No5 Barristers’ Chambers hosted 350 delegates at the Annual Planning Seminar at the ICC in Birmingham.  The day was attended by private and public-sector planning professionals from across the UK including consultants, officers, lawyers, developers, surveyors and architects.

The programme featured a wide range of counsel from No5, with guest speaker Gareth Bradford, Director of Housing and Regeneration for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), delivering a keynote on Revving up the Midlands Engine.

Mr Bradford highlighted “We have to make sure that the delivery of housing keeps up with the pace of growth in the West Midlands.  Our region has the backing of the Government, but now we have to deliver, and the pace of that delivery is a real challenge. It is going to take a real team effort.”

The West Midlands has been identified as a key area for investment by the Government. As a result, the West Midlands Investment Prospective spells out the goals of the region, pinpointing 500,000 new jobs by 2030, the arrival of HS2 and the awarding of the 2022 Commonwealth Games to Birmingham.

He said that in order to deliver such an ambitious project different forms of funding must be attracted; CPOs and land assembly would be required but added that it was a ‘good example of how the region is trying to drive itself forward to meet those ambitious targets’.

Jeremy Cahill QC thanked Mr Bradford on behalf of No5 and said the number and variety of questions from the audience was unprecedented.

The conference attracted a record number of delegates and two autumn seminars will ensue in London and Bristol.