Well judging by how haphazardly I solve problems in Linux, you can tell I develop on Windows for my day job!
The site’s permalinks weren’t working when I switched them to a different format. The
.htaccess file was formatted correctly and accessible but it still wouldn’t work. Then I discovered the offending block resided in
/etc/apache2/apache2.conf and required the change of the AllowOverride option on the www directly below as such:
<Directory /var/www/> Options Indexes FollowSymLinks AllowOverride All Require all granted </Directory>
And there you have it, now everything is magically fixed!