A former government expert tasked with spearheading the growth of new housing and commercial development in the West Midlands has been unveiled as the keynote speaker at a leading planning seminar.

Gareth Bradford, director of housing and regeneration for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), will talk at No5 Barristers’ Chambers’ Annual Planning Seminar being held at Birmingham’s ICC on March 26th on how the development industry can ‘rev up’ the Midlands Engine.

The much anticipated annual seminar highlights current and future issues of planning law and practice and aims to provide essential updates for planning professionals.

This year’s agenda includes:

  • The planning policy landscape: What progress has been made on the White Paper and Budget-day policy announcements?  Responding to the draft NPPF this Spring.  Are we any clearer on what Brexit might bring to the planning system?
  • Topical issues in development management including: Giving “reasons” for planning decisions (in response to the very recent Supreme Court judgment); How can developers respond to local opposition with a ‘localist’ agenda?
  • Topical issues in plan-making including: Site selection – Sustainability Appraisal of options; How can we deliver the development we need and meet the Air Quality challenge?; Assessing housing ‘need’.
  • Recent case law affecting planning and environmental issues.

Gareth Bradford was appointed by WMCA last December to oversee implementation of the authority’s plans to increase the supply of land for housing and employment in order to help meet growth levels set out in its Strategic Economic Plan. He joined the authority after leaving the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in London where his roles included a secondment with the No. 10 policy unit as an adviser on themes such as affordable housing, land, small businesses, regeneration, build to rent and right to buy.

This year’s seminar will see 18 members of No5’s Planning and Environment group address 250 delegates representing 150 firms. It is expected to attract professionals including consultants and officers, lawyers, developers, surveyors and architects.

Booking is now open for the seminar. For further details visit the No5 website at www.No5.com or contact the marketing team on 0845 210 5555.