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Planning – the Big Challenges and Opportunities

As we come up to the end of 2017, Planning TV looks ahead at how we could deal with some of the biggest challenges and opportunities in planning.

Housing has risen to the top of the political agenda, as well as the constant challenge of building the right kind of homes in the right places (which was the title of Government’s white paper that was released earlier in the year). There’s also the perennial issue of under capacity and skills in local planning authorities, which may change once increases in planning fees go up. The increased pressure on space is driving development on brownfield sites that may be potentially contaminated, leading to risks for developers and slowing the rate of housing delivery.

Challenges can also give way to opportunity. Greater density in cities affords new opportunities such as better public transport and more interesting mixes of land use. The way that people live in cities is changing, and so there is no shortage of problems that can be tackled in innovative ways. Alice Lester, Head of Planning at the London Borough of Brent, talks about how local authorities have innovated to build more council housing, whilst balancing housing demand and densification in her part of London.

This episode also features Margot Adele Orr Jones, Masterplanner at Atkins Acuity; and Jennifer Travers and Emma Broad from Dentons Environment and Real Estate teams.

Brought to you by Dentons and Citiesmode it draws on the knowledge of a core panel of experts from across the sector, supplemented with special guests hand picked for their particular expertise. From Greenbelt to Brownfield, national planning policy to local plan-making and everything in between, Dentons Planning TV provides a unique insight into the thoughts of those involved at the sharp end.

Planning TV: Planning for Healthy New Towns

In more recent times, there has been a refocus on health in planning and how the built environment can encourage better health outcomes. NHS England’s Healthy New Towns Programmes is looking at how the planning and design of communities could be done in 10 demonstrator sites across England, as well as rethinking how health and care services can be delivered. Associated with the programme was an international design competition to visualise how this could be done, which Citiesmode submitted the winning entry.

Philip Liu at Citiesmode talks about some of the ideas from the bid. Andre Pinto from Public Health England explains some of the challenges of delivering health and care services and what solutions that the built environment could provide. They are both joined by Jamie McKie from Dentons Planning and Public Law team.

Brought to you by Dentons and Citiesmode it draws on the knowledge of a core panel of experts from across the sector, supplemented with special guests hand picked for their particular expertise. From Greenbelt to Brownfield, national planning policy to local plan-making and everything in between, Dentons Planning TV provides a unique insight into the thoughts of those involved at the sharp end.

Permission to land?

We look at the latest tools in the planner’s toolbox, permission in principle and the Brownfield Register, and asks whether they will have the impact that the government hopes and expects. A cynic might ask whether we really need another route to obtaining planning permission – several already exist and the evidence suggests that they are being granted in increasing numbers. Is the sole intention behind the introduction of permission in principle (PiP) to expedite the delivery of more housing?

Read the full article

This article was first published in Property Law Journal (October 2017) and is also available at www.lawjournals.co.uk

Planning TV: Real Estate and Maximising Space

Brexit, political uncertainty and the growth of online shopping have contributed to uncertainty and change in Britain’s real estate market. On one hand, demand for warehousing and distribution is vastly outstripping supply, whilst retail spaces face the challenges of declining consumer spending and getting enough footfall. This uncertainty has meant that real estate investors have concentrated on maximising the value of the spaces or assets that they currently hold.

Abbey Wiggett from Dentons Real Estate teams talks through the creative opportunities for thinking outside the box, such as creating multiple uses out of space or selling the airspace or sub-soil space of existing buildings. Abbey is joined by Jamie McKie from Dentons Planning and Public Law Team, who discusses how these new developments can often be difficult to navigate through the planning process.

Brought to you by Dentons and Citiesmode it draws on the knowledge of a core panel of experts from across the sector, supplemented with special guests hand picked for their particular expertise. From Greenbelt to Brownfield, national planning policy to local plan-making and everything in between, Dentons Planning TV provides a unique insight into the thoughts of those involved at the sharp end.

Planning TV: Designing Liveable Cities

What are the ingredients for a liveable city? This episode of Planning TV discusses the range of aspects that planners need to look out for. From designing walkability to the socio-economic context of the site, planners also need to ensure that there is connectivity and integration built into their vision. Good project management is also key, but bringing in all public and private stakeholders to be included in design processes right from the beginning.

Joining us for this discussion are Gary Rice, Director at Interpolitan Ltd; Margot Orr, Global Masterplanning Lead at Atkins Acuity; and Jamie McKie from Dentons’ Planning and Public Law Team.

Dentons Planning TV is a new and innovative platform for engaging in and reacting to the latest developments in the dynamic world of planning. Its mission statement is simple: to provoke debate and facilitate engagement at all levels in the planning process.

Brought to you by Dentons and Citiesmode it draws on the knowledge of a core panel of experts from across the sector, supplemented with special guests hand picked for their particular expertise. From Greenbelt to Brownfield, national planning policy to local plan-making and everything in between, Dentons Planning TV provides a unique insight into the thoughts of those involved at the sharp end.

Planning TV: Planning and New Tech

New technologies such as 3D printing have the potential to change the way that planners, urban designers and architects work, by helping them to operate more efficiently and allowing them to show their ideas spatially.

Planning TV’s tech correspondent Kadine James is joined by Jamie McKie from Dentons’ Planning and Public Law Team to talk about new opportunities for public engagement in the planning process.

Kadine also went to Barking Riverside to meet Matthew Carpen, Executive Director of Barking Riverside and to look at the UK’s largest 3D printed masterplan, which shows how a new development is underway to bring over 10,000 new homes to a part of East London.

Dentons Planning TV is a new and innovative platform for engaging in and reacting to the latest developments in the dynamic world of planning. Its mission statement is simple: to provoke debate and facilitate engagement at all levels in the planning process.

Brought to you by Dentons and Citiesmode it draws on the knowledge of a core panel of experts from across the sector, supplemented with special guests hand picked for their particular expertise. From Greenbelt to Brownfield, national planning policy to local plan-making and everything in between, Dentons Planning TV provides a unique insight into the thoughts of those involved at the sharp end.

Planning TV: A Closer Look at Masterplanning in Canada Water


This episode of Planning TV discusses the principles of masterplanning, with an update on the Canada Water masterplan in southeast London.

Joining the discussion are Gary Rice, Director at Interpolitan Ltd; Margot Orr, Global Masterplanning Lead at Atkins Acuity; and Jamie McKie from Dentons’ Planning and Public Law Team.

Dentons Planning TV is a new and innovative platform for engaging in and reacting to the latest developments in the dynamic world of planning. Its mission statement is simple: to provoke debate and facilitate engagement at all levels in the planning process.

Brought to you by Dentons and Citiesmode it draws on the knowledge of a core panel of experts from across the sector, supplemented with special guests hand picked for their particular expertise. From Greenbelt to Brownfield, national planning policy to local plan-making and everything in between, Dentons Planning TV provides a unique insight into the thoughts of those involved at the sharp end.

Planning and the General Election: keys to long term success

With the General Election drawing ever closer, planning forms the battleground for a several controversial issues close to voters’ hearts, such as fracking and safeguarding the greenbelt. In particular, persistent difficulties in delivering new housing and infrastructure unite the parties in a common cause. More homes are needed, quickly, together with greater certainty around delivery of supporting infrastructure.

The extent to which the next Government succeeds in solving these problems will be determined by its appetite to grapple with a host of underlying difficulties. These include devising an effective model for land value capture, making the CPO process fit for purpose and addressing the chronic shortfall in local authority resourcing.

Despite obvious distractions elsewhere during this campaign, housing delivery still sits atop the planning agenda, with the manifestos all setting targets and the broad route needed to reach them. The Conservatives will point to steps already taken along this long and winding road – most recently through the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 and its predecessor the Housing and Planning Act 2016. Similarly, the Housing White Paper affords us the rare luxury of a detailed annex to the aspirations commonly found in (deliberately) loosely drafted manifesto commitments. Whilst less “radical” than badged, it establishes a framework of policy changes aimed at speeding up housing delivery, through measures such as diversifying the market, getting local plans in place and holding the public and private sectors to account for delivery.

Housing delivery at scale is recognised as being paramount. This requires a commitment to supporting the growth of new towns and garden communities – where the worlds of housing and infrastructure collide most spectacularly. The Liberal Democrats propose at least 10 new garden communities whilst Labour also underline the need to start on a “new generation” of new towns. The current system already supports that drive with the introduction of a potentially significant power in the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 allowing Regulations to facilitate the designation of areas as new towns and for development corporations to be established.

Whichever party emerges victorious on 8th June, there is a sense that the keys to long-term success are not entirely in their hands. We are witnessing a shift in emphasis towards the increased role of the public sector as an enabler of development. The extent to which they are willing and able to embrace that role will go a long way towards determining whether the same issues – and proposed fixes – will remain on the planning agenda in 2022.

Planning TV: What does the election mean for planning

In this episode Derek Stebbing from IPE, Michael Lowndes from Turley, and Jamie McKie from Dentons discuss a range of issues from the Housing White Paper, how Europe may sideline the legislative agenda for planning, the impact on local planning decisions (such as purdah), and a wish list for planning post-election.

Dentons Planning TV is a new and innovative platform for engaging in and reacting to the latest developments in the dynamic world of planning. Its mission statement is simple: to provoke debate and facilitate engagement at all levels in the planning process.

Brought to you by Dentons and Citiesmode it draws on the knowledge of a core panel of experts from across the sector, supplemented with special guests hand picked for their particular expertise. From Greenbelt to Brownfield, national planning policy to local plan-making and everything in between, Dentons Planning TV provides a unique insight into the thoughts of those involved at the sharp end.

Planning TV: The Housing White Paper and Speeding Up Delivery


In this episode of Planning TV, Sam Stafford, Strategic Land Director at Barratt Developments PLC joins Jamie McKie, Dentons and Hannah David, Director of Planning Futures to discuss the measures for speeding up housing delivery suggested in the Housing White Paper. Will the new policies have any effect on housing completions and are the right issues being identified?

Dentons Planning TV is a new and innovative platform for engaging in and reacting to the latest developments in the dynamic world of planning. Its mission statement is simple: to provoke debate and facilitate engagement at all levels in the planning process.

Brought to you by Dentons and We Plan London, and Alice Lester MBE from Brent Council, it draws on the knowledge of a core panel of experts from across the sector, supplemented with special guests hand picked for their particular expertise. From Greenbelt to Brownfield, national planning policy to local plan-making and everything in between, Dentons Planning TV provides a unique insight into the thoughts of those involved at the sharp end.