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Expert Witness

OPEN is widely recognised as having the capability to provide expert witness services in respect of landscape and visual matters across the UK. Its Directors have given evidence at over 80 public inquiries and planning appeals, into a wide range of development proposals which include retail, housing, waste water, gas storage and energy related projects. In recent years it has developed particular expertise in respect of windfarms, and is regularly called by Senior Counsel, Advocates and Planning Consultants to prepare robust evidence to defend sustainable development through the appeal process.

The company has given evidence in respect of appeals across the UK, including in England, Wales and Scotland and is familiar with all of the different procedures that Inspectors and Reporters can adopt either side of the border, including Written Representation, Hearing and full Inquiry procedures. In respect of energy projects, the company has considerable experience of both Planning Application and S36 appeals.

Where written evidence requires additional support, OPEN has in house capability to produce accurate and high quality supporting information that includes creative use of GIS and visualisation analysis to present our client’s case in clear and robust ways.

As a consequence of its Inquiry experience, the Directors and staff at OPEN are frequently called upon to critically review other consultant’s EIA work, with a view to adopting it as evidence at an appeal process. This has given OPEN an invaluable insight into the potential pitfalls and risks that a poorly constructed EIA can bring. It also ensures that OPEN’s own LVIA work is constantly developing to achieve the highest standards in thorough analysis and presentation of the effects of a development.

This experience has also given OPEN the ability to provide high level advice to prospective clients about the likely risks attached to a particular project, in landscape and visual terms. Early advice on site selection and development layout can lead to a smoother transition through the planning process and help to avoid the need to end up in an appeal process.

The team at OPEN has extensive experience of presenting evidence at public enquiries and hearings, including in respect of the following cases:

Inquiry/ Hearing Procedures


  • Minerva plc East Dunbartonshire (LPI)
  • J Sainsbury Dumfries (Call-In)
  • InterGen Gas Storage Facility (Appeal)
  • Hallam Land East Lothian (LPI)
  • Greywalls Hotel (Appeal)
  • Tesco Kelso (Appeal)
  • J Dickie Homes East Lothian (LPI)
  • Blue Circle Dunbar East Lothian (LPI)
  • Wimpey Homes Wishaw (Appeal)
  • Bryant Homes Bridge of Earn (LPI)
  • Earl Mar SE Alloa (Appeal)
  • Bryant Homes Doonfoot Ayr (Appeal)
  • Shawford Park Stables (Appeal)
  • McDonalds Straiton Midlothian
  • Safeway Stores Ltd Aberdeen
  • Dunbar Housing Appeal
  • Dumfries High Street Hearing
  • Harvieston Farm Midlothian LPI
  • Moorfield Kilmarnock LPI
  • Meggetland Residential Appeal
  • East Renfrewshire LPI
  • East Renfrewshire LPI
  • Dalmunzie Road Residential Appeal
  • Byley Gas Storage Project
  • Shawfair LPI
  • Kinross Local Plan Inquiry
  • Cambusbarron Housing (PLI)
  • Kippendavie Housing (PLI)
  • White Hill Wind Farm Appeal
  • Braidfield Farm (PLI)
  • Holmston PLI
  • Hunterston Wind Farm Call-in Inquiry


  • Ravelrig, Balerno Hearing
  • Malleny Piggery Hearing
  • Kirkton of Skene (PLI)
  • Strachur WWTW
  • Invergordon WWTW
  • Angus Housing LPI
  • Allanbank, Lauder Call-in Inquiry
  • Friockheim Housing
  • Forfar Housing
  • Kirriemuir Housing
  • Calliachar Wind Farm Appeal
  • Cardrona Village Expansion Hearing
  • SQ1 Employment Land Hearing
  • Bonnytoun Road Housing Hearing
  • Clovenfords Housing Hearing
  • Hardengreen Housing, Dalkeith (PLI)
  • Mauricewood Housing, Penicuik (PLI)
  • Dalgety Bay Housing Appeal
  • Sheriffmuir Employment Site
  • Lynemouth Wind Farm Hearing
  • Dreghorn Housing
  • Prestonfield Golf Course Hearing
  • Drone Hill Wind Farm
  • Dunion Hill Wind Farm
  • Dennyloanhead Hearing
  • Reddingmuirhead Hearing
  • Calliachar Wind Farm 3 Appeal
  • Poplar Lane Wind Farm
  • Three Moors Wind Farm
  • Newlands Wind Farm
  • Carland Cross Wind Farm Repowering


  • Fewcott Wind Farm
  • Dorenell Wind Farm
  • Flood’s Ferry Wind Farm
  • Aikengall II – Wester Dod Wind Farm
  • Tom Nan Clach Wind Farm
  • Newlands Wind Turbine
  • Beck Burn Wind Farm
  • Harburnhead Wind Farm
  • Burnhead Wind Farm Hearing
  • Llandinam Repowering Wind Farm Session 1
  • Glenmorie Wind Farm
  • Black Law Windfarm Extension Phase 2
  • Llandinam Repowering Wind Farm Session 4
  • Limekiln Windfarm, Caithness
  • Spencerfield, Inverkeithing Housing
  • Cloich Wind Farm
  • Whitelee Extension Wind Farm
  • Carn Gorm Wind Farm
  • Inverclyde Wind Farm
  • Aikengall IIa Wind Farm

Written Representations Appeals

  • Carlesgill Wind Farm
  • Carlesgill Wind Farm
  • Malletsheugh Housing
  • Meikle Carewe Wind Farm
  • Broadmeadows Wind Farm
  • The Isles Anemometer Mast
  • Outh Muir Wind Farm
  • Camilty Plantation Wind Farm
  • Gilmerton Housing