This was the opening quote on a night at The Depot, Leicester discussing “The Future of City Centres” at the latest Landmark Planning organised free seminar for property professionals.
Thursday, 4 November 2021
Monday, 4 October 2021
This pandemic has bot temporarily (and it is argued to a lesser degree) fundamentally altered many land use patterns in the UK.
City centres will be one to be significantly affected by Covid. But city centres are the heart of our communities. And a failing heart will completely compromise the heath of bot our own bodies and City centres.
What is and what can be done?
Landmark Planning have organised a free seminar as part of the Love Architecture Festival of LSRA (Leicestershire & Rutland Society of Architects) on Wednesday October 20th at 6pm at the Depot, Rutland Street, Leicester to consider this burning question “The Future of our City Centres” of out times. There will be 5 presentations from 5 different perspectives. There will be no pretention at offering complete answers – this is not realistic for such a multi-faceted issue – instead the intention is to offer some thought provoking ideas and opportunities that could be seized to help centres fight back. What it will do is show how some individuals are reacting to maintain City centres as the heart of our communities.
To attend contact us on 0116 2856110 or email@example.com. But be quick it is bound to be a sell out.
Tuesday, 14 September 2021
Last week I sat through a Walsall Planning Committee meeting. A long discussion was held over the officer’s recommendation for refusal tor the allocation of a site for up to 150 houses on green belt land. The site is not allocated for development, not even in the emerging Black Country Local Plan, currently out to public consultation.
The Black Country Green Belt
The Councillors were struggling to find a reason to approve an outline application. This was especially the case as the site could not be classed as previously developed land. As anti-social activity had been witnessed on the site, the Chair hit upon the idea that crime and fear of crime can be a material planning consideration. Therefore this can be used as the reason for accepting the proposal.
So the proposal was accepted by the Members, seemingly tor this reason only. What the Chair had done was conflate a material planning consideration with “very special circumstances.” Perhaps an easy trap for a non professional to fall into? Or was it because the land was owned by the Council?
Good luck with convincing the Secretary of State, as the application will have to be referred. And if acceptable lets just encourage anti-social behaviour and we can all get green belt land developed for housing?
Thursday, 26 August 2021
Thursday, 22 April 2021
There is no question that even if there are bats making seasonal use that the building should not be restored. Mitigation measures would be sufficient. In my opinion this should be conditioned as part of any approval. After all, the whole thrust of the NPPF 2019 para. 55 is to impose conditions at the appropriate time.
What do other people think of the above badger and bat issues and any other comparable ecological issues?
Thursday, 18 March 2021
New Walk has been at the heart of the City for 235 years. Before that it had been originally laid out as a Roman road, the Via Devana. It has been a fundamental part of the historic development of the current City southwards, providing a pedestrian walkway linking the City Centre to Victoria Park and the southern suburbs.
Lined by a wide variety of businesses, churches, the Museum and residential properties, it also has one of the best hotels in Leicester, the Belmont. Certainly the best perambulation in Leicester.
The Walk is a community in its own right. A unique mixed use quarter of the City where nearly all the major building styles of that 235 year history are compressed together. The mix works as they are tied together by the Walk; the regular frontage line of the buildings; the relatively consistent scale; and, of course, the deciduous trees, which set the scale and particularly when in leaf dominate the vista. And it is also that eclectic mix of buildings and styles, along with its 3/4 mile length, including 4 public spaces, (The Oval, De Montfort & Museum Squares and New Walk Place) that makes it unique in the country as well; so adding to the distinctive character of Leicester."
Winter 2020 Museum Square
Now, in a continuing series of improvements trialled in the New Walk Conservation Area Management Plan and published by Leicester City Council in September 2020 work, supported by the Friends of New Walk, is already well under way in Museum and De Montfort Squares, integral parts of the Walk.
For those who are interested you can find out so much more from the Friends of New Walk charity web site: https://www.friendsofnewwalk.com."
The charity lobby to maintain and improve the Walk, as well as raise monies for some projects, such as public art of which the latest is the Writers Block paving in New Walk Place.
Chairman Friends of New Walk and MD Landmark Planning
Tuesday, 16 February 2021
Peter Wilkinson is the Managing Director of Landmark Planning Ltd. He has been a practicing planner for 40 years, having worked in both the public and private sectors in a wide variety of capacities. Locally and worthy of note, he was City Centre Manager for Leicester City Council from 1994 to 1999. Since that time, he has run Landmark Planning Ltd from its base in the city.
How would you describe what your business does?
Landmark Planning undertakes all work in relation to the town planning process, from planning applications to appeals. This ranges from managing multi-million residential and commercial development schemes, to small certificates of lawful use or enforcement cases, for both public and private clients. Two of the largest current schemes relate to the £60m new centre for Nottingham College, and a 7 hectare commercial scheme for Brackley Property Developments at Broughton Astley.
A much broader description is available at www.landmarkplanning.co.uk where a wider range of recent projects is described.
What are the biggest opportunities for your business?
The biggest opportunities for the business in the future, as we emerge (hopefully from the Covid crisis!) relate firstly, to major housing developments to satisfy the government’s 300,000 a year target; and secondly, the repurposing of property assets as a consequence of all the economic changes resulting from Covid.
What are the biggest challenges for your business?
- Securing sufficient work when most companies and individuals will be short of capital for new projects, as a consequence of surviving the economic downturn.
- Planning is frequently about liaising with a wide range of partners to prepare schemes and then promoting them to other stakeholders, such as public or public bodies. Covid restrictions and remote working make this so much harder to secure effective engagement.
What would you identify as the key strengths of Leicester?
- The city is centrally located within the country.
- Leicester is blessed with a vast range of small businesses and communities with an outstanding entrepreneurial spirit.
What are the top three ways in which Leicester can develop to support the business community?
- Substantially improve transport links, both within and adjacent the city, as well as lobbying to improve extra-region communications both North-South, but also East-West.
- Continue to invest heavily in improving the physical environment of the city, particularly the centre and the Waterside.
- Market and promote the city: particularly to attract new investment in 21st century sectors, that have substantive prospects to create wealth and employment going forward.