Women in Planning Official

We are expanding – Women in Planning North West

We are proud to announce that we are launching a North West network later this year.

We are looking for committee members to assist in delivering the new network.

Women in Planning has a strong reputation for delivering events in London, as well as supporting other like-minded networks.

As a committee member you will be:

  • event co-ordinating
  • sourcing sponsorship
  • managing communications
  • attending bi-monthly meetings (date to TBC)
  • an ambassador for the network.

If you are interested in joining the Committee please email Jill Bell, Alison Mackay and Charlotte Morphet at womeninplanningnorthwest@gmail.com, or via social media (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook), as we would love to hear from you.

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Events

NEW EVENT: Planners around the World: Experiences of planning across the globe – 19 June 2017 – 18:00

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Date: 19 June 2017

Time: 18:00

Venue: AECOM, Aldgate Tower, 2 Leman St, London E1 8FA

Join us to learn from our panellists about their different experiences of planning from around the world:

  • Sarah Elliot, Planning Practice Lead, AECOM – Event Chair
  • Cynthia Bowen, American Planning Association President
  • Neha Tayal, Lead Urban Designer AECOM and Lecturer, UCL Bartlett
  • Zoe Green, Manager, Urbanisation and Development, PWC
  • Julia Hurley, Projects Officer, Spatial Planning Team, Croydon Council

Thank you to our hosts and sponsors AECOM and the American Planning Association.

Our events are free to attend but booking is essential. Book via the link below:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/planners-around-the-world-experiences-of-planning-across-the-globe-tickets-34513651260

Article, event write up

Housing White Paper: A Step in the Right Direction

The long awaited Housing White Paper (HWP) was published in February 2017. The Paper has been hotly debated since and we are still waiting for the outcome of the consultation.

Alice Lester MBE (Head of Planning, Transport and Licensing at Brent Council), Lorraine Hughes (Senior Director at CBRE), Sara Parkinson (Planning and Development Programme Director at London First) and Rachel Ferguson (Senior Planning Executive at Metropolitan Housing) joined us on the 11 April at Dentons‘ London office to provide their view on the HWP.

Panel

Whilst there are differing views on the HWP’s effectiveness, the panellists provided a useful insight sectors. The panellists largely agreed that, whilst the HWP is not perfect; it is a step in the right direction and it is one of the many steps that is needed to be taken to increase the delivery of homes across the UK. Hughes noted that, “the HWP is going in the right direction. There is a need to understand the barriers and harness the opportunities”.

Planning is not the panacea for housing

From the panellist’s perspective, there is a failure to fully recognise the economics of the situation. Basic supply and demand theory is too simplistic when applied to the housing market as the affordability of housing is not comparable to the affordability of other commodities such as groceries. This is because “people use housing as an investment” therefore bringing housing down to an affordable level could mean negative equity for many people.

The panel considered that the HWP does not appropriately address viability, in particular it lacks clarity on London’s position. The HWP also fails to recognise the gap between policy and available funding which often leads to the delayed delivery of sites. Little attention is paid to the importance of the plan-making stage, and the issues surrounding the Green Belt firmly remains the ‘elephant in the room’.

On the whole, the panel agreed that the answer to deliver significant levels of new homes is too complex to be simply the burden of the planning system alone and as Parkinson commented “Planning is not the panacea for delivering new housing”. The ‘solution’ is much wider and would need to incorporate economic variables, viability, and politics all of which have a significant influence on housing delivery.

Increased Planning Application Fees

Lester welcomed the proposed changes to planning application fees but emphasised that there is still likely to be disparity between the fees and the actual man hours employed by Development Control teams. Major planning applications often end up subsidising householder applications and unless the fees are right an increase of 20% will not make much difference. Lester considered that planning application fees are only one part of a wider problem. The other issues Local Planning Authorities are facing is a clear key skill shortage, especially at principal planner level.

Hughes and Parkinson indicated that their clients and members are likely to pay the suggested increased planning application fees, but only if there were tangible improvements in decision taking. Parkinson said however, that resources were also needed in policy to increase confidence in a plan-led approach.

Speeding up delivery

Whilst the panel accepted that the private sector has a role to play in speeding up delivery of new housing, Housing Associations and Local Authorities also have an important role in the delivering of new homes.

Ferguson noted that her residential delivery rates are often stalled by the time it takes to discharge conditions.  She highlighted that the time taken to clear conditions is often longer than anticipated and this impacts on the commencement date. Lester explained how this is an issue she is trying to address in her current role at LB Brent. Lester holds regular ‘condition workshops’ where officers have to justify use of non-standard conditions and are told to apply conditions with caution.

Summary

The hype around the Housing White Paper remains and there are certainly suggested measures which the built environment industry would welcome as a way to facilitate the increased delivery of new housing. As agreed at the event, the HWP cannot be a standalone mechanism and will need wider support from sectors outside planning in order to meet the housing targets.

We shall await the outcome of the government’s consultation on the paper to understand whether any of the above ideas area common themes within the wider industry.

We are grateful to our panellists for taking part in the event and of course to our sponsor and host, Dentons for their hospitality.

 

Sara Sweeney, Planning Manager at Kitewood

 

breakfast

mary introduction and room full

mary introduction

panel in discussion 5

Events, networking

NEW EVENT: Fixing the housing crisis. Is the Housing White Paper the answer?

Join Women in Planning at our first breakfast event on the 11th April in partnership with Dentons.

The much anticipated Housing White Paper was published in February and has been hotly debated ever since, with the Shadow Housing Minister John Healey even calling it “a white flag not a white paper“. What impact will the Housing White Paper have on residential developers, local authorities, housing associations, landowners, and investors?

Join us for breakfast and hear what our distinguished panel have to say about it:

Further panellists to be announced closer to the event.

Booking is recommended and can be done via our Eventbrite page.

Events, networking, Uncategorized

NEW EVENT: Women in Planning Christmas Party! Booking now open

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Join us on the 5 December from 6.30pm at Drake and Morgan (down stairs bar, nearest station King’s Cross) for an evening of networking and merry making!

Places are limited and we would advise to book early to secure your free ticket. Tickets can be booked via the following link:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/women-in-planning-christmas-party-tickets-15693687241

We look forward to seeing you there!

Women in Planning Committee

This event is kindly sponsored by Osborne Richardson

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About our sponsor:

Osborne Richardson have been established for 25+ years in the property recruitment industry, specialising in Town Planning, Surveying, Environmental Health and more general Real Estate sectors. Henry Taylor (Private Sector Town Planning) and Thomas Atkinson (Public Sector Town Planning) will be attending our event so please speak with them on the night or email them in advance if you have any questions you would like to discuss with them – Henry@osbornerichardson.com or Thomas@osbornerichardson.com.

Follow Osborne Richardson on Twitter:

@OsborneRichards @townplanner_rec 

Events, networking

Built By Both – Inspire// Network- 17 November 2016

Women in Planning continue to support the brilliant work of this year’s graduate cohort at Barratt Developments PLC. The graduates are fundraising for The Prince’s Trust Million Makers project 2016 via Golden Bricks ( read more here – http://www.barrattgoldenbricks.com/ – it is a brilliant idea!).

One of the projects the graduates have decided to deliver is Built By Both. So what is it? Don’t ask us but read what the graduates say about it:

“Built by Both’s main objective is to inspire young women to embark on careers within the built environment and show credit to those already working in our industry. We aim to promote this initiative via educational experience days for students and networking events for young women to meet inspirational role models. With an emphasis on the current demand for housing in the UK, partnered with a skills shortage and poor representation of women in these roles, we are really excited to inspire the next generation of builders, engineers, architects, planners, developers and more.”

Please do show your support for these graduates by attending the next event:

Date: 17 November 2016

Venue: Aedas, Ivory House, St Katharine Docks, London E1W 1AT

Time: 18:30 – 21:30

Buy tickets here http://www.barrattgoldenbricks.com/built-by-both-tickets-nov

Women in Planning Official

We are recruiting!

Women in Planning are growing and we want your help.

Our Network has a strong reputation for delivering events in London as well as supporting other like-minded networks.

We are now looking for dedicated committee members to assist with our work.

As a committee member you will be:

  • event co-ordination
  • sourcing sponsorship
  • managing communications
  • attending bi-monthly meetings (starting on 21 September 2016)
  • an ambassador for the network.

If you are interested in joining the Committee (along with Alison, Charlotte and Mary) get in touch either by emailing womeninplanning@gmail.com or via social media (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook), as we would love to hear from you.