Planning Reform and the Brownfield Register

The Government, through its white paper ‘Fixing our broken housing market’, detailed a comprehensive approach to reform the housing market and increase the supply of new homes. The starting point of these reforms is the need for land, land where people want to live and where communities have a say in the homes that are built, followed by the need of these homes to be built quickly.

Brownfield Briefing is delighted to announce a new half day event: Planning Reform and the Brownfield Register to be held at 15 Hatfields, London on December 6th.

Download the PDF programme | Book your place here

Planning Reform and the Brownfield Register will examine the reforms within the planning system that aim to tackle the key challenges of:

  • Over 40 per cent of local planning authorities do not have a plan that meets the projected growth in households in their area;
  • The pace of housing development is too slow; and
  • The structure of the housing market makes it harder to increase supply.

To ensure the proposals are met within the white paper, clarification is needed in relation to land availability, ownership and options held whilst at the same time increasing the land available through maximisation of the brownfield and surplus public land contribution.

This will be in part actioned by the Brownfield Register, announcement back in April 2017 by the Housing and Planning Minister, a register that all Local Authorities in England will have to create and maintain detailing all brownfield sites available for housing. Brownfield registers were piloted in 2016 by 73 local planning authorities, with the deadline for completion, 31 December looming .

Brownfield land registers will provide up-to-date and consistent information on sites that local authorities consider to be appropriate for residential development. Registers will be in two parts, Part 1 will comprise all brownfield sites appropriate for residential development and Part 2 those sites granted Permission in Principle (PiP).

Permission in Principle will settle the fundamental principles of development (use, location, amount of development) for the brownfield site giving developers/applicants more certainty.

Will Permission in Principle really unlock potential sites and accelerate the delivery of new homes? How will the register work alongside existing measures such as local plans, Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) and five year housing land supply? Do Local Authorities have the resources to commit fully to the reforms? Is the register and PiP solely for the smaller developer? Planning Reform and the Brownfield Register will look to answer these questions and clarify the key points of this important agenda.


Date:  6 December 2017
Location:  15 Hatfields, London


  • Roger Bickerstaff, Partner, Bird & Bird
  • Robert Griffith, Planning – Development Management Division, DCLG
  • Martin Hutchings, Improvement Manager, Planning Advisory Service
  • Paul Miner, Planning Campaign Manager, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)
  • Stefan Webb, Head of Projects, Future Cities Catapult

Conference programme

Browse the full conference programme below or, alternatively, download the PDF version of the programme by clicking here. Both versions are continually updated in the weeks running up to the event, so be sure to check back for late additions/amends.

9.00 Registration and refreshments

9.30 Chair’s Welcome and Introduction

Keynote Address: Planning Reform and the Brownfield Register

  • Planning reform: understand how through the detail in the housing white paper, Local Authorities have a clearer and simplified planning process fit for purpose;
  • Explore the need for clarity on specific local issues and how this can knowledge can drive housing development and economic growth;
    • Examine the Brownfield Register - will they truly provide the platform for granting permission in principle for housing on suitable sites?;
    • Understanding the language - gaining clarity on the relationship between Local Plans and Brownfield registers;
  • Can this help achieve the 90 per cent of suitable brownfield sites having planning permission for housing by 2020?

Robert Griffith
Planning – Development Management Division, DCLG

10:05 Permission in Principle (PiP) Model

  • Understanding the PiP model - Can PiP offer an alternative route for providing early certainty on the in-principle matters – use, location and amount of development?
  • To grant PiP or not - the need to create rigorous decision making in line with National and Local Policy.
  • Satisfying Regulations: Will the PiP model satisfy the requirements of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations?
  • Understanding Technical Details Consent - Satisfying regulations, the processes required and potential time constraints and costings.

Martin Hutchings
Improvement Manager, Planning Advisory Service

10:30 Big Data - Ensuring Compliance

  • Developing effective “big data” strategies - understanding and effectively quantifying the value of data;
  • Creating credible data sets that are fit for purpose, makes effective use of  that data and meets the set standards;
  • Delivering tailored services for users - managing critical data whilst enabling a more efficient, effective planning system.

Roger Bickerstaff
Partner, Bird & Bird

10:55 Question and Answers

11:00 Refreshments and Networking

11:20 Tapping brownfield potential: planning in 2018

  • CPRE analysis of brownfield registers published so far; amount of land identified;
  • Research by HTA Design; findings on small sites; work done by local authorities; issues with brownfield sites in rural areas;
  • Summary of proposals in Housing White Paper that are likely to affect brownfield development;
  • What Local Enterprise Partnerships should be doing to help regeneration;
  • How CPRE and the brownfield industry can work together – national campaigning, compiling evidence, promoting good development on specific sites

Paul Miner
Planning Campaign Manager, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)

11:45 The Pilot Experience - Compiling a Brownfield Register

  • Creating a robust stage-led methodology;
    • Stage 1 – Identifying provisional brownfield sites

    • Stage 2 – Assessing suitability

    • Stage 3 – Compiling the register

    • Stage 4 – Publishing the register

  • The challenges faced, problems encountered, and the lessons learned.

12:05 The Future of Planning

Future of Planning aims to de-risk and prove the demand for the data-driven and digitally-enabled products and services required to create a planning system fit for the 21st century. To ensure Future Cities Catapult create a desirable vision, that the solutions suggested are feasible and the new business models they create are viable,they have set up a Sounding Board which includes planners, architects, activists, urbanists, developers and local authority councillors.

This presentation will examine how digital innovation, urban data, and user-centred design can improve the UK planning system.

Stefan Webb
Head of Projects, Future Cities Catapult

12:30 Question and Answers

12:45 Lunch and Networking


Download the PDF programme 


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Supported by:

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