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 the 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 consider overall layout and massing. In addition to including measures to prevent flooding, which are well understood and widely implemented, 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 features - will be of increasing importance, not only for leisure purposes but because of the benefit that trees and vegetation bring in helping to reduce the urban ‘heat island’ effect. Water features such as ponds and fountains 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 account the likelihood of more intense use, permeability, potential for causing dust and for soil erosion’, Jonny 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, Jonny 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.’

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. It was even suggested by Home Secretary Sajid Javid, that in a case of a no-deal Brexit, a series of pro-business emergency measures might including suspending existing environmental regulations.

Elsewhere 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% 2011 and 2014. A report of the Adaptation Sub-Committee of the 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.

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

Johnny Clayton
Head of masterplanning, Planning & Development
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 were initially instructed by the trustees of Deeping St James United Charities the land owners to provide strategic advice on the best method to dispose of a potential residential development site at Linchfield Road, Deeping St James.

The site extends in total to circa 13 acres (5.27 hectares) and is rectangular in shape and accessed via an adjoining residential development. A promotion agreement was entered into with London & Economic Properties Ltd, who were advised by Balmoral Land.

A resolution to grant planning permission was secured for a development of up to 145 dwellings, including a compliant 35% affordable housing allocation, all details subject to a reserved matters planning application save access. Carter Jonas were jointly instructed by the landowners and the promoter to market the site with benefit of the resolution to grant outline planning permission.

A full and open marketing campaign was agreed. The site was offered by informal tender where a number of bids were received and a vigorous post tender interview process was entered into. As a consequence Linden Homes were nominated as preferred bidder.

There were a number of technical issues that needed to be worked through and as a result of all the parties acting in a collaborative manner, a successful conclusion was reached. The sale completed on Monday 4 February 2019 which was the end of the judicial review period.

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

Nick Muncey
Associate Partner, Planning & Development
01223 326817

The London planning team has won a planning appeal for nine residential units in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

Carter Jonas were not involved with the original scheme but were approached to assist with an appeal following a refused decision notice. The site is a car repair garage and workshop with large amounts of hardstanding. The proposal was for four flats presented as town houses, positioned along the street frontage and five mews houses in the land behind part of the site. The scheme was designed by Noviun Architects.

There were three reasons for refusal: 1) harm to the conservation area 2) adverse impact on existing resident’s amenity with particular regard to outlook and 3) poor design. We advised that a written representations appeal would be the best route to achieve planning permission as quickly as possible.

As heritage was an important matter, we instructed and worked with a heritage consultant to provide specialist advice to supplement our planning case. In our written submission we demonstrated that the proposals do not harm the conservation area, but instead by completing the row of terrace houses, the proposal provides greater visual continuity along the road which therefore enhances the appearance of the conservation area. We worked with the architects to assert that whilst the design was contemporary, it made reference to its victorian neighbours. The planning inspector agreed with our opinions and concluded the scheme would protect and improve the character and appearance of the conservation area.  

In relation to the residential amenity, we analysed the surrounding buildings and their relationship with the proposal to demonstrate that the mews houses would not have an overbearing effect on neighbours.

The Planning Inspector allowed the appeal and planning permission was granted subject to a schedule of conditions. We will work with the architect to discharge the conditions to deliver the scheme by 2020.

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

David Churchill
Partner, Planning & Development
020 7518 3348

Carter Jonas’ Planning & Development team in Yorkshire, on behalf of the Harewood Estate, has secured full and listed planning consent for the change of use and alteration of The Hovels, Harewood. Currently a classroom and function room, it is set to become a building for a mixed food and drink hub and an educational and events space, and will include a glazed extension and plant room.

The new scheme is the latest initiative of the Harewood Food and Drink Project, which is now in its second year. What started with a supper club on the Harewood Estate, using seasonal, home-grown produce, has rapidly expanded into the purchase of the local village cafe, creating holiday cottages and producing its own award-winning gin.

The site, located within the western area of the Estate within a Grade I listed garden and park, comprises two Grade II listed former stables/kennels. The buildings were converted to a classroom (D1 use class) and meeting room for business and conference use in 2000 and are currently an underutilised historic asset which the Estate wishes to preserve and invest in for the future.

Following an Estate review, the buildings were identified as suitable use as a new ‘hub’ for the Estate’s Harewood Food and Drink Project. Following pre-application discussions with Officers at Leeds City Council, and consultation with Historic England, Yorkshire Gardens Trust and the Conservation Team a scheme was proposed that reorganised the buildings, without significant structural changes, to create a reception, larger lobby/bar area, meeting room, event space, a downstairs toilet and a professional kitchen.

A contemporary glazed link between the two listed buildings, over the courtyard area, to enable the creation of an all year round open event space, was also included within the proposals.

The glazed link was designed to respond to the existing buildings. The lightweight aluminum structure was chosen as it responds to the existing columns and allows for minimal intervention to the existing fabric as the flashing is the only point which will connect the installation to the existing buildings. The aluminum structure does however require the removal of the northern and southern courtyard walls to enable the design to work structurally.

A new single building to the north of The Hovels is proposed to house a biomass boiler, cold room, food store fridge, storage and recycling store to support the Hovels to function as an eatery and event space. The plant room is proposed to be an agricultural style building, clad with black timber panels and a black corrugated metal panel roof complimentary to and is in keeping with the existing buildings on the Estate, which in turn will ensure the building is unobtrusive within the landscape.

A full energy review was undertaken by the Carter Jonas Energy and Infrastructures team and a roof mounted solar PV scheme on the new plant room and biomass boiler within the building are proposed, helping to reduce the overall environmental impact of the proposals.

A comprehensive very special circumstances case was presented as part of the planning application to justify elements of the proposal which are considered to be inappropriate development with the Green Belt and these were accepted by Leeds City Council.

Alongside a range of technical information, a Heritage Statement was submitted in support of the proposal, supplemented with additional information during the application to justify the harm to the Hovels and Registered Park and Garden. This justification was accepted by Leeds City Council.

Whilst not requiring planning permission the proposal also includes an agroforestry approach to the surrounding land including a kitchen garden, open grown trees in a semi-orchard arrangement, crops and livestock which is integral to the Food & Drink Projects zero food miles concept.

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

Simon Grundy
Partner, Planning & Development
0113 203 1095

Following the successful conclusion of pre-application discussions with Runnymede Borough Council in January 2019, a detailed planning application has been submitted on behalf of Muse Developments on their landholdings to the west of Thorpe Lea Road, Egham.

Planning permission is requested for 220 new homes with associated development, including approximately one hectare of open space that is accessible by the wider community through the provision of new public footpaths connecting the site to the existing town of Egham.

As part of a twin track approach to releasing the site from the Green Belt, the site is also being promoted through the Council’s emerging local plan with Carter Jonas recently representing the client at the examination in public at various hearing sessions throughout February. It is hoped that, subject to the successful adoption of the local plan later in 2019, Muse will start on site early next year with the first units becoming available towards the end of 2020.

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

David Churchill
020 7518 3348

The next edition of Planning & Development Bulletin will be published in April 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.

I can provide advice on:

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

I can provide advice on:

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.

I can provide advice on:

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