Developers get direct line to Government | 18 February 10

SOME of the North’s leading developers in the private and public sectors were given the inside track yesterday (Weds 18 Feb) on new plans to make development a quicker and easier process at a workshop at law firm Ward Hadaway.

Representatives from housebuilders, construction companies, land owners, development companies and local authorities heard directly from Government officials at the event at the firm’s offices on Newcastle’s Quayside.

The seminar looked at the Penfold Review, an independent study commissioned by the Government and led by Adrian Penfold, head of planning and environmental at British Land.

The Penfold Review is examining the current system of non-planning consents. These are agreements such as listed building consents, highway consents and environmental consents which are required before major developments can go ahead.

The Penfold Review aims to identify how non-planning consents affect investment decisions in development and whether they incur any unnecessary costs, burdens or delays and come up with recommendations to the Government on how to improve the current situation.

As well as hearing from representatives of the Government’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), attendees at the Ward Hadaway workshop also got the opportunity to put their concerns and questions direct to the BIS delegation.

Neil Robson, partner and head of property at Ward Hadaway, said: “This event represented a unique opportunity for developers to directly influence the key decision-makers at the heart of the Penfold Review process.

“The team involved in the review wanted to hear from those at the sharp end of non-planning consents and they were certainly given plenty to think about from a well-informed and diverse range of attendees.

“It was very pleasing to be able to provide a forum in which developers and Government could speak directly to each other.

“Hopefully this will prove to have been a useful event for both parties in framing a new approach to the problem.”

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