July Ponderings - 2022

July Professional Ponderings

Planning & Development Ponderings


Despite the economic uncertainties, the Planning & Development team have been extremely busy during the first half of this year.


The team has been working on several development land sales including an allocated site in Bedfordshire for 500 dwellings. In addition to this we have several sales currently with solicitors, including sites in Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire. Other work includes our involvement in a number of longer-term strategic planning projects and have exchanged contracts on many Option and Promotion Agreements across the East Midlands and East Anglia. We have also secured planning permissions for landowners including the redevelopment of farm yards and replacement of agricultural buildings to dwelling houses.  


In terms of the latest situation from a Local Plan perspective, North Northamptonshire Council undertook a ‘Call for Sites’ exercise earlier this year. The team was very busy putting sites forward on behalf of landowners and we expect to hear from the Council on this later in the year. The same goes for Milton Keynes Council who undertook a similar exercise in Spring 2022 and we expect their Local Plan to be ready for adoption in 2025. Bedford Borough Council, who have an adopted Local Plan to 2030, have already begun work on a new Local Plan up to 2040. Huntingdonshire District Council whose Local Plan runs to 2035 are rumoured to be gearing up for a ‘Call for Sites’ exercise potentially later this year. We will keep an eye out for this and provide a further update in the Market Report in due course.


In terms of current Call for Sites exercises, Buckinghamshire Council are working on the preparation of a new Local Plan for development through to 2040. As part of this process the Council have begun a ‘Call for Sites’ exercise which will help them identify what land is available for both residential and economic development in Buckinghamshire. The Council now welcomes submissions to the ‘Call for Sites’ and this process runs until the 11th September 2022. If you have any land in Buckinghamshire and wish to speak with a member of the P & D team, please do not hesitate to contact us.


For those of you who read the Ponderings at the beginning of 2022, I provided a prediction of how this year might materialise, with some help from the RICS. I think it’s fair to say the RICS were not far off with their prediction that things would be difficult in 2022, due to increasing cost of living and borrowing. Despite this, there is still developer appetite for good quality development land. We have had several examples in the last few months of offers being very strong for sites and our focus for the next few weeks is to get those deals completed.


Should you wish to discuss the above, or any planning related matter, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the planning team, as we would be very happy to help.


Tristan Peck

Planning & Development

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