The planning process
The planning process and how we contribute to existing communities
Before we can build our homes and create our communities, we need to secure a range of consents, including detailed planning approvals from the local authority. To obtain these, it is important we take the time to understand what the area needs.
We carefully consider the number of homes the area needs, what sort of homes are in demand, the tenure of homes needed and the infrastructure that is already in place or required. We also carefully consider the amenities close by, and how we can integrate with surrounding communities and important environmental aspects such as green spaces. By taking this approach, we know we can make our developments great places that people can live in and enjoy for a long time to come.
During the planning process, we liaise closely with the relevant local authority experts on a range of issues and aspects of the development. This could include council officers from the planning department but also in roads, or education, for example.
At this stage, we also ensure we proactively reach out to the community, to share our vision and to capture any feedback and comments. This feedback is invaluable and shapes our proposals – for example, it may prompt us to include a play park in our plans or to consider different house types.
When we submit our proposals to the local authority for how we would like to progress, we firmly believe our development will leave a positive legacy. Once these are submitted, the local authority takes some time to do its own statutory consultation. Then councillors who sit on the planning committee listen to officers’ recommendations and vote on whether to approve our plans and whether there are any conditions attached. This process can take a few months to complete.
Many of our developments are of a significant size and scale, and because of this, we are required to make developer contributions. These are obligatory financial payments that are sought to meet any community needs that our development will create. This can include road improvements, funding for education or a wide range of other facilities and is dependent on the scale and location of our homes. This obligation may be paid up front or via a Section 75 agreement, (in England in Wales, this is broadly the same as a Section 106) which sets out terms and conditions for the contributions.
We are proud of the positive impact our developments have on communities and we work hard to weave them into the fabric of our wider town and cities.