Beyond the numbers: how do we create prosperity for all?

Posted by

Greg Pearce

How has Milton Keynes succeeded where other ‘new towns’ have struggled?

A prosperous place to live effectively means that there are a wide range of employment opportunities available to all groups of people. This should be achieved at the same time as facilitating an inclusive and hospitable environment in which to live, to ensure people are able to maintain a healthy and happy environment.

Milton Keynes is proving to meet this criterion; it was ranked the second best town/city to work in the UK[1] and has seen the highest growth in jobs out of the 64 biggest towns and cities in the UK over the last decade[2] .Specifically, 24,000 jobs have been created since 2003. Milton Keynes is clearly growing, and attracting a wide range of businesses, including firms such as KPMG, PwC and Deloitte, who have chosen to locate secondary offices in Milton Keynes, as well as John Lewis and Waitrose at a flagship logistics park at Magna Park. Read more »

Beyond the numbers: How do we create a collective vision for all?

Posted by

Naomi Williamson

Will the Sustainable Development Goals unify city leaders? 

Following the recent meeting of the UN General Assembly, the community of world leaders has met to iron out the details of the international development agenda to 2030 – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The goals are a sequel to the Millennium Development goals which ran from 2000-2015 with the overarching aim to eradicate global poverty and inequality. The SDGs have global poverty at their centre but focus on a much wider range of issues, spanning 17 goals from quality education to responsible consumption and production.

There is added interest for a wide range of urban practitioners this time around as the importance of cities as a tool for social and economic success and wellbeing is very much on the map. For example, Goal 11 focuses for the first time on sustainable cities and communities – and although the goals have traditionally focused on developing countries, the targets for 2030 are ambitious for more developed countries as well. Read more »

Smart Cities - David Lock Associates

Beyond the numbers: How do we create movement for all?

Posted by

Joe Carr

Driverless cars, are these the answer to our growing transport need?

Over the last few years, there have been significant forward steps regarding the production and use of driverless cars both in the UK and in the USA. In the UK, trials have been undertaken in Milton Keynes following the publishing of The Pathway to Driverless Cars[1] by the Department for Transport in February 2015. Across the pond, Google have undertaken on-the-road trials across California, Texas, Arizona and Washington[2], and the U.S. Department of Transportation has committed to producing a regulatory framework to support the use of the cars[3]. Read more »

Beyond the numbers: how do we create certainty for all?

Posted by

Charlie Brown

Temporary is the new permanent: Permitted Development rights are creating uncertainty and its impacts for LPA’s and our towns/cities are yet to be fully understood  

In 2011, we first heard of the Government’s ‘bold’ plan to boost the supply of housing by developing underused office stock and regenerating our town centres.

What emerged was a temporary permitted development right (limited to 3 years) for the conversion of offices to residential use introduced in 2013. It all seemed very sensible – converting underused office stock into a viable use that would provide a much needed, temporary boost in housing supply at a time of historically low delivery. The prior approval process, allowed a local authority to consider only transport and highways issues, contamination and flooding considerations. The time limited right brought a focus on converting vacant units.

Case law began to catch up as well; from April 2014, conditions could be reasonably attached so long as they related. It also reminded us that external works were not up for grabs – a permission that wasn’t a planning permission. Read more »

Beyond the numbers: how do we create belonging for all?

Posted by

Harry Jones

Is devolving power to the inhabitants of a new settlement crucial to creating belonging?

Development on a large scale is a difficult and complex challenge.  The physical elements which form a new place are relatively understandable and quantifiable.  Buildings, infrastructure, open spaces and landscaping can be planned and then constructed (in basic terms, as we all know, the reality is that delivering development is an enormous challenge requiring substantial amounts of time, commitment, expertise, investment and patience).

To create a sense of belonging and identity for all inhabitants, planners must think carefully about using governance structures, social and community enablers and the built form to establish characteristics which foster social bonds between people and their environment. Read more »

Young Planners’ Conference 2016

Posted by

Phil Copsey

David Lock Associates (DLA) are proud and excited to be sponsoring the Young Planners’ Conference 2016: ‘Planning for Change, Shaping Our Future.’  Taking place in Belfast on the 14th to 15th October, the conference will focus on up-to-the minute issues such as the changing face of our planning system, smart cities and healthy cities.

DLA Partner Phil Copsey will be chairing the healthy cities element of the conference promoting Sport England’s Active Design Guidance, which was produced by DLA with Sport England and supported by Public Health England. The guidance, produced to promote the role of sport and physical activity in creating healthy and sustainable communities, can be viewed here.

DLA are also exhibiting at the conference, harnessing our belief that debate and discussion is integral to how we operate. In order to stimulate this discussion, we are asking delegates how they can look beyond the numbers that dominate our profession – population growth, housing needs and supply, viability – by asking the question:




You can find out more about our debate here, and have your contribution on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using the #dlacreate hashtag.

Planning permission granted for new homes in Wiltshire

Posted by

Duncan Chadwick

David Lock Associates (DLA) had a double success recently on behalf of clients, Hallam Land Management and Bloor Homes (South West), on their 20-hectare site at Spa Road, to the east of Melksham. Following promotion work by Savills, DLA engaged in detailed discussions with Wiltshire Council, a schedule of conditions was agreed and a s106 agreement completed, which lead to the Council granting outline planning permission for up to 450 new dwellings, land for community facilities and an extension to the Eastern Relief Road around the town.       Read more »

DLA present at Health, Wellbeing & Planning Summit

Posted by

Keith Brown

David Lock Associates were pleased to be involved with the first South Essex Health, Wellbeing & Planning Summit held last week (21 September), in Purfleet.

Keith Brown, Associate Urban Designer at DLA, presented alongside colleagues from Sport England and ran two workshops looking at applying the principles of Active Design to an example location in South Essex. Read more »

viability and planning

Posted by

David Lock

We need a better balance in policy on planning and development viability, says David Lock.

Please click here to read the latest Off the Fence article for the TCPA Journal by David Lock.

Banbury Strategic Development Site wins Member support at Planning Committee Meeting

Posted by

Fran Robinson

Cherwell District Council has resolved to grant planning consent for development proposals submitted by Gallagher Estates for land at Wykham Park Farm, to deliver some 1,000 new homes, to include affordable homes, as part of a new mixed use community at Banbury South West, allocated in the Cherwell Local Plan. Read more »