing at this level and to be eligible for promotion to the Football Conference. The club arrived at an innovative scheme with Freco, a local green energy cooperative, to provide a canopy over part of the standing spectator area, funded by solar panels on top of the canopy – thus the same structure could harvest the sun and protect spectators from the rain!

Moss Naylor Young handled the planning application – a good example of simplifying an application that could easily have been complicated. By focusing on precisely the elements that needed permission (the presence of the canopy) and removing any suggestion that the capacity of the ground was increased not only was the application straightforward but Moss Naylor Young were able to agree with Mendip that the application did not create floorspace and thus attracted a fraction of the normal application fee saving the football club thousands of pounds.

Swansea Canal (2015)

Three separate studies of the Swansea Canal have been undertaken by Moss Naylor Young, each related to different lengths and with different purposes. All were to enlarge on the findings of an earlier report for which Patrick Moss was the project director.

The Feasibility report into restoring the canal from Clydach to Trebanos looked at engineering and planning aspects of creating a navigable canal through a council depot that blocked the route, and utilising the clear watercourse (including three locks) either side of this obstacle. The proposals were costed and future potential use of the waterway outlined.

The report on the line of the canal from Trebanos to Pontadawe Town Centre sought to include the route in the emerging Neath Port Talbot Local Plan. This length of canal had been infilled and is obstructed by a new road although there is sufficient height for a bridge to be constructed. The report highlighted the benefits of protecting the line for future reinstatement and made the relevant policy arguments for this. Once completed the length will connect the Clydach-Trebanos stretch identified above with another existing stretch of the Swansea canal.

The third report identified an entirely new line for the Swansea Canal from Clydach to Swansea City Centre, reconnecting the canal with the historic docks and allowing a through route to the Neath and Tennant Canal to be created: this in turn would create a single cruising waterway some 30 miles long connecting the Neath, Swansea and their respective valleys with potentially large tourism and regeneration benefits. This new line is for inclusion in the emerging City of Swansea Local Plan.

The work with the Swansea Canal Society is also an example of Moss Naylor Young’s innovative “Pay As You Go” approach available to clients, whereby rather than commissioning a single expensive piece of work the society is purchasing Moss Naylor Young’s services on an as-and-when basis as need arises.

Chilcompton Village Design Statement (2015)

Under the Localism Bill parish councils can promote their own development aspirations with Design Statements and  more recently Neighbourhood Plans. Design Statements are easier to prepare although they carry less weight: the parish of Chilcompton had undertaken the basic background work for their Village Design Statement but were struggling to get the document to a stage where it could become supplementary planning guidance and thus sought assistance from Moss Naylor Young. We took the information gathered and developed the statement in accordance with the requirements for such documents whilst maintaining the integrity of the parish council’s aspirations for the document. In this way Moss Naylor Young added the resource the council needed whilst maintaining parish ownership of the document and minimising the fees incurred. This approach is common to the Moss Naylor Young ethos of helping community groups.

Lapal Canal (2015)

The Lapal Canal (originally the Dudley no.2 Canal Selly Oak extension) is extant but dry through Selly Oak Park. Development of the adjacent Battery Park site means it will soon be possible to reconnect the length through the park to the Worcester and Birmingham Canal and thus the main canal network. The Lapal Canal Trust appointed Moss Naylor Young to dispose of planning conditions related to flood risk assessment and drainage issues when the canal is restored and rewatered.

Chard Regeneration Framework (2014)

Moss Naylor Young were part of a consultant team that prepared the regeneration framework for Chard, Somerset. This study helped to frame the local development plan proposals to expand the town towards it’s natural limits, with an increase of 1750 dwellings and associated employment, retail and education. The scheme is supported by transport infrastructure that matches the phasing of the development. Patrick Moss was then asked to defend the proposals at public inquiry when developers advanced proposals that were not part of the regeneration plan. The defence of the proposals was successful and the developers’ proposals were rejected by the planning inspectorate in 2015.