Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Next steps for planning policy in England - adapting to the revised National Planning Policy Framework, delivering new and affordable homes, and challenges for large scale infrastructure projects

Morning, Thursday, 16th May 2019

Central London


This seminar will discuss the next steps for planning policy in England - focusing on the impact of the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), supporting the delivery of new housing and delivering large scale projects.

Sessions will provide the opportunity to examine how those involved in the planning process including local authorities are adapting to the revised NPPF - which centres on the building of better-designed homes in areas where they are needed - as well as the impact of the development of new plan-making framework aimed at supporting local authorities.  

Delegates will also discuss how best to improve early engagement with local communities - particularly in respect of supporting community buy-in and incorporating local feedback to any project - and how best to safeguard environmental net gains in projects, including around air quality and natural capital.

Further sessions will examine priorities for ensuring that the workforce is equipped with the skills needed in order to deliver the revised planning framework and ambitious government house-building targets.

Attendees will look at the opportunities for making the best use of land, including the potential of increased redevelopment of brownfield land and existing sites, particularly where development would help to meet housing need, following the recent publication of Government’s Housing Delivery Test, which found that a number of councils were falling short in their delivery of housing.

As the Government considers feedback on its consultation on new permitted development rights - which looked at the potential for the conversion of commercial and industrial properties to homes - delegates will also address the impact of such conversions and how to address concerns regarding build quality, safety and reduced regulation.

With a Government response expected later this year, attendees will also discuss the impact of recommendations arising from the final report from the Independent review of build out, which looked at how to overcome barriers to the building of new homes. Measures recommended in the review include the establishment of an advisory National Expert Committee for local authorities to advise on the interpretation of diversity requirements for new residential sites, as well as a requirement for those developing large scale sites to incorporate a wide range of building types.

With the expected publication of UK Geospatial Strategy, attendees will also consider the potential for the future use of geospatial and/or shared data during planning applications - such as its role in designating ideal site locations for new developments and co-locating resources - with the aim of reducing cost, disruption and construction time.

Further sessions will look at tackling potential obstacles facing the planning and delivery of national, regional and large scale infrastructure projects.

We expect discussion to draw on major transport projects aimed at creating additional capacity across the rail and road networks. Delegates will examine best practice for securing Development Consent Orders, in order to gain permission for nationally significant infrastructure projects, as well as what more could be done to improve the coordination between local, regional and national bodies to speed up the approval and delivery of key projects.

Keynote Speaker

Steve Quartermain

Chief Planner, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Keynote Speaker

Steve Quartermain

Chief Planner, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government


Kevin Hollinrake MP

Member, House of Commons Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, House of Commons


Stephen Dance

Director, Infrastructure Delivery, Infrastructure and Projects Authority

Maggie Baddeley

England Policy Officer, Royal Town Planning Institute

Chris Calvert

Executive Director, Planning, Pegasus Group

Aileen Murphie

Director, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government & Local Government Value for Money, National Audit Office

Lindsey Richards

Head of Planning, Enabling and Design, Homes England

David Manning

Development Director, Lower Thames Crossing