‘Step into my office’ – with Jo Hanslip

Hello 2017!

I start the New Year with a spring in my step and high hopes for the year ahead.

2016 has been an interesting and unexpected year. We no doubt will have an array of surprises and new challenges to look forward to in 2017 and beyond!

Sitting here, coffee in hand and working through my emails. Literally 100s! Christmas good tidings, New Year best wishes and a mix of planning predictions, developments and suggestions from my team here at Urbanissta.

Feeling enthused and positive I’ve decided to take the input from my team and deliver our predictions for planning in 2017. It’s a useful thinking exercise and a great way to see new opportunities.

Brexit has brought uncertainties but given the highly documented need for housing, we hope that the market and need for housing will continue. We look optimistically to 2017 and beyond. The implications for environment legislation will be important to our sector and proposals for transitional arrangements will be monitored with interest.

I’ve decided to touch on National Planning and Local Planning predictions. This time next year I will reflect back on 2017 and see if we predicted correctly.

So, here we go…

National Planning

  • Housing and Planning Act – new regulations bringing the Act into force, will be published during 2017
  • The publication of the Housing White Paper which was anticipated in December and delayed until January could be delayed until February. Whilst a bold approach to housing supply is needed, we don’t anticipate that the government’s approach to green belt release will change
  • CIL review anticipated
  • Following the call for evidence for basement developments and the planning system, in November 2016, the national policy could be amended to include specific regulations on the amount of basement development
  • The legal wrangles over Heathrow expansion will continue
  • NPPF is likely to be amended and might include a new definition for affordable housing
  • Public land for the housing programme 2015 to 2020: handbook – we expect this handbook to establish aims and objectives of the public land for housing programme and to indicate how progress will be monitored
  • Successful use of “permission in principle” after it was established in the Housing and Planning Act 2016

Local Planning Predictions 2017:

  • We await with interest to see which Local Authority Local Plans will be found unsound – such as St Albans, MSDC Local Plans
  • Will 22 Local authorities go into special measures as they do not have an adopted plan in place?
  • LPEG advice on a standard methodology for OAN to be applied – we watch with interest
  • Increase in appeals for sites outside of Neighbourhood Plan areas (following Secretary of State decision in Newick)
  • Estate renewal programme to get underway after additional funding added to the pot (read more here)
  • New skyscrapers to be built in London, and review of the London Plan protected views policies

We all love to hear success stories and I enjoy seeing new developments – good or bad. Admiring the good and learning from the bad.

I am looking forwards to the results of the London Planning Awards on February 27th 2017 (read the event summary here).

The London Planning Awards is organised in partnership with the Mayor of London, London First, RTPI, Planning Officers Society and London Councils, to recognise and reward best practice in planning in the capital. The Awards are launched in the summer of each year with judging in the autumn. The awards ceremony will take place at City Hall and is attended by over 300 senior representatives from the boroughs (officers and members), City Hall, developers, planners and community groups.

Here are some of the success stories found in the 2016/17 Shortlist:

Best Community Led Project

  • Hoxton Hall
  • Peckham Coal Line
  • Quintin and Woodlands Neighbourhood Plan
  • Vaudeville Court

Best Conceptual Project

  • 21st Century Mansion Blocks
  • Autonomous Vehicles and Future Placemaking
  • Chapter Lewisham, Thurston Road
  • West End Public Realm
  • Wind Modelling of the Eastern Cluster

Best Heritage Led Project

  • The Deptford Project
  • Devonshire House
  • Hoxton Hall
  • Proactive use of the s.215 notices to secure significant improvements to the Historic Environment
  • Thrale Almshouses

Best New Place to Live

  • Abbeville Apartments
  • Corner House
  • Fitzrovia
  • The Eagle
  • Erith Park Phase 1
  • Kew Bridge
  • London City Island
  • Plaistow Hospital
  • PLACE/Ladywell

Other awards:

  • Best New Place to Work
  • Best New Public Space
  • Best Planning Authority
  • Best Project Five Years On
  • Best Town Centre Project

During the Christmas break, I had time to reflect on Urbanissta’s achievements throughout 2016…

Thankfully, we have had a successful year. We have secured planning permission or a favourable resolution for several major developments within Maidstone, Mid Sussex, Thurrock, Basildon, Babergh – totalling almost 600 dwellings within the calendar year!

I have to say a big thank you to the team here at Urbanissta. Their expertise, dedication and professional approach have been very much appreciated. I look forward to another successful year working together.

It’s time for another coffee. So it’s a goodbye 2016 and a hello 2017!

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