'Coalition Planning – delivering the development we need?'

Issue date: 17 November 2010

11th Bristol Planning and Law Policy Conference, Thursday 25 November 2010: Bristol Marriott City Centre Hotel, Bristol

This conference will look at how the Coalition Governments planning policies will impact on Bristol and surrounding areas and whether they will be effective in delivering the development needed. The Conference aims to provide an opportunity to hear the views of experts in the field of planning, development and law and to exchange ideas with other practitioners. This year it is particularly vital at a time when the professions are adapting to a whole new agenda of localism and community planning.

The annual Conference is a joint collaboration between the University of the West of England, Property Consultancy King Sturge and Law Firm Clarke Willmott. The conference brings together those involved in planning and development work, whether in local authorities or the private sector, including lawyers, surveyors, valuers, architects, transport planners and related professions. Speakers at the event include leading local figures in the field and key industry spokespeople with a national profile.

The conference is chaired by Bryan Smith, Principal of Bryan Smith Associates and long standing member of the Conference organising committee. A series of papers and discussions will address the new coalition government's changes in the English planning system including the abolition of the regions and devolution of powers to local communities - localism. Debate will focus on whether these changes are likely to succeed where the previous system had failed particularly in providing the homes we need.

Dr Hugh Ellis, Chief Planner at the Town & Country Planning Association, will speak on 'Planning – How does the Coalition government see it delivering?' Hugh says, “Planning can claim many achievements, but has often been criticised as out of touch with real people's lives. Localism has the potential to put communities at the heart of decision making, but we must establish how we can match local aspirations with national need to tackle social justice, climate change and promote economic growth.”

Liz Peace, Chief Executive of the British Property Federation, will speak on, 'The Property Development Industry – How to survive regime change'. Liz says, 'The development industry is understandably nervous of the changes that the new localist approach to planning could bring. But I believe it is perfectly possible, provided the Government gets the details right, for us to end up with a regime that is less confrontational, less bureaucratic and leads to mutually beneficial development which communities will actually welcome, rather than fighting all the way to the High Court. The devil is, however, in the detail and the Government must listen to what all its stakeholders have to say if we are to avoid a costly and economically damaging hiatus while complex legislation is argued over in Parliament.”

Peter Headicar, Reader in Transport Planning at Oxford Brookes University will talk on, 'Land Use and Transport – Issues for the coalition government's agenda'. Peter says, “The announcements about transport in the CSR were presented in the context of contributing to economic growth and we await an over-arching policy statement from the new Government about transport itself. It is neither practicable nor desirable to accommodate potential future demands for car use and hence it is important that capital expenditure is carefully targeted to complement broader strategies aimed at managing demand and promoting alternative modes. In this context it was good to see projects in the West of England area which reflect this approach included in the Government's list.” Peter will be presenting evidence from the area to highlight the importance of strategic planning of land use and transport to maximise the opportunities for lessening car travel.

At the end of a day of serious discussion, the authors of a new book : 'Grotton Revisited: Planning in Crisis?' will offer their uniquely humorous take on the planning world. They will be reflecting on the advances made in the northern county of Grotton and its constituent parts over the past 31 years, in fact since their first book 'The Grotton Papers' was a sell-out in 1979. The team of Chris Shepley, Steve Ankers and David Kaiserman wrote and performed comedy reviews whilst working together in the 1970s. Their new book, published by Routledge in June this year is their latest collaboration.

The final entertainment this year will be provided by after dinner speaker Gyles Brandreth, actor, author, broadcaster, former MP, government whip and Lord Commissioner of the Treasury.

Main papers and speakers include:

'Planning – How does the Coalition government see it delivering?' – Dr Hugh Ellis, Chief Planner at the Town & Country Planning Association

'New Localism – will it provide enough roofs?' David Lock, Chair of David Lock Associates

'Land Use and Transport – Issues for the coalition government's agenda' – Dr Peter Headicar, Reader in Transport Planning at Oxford Brookes University

'Tidworth Barracks – best practice in sustainable development on a grand scale '– Philip Northfield, Commercial Director of Aspire Defence Capital Works

'The Property Development Industry – How to survive regime change' – Liz Peace, Chief Executive of the British Property Federation

'A legal up-date' – Stephen Tromans QC of ThirtyNine Essex Street Chambers

There will be plenty of question time and opportunities for discussion.

In recognition of the significant impact of the recession, there are a range of concessionary rates to make this Conference accessible to as many people as possible, including a special rate for delegates from local authorities, details of which are available on the Conference website at:

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