Nexus Planning is an independent planning practice, operating from offices in Manchester, London, Weybridge and, as of May 2017, Birmingham.
Nexus Planning is looking to appoint an enthusiastic, capable and committed graduate planner to join our growing team in Manchester. The successful candidate will be a good team worker, have an excellent academic record and be driven, motivated and passionate about planning.
In return, you will receive a competitive salary and benefits package and the opportunity to be part of a successful and growing national planning practice.
Nexus Planning is involved in most key planning sectors with clients including: Homes and Communities Agency; E.ON Climate and Renewables; Commercial Estates Group; Countryside Homes; Taylor Wimpey; The Co-operative; and a number of local authorities.
We are a friendly, sociable team that can offer the support, mentoring and hands-on project and client management experience that you will want to develop your career.
The Manchester team is based in Castlefield in the city centre, close to the Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink station.
If you are interested, please send your CV by 16th May 2017 to Peter Tooher, Executive Director at: email@example.com
Or, if you want to find out more about us and what we can offer, please call Peter for an informal chat on 0161 819 6570.
Nexus Planning is an equal opportunities employer.
Are you ready for the EIA changes?
On 16th May 2017, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations will be changing in order to comply with the EIA Directive 2014/52/EU – Amendment. The key changes are set out on the attachment (click here to open).
Nexus Planning is hiring – Planner / Senior Planner opportunity based in Weybridge
Nexus Planning is a highly skilled and experienced team of planning and regeneration consultants.
We operate throughout the UK from offices in London, Manchester and Weybridge in Surrey on a diverse range of projects for both the private and public sector. Based upon our wide-ranging knowledge and expertise across a variety of development sectors we deliver developments, identify opportunities and strategies and offer the very best bespoke planning, regeneration and development advice to both the private and public sectors. Current projects include planning new settlements, town centre development schemes, residential applications and preparing neighbourhood plans and regeneration strategies.
To help support our growing workload, we are looking to expand our established Thames Valley team, based in Weybridge, with the appointment of a professionally qualified Planner or Senior Planner.
If you are interested in this exciting opportunity, please contact Oliver Bell for an informal chat (01932 837850), or send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
Nexus Planning is an equal opportunities employer.
Landmark Supreme Court case in progress
Yesterday, Nexus Planning attended the first day of the Cheshire East Council v Richborough Estates case at the Supreme Court, which is the first of its kind since the introduction of the NPPF. The case concerns the vexed issue of housing delivery with a focus around the interpretation of Paragraph 49.
During day one, Martin Kingston QC presented the Appellants’ case. Day two will see Christopher Young respond on behalf of Richborough followed by the case for the Secretary of State, which will be presented by Hereward Phillpot QC.
This landmark ruling will influence how Paragraph 49 and 14 will be applied in the determination of future planning applications where there is an identified shortfall of housing land supply.
Unlocking build to rent: who holds the key?
Nexus Planning, in conjunction with Broadway Malyan, have undertaken research into the current position of the Private Rental Sector or ‘Built to Rent’.
Recognising the important role this sector plays, the report explores the current state of Build to Rent in the UK, with a particular focus on the London market, and the advantages that a strong Build to Rent sector can bring in terms of housing delivery, affordability and liveability. We look at the challenges facing the sector with regards to policy, viability and planning and ask how these can be overcome.
Our research into London Boroughs’ planning policies has revealed the varying positions taken on Build to Rent development across London and shown a potential way forward to ensure that Build to Rent can play a stronger role in delivering the housing we need.
Planning permission secured for second phase of major development at Walthamstow Central Station
Nexus Planning, on behalf of Solum Regeneration, has successfully secured planning permission for the second phase of the major regeneration development at Walthamstow Central Station.
The development comprises a tall, 12-storey residential building containing 79 apartments, and three retail units. It will make a significant contribution to the renewal and revitalisation of the town centre, as envisaged in the Walthamstow Town Centre Area Action Plan.
Image courtesy of Rolfe Judd
As well as providing much needed new homes in the most accessible location in Walthamstow, the development is carefully designed to allow the existing station car park to be retained and improved, to the benefit of users of the railway.
The corner of Hoe Street and Selborne Road will be transformed with a new retail building, fit for a successful town centre.
The development will also enhance the quality of public realm and landscape for the pedestrian route between Walthamstow Central Station and Queens Road Station.
Other benefits of the new development include construction jobs; additional spending by residents in the local economy; efficient use and decontamination of brownfield land; and the creation of an accessible, legible and safe public realm.
Development on the site is scheduled to start this year in 2016.
Planning permission secured for first phase of redevelopment of Connaught Barracks, Dover
Nexus Planning, on behalf of the Homes and Communities Agency, has secured planning permission for the first phase of redevelopment of Connaught Barracks in Dover. The former barracks occupies an elevated position on the edge of the Kent Downs AONB, adjacent to Fort Burgoyne (a scheduled ancient monument) and near to the Grade I listed Dover Castle. The first phase is for up to 64 dwellings, with a focus on larger family housing, as part of a 500 dwelling development across the wider barracks site.
The development is important in helping to meet Dover’s housing needs as well as forming part of the economic regeneration strategy for the town centre.
An integrated approach was used to understand and address the very sensitive landscape, heritage and ecological constraints of the site, whilst still securing a development that makes effective use of the site in delivering housing.
Connaught Barracks has been identified by central government on which direct commissioning and build is being piloted; and there is significant interest and impetus to its implementation.
The London housing crisis and the policy potential of the private rented sector
By Tom Hyde, Senior Consultant at Nexus Planning
The uncomfortable fact facing London at present is that not enough homes are being built. The fact that home ownership is at its lowest rate for 30 years is merely one indicator of this. With the market experiencing continued growth in the private rented sector (PRS). However, the government can help alleviate the housing crisis through engaging in policies designed to promote its growth.
A number of established brands are already starting to enter the PRS market through smaller subsidiaries – Wilmott Dixon through be:here and Thames Valley Housing through Fizzy Living. Yet despite this potential, the government have not to date issued any planning guidance for the sector and therefore risks missing the ability to harness the full potential of the PRS.
This lack of proper guidance has caused local councils to step up and issue their own guidance, with London in particular leading the way with this. However, because guidance has been drawn up by individual authorities, it is incredibly varied; causing difficulty for developers and planners.
Nexus Planning have reviewed how each London Borough views the PRS in its planning guidance. Our findings revealed that only eight boroughs take a positive view of the PRS, with five highlighting the importance of the PRS in their housing stock whilst doing nothing to support its growth. Twenty boroughs, representing the majority of London, do not recognise the PRS anywhere in their planning policy, instead heavily favouring the provision of affordable housing as defined by central government and City Hall.
Some councils however have started to make the growth of the PRS work in their favour by setting up their own development companies. Our research demonstrates that 11 boroughs have created or are seriously considering starting their own housing development company. This must surely be encouraged, and with low interest rates currently dominating the market, now is the time for councils to embrace this opportunity.
This sits in contrast to 12 boroughs that are totally reliant upon housing associations and the private sector more generally to provide their housing stock. Whilst this means that their policies remain more closely aligned with the wishes of Sadiq Khan, they are denying themselves a sizeable source of revenue that could be used to improve council services more generally.
The growth of the PRS should be fully utilised through sensible planning guidance and an extensive legislative framework. A solution put forward by many is to introduce a specific Use Class for PRS development. On balance however, this would unnecessarily complicate an already convoluted process. Instead, the government, supported by local councils, must lead the way in issuing consistent and comprehensive planning policy through the introduction of well-planned legislation.
Image courtesy of Broadway Malyan
Nexus Planning secures resolution to grant planning permission for 2,000 home new settlement in Stratford-on-Avon District
Nexus Planning has secured a resolution to grant planning permission, on behalf of CEG and the Bird Group, for the largest scheme ever considered by Stratford-on-Avon District Council, comprising 2,000 new homes, a village centre with supermarket and elderly accommodation, a new primary school, community hub, health centre, sports and recreation facilities, and a 47 hectare managed ecological reserve.
The 140 hectare site, on land adjacent to the village of Lighthorne Heath, near Gaydon in Warwickshire, forms the first phase of a 300 hectare strategic allocation identified in Stratford-on-Avon District Council’s emerging Core Strategy for 3,000 new dwellings, 100 hectares of land for the expansion of Jaguar Land Rover, and 4.5 hectares of land for the expansion of Aston Martin Lagonda.
The site is located along the M40 corridor within an area of significant high value automotive related research and development investment. Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin Lagonda employ circa 7,000 staff in their research and production facilities immediately adjacent to the site with the strategic allocation providing scope for further expansion.
Outline planning permission granted for 49 dwellings in Frating, Tendring District
Following an appeal hearing, Nexus Planning has secured planning permission for the development of 49 new homes including open space on an unallocated greenfield site adjacent to the village of Frating in Tendring District, Essex.
Nexus initially submitted an outline planning application on behalf of Inland Homes in September 2014, which was subsequently refused by Tendring District Council, principally due to the Council considering that the site failed to meet the social arm of sustainable development in terms of access to services and facilities. However, the proposals were allowed following an appeal hearing held in January 2016, with the Inspector concluding that there would be no significant and demonstrable harm arising from the proposal and that it would constitute sustainable development.
Oliver Bell, Principal Planner at Nexus Planning commented: “Nexus Planning has successfully guided this project through the planning application and appeal process and we are delighted that the Inspector was persuaded by our arguments, namely that opportunities to maximise sustainable transport modes must to be considered in the context of the rural district the site is located within, in accordance with the NPPF.”
Transform Leatherhead – draft masterplan launch
The second stage of the Transform Leatherhead consultation has been launched with plans to significantly change the town centre.
Following the initial consultation, more than 3,000 suggestions were put forward by residents and businesses. Ideas include expanding the town centre, simplifying the road network, redeveloping the main shopping areas and making much more of the river.
Greater Manchester Spatial Framework Strategic Options Consultation underway
Following the release of the highly anticipated ‘Strategic Options Consultation’ of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) on Monday, Nexus Planning have been busy digesting the documents and making sense of the potential growth scenarios being proposed.
Clearly, this is a key opportunity to influence the future content of the GMSF and significantly this is the first opportunity to submit representations in relation to specific sites.
We have prepared a ‘need to know’ breakdown of the consultation document (click here to see the attached briefing document) that sets out our initial views on the approaches being put forward. It also outlines how Nexus can help with the next steps – both in the promotion of specific sites and responding to the key themes and questions raised by the consultation.
The deadline to respond is Monday 11th January 2016. The GMCA then anticipate a draft GMSF will be consulted on in Autumn 2016, publication of the GMSF in 2017, and submission, examination and adoption in 2018.
Please do not hesitate to contact one of the Nexus Manchester team to find out more.
Nexus Planning secures permission for luxury townhouses in Westminster
Westminster City Council’s Planning Committee has unanimously resolved to grant planning permission for three luxury townhouses in the St John’s Wood area of Westminster, London.
Nexus Planning submitted the planning application on behalf of Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust for a site that had been vacant for a number of years, having previously provided Child and Adolescent Mental Heath Services (CAMHS).
The site formed part of the Trust’s wider Site Rationalisation Strategy for the consolidation of CAMHS within the City of Westminster, a strategy that was prepared by Nexus Planning in collaboration with the Trust. Through a process of pre-application engagement, support for the rationalisation strategy was obtained from Officers and Members at the City Council which has unlocked residential development potential in otherwise constrained sites. This has enabled the Trust to maximise capital receipts in the sale of surplus sites, enabling greater investment into new healthcare facilities.
CGI by The Collective.
Launch of Project Hatfield 2030+
Nexus Planning, on behalf of the Hatfield Renewal Partnership, launch 3 weeks of consultation events on the New Town revival.
Annual General Meeting held 14/10/15
Nexus Planning held its AGM on 14th October 2015 at the Mondrian Hotel in London. Chairman, Peter Mawson and Managing Director, Roger Tustain, provided a summary of the previous year’s trading and performance in the year to date to the many staff in attendance, who are not only employees but also shareholders in the company. The Board was able to report a successful second year of trading with increases in professional staff numbers, turnover and profit.
Nexus Planning strengthens London team with four new appointments
Rob Pearson has been appointed as a Director. Rob is a chartered town planner with fifteen years’ private sector experience, and joins Nexus from WYG Planning & Environment. He specialises in the retail, residential and commercial sectors and has led large mixed use schemes for a number of private sector clients across England, Wales and Europe, including leading on a large number of mixed-use developments for Sainsbury’s across the south of England.
Alongside his work in the private sector, Rob has also held advisory roles for local authorities in respect of major retail extensions at Bluewater, White Rose and Five Towns Park and has produced a number of retail and leisure studies up and down the country, including in London. His experience across both sectors will assist Nexus in servicing residential, mixed-use and commercial projects across the capital.
Also joining Nexus’s London office are James Singer as Senior Planner, Tom Hyde as Senior Consultant and Amy Stone who re-joins as a Planner after a period travelling abroad. James also joins from WYG Planning & Environment and specialises in the residential, commercial and retail sectors, with a strong background in development management throughout London and public sector research projects across the country. Tom has particular experience in the housing and sustainability sectors, having worked for a housing association, and more recently for the Building Research Establishment where he played a key role in the development of the Home Quality Mark.
Amanda Balson, London Director at Nexus Planning, said:
“These new appointments reflect our ambitions for our London office. Over the past year Nexus has continued to secure increasingly complex and significant projects across the country. By growing our capabilities in London we are now also in a strong position to tackle the planning challenges unique to the city. I have every confidence that Rob, James, Tom and Amy’s skills, expertise and enthusiasm will help us to take on challenging work in the months and years ahead, and I’m very much looking forward to working with each of them.”
Rob Pearson, Director at Nexus Planning, added:
“Having watched how Nexus Planning has grown and developed over the last couple of years, I am delighted to join the team to help to expand their exciting portfolio of work. We are building on an already sound platform in respect of our town centre masterplanning work throughout the UK, and are now looking to bring a further analytical dimension to that work, as well as supporting private sector retail proposals and local authority research projects.”
Nexus Planning strengthens Manchester team with new hire
Helen Hartley has joined Nexus Planning as a Senior Planner in its Manchester office. Helen joins Nexus from Armstrong Rigg Planning in Bedford, whilst prior to that she was part of the planning team at the Emerson Group in Alderley Edge. Helen has a strong range of experience including delivering commercial, residential and mixed use planning projects.
This appointment is the latest in a series of hires in Nexus’s Manchester office: Damien Cutting recently joined as a Senior Planner, and Justin Cove was promoted to Associate Director earlier this year. Nexus has also recently expanded its London office, with the appointment of Rob Pearson as Director, Tom Hyde as a Senior Consultant and James Singer as a Senior Planner.
Peter Tooher, Director at Nexus Planning and head of the Manchester office, said:
“Our Manchester team continues to grow steadily as we benefit from strong working relationships with a range of established and new clients across the private and public sectors. It is important to have the right people in place to continue to secure and deliver work of the calibre that we and our clients expect, and, with this in mind, we are greatly looking forward to working with Helen, a talented and highly experienced planner. I have every confidence she’s going to help reinforce our market position in the region and prove herself to be an invaluable member of the team.”
“Nexus has been building a solid reputation for providing its clients with proactive, intelligent planning and development advice, so I’m thrilled to be joining the team at this time. Having worked in the North West before, I’m looking forward to returning to the region and engaging with the important projects and planning consents we have in our pipeline over the next few months.”
Nexus Planning secures permission for 98 homes on Prescot Road, Merseyside
Nexus Planning has secured planning permission for the construction of 98 homes on Prescot Road, Liverpool, on behalf of Bellway Homes. The consented housing scheme will provide a mix of three and four bedroom properties.
The 6.5 acre site, formerly used by Merseyside Police for recreational purposes, has been vacant for several years and, although a partially brownfield site, was allocated as green space within Liverpool City Council’s adopted unitary development plan. Nexus Planning secured agreement from Sport England and the Council’s Recreation Department for its use for housing by demonstrating that replacement playing fields and facilities are set to be provided at separate sites nearby.
Justin Cove, Associate Director at Nexus Planning, said:
“This is a significant scheme which is going to provide major regeneration benefits to the local area by creating good quality family housing on a formerly redundant site. Nexus has a solid track record in delivering planning permissions across the North West, having recently secured planning permission for several major residential schemes in the area, and are continuing to see high demand from housebuilders for suitable sites so intend to strengthen our presence in the region accordingly.”
(Image drawn by APD).
Nexus Planning secures permission for 450 homes in Harrogate
Nexus Planning has secured a resolution to grant planning permission for a major greenfield urban extension to the west of Harrogate on behalf of HTH Harrogate LLP. The planning application comprises 450 homes, a new primary school, playing fields and local retail facilities.
Earlier outline plans for the 70 acre site, to be known as Bluecoat Park, were refused in September 2014. Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Referral Committee has now resolved to grant permission for this application, which was a duplicate proposal, with the former refused application scheduled for public inquiry in September.
Roger Tustain, Managing Director at Nexus Planning, said:
“This decision ends a number of years of complicated negotiations with the Council and we are delighted that the Committee now supports the scheme. Despite having a five year land supply it was marginal and members accepted that to maintain supply sites in sustainable locations, sites such as the application site need to be granted planning permission. This is now the latest in a series of successful applications for Nexus in the region, and we hope to emulate this success as the demand for these major residential sites continues to grow.”
Permission granted for 320 new homes in Rownhams, Test Valley
Following a public inquiry, planning permission has been granted on appeal for the development of 320 new homes on an unallocated greenfield site adjacent to the village of Rownhams in Test Valley.
The 120 acre site is set to provide 320 new homes, of which 128 will be affordable homes, together with a 60-bed extra care facility, a livery for up to 30 horses, new allotments and major new areas of open space.
Nexus Planning initially submitted a planning application on behalf of client Commercial Estates Group (CEG) in spring 2014, which was refused by Test Valley Borough Council for a variety of reasons. However the proposals were allowed following a public inquiry held in June 2015, with the Inspector concluding that the benefits of the scheme were such that permission should be granted as a departure from the development plan.
Adam Ross, Executive Director at Nexus Planning, commented:
“Working closely with CEG, Nexus Planning has guided this project all the way through the planning process, engaging with the emerging Local Plan, working up and submitting the application and ultimately presenting evidence on the benefits of the scheme at a public inquiry. We are very pleased that the Inspector agreed that the proposals will deliver much-needed housing, affordable housing and housing for older people, in a highly sustainable location.”