Local Development Frameworks
The development plan system was radically reformed in the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and further amended by the 2008 Planning Act and the Localism Act 2011.
Local planning authorities, landowners developers and local communities need access to sound advice in relation to the strategic issues as well as the detailed documentation in emerging Local Development Frameworks. This means extreme vigilance on the part of many parties whose interests may be affected by the emerging policies. Early and effective ongoing engagement in the process is vital at all levels in the hierarchy of Local Development Documents and Neighbourhood Plans. It can make all the difference between success or failure in the delivery of major regeneration or infrastructure projects.
The key changes introduced by the 2004 Act included:
- Front-loading of the process and the requirement for a robust evidence base to justify the policy options selected for incorporation in the plan;
- Emphasis on 'soundness' of the plan and in particular the importance of deliverability of the plan's objectives and outputs;
- The need to consider and assess not only the proposed plan but also reasonable alternatives under the Sustainability Appraisal (and the Strategic Environmental Assessment that it incorporates);
- The ongoing need for annual monitoring and review - and the need to include measurable criteria and outputs to use in monitoring the effectiveness of plan policies.
Cases in which I have helped clients to achieve successful outcomes for clients in the development plan system and the LDF system include the following highlights:
Lend Lease - Chelmer Waterside scheme
Working with the client and Turley Associates in securing a satisfactory policy framework in the Chemsford Core Strategy (February 2008) and the Town Centre Area Action Plan (August 2008) incorporating policies for this major town centre extension scheme - I advised on preparation of representations and evidence and I also attended the examination hearing to assist in presenting the case in support of the scheme policies.
Southwark Core Strategy - Elephant & Castle Opportunity Area
Assisting major public sector authority in successfully making representations and presenting a case for important policy amendments designed to ensure that necessary transport infrastructure improvements are delivered as part of this scheme: I assisted in the drafting of the representations and suggested amendments, negotiations with the Council and presenting the case at the examination hearing.
Barnet Core Strategy - Brent Cross and Cricklewood Opportunity Area
Assisting the Council in drafting the policy framework to control and secure delivery of this major regeneration scheme and assisting in presenting the case for these policies at the examination hearing.
Ealing Core Strategy
Advising and assisting landowner in successfully securing favourable policies to facilitate and control development of substantial landholdings along the A40 transport corridor.
I was advocate in many sessions of the Leeds UDP inquiry and assisted clients in successfully securing allocations and designations in relation to a number of important development schemes including the East Leeds Urban Extension, the Tingley Station site and a major residential allocation at Drighlington.
The original guru on planning and all things CPO was a guy called Paul Winter. He's since left Eversheds and set up on his own. I think he's the best planning lawyer/adviser in London.
Alison Nimmo CBE (former Director of Design and Regeneration at the Olympic Delivery Authority and currently Chief Executive at the Crown Estate).