Planning Design has seen a major increase in its operations both in town planning and architecture in 2015.
The number of staff has increased from 7 to 10 and we were joined at the start of the year by Lindsay Cruddas as our lead Architect, by Michael Bamford a Graduate Planner and by Jon Imber a Principal Planning Officer; with 15 years experience at East Staffordshire Borough Council.
Lindsay heads up our Architecture department which can now provide a full range of architectural services; the department was boosted by the arrival of Gosia Chomka an architectural technician in October.The departments workload has steadily increased with a wide range of residential and commercial schemes.
Jon Imber has boosted the planning team and provided the company with a cool rational approach to application submission; with a clear understanding of a Local Authorities approach to each application.He has taken on a number of appeals and is an expert in renewable technologies and planning.
The planning landscape this year has been dominated by housing.Most Councils do not have a five year housing supply leaving the door open to speculative development.We have submitted many applications in Derbyshire, Staffordshire & Nottinghamshire for new housing sites to accommodate between 30 & 300 homes.Master planning of new housing schemes and urban extensions was a big part of our activities in 2015.We organised and attended over a dozen exhibits to local residents as part of genuine public consultation exercises; work that was undertaken before a planning application was submitted.
We have made a number of Local Plan submissions and in early 2015 we worked for Amber Valley to progress their local plan we have also fought and won several appeals relating to new housing sites.Some Councils are still reluctant to approve planning permission for housing on Greenfield Land notwithstanding clear advice from the Government and planning officers.
I see the opportunity to progress speculate schemes to continue in 2016 but as Local Plans are adopted the opportunities will reduce.Now is the time to be making speculative planning applications and to submit sites for development within emerging Local Plans.
With low inflation and rising real incomes 2016 should be a good year for development.There remains very significant shortfalls in housing land, so any appropriate sites on the edges of towns and larger villages (outside the Peak National Park) should be considered.
Planning Design has also completed retail and commercial projects and we have seen an upturn in the demand for commercial land and buildings.We expect continued growth in this sector in 2016.
I would like to wish all our clients and suppliers seasons greetings and a prosperous 2016.
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