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

In the heat of last summer, the Environmental Audit Committee published a report warning that UK temperatures could regularly reach 38.5°C by the 2040s, and that 7,000 heat-related deaths could occur every year in the UK by 2050 if action is not taken.

As developers and planners, we are among the many who have the means to reduce the numerous and undeniably dangerous effects of rising temperatures.

There is no doubt that the industry has already made significant progress in flood prevention, energy efficiency and renewables. But of those many new schemes which admirably address today’s challenges, how many will withstand the tropical summers of the 2040s?

And where claims of mitigating the effects of climate change have been made, will these schemes still stand up to scrutiny? It has been suggested that developers may face legal claims for damages and costs where properties fail to perform given the extensive projections on global warming. Jonny Clayton, head of masterplanning at Carter Jonas explains the important role that masterplanning has in tackling increasing temperatures. “The first stage in protecting a proposed scheme from the very real dangers of increased temperatures is to gain a comprehensive technical understanding of a given site and the natural systems of the land in order to map constraints. In turn these constraints provide a basis for developing a landscape-led layout and massing of built form. In addition we need to include measures to prevent flooding, which are well understood and widely implemented, so developments can be planned to withstand the increased risk of subsidence caused by shrinking clay soils. Some new buildings will require deeper foundations, depending on the ground on which they stand and the proximity, size and species of adjacent trees.

“Approaches to open spaces, water courses and the distribution, density and height of buildings should be reviewed to take projected increases into account. Outside spaces, particularly those with water bodies, will be of increasing importance. This is not only for leisure purposes, but because of the benefit that trees and vegetation bring in helping to reduce the urban ‘heat island’ effect. Wildlife ponds within green space and water fountains in the public realm are great for cooling, but should run from local sources, such as harvested rainwater, wherever possible, and should have a subsequent use.”

With our lawns still testifying to the recent hot, dry summer, it is also worth considering alternatives to traditional lawns. “Ensure the design of surfaces can withstand drought, and take in to account the likelihood of more intense use, permeability, potential for causing dust and for soil erosion”, Clayton advises.

“Deciduous trees can provide shade in summer, while permitting solar gain in winter. Similarly, plants, shrubs and trees should be selected carefully. Beech trees in eastern and southern England have already experienced some dieback during recent droughts while species such as Corsican Pine are predicted to benefit most from climate change.”

Finally, Clayton warns, “It goes without saying that outside spaces lose their appeal if waste, its decay accelerated by the warmer climate, is not adequately managed – so appropriate storage and disposal of waste should feature in scheme layouts at an early stage with provision for ease of collection.”

Current policy on climate change is not as constructive as we might expect. There are concerns that, following Brexit and the repeal of the European Communities Act, the UK law will not enshrine all EU environmental regulation. An Environmental Principles and Governance Bill is proposed to “ensure core environmental principles remain central to government policy and decision-making”, but following initial consultation on the Bill, experts expressed concerns that future UK legislation would be light on environmental protection.

Additionally, concern was raised when the first draft of the new NPPF deleted a footnote in the 2012 version which set out the important role of planning in implementing the Climate Change Act 2008, though this was later rectified.

And furthermore, the number of Environment Agency staff working in planning and development control roles dropped by 40% between 2011 and 2014. A report from the ‘Adaptation Sub- Committee’ on climate change claimed that while advice continued to be given on major developments, specific advice was not being provided on ‘thousands’ of minor planning applications in the floodplain each year, which would have an ‘unknown’ cumulative impact.

We don’t usually think of planning as a career with power over life or death, but clearly the industry does have the opportunity to reduce the ill effects of climate change, and as the threats increase, this is perhaps the most important aspect of our work.

Johnny Clayton heads up the masterplanning team. He has a broad base of project experience encompassing conceptual design, masterplanning, urban design, detailed design and project implementation.

For further information, please contact:

Johnny Clayton
Head of masterplanning
020 7518 3226

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 brought an 11-acre (4.5 hectare) site to market in early 2019, inviting residential development proposals from developers and promoters. The site, located on Mill Lane in Barrow, near Bury St Edmunds, falls within the West Suffolk Planning Authority and representations were been made to the Local Authority as part of a recent call for sites.

Carter Jonas’ eastern development team, following an extremely competitive bidding process, which saw nine proposals being submitted on the Informal Tender deadline, agreed terms and has now exchanged contracts within only five weeks of Heads of Terms being concluded with a National Land Promoter. Carter Jonas also successfully secured the planning and masterplanning instruction, and we will work with the promoter when progressing the site through the planning process for residential development purposes over the next few years.

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

Mathew Forster
Partner, Planning & Development
01223 326540

Carter Jonas’ northern team, based in Leeds, currently have three separate residential development sites under offer to Mulgrave Homes. The team also successfully gained planning consent for each.

The three sites consist of:

Land at Markington, Harrogate: Acting for a local landowner, local strategic land promoter, KCS, was selected by our team. KCS then employed our planning specialists, who went on to successfully secure planning permission for 25 dwellings. Then, our development specialists offered the site on the market through an open market tender process, which was won by Mulgrave Homes.

Land at Whinney Lane, Harrogate: We secured the allocation of a residential development site for a local landowner within Harrogate’s Draft Local Plan. Our northern development specialists then marketed the opportunity and selected a development partner. Again, Mulgrave Homes were victorious in the bid process and retained Carter Jonas who were successful in securing planning permission for 40 dwellings.

Land at The Mount School, York: Acting for The Mount School, our northern development specialists offered a former playing field, which was surplus to requirements, to the market. Mulgrave Homes/Helmsley were selected and again employed our planning experts, who successfully secured planning permission for 12 executive houses.

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

John Webster

Partner, Planning & Development
0113 203 1063

On behalf of our client, the London planning team have secured planning permission for the redevelopment of an office building located on Commercial Street, Tower Hamlets. The site will be redeveloped, providing modern, high quality office space together with the introduction of café/restaurant uses at ground floor and basement level.

Commercial Street, London

Whilst none of the buildings on the site are listed, there are a number of listed buildings in the local area, including the adjoining property. The property also sits in the Elder Street Conservation Area, with the Brick Lane and Fournier Street Conservation Area opposite.

Working closely with the design team and heritage consultant, we were able to justify that the redevelopment would enhance the setting of the designated heritage assets and provide high quality office space in the area.

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

Nick Taylor
Partner, Planning & Development
0207 016 0733

The Granite Partnership, represented by Carter Jonas, has agreed the sale of the final phase of its land interests in Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, to ensure the delivery of an additional 91 dwellings on a former brownfield depot site off Appleford Road.

The significant development opportunity benefits from outline planning permission for 91 new residential dwellings, and covers an area of approximately 7.28 acres (2.95 hectares). Contracts have been exchanged with Linden Homes following a comprehensive marketing exercise and sales negotiation coordinated by Carter Jonas.

The property is the second phase of a larger development scheme, for which Carter Jonas originally secured outline planning permission for 195 dwellings in April 2013.

Having acted for The Granite Partnership in the sale of the initial phase to Persimmon Homes in 2015, Carter Jonas subsequently submitted a revised outline planning application for the remainder of the site. This included establishing a new access direct off Appleford Road and negotiating revised planning obligations.

Chris Wilmshurst, development consultant at Carter Jonas, said: “This is another example of where we have used our expertise to invigorate new life into an otherwise redundant property, and in doing so assist in providing a viable location for much needed new homes in Oxfordshire. The sale itself was complex and required consideration of a full range of factors, including service connections, linkages and planning/legal obligations to ensure that the revised planning permission could be implemented successfully. It is an excellent demonstration of the work undertaken by our planning and development team, working hand in hand together with our landowning clients from the inception of planning all the way through to a successful land disposal.”

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

Chris Wilmshurst
Consultant, Planning & Development
01865 297703

The next edition of Planning & Development bulletin will be published in August 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.

I can provide advice on:

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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