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Planning update

The “biggest shift in power in decades” awaits as Coalition Government confirms planning revolution  

Planning Services  Include:  Pre-acquisition or predisposal assessment of development potential Advice on the planning implications of scheme scope, design and programme Co-ordinating and leading discussions with local authorities and other stakeholders Advice on sustainability, affordable housing and Section 106 Agreements

For further information please contact Ian Blacker   

Ian Blacker, JRP’s Head of Planning Advisory Services, urges clients to adapt quickly to the emerging radical new planning regime, or else to fall foul of it… “Whether you believe the Government’s changes are a long overdue empowering of local communities or a naïve political experiment, the Queen ’s Speech makes it plain that they’re coming, with legislation within a year. Understanding what to anticipate and how respond to the new planning requirements will be key”. The Government will bring forward its Decentralisation and Localism Bill after the summer recess, the most radical planning reforms seen in 30 years. For a development industry still in a delicate state and subjected to continuous planning reform since 2000, adapting to these changes – and fast - is critical. Key changes: L o c a l P l a n s w i l l b e p r o d u c e d “bottom up ”, with residents delivering a shared vision for the form, scale, location and rate of delivery of all types of development. Planning decisions can be based on the views of a “significant majority ” of neighbours, and all “significant local projects ”   will have to be designed through a collaborative process that has involved the local neighbourhood. Applicants will be able to reach a voluntary agreement to financially compensate nearby householders for the impact on their amenity in return for their support.

Tel: 0208 567 6995 If the authority approves your scheme there will be a third party right of appeal; if it refuses it there is no automatic right of appeal for the applicant. What does this mean for you?

Further Links:

Planning Advisory Services

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The Government believes that local decisions are (nearly) always right with responsibility for plans and applications put firmly in the hands of residents. Whether you believe this to be democracy in action or state-sponsored bribery, the implication seems clear: You must factor into your proposals – in terms of programme, costs and outcome – not just explicit consideration of neighbourhood issues but accommodation of them too.   Developers will no longer be able to rely on councillors, the Planning Inspectorate or the Secretary of State to approve schemes which do not carry local support to the extent that they currently do. It ’s no longer about making your scheme “challenge proof”   but “majority friendly”. Active engagement of the local community – early, consistently and smartly - so that they fully grasp the trade-offs inherent in progressing a development scheme is no longer going to be central to a scheme ’s chance of success, it is going to be everything. Applicants will have to invest significantly more time and money explaining their proposals to residents and authorities, and be prepared to take on board changes sought by those residents. This makes the early identification, minimisation and management of risk in the planning process and establishing the correct planning strategy at the outset absolutely critical to the successful delivery of development projects. After the turn of the renewable energy consultant and the viability expert, the planning consultant is about to again become the developer’s best friend.

For further advice on any planning issue contact Ian on 0208 567 6995 or

© John Rowan & Partners LLP 2009. All rights reserved

For more information W: E: T: 0208 567 6995


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