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

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Over the past three months, the COVID-19 crisis has continued to cause economic turbulence and accelerated structural change across to the commercial property spectrum. 

To aid decision making in this difficult time, our research specialists, working with our national and regional property professionals, have released a video update looking at the latest trends across the commercial occupier and investment markets. To view the video, click here.

Carter Jonas in the news

Our professionals recently undertook appraisal analysis on behalf of Associated British Ports, considering the viability and deliverability of potential development proposals around the Port of Lowestoft.

The development proposals sought to improve the long-term economic performance of both the port and Lowestoft town centre in partnership with East Suffolk Council and other local stakeholders.

The analysis informed our client’s decision-making process and presented a robust evidence base for potential public sector funding bids. The approach required a bespoke financial model, cashflow knowledge, and understanding of the economic rationale for public sector grant funding. Our analysis included research on development concepts for land uses with unproven and unestablished demand profiles, requiring a step change in local market dynamics.

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

Francis Truss 
07787 282092

On behalf of Turnstone Southend Ltd, we have secured planning consent for a £50 million redevelopment leisure scheme in Southend following an appeal decision by the Secretary of State.


The development proposals comprise of a large-scale mixed-use leisure facility designed to provide a ‘state-of-the-art year-round family leisure experience’. Among others, the scheme is backed by Empire Cinemas, Hollywood Bowl, and Travelodge.

The 2.3-hectare site, currently a large surface level car park, will accommodate 155,000 sq ft of mixed-use accommodation including an 11 screen IMAX cinema, restaurant units, indoor leisure units, an 80-bed hotel, public square and a 555 space multi storey car park.

Our professionals were instrumental in securing a positive decision by the Secretary of State, aiding Turnstone Southend Ltd with the project since the early stages of the site’s identification in the Southend Central Area Action Plan. 

Despite its town centre location, there were elements of the development proposals that were highly contentious locally. However, the potential impacts of the proposals were considered and addressed in meticulous detail and our professionals, supported by a comprehensive project team, were able to argue successfully on appeal that the scheme should be allowed. As part of this process, we worked positively and proactively with the Local Planning Authority throughout a detailed pre-application stage and during detailed post submission discussions and negotiations.

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

Matt Hare
Associate Partner 
07796 148843

Following the October 2016 and January 2018 preceding drafts, the third draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) Publication Plan is being reported to the Executive Committee of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) on 30 October 2020 for approval. 

Once approved by AGMA, and then by all 10 Greater Manchester local authorities, formal consultation on the GMSF will take place from 1 December 2020 to 26 January 2021.

A lower housing requirement of 179,100 is now proposed, although this is based on a shorter plan period than the 2016 and 2018 drafts - 17 years instead of 20. 

The release of some Green Belt land to meet development needs is acknowledged by the draft plan. However, brownfield land remains a priority.

Most of the development between 2020 and 2037 (the ‘plan period’) will be on land within urban areas, much of which is brownfield land. Within the plan period, around 88% of housing, 99% of offices and 47% of industrial and warehousing development is within urban areas.

As the third draft acknowledges at paragraph 1.47, this will entail some Green Belt release, but a reduction compared to previously. Significant reductions in Green Belt release have taken place in each successive draft, seemingly because of political pressure. 

Housing development and associated loss of Green Belt land will remain controversial and may even see the plan fail. However, we are optimistic that all ten councils will show strong support for the GMSF through to Examination in Public and adoption.

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

Simon Grundy
07917 773671

Do you own land with development potential in the Cotswold District?

Cotswold District Council has recently launched a further ‘Call for Sites’ exercise to identify new locations for the development of housing, commercial property and renewable energy.

This is an open invitation to landowners, developers, and community groups, who are interested in having land considered for a range of different uses, to submit specific information on sites they would like assessed. 

The deadline for submissions is Friday 13 November 2020. This may represent your opportunity to start to realise development on your land. To find out more, click here.

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

James Cordery 
Associate Partner 
07780 667005

The next edition of Planning & Development bulletin will be published in November, 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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