Planning for the future

Development of any nature is affected by the planning system. It shapes where and when new settlements come forward, what landowners can do with their existing buildings, how essential infrastructure is delivered, and more.

It has been an evolving system for many years, and it pays to keep on top of emerging issues. This is relevant to all those who own or develop real estate, or are considering investing in it, whether this is for a residential-led new settlement, a repurposing of redundant university campus buildings, a town centre regeneration project or in any other sector. 

Having been forced to conduct committee meetings, planning inquiries and High Court challenges online in recent months, will we see a continued use of technology in the system, and will ‘Plan-Tech’ encourage and assist communities to more readily engage with it? 

Advances in technology in other sectors could require planning policy to adapt further. Increasing demand for electric vehicles, or even autonomous vehicles, could change the infrastructure requirements of new settlements. 

Will those setting planning policies more robustly address the need to provide accommodation for our ageing population? 

The planning system has a significant role to play in attracting businesses to a local area, in providing safe places to live, in protecting the environment and heritage assets, in encouraging healthy lifestyles, and much more besides, so it is no wonder that is the subject of significant amounts of regulation and guidance. We have recently seen the introduction of new legislative requirements to meet biodiversity net gain targets and other changes via the Environment Act, as well as the introduction of First Homes to name just two issues, and more change is on the horizon. 

To find out more about our Planning lawReal estate investment and Real estate services.


  • Caroline Bywater

    Principal Associate

    Caroline Bywater

    Principal Associate

    • +(44)(0)1223 222578
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