The planning resilience team operates across the whole of the UK, find out more about them below:
1. What is the planning resilience team responsible for?
Our team provides capacity and expertise support to local authority planning departments across the UK. Local authority planning departments are specifically coming under more and more strain as planning case loads are increasing and internal planning resource and expertise is diminishingly significantly. Our team work alongside council teams either remotely or within Council offices as and when required, to help deal with backlogs of planning applications and/or support and advise with detailed and specialised cases to help get a key planning application processed.
2. How many people are on the team?
We currently have 166 members of staff.
3. Describe a typical day on the planning resilience team?
There are many different scenarios we get involved with.
A recent example is the work we completed for Carlisle City Council. Due to the recent pressures exerted by the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework, Capita’s planning team were employed by the Council to help drive forward their local development plan. Our consultants led a team of multi-disciplinary council officers and provided a comprehensive work programme to progress the Local Plan. Our team ensured elected Members were engaged with from the start, which helped to obtain Member buy in on the processes involved in moving forward the local plan.
Another example is where our officers are working alongside Trafford Council’s planning team on a secondment basis for 3 days a week based at their offices in Trafford. We are supporting with a large caseload of enforcement cases in relation to breaches of planning control, from investigation, to making recommendations on an appropriate course of action to take.
4. What are the key projects you’re working on at the moment?
Well we are working on lot’s of key projects for many clients across the UK but if we were to name a few then we’ve just started to work with the London Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to provide them with planning resilience support.
5. What is the proudest moment for your team in 2016/17?
Our Planning Team processed a reserved matters application for Phase 2 of the MediaCityUK development in Salford which will be delivered over a ten year period and has a development value of more than £1 billion. The first phase of the development has been completed which has transformed the former docks, revitalising the area and attracting world-leading media talent and educational facilities to the area. The Phase 2 application dealt with matters of appearance, landscaping and scale for 50,000 m2 (540,000 sq. ft.) of office space, 1,800 apartments, retail and leisure development.
We worked collaboratively with the applicant and their team of architects during the pre-application, application and post decision phases of the determination process, adding value to the development at all stages, which focused heavily on securing a high quality of design. Our team assessed the scheme against the Council’s Development Plan, negotiated with the developer to secure various scheme amendments, and presented its assessment of the scheme in a robust officer’s report to the Council’s Planning Committee. The scheme was determined in accordance with the timescales set out in the Planning Performance Agreement.
6. Tell us something that people may not know about the planning resilience team?
We have provided over 14,000 hours of planning resilience expertise to Councils every month over a variety of planning services. Over 50 local authorities have rebalanced their services through our flexible and cost effective resilience solutions.