Over the coming weeks we will be bringing you a selection of news and views from our speakers to give you a taster of what to expect on the day. 

Please click on the links below to see the thoughts of the speaker:

Stephen Hill, Atlas Northern Co-ordinator, Homes and Communities Agency

1) How has the planning for housing landscape evolved over the last years in the Northern region?

Overall I think it’s become more buoyant, with some really strong pockets and areas of demand – most notably within our core cities, but the challenges of viability, lack of funding for regeneration initiatives and diminishing public sector resources have definitely made delivery harder.

2) In your opinion, what will 2017 bring to the planning and housing sector?

More uncertainty as ever (looking at it with a glass half empty!). But on a positive note, a more interventionist approach from central government, whilst still supporting local ambitions should be positive with funding directed more towards infrastructure investment and improving capacity with local government planning departments

3) What is the best piece of advice you have received during your career?

It probably has to be the Chief Planner at a careers evening (when I was 17 – so amazed I can remember that long ago!) who advised me that my A level subjects were perfect for being a planner. I guess that set me on a route that I’m still on today – so not sure if I have him to thank or blame, but it was certainly influential.

4) If you had one recommendation for local authorities looking to take a more proactive role in housing delivery, what would that be?

Any plans you produce must have a strong focus on how they are going to be delivered – and be prepared to assist that delivery through whatever means are available to you.

5) What session, other than your own, are you most looking forward to at Planning For Housing – Northern Edition?

I always enjoy the panel discussions, and the morning session discussing how the planning system can maximise delivery looks one worth hearing and I’m sure Andy Farrall with make it a lively session!

Philip Barnes FRTPI, FRICS. Group Land and Planning Director, Barratt Developments Plc

1) How has the housing landscape evolved over the last years?

NPPF has been a huge change establishing a presumption in favour of sustainable development and driving up the number of units consented. The challenge now is to develop new partnerships and means of delivery to similarly increase the number of completed units. Housebuilders, Councils and housing Associations working together.

2) In your opinion, what will be the short term and longer term impact of the leave vote on planning for housing?

It is too early to say. At Barratt customer sentiment is critical to our success. Whilst the signs are currently positive we feel we need a few more months of economic and market data before we can draw any firm conclusions on the longer term impact.

3) What is the best piece of advice you have received during your career?

Only employee people who are more talented and likely to have different ideas to yourself.

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