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Cushman & Wakefield joins our creative city districts discussion panel

We are delighted to welcome Ian Anderson, Senior Director in Cushman & Wakefield's Planning and Development team to our November forum in Royal Arsenal Woolwich. He will join Robin Cooper of Newham Council, Neil Manthorpe, of SNC-Lavalin Atkins, and Andrew Cobden of Vastint Services UK in a discussion about planning and place-making for new mixed use and creative urban districts..

Ian is a qualified town planner with a development background in mixed use, residential, commercial and retail planning. His work includes strategic and extensive pre-application advice, high level political engagement and expert witness evidence giving at Public Inquiries and Examinations In Public. He was a key witness at the Common’s Select Committee on the success of the NPPF.

He has recently commented on the Autumn Budget and the Chancellor's measures to help with the ailing UK high street. He said:

'The government is right to use planning policy to bring more employment and residential uses to our high streets, which can no longer afford to be so dependent on retail. Encouraging new build homes for private rent (PRS) and co-working spaces are obvious ways of increasing footfall and bringing more dynamism back to local high streets through planning reform.

'Flexibility is the key to keeping high streets alive and thriving, but it still takes far too long to get the necessary planning permissions to transform redundant shops into new uses. The current system of Use Classes is twenty years out of date - it no longer reflects the needs or creativity of modern occupiers and entrepreneurs, complicating the process of getting what should be straight-forward planning permissions. A comprehensive review of Use Classes is long overdue, as is reform of the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers of local authorities that allow councils to intervene on key sites. The government must also embrace Meanwhile Uses, which could help to ensure empty retail units are put to use while waiting for planning permission or redevelopment.

'It is very positive that councils will have access to the Future High Streets Fund, however the Chancellor must also make funding directly available to local authority planning teams, which is essential to ensure the processing of planning applications quickly'.

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