PHILIP’S BLOG 06/03/2015

Plans

IS PLANNING JUST TOO STRICT IN SOME PARTS OF THE CITY?

Having just witnessed a land sale collapse to a Housing Association for a large piece of derelict fringe Jewellery Quarter, because of ‘Planning Policy’ I am starting to pull my remaining hair out! Every day I listen to the radio conversations about current Government Policy being in place to attract development onto ‘brownfield sites’ because of both shortages of land ,demand for housing ,particularly social ,and the blight derelict land has on the immediate environment ,yet here we are with a chunk of wasteland that has sat empty for twenty years impacting all its neighbours but is refused a huge amount of investment because a planner cites ‘Policy’ saying she wants employment rather than social residential yet no one has worked on the site for years!

Birmingham’s planning department delays through shortages of staff and complete inflexibility are currently not helping the City and in my opinion are seriously risking investment wanting to come in from outside of the area. We have to find a way that allows investors to commit more quickly to projects. The seemingly endless meetings with bureaucrats some clients have & being given hope en route, then finding the planning is refused because of the Department refers to policy is sadly being heard again & again.

We need to see cranes on sites rather than ‘sold subject to planning’ notices to invigorate this City. Investment always attracts more investment as areas regenerate and in todays market vendors plus buyers want transactions to happen quickly because both sides want the certainty of the sale. The vendor wanting the comfort so they can plan their next step & the buyer because they don’t want to compete further in case another buyer comes forward whilst they are awaiting detail from the planners!

Philip Jackson
maguirejackson.com