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

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Following Boris Johnson’s ‘Build Build Build’ speech on 30 June, this week some of the first of the promised changes to the English planning system were unveiled.

From 31 August, changes to permitted development will allow for upwards extensions to create additional accommodation, as well as permit for the widely suggested right to demolish vacant commercial buildings and replace them with homes.

But of potentially much greater significance are the most major changes to the use class system since it was created in 1987, which could have far-reaching consequences for our towns and cities.

Our planning professionals have outlined their thoughts on the changes and what this means for our planning system. To view the article, click here.

Carter Jonas in the news

On behalf of EcoWorld London, our planning team based in London has submitted a full planning application for the redevelopment of a key gateway site in Woking town centre.

The proposed residential-led, mixed-use scheme comprises of five buildings on parcels of land both north and south of Goldsworth Road, totalling 1.15 ha. The proposals will provide for 965 new homes, a range of flexible ground floor commercial uses (A1-A4, B1(a) and D1/D2), a replacement establishment for the existing Woking Railway Athletic Club and a new purpose-built homeless shelter for the York Road Project.

The scheme follows detailed pre-applications discussions with statutory and non-statutory consultees, including the Council, Design South East, Surrey County Council Highways and Network Rail, as well as neighbouring and existing on-site businesses. We led the client through the planning process, advising on challenging issues throughout, including tall buildings and associated considerations such as aviation, telecommunications, glare, wind and the impact on key views. Other issues advised on included the loss of on-site employment, site accessibility and re-location of existing tenants.

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

Katy Davis
07968 562702

Our Eastern team, based in Cambridge, has successfully promoted land at Knights Hill through the local plan process with the land first being identified as a direction for growth within the core strategy and later as an allocation for 600 dwellings and associated uses in the Site Allocations Development Plan Document.

Following the allocation of the land, our professionals prepared and submitted an outline planning application for the development of 600 dwellings, a local centre and associated development. Having received an officer recommendation of approval, the application was refused by the Council’s planning committee because of local concerns in respect of highway impact and the effect of the development on the Grade 1 scheduled ancient monument of Castle Rising Castle.

We were subsequently appointed as lead witness in the planning appeal which followed, with Partner Paul Belton acting as expert planning witness on the matter. The appeal was contested by Public Inquiry and was later called in by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State’s decision has confirmed that the development is acceptable, and permission has been granted.

Our client outlined:

“Carter Jonas provided an excellent witness. Paul Belton’s contribution to the landowners’ case at a recent inquiry in Kings Lynn was invaluable. He was meticulous in his preparation, and calm and clear under cross-examination. You could not ask for more.”

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

Paul Belton 
07796 148843

Our planning team has recently submitted an outline planning application for a new market town at Chalgrove Airfield to South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) on behalf of Homes England.



This follows over three years of preparatory work and discussions with SODC, the County Council, local residents and other stakeholders. If approved, the development will provide 3,000 new homes, two new primary schools, a new 1,500 student secondary school, a new town centre, employment land and approximately 30 hectares of public open space.


Alongside the preparation of the planning application, our planning team was also responsible for the submission of representations to support the site’s draft allocation within the emerging Local Plan for SODC. A decision on the planning application is expected to be taken following the adoption of the emerging Local Plan.


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


Nick Taylor
07584 681596

The next edition of Planning & Development bulletin will be published in August, however you can keep up-to-date with our latest firmwide developments on the News & Events section 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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