After weeks of speculation, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has published its much-anticipated green paper on the future of social housing. We’ve spent the afternoon working our way through the 70 pages so you don’t have to, and here are five things we’ve learned.
The different way introverts and extroverts engage with the world is a much discussed subject and MPC use our understanding of those differences to ensure everyone’s voice gets heard. We have a wide range of techniques in our engagement toolkit including pop-up exhibitions, door-knocking, interactive websites, and structured invitation-only workshops. It is the latter of these which is particularly effective in drawing out the views of introverts - adding a useful balance to a debate often dominated by the extrovert voice (whether pro or anti the proposed development).
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations conducted a study that found that public relations remains dominated by white, predominantly middle-class professionals, accounting for 90% of respondents. Black, African, Caribbean and Black British professionals accounted for just 2% of responses, with Asian respondents accounting for the same tiny proportion.
Findings of a recent report from the Public Accounts Committee on the financial sustainability of local government indicate that councils face an estimated funding gap of over £5bn by the end of the decade. Matthew Whittley looks at the impact this could have on housing delivery.
A recent report from the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee - looking at caring for our elders – suggests that Britain will need to build 400,000 more age-appropriate homes in under 20 years to accommodate a growing ageing population. How can these needs be met in a way which suits a diverse demographic?
With over 10 years in PR and comms for the development industry we thought it was time our branding had a little refresh and after months of research and hard work, we’re pleased to launch our new look into the world.
As a newcomer to the housing and planning industry, there’s no surprise that I have more questions than answers. My experience thus far can be paralleled to that of an exhilarating immersion program where I not only have to assimilate to the culture, but also learn the complex language of planning.
On 7th June I took part in a 10k race, which considering the London Marathon was just a month before it may not seem like a great distance, but for someone who hung up his running shoes after school track and field days ended in 2010, was still a daunting thought.
On Tuesday 5th June we hosted a breakfast for developers and planning consultants in the Bristol area to discuss how councils and developers can work better together to deliver new homes for Bristol and the West of England.
Most people see their parish council – or town council – as part of the general background of their community – they run events for seniors, oversee the cemetery, organise the allotments. However, they might have more of a hazy idea of what parish councils do – until something planning-related crops up.
I dropped into a consultation event for a planned development near my house recently. It wasn’t just that I was interested in finding out what’s going on in my local area; it’s always interesting to look at the approach that other people take to consulting communities on planning issues.
Any proposal that promotes an increase in affordable homes is often a welcome one across the capital and particularly within the MPC London office. Mayor Sadiq Khan yesterday launched a new initiative, Building Council Homes for Londoners. The ambitions the Mayor has laid out are typically noble, with talk of 10,000 new council homes over the next four years.
A recent study indicated that almost a third of the British public now rank 'affordable housing' as one of their top three priorities to improve public life. Affordable housing was even placed ahead of other key issues such as crime, social care and economic growth (Kantar Public study 22/02/18).
If a week is a long time in politics, then 2014, when the council seats elected last night were last fought, seems like an entirely different epoch. Since then, British politics has witnessed two general elections, a seismic referendum, and the most unpredictable election results in living memory.
With only a week to go, the latest opinion poll for the local elections in London shows no let up for the Conservatives in the Capital, with a strong lead still enjoyed by Labour. Our Consultant Director, Frank Browne, shares his thoughts on what London may look like this time next week.
What is the point of an incredibly costly and complex public consultation exercise if it fails to help secure you planning permission? Our CEO Anna Sabine-Newlyn looks at the real purpose of public consultation in planning and how a technical approach can sometimes fail to reach the communities that will benefit most from development.
Following yesterday's post on how the upcoming elections might affect development in London we have a look at Labour's green paper: Homes for the Many, launched earlier today. With a focus on redefining "affordable" and building more council housing, this could have a significant impact on our 'failed' housing market.
Local elections will take place across London and parts of England on 3rd May. More Labour councillors are likely to be elected and, thanks to the influence of Momentum, they could well be more sceptical towards developers than before. While this could pose a more challenging planning landscape in the capital, developers who listen to local people, and reflect on what they say, will fare better throughout the planning process.
As the local elections approach, much of local government is now in the mysterious world of purdah. Despite also meaning a religious practice of screening women from men or a state of seclusion or secrecy, the meaning of purdah and the function of the council during this period is quite the contrary.
Our CEO Anna Sabine-Newlyn reflects on her first visit to MIPIM this year. She was pleasantly surprised to discover that it didn't quite live up to the hype on sleeze-factor but was potentially even more useful than expected.
The dreaded ‘V’ word - “Viability” - has entered the public consciousness in the last few months – and not in a good way. According to our Prime Minister, viability is the tool that “unscrupulous developers” abuse to “dodge their obligation to build homes local people can afford”.
Announcements today by the PM were supposed to revolutionise housing policy, particularly as it was only last month that Theresa May made it her ‘personal mission to build the homes this country needs’. However the new draft National Planning Policy Framework was underwhelming to say the least, let alone revolutionary.