DLP has become increasingly active in public sector planning, assisting local authorities with policy work in the form of evidence-based studies through our Strategic Planning Research Unit (SPRU) and development management work for various Councils across the UK.
In September 2019, DLP’s Rugby Office was appointed to assist East Northamptonshire Council in the determination of an outline planning application for up to 3,500 dwellings, including strategic open space, sport and community facilities, primary schools, and local centres at Priors Hall Park, Corby.
The application site straddles two local authority areas, so we have been working closely with officers at both East Northamptonshire Council and Corby Borough Council, plus the applicant, Urban & Civic. Our expertise was secured through a Planning Performance Agreement to process the application through to a presented recommendation at Planning Management Committee on 11th November 2020, when local councillors resolved to grant planning permission subject to a detailed S106.
The process has essentially involved DLP taking on the case officer role to deal with all aspects of the application, including S106 and viability negotiations. DLP integrated with the local authority’s data management system to ensure seamless transmission of information in terms of consultee comments and application correspondence.
Relationships are important, especially in respect of cross-boundary matters on strategic sites. Regular client meetings enabled us to keep the Council informed on progress and resolve any issues in a timely manner. Similarly, structured, and frequent development team meetings with the applicant kept timescales in check and maintained successful working relationships, even when challenging issues needed to be resolved and future actions agreed.