Bringing you thought provoking opinion articles from our experts and the recent news from within our Planning & Development division.

Featured article from the new edition of Planning & Development Insite

'Generation rent' - the term often given to those born in the 80s and 90s - refers not only to housing status but to a broader demographic change.

The millennial cohort, generally speaking, seeks out services in preference to ownership – Netflix over DVDs, Uber over car ownership, even Girl Meets Dress and Borrow My Doggy over the complexities of wardrobe and pet maintenance.

So it is no surprise that property preferences are similarly affected and that consequently a new form of property is appealing so strongly to 'generation rent'.

The Resolution Foundation predicts that as few as 47% of millennials will own a home at 45. The lack of affordability, particularly in London is certainly a contributing factor but so too is the fact that the employment market is increasingly fluid and consequently 'generation rent' is more mobile, and with 20 being the new 30 the desire to settle down is often postponed. Security is another factor: 81% of potential first-time buyers surveyed by Halifax stated that due to interest rate rises, falling house price and job insecurity, homeownership was not for them.

Co-living is both a pragmatic response to changing circumstances but also a lifestyle choice. It provides apartments large enough for a millennial and their modest provisions, alongside extensive communal facilities which require no maintenance on the part of the tenant, and frequently in a location that would be otherwise unaffordable.

Company Noiascape exists to meet the needs of those who prefer to rent and in doing so provides both flexibility and freedom. The name says it all: NOIA means ‘new thinking, new approach and new direction’, while ‘SCAPE’ means space, landscape, communities and places.

James Teatum, one of the two brothers who created Noiascape, describes how the unique property-tenure-cum-service was arrived at: ‘As architects, Tom and I had bought properties over 10 years and kept hold of them, keeping in close contact with the tenants and gaining a better understanding of their needs and preferences. It was our tenants who suggested we set up more co-living spaces. When we looked at the stat, the evidence was clear: 3.5 million people are predicted to be renting in London in 7 years’ time according to the GLA. We also carried out our own research - analytical and anecdotal - and discovered that tenants typically spend only 17% of their time in their own spaces, preferring instead to socialise outside their own properties.

‘This led us to develop a model of co-living which prioritised communal areas: not just spaces, but active spaces where the social side of co-living could flourish.

‘So our properties offer everything that is needed in a home (comfort, space, security) and in a landlord (trust, communication, flexibility) alongside a social infrastructure.

‘Our belief is that your home stretches beyond your front door, and so the Noiascape community is not limited to individual co-living schemes, but to the wider network: those living in one Noiascape scheme are more than welcome in the communal space of another.’

The N unit scheme at Askew Road, west London best illustrates Noiascape’s unique approach to active co-living. On completion, Noiascape used the shared space to host a rotating series of pop-up events including a reggae record shop, demonstrations by boxing and luxury stationary companies and a sculpture workshop.

Uniting these diverse events is the fact that they were locally-sourced, free to host and free to attend: the intention being that they created links between the new and existing communities.

And the success was tangible: lasting relationships flourished, the activities were widely popular and the sculptor gained 45 commissions - more than he had gained locally in 18 years of living on Askew Road.

Future plans for High Street House, a 15 unit scheme in Shepherd’s Bush, include an exhibition by students of the London Fashion School and cookery demonstrations and supper clubs with local chefs.

So how does it add up? ‘We bring our understanding of space from our architecture background and our commercial understanding from many years as landlords’, James explains. ‘By offering a range of unit sizes, we attract a range of rents, but none are extortionate. We value and have achieved tenant loyalty, and this accounts for a lot financially.’

While Noiascape is indisputably forward thinking both in its philosophy and its actions, its lack of dependence on the virtual world is very apparent: it markets properties through estate agents, delivers leaflets by hand, and speaks to people face to face. A refreshingly ‘IRL’ approach is surely the real social networking.

This article was first published in Planning and Development Insite, Spring 2019 click here to download the issue.

Carter Jonas in the news

Carter Jonas’ Planning & Development and Commercial teams in Cambridge have been supporting Babergh District Council in developing a vision and marketing strategy for a key site in the centre of Sudbury, Suffolk. Two years of work has resulted in a new development prospectus for the Hamilton Road Quarter of Sudbury. The prospectus sets out a high level vision and marketing strategy for securing a development partner to help bring forward a key area in the centre of Sudbury on land owned by the district council.  
The approach taken to prepare the prospectus and marketing plan was based on a strong partnership model. With Carter Jonas facilitating various workshops, site visits and engagement exercises with local council members and officers along with landowners and businesses. The prospectus proposes a mixed-use development to replace and relocate the existing bus station to the rear of the Borehamgate Shopping Centre (which Carter Jonas also manage on behalf of the council). The new development will include residential, commercial and leisure uses (including a potential cinema operator).    

The Carter Jonas commercial team in Cambridge are now working closely with the council to market the site with a number of potential development partners and are working alongside council officers in its efforts to secure a lead development partner to help deliver the councils’ vision.

Carter Jonas continues to advise the Babergh district council on a range of sites and projects in and around Sudbury and to facilitate bringing forward a range of exciting new development opportunities.

For further information, please contact a member of our team:

Glen Richardson
Associate Partner, Planning & Development
01223 326804

On behalf of the administrators of Angelic Interiors Ltd, the London Planning team provided expert witness support throughout a joint appeal procedure against the requirements sought by London Borough of Tower Hamlets to re-build in facsimile three buildings in the Coldharbour conservation area as they stood immediately prior to their demolition in July 2016.

The requirements of the enforcement notices on the actions of Angelic would have required the administrators, having recently confirmed ownership of the site following a High Court order secured by Jones Day, to re build three properties in facsimile despite being in a state of disrepair immediately prior to the demolition; had not been occupied for many years and had serious structural issues. The Council’s case was clear; no planning application had been submitted or was in preparation for the redevelopment of the site and therefore no public benefit could be weighted in the planning balance.

Having been engaged following the demolition of the buildings, Carter Jonas, on behalf of the administrators, successfully formulated an argument which proved that:

a.    the little historic significance of the buildings in a conservation area; and
b.    the conservation area had been extended in recent years to include the properties with little justification by the Council.

In the context of paragraph 196 of the NPPF, the Inspector agreed that the loss of the buildings caused less than substantial harm, and very much at the bottom end of the scale.

Carter Jonas alongside architects Turner Studios Ltd then went on to demonstrate that there would be no constraints that would prevent a housing scheme of significantly greater density than three units from being successful on the site. The public benefits, albeit speculative at this stage would be of greater value to the Council and local area than the requirements of the enforcement notices to rebuild the buildings in facsimile.

Whilst it is important that the loss of historic buildings should not be seen to be condoned, in this case the central question focussed on the need to rebuild the dwellings when they were of such low historic significance. The decision enshrines that the value in what may come in place of that which is lost is capable of contributing to the planning balance.

For further information, please contact a member of our team:

David Churchill
Partner, Planning & Development
020 7518 3348

Charlotte Hutchison
Associate, Planning & Development
020 7529 1517

On behalf of the landowners and their promoter CEG, Carter Jonas are pleased to confirm completion of the first sale of development land in the proposed new 950 home community at North Abingdon in Oxfordshire.

Following a competitive tender, David Wilson Homes has acquired a 31.15 acre (12.20 hectare) parcel of land on which it will be developing 425 new homes at the western end of the scheme.  As part of its development, David Wilson Homes will also be delivering primary infrastructure to enable sales of sites in the new local centre for a pub, care home and retail units and further residential parcels in due course.

Having advised one of the landowners on collaboration with two neighbouring landowners and negotiated a promotion agreement with CEG, Carter Jonas obtained outline planning permission for the development scheme site in December 2017 from the Vale of White Horse District Council completing the S106 Agreement just before the introduction of CIL.

The overall scheme comprises residential development of up to 900 new dwellings and 50 retirement homes together with a local centre, including a new primary school, community hub, care homes, children's nursery, public house/restaurant, retail and other services, public open space, recreation areas and sports pitches (including sports pavilion and multi-use games area) play areas, acoustic bund with fencing, and associated infrastructure including roads, sewers and attenuation ponds.

James Bainbridge, Head of Planning & Development at Carter Jonas, commented: “We are delighted to have been involved from the outset in promoting the site at North Abingdon for release from the Greenbelt and obtaining planning permission for our clients. With that in place, there was strong interest from the housebuilding industry for three initial parcels of residential development land that we offered for sale, and it became clear relatively early on that all three parcels would be acquired by a single purchaser. This first sale of land for development has also opened the way for further sales of commercial land within the local centre.”

For further information, please contact a member of our team:

James Bainbridge
01865 404437

On behalf of the landowner and land promoter, Gladman, Carter Jonas has concluded the marketing of the 53 acre site in Ripon, North Yorkshire.

The site benefits from outline planning permission for up to 390 dwellings.

The land is located on the south western edge of the Cathedral City of Ripon, within the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Outline planning was granted on 13th June 2018, following appeal, for the development of up to 390 dwellings including up to 40% affordable housing provision. The site generated a great deal of interest during the marketing campaign with bids invited via an informal tender process.

A number of bids were received, a shortlisting and interview process followed before the selection of a preferred bidder. Heads of terms for the sale have now been agreed with the preferred party subject to the receipt of reserved matters planning consent.

 Ripon, North Yorkshire

For further information, please contact a member of our team:

Daniel Sherwood
Associate Partner
0113 203 1067

The next edition of Planning and Development Bulletin will be published in February 2019, however you can keep up-to-date with our latest firm wide developments on the News & Events of our website.

@ James Bainbridge
James Bainbridge
01865 404437 email me about James
@ Nick Taylor
Nick Taylor 
Partner - Head of Planning
020 7016 0733 email me about Nick Taylor
@ Colin Brown
Colin Brown
Partner - Head of Planning and Development Division
01223 326826 email me about Colin
@ Steven Sensecall
Steven Sensecall
Partner - Head of Planning in the Southern Region
01865 297705 email me about Steven
@ John Webster
John Webster
Partner - Head of Planning and Development North
0113 203 1063 email me about John

James is Chairman of Carter Jonas.  Formerly Head of the Planning & Development Division, James advises clients on proposed development projects throughout the south of England with nearly 30 years of experience in residential and mixed use development.  This includes site identification, project management of planning and development strategies, valuation and viability appraisals, marketing and sale of development opportunities. He has specific expertise in option, promotion and other development agreements, joint ventures and landowner equalisation agreements. James has been involved in sites ranging from new settlements to city centre regeneration and smaller provincial and rural schemes, and also provides expert witness and independent expert valuation services for dispute resolution.

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Nick is a chartered town planner and development surveyor with over 25 years' experience, gained across the residential, commercial, retail and industrial sectors for corporate, institutional and private landowners and developers. He has worked at CBRE and Drivers Jonas Deloitte. His professional experience is in three main sectors – Strategic Land / Projects, Retail / Mixed-Use and Central London. Strategic Projects / Land involves the promotion of land for commercial and residential development for landowners and developers. Retail / Mixed-Use schemes are a blend of edge of centre and town centre mixed-use schemes with food stores and other uses, often residential. This sector includes regeneration and waterside schemes. Central London focuses on projects from Canary Wharf to Hammersmith and Camden down to Wandsworth, Southwark and Lambeth.

When he isn’t working, Nick can be found playing golf (increasingly badly) and spending time re-stocking and emptying his wine cellar to indulge his passion for wine.

Colin is a Partner and was appointed Head of Planning & Development Division in November 2020, he is based out of our Cambridge office.  He has over 25 years’ experience of planning consultancy and has a broad sphere of work.  He acts for a wide range of private, institutional and developer clients and has worked on significant planning applications and appeals.

He regularly instructs Counsel, and has appeared at a number of Local Plan examinations and in Section 78 and other appeals where he has often given evidence.  He carries out much land promotion work and has a strong track record of delivering planning consents taking projects through their entire process from site identification to construction on site.  

Away from work, Colin is Chairman of the Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry and of the Cambridge branch of networking group, Interact.  He is also Chairman of the Dining Rights Committee at the Hawks’ Club, a sporting club in the City for Cambridge University sportsmen. He is a regular, if poor golfer, a keen cyclist and a committed, but somewhat less dangerous skier than he once was.

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Steven is Partner and Head of Planning Southern Region and is based in our Oxford office.

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John is Head of the Leeds office and the Planning & Development Team North. John advises clients on proposed development projects throughout the North of England.  He has over 30 years’ experience in residential and commercial development acting for private, corporate, institutional, charity and public sector clients.

This includes site identification, project management of planning and development strategies, valuation and viability appraisals, marketing and sale of development opportunities.

John has specific expertise in Options, Promotional Agreements, Joint Ventures and Conditional Contracts, acting mainly for landowners.  John has been involved in projects such as new settlements, to city centre regeneration, provincial sites, large commercial developments and site sales.

The Development Agency team are currently instructed on 6,500 acres in 150 locations across the North West, Yorkshire and the North East.

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