This week is European Mobility Week (16-22 September) with the focus on ‘safe walking and cycling’ and the ways active mobility can benefit our health, environment and bank balances.
The Globe team agree that walking is an excellent way to travel as it is cheap – a pair of trainers or comfy shoes and you are ready to go – and one of the best forms of exercise with both physical and mental benefits.
We accepted the challenge to be more active, put on our most comfortable shoes, and have been walking to our meetings and site visits when we can. Phil has even hand-delivered information leaflets yesterday and managed 13,000 steps so is definitely winning the competition so far for the most steps in a day!
Today I had the pleasure of attending the opening of Lincoln College’s Construction College and ECOnstruction Centre of Excellence by the Chairman of Lincolnshire County Council, Cllr Tony Bridges, and Gusto Group’s Steff Wright. As you may know the Construction College at the Gainsborough campus was the UK’s first Construction Career College opening in 2016, and Lincoln College is continuing to innovate with the opening of the new employer-led centre of excellence.
The event was well attended by representatives of the local construction industry and offered the fascinating opportunity to enter the college’s Monks Road campus and have a look around. I have not previously been onto the campus and it is truly impressive, more like a village then a further education institute!
The speakers at the event were very engaging and it is clear the college is keen to get local businesses involved and encourage them to help the college to design and deliver training to meet the industry’s needs. Globe take their responsibility seriously as ambassadors for the planning profession and look forward to offering our assistance in the future.
This week we received confirmation that Globe’s application to sign the Lincoln Social Responsibly Charter had been accepted.
Social responsibility is one of those elements of business that seems almost designed to be difficult, particularly for a small company. I think there are elements at we all ‘get’ about adding social value and trying to be more socially responsible, like a café changing out their plastic spoons for wooden ones, or a construction company installing extra recycling stations as part of a building project. However, understanding and quantifying social value for some small organisations can be more difficult, especially if like Globe you’re not in the business of selling physical products.
When I first started learning about social responsibility, one thing that struck me was how much we, and I’m sure many other companies, already build socially responsible actions into much we do as employers; from enhanced terms for holiday and maternity pay for our staff, to giving everyone their birthday off work (while some of my colleagues might see a day getting stuck into some planning law as quite the treat, it’s possible they could want to spend the day with their family instead!). A lot of the things we do as a company that we think of as good for the business, such as flexitime and working from home arrangements, are actually led by creating a better work-life balance for staff, which is an important way of being socially responsible.
Then there are the things we do to support development, from funding our graduates through their postgraduate degrees to organising study trips where the whole office takes a day out the office to bond, eat, and hopefully learn a few things along the way. We do them because we think that’s the best way to build an engaged, skilled and committed workforce, but you guessed it, it’s social responsibility again.
Of course, impact on the environment and wider community are also important areas for adding social value, and as a small business we like to spend our time and resources making an impact locally, so are representatives or ambassadors for several local organisations supporting the community and sharing our skills, alongside financially contributing to a number of local sports people and events. While we have a Corporate Social Responsibly Policy that we actively review, as signing up to the charter requires you to log each activity separately, it was an interesting exercise to actually sit down and list what we do individually. The charter also asks you to set out your plans for the future. While we have a power management strategy and try to reduce single use plastic use, there’s always more we can do and it was good to bring those ideas to the forefront of my mind and make some firmer plans.
I’d encourage Lincoln businesses to take a look at the Lincoln Social Responsibility Charter at: https://www.lincoln.gov.uk/business/lincoln-social-responsibility-charter/
News of a successful appeal on Friday drew to a close another busy week for Globe (Appeal Decision APP/R5510/Z/19/3226105). Globe had been appointed to submit the appeal following London Borough of Hillingdon Council’s refusal of planning permission for the installation of a non-illuminated advertisement sign on a property within Ruislip Village Conservation Area.
The property had recently changed use from a shop to a number of residential flats, with the previously allowed signage associated with the shop being removed and leaving an undesirable white-rendered patch on the otherwise red-brick building. In order to make the property more visually appealing to both prospective tenants and passers-by, whilst also providing a level of context to its new usage, the owner of the building installed the replacement signage prior to its relevant planning application being decided. As a result, the owner of the property faced imminent enforcement action being taken against them unless they could gain permission through the appeals process.
Despite not being involved with the original application, Globe was able to demonstrate that the sign did not visually harm the appearance of the Conservation Area, and therefore, permission should not be refused purely by virtue of its inclusion within such a designated area. Inspector Adrian Caines’ thorough assessment of the appeal notes that the scale, design and positioning of the advert does not visually intrude on the property nor the surrounding street-scene, and, given the lack of contribution this street-scene makes to the Conservation Area, the character and appearance of Ruislip Village would be preserved by its siting. It was therefore concluded that the advertisement accorded with the policies of the National Planning Policy Framework and the Hillingdon Local Plan, with Inspector Caines granting express consent for the advertisement to be displayed.
As those of you who attempted to get in touch with the office and were greeted with a unanimous ‘out of office’ response will already know, the Globe team were out of their usual surroundings and enjoying a team training day in Cambridge on Tuesday. Spirits were high having managed to squeeze ourselves into Phil’s car, with Phil keen to explore a development which has been the subject of much discussion of recent best practice, me looking forward to my first ‘study day’ out with the team, and James ecstatic to find himself within a stones throw of where he had experienced the “best scotch egg of his life”.
With Lincoln and Cambridge both being historic Roman cities now home to large student populations, the purpose of our trip was to visit some of Cambridge’s high-profile urban extensions and consider how we may help shape potential similar urban extensions to Lincoln. Our first stop saw us explore the Accordia development situated just south of Cambridge city centre. Located on a former military-owned brownfield site, Accordia was completed in 2006 and was the first housing project to win the RIBA Stirling Prize. Being able to experience such an innovative development first hand, and to appreciate how it had achieved high-density urban living set within generous landscaped public spaces gave us plenty to consider, as we began to bounce around ideas as to what we may look to achieve within a potential urban extension to Lincoln.
After spending the morning racking up our daily steps at Accordia it seemed necessary to grab some lunch to fuel us through the rest of our day out. James was the natural co-ordinator of this part of the day and led us directly to the pub that he had spent much of Monday afternoon talking up to the team. I’m pleased to confirm that James’ recommendation did not disappoint, and that he will continue to take the lead of Globe’s lunch-time destinations on future trips.
Sufficiently rested, we headed on into Cambridge to do a brief spot of sight-seeing (including an obligatory group photo whilst looking out onto The Backs) before jumping in the car once again to travel further south to an extension to the village of Trumpington. Located approximately three miles from the city centre, this gave us an opportunity to consider an extension in an area where space was not at as much of a premium as it was closer to the city centre at Accordia. Whilst this development was therefore not as high-density as the scheme we saw earlier in the day, both were united by their shared preference in favour of large, open, public spaces. After a quick stop here, it was time to head back to Lincoln in a successful attempt to miss the rush-hour traffic.
Overall, we had an enjoyable and worthwhile day tracing back the considerations which had gone into these developments at the planning stage of such schemes. Our observations have continued into our discussions on Wednesday, and it seems a day out in sunny Cambridge provided us with a welcome boost to the start of a new week.
Here’s to our next team trip out!
As an office of Imps supporters we were delighted to hear that Nettleham Ladies were rebranding to become part of Lincoln City FC. In what is shaping up to be a great year for women’s sport, and with the success of the Ladies Imps Supporters Association and ever increasing numbers of women and families at Sincil Bank, it seems particularly fitting that the club are introducing a Women’s team this season.
We’re proud to get involved by sponsoring a player, the tenacious midfielder Katy Thornley.
The team is off to a great start, unbeaten so far in pre-season with Katy one of the scorers in their 6-1 win against Wymondham Town at the weekend.
Good luck to Katy and all the Lincoln City Women’s team for the season ahead. We’ll see you at Ashby Avenue! UTI
The Central Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee (CLJSPC) have announced a 6-week consultation period where landowners, developers, and other interested parties are afforded an opportunity to participate in the review of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan (CLLP). The CLLP Review has largely been driven by the publication of the Revised National Planning Policy Framework (2019) and updated evidence in relation to housing need over the Plan period.
The first stage of the Local Plan Review is the Issues and Options consultation which runs for six weeks from Thursday 6 June 2019 until Thursday 18 July 2019. All comments received will help inform the drafting of the revised Plan, which is expected be published, initially, for public consultation in 2020 before adoption in 2021 (or 2022). Alongside the Issues and Options consultation, the CLJSPC are providing a further opportunity for landowners and developers to promote sites for development through the Central Lincolnshire Call for Sites. However, the Call for Sites very much duplicates a consultation period carried out earlier in 2019 when the CLJSPC began preparing the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA). The CLJSPC have confirmed to Globe that sites submitted for the HELAA remain “in the system” although the Call for Sites provides an opportunity to make further submissions if appropriate on the availability and deliverability of these sites. A further consultation is also open for comment on the draft Site Assessment Methodology. This consultation is seeking views on the proposed methodology for assessing sites submitted through the Call for Sites consultation.
James Rigby, Director at Globe Consultants, observed the following:
“Our professional advice to clients is always to engage meaningfully in any Local Plan review process. This is clearly where there are opportunities to secure a significant uplift in land value if a housing or employment land allocation can be secured. Alongside this, ensuring that representations are made that seek to secure a pro-growth agenda and maximise housing delivery are also important with an eye to future planning applications which may be made once the Plan is adopted.
In terms of the CLLP Review, it is important to note that, currently, the CLJSPC are focusing on a ‘light touch’ review. Crucially, the CLLP Review seeks to reduce housing delivery by as much as a third despite the inherent contradiction within the CLJSPC’s narrative that the aspiration is to remain ‘pro-growth’. The CLJSPC are also of the opinion that its core development management policies – namely Policies LP2, LP4 and LP5 – are ‘working well’ which is at odds with our own experience of a sometimes confused decision-making process caused by ambiguity in these policies. Consequently, we believe it is important that representations are made at this crucial stage in the process to facilitate a clearer and more appropriate set of policies”.
If you would like to discuss the CLLP Review in more detail and how Globe can help promote your interests then please do not hesitate to contact one of our team members.
The ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy Tour landed on Lincoln Cathedral’s sun kissed east lawn earlier today – a mere six hit from Globe’s office. Cricket fans James and Oliver took the opportunity to take in the festival atmosphere and get a close look at the trophy. Let’s hope England captain Eoin Morgan gets this close to the trophy when the final is held at the Lords, the Home of Cricket, on 14 July.
Please note that the views expressed here should not be taken as professional advice nor should they be relied upon in relation to any specific case or matter or in substitution for formal and case-specific advice. No liability or responsibility is accepted for any reliance placed or steps taken as a result of reliance upon any view(s) expressed in these blogs.
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