Planning practice

Planning practice

You are required to produce a Planning Appraisal and Process Report that examines the main planning factors impacting on the development process, and sets out the key stages and likely timescales in submitting and processing a planning application.
You are a private sector planning consultant who has been engaged by a developer (your client) to report on the likely planning factors influencing the development of small sites of less than one acre (0.4 hectares) in the Marylebone area (City of Westminster).

Your client is a housing developer, but is also willing to provide limited business and retail floorspace in a mixed use scheme – where appropriate and required.

In your report you will need to identify the likely planning factors that your client will need to take into account in order to carry out a successful development, and also explain WHY they are important.

For example, WHY does the developer need to take into account local planning policies? What are likely to be the most relevant policies and other planning considerations?

You should also highlight issues that are non-material planning factors when seeking planning consent, but which may also impact on the deliverability of a development, for example property covenants and other legal constraints.

Finally, the report should set out clearly the process for submitting and processing a planning application in the City of Westminster, and how your client might engage with the local planning authority in order to secure a planning consent.

The Report of between 2,500 and 3,500 words must be submitted electronically through the module Blackboard by no later than 1pm on Thursday 5 March 2015.

Assessment Criteria

The extent to which the student demonstrates:
•    A good understanding of the main planning and non-planning factors in the creation, and alteration, of the built environment;
•    A good understanding of how the spatial planning system works in practice, and of the various stages involved in taking a development scheme from inception to completion;
•    An ability to analyse the respective roles of the public and private sectors in the implementation of development projects;
•    An ability to produce a clear and well structured report, with good English and grammar, and with appropriate references and evidence to substantiate arguments.

Additional Guidance on Coursework 1
1.    Your client is “Kydonia Holdings” (it is a made up name).
2.    For the purpose of this assignment the “Marylebone area” is bounded by Marylebone Road to the north, Wigmore Street to the south, Great Portland Street to the east and Baker Street to the west.
3.    In making a Report to your client, there is no need to include any historical narrative or analysis of why and how the planning system was set up, and how it has changed. Your client is only interested in how the planning system operates in the City of Westminster as of today, and any possible changes over the next five years that may be relevant.
4.    You are NOT required to identify specific sites for your client. Your client is asking for a report which identifies the various planning factors likely to influence any development in this area, and the likely obstacles, risks and opportunities that may exist in order to achieve a successful development.
5.    You are NOT required to submit a planning application as part of this report. You have not been engaged to do that yet, although this is something that a private sector planning consultant may be contracted to do at a later stage in the process once a suitable site and scheme has been identified.
6.    In preparing your report you may find it useful to identify any small scale developments in this area that have recently been approved or refused by the City of Westminster, and look at the reasons for approval and refusal as set out in the Committee Report. This may give an indication of some of the key policies and issues that your client will need to be aware of before finalising any proposed development scheme.