The National Planning Policy Framework was at the heart of No5 Chambers’ and Jones Lang LaSalle’s Annual Midlands Policy and Planning Conference. Hosted at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nottingham, the event on 7th February 2013 offered a dynamic forum for discussion about the Framework and what it means on the ground. 
The conference – chaired by barrister Hugh Richards of the Planning and Environmental Law group at No5 Chambers and Peter Leaver, Head of Planning and Development for the Midlands for Jones Lang LaSalle – focused on hot planning topics. These included issues of deliverability, viability and housing provision with Jones Lang LaSalle providing market-facing talks from the likes of Nigel Simkin and Phil Farrell. Peter Leaver commented: “Deliverability and viability are at the sharp end of planning and it is these issues that are increasing being pushed to the forefront of current practice, with Jones Lang LaSalle being a market leader in this area.”
Planning law experts from the No5 Set, which is recognised by the legal profession as offering a “comprehensive nationwide planning service” and including “some of the finest barristers in the country” shared their expertise with delegates. Peter Goatley led a session on enterprise zones, while Hugh Richards looked at viability, Celina Colquhoun discussed sustainability and Richard Humphreys QC focused upon the retail sector. 
Celina Colquhoun said: “The workshop I led with Philip Hirst of Jones Lang LaSalle on Sustainability concentrated on establishing and testing the socio-economic elements of Sustainable Development from the LPA and developer view point as well as the more familiar environmental aspect. It led to wide ranging and enthusiastic debate.”
A number of directors of Jones Lang LaSalle, the largest property consultant in the UK, with full exposure to regional, national and international markets, shared their expert opinions in breakout sessions during the afternoon. Jones Lang LaSalle provides agency, development and planning consultancy advice across all sectors to investors, developers, occupiers, landowners, housebuilders and public authorities, with offices in both Birmingham and Nottingham. Jones Lang LaSalle is particularly involved in the delivery of development and adept in ensuring that any planning consent secured is market facing and viable in today’s difficult development market conditions. 
“This was the third Annual Midlands Policy and Planning Conference we have hosted with Jones Lang LaSalle,” explained Jeremy Cahill QC, Head of No5 Chambers’ Planning Set. “The event not only showcased how and why barristers have a key role to play in the planning process but also underlined that we are fully appreciative and cognisant of the commercial and political imperatives and ambitions behind the spectrum of schemes and applications.” 
Sessions on 7th February included:
•    A year of the NPPF – positive planning for housing delivery?
•    Working creatively in the new planning environment
•    NPPF: Linking Housing and the Economy
•    Public sector property rationalisation
Among the speakers at the event were David Joseph of Bloor Homes, Andrew Whitaker of House Builders’ Federation, Malcolm Sharp President of Planning Officers’ Society, Stephen Nicol of Regeneris and Stuart Knight, Director of Strategic Asset and Property Management for Nottingham City Council. 
“The Framework is welcomed as a concise reference point for all National Planning Policy,” concluded Jeremy Cahill QC. “We look forward to seeing how it will be analysed and defined by the Courts in forthcoming High Court actions.”
An evening reception and charity dinner rounded off the day, with guest speaker Simon Evans, who is a regular on panel shows The News Quiz and The Unbelievable Truth. The evening raised over £600 for MacMillan and Marie Curie Cancer Care. The conference attracted 5 hours of CPD.
Richard Sykes of Jones Lang LaSalle commented: “This was a fantastic event which has now firmly established itself on the Midlands’ conference scene. The quality of the speakers, coupled with the opportunity for networking and the charity dinner provides delegates with a day and evening event. We now look forward to a successful 2014 conference.”
Anyone requiring further information about the range of legal expertise available from No5 Chambers should telephone 0845 210 5555.