OE Newsletter Xmas 07 A4.indd

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					THE                                                                            SERVING PLANNERS IN

ORIENT                                                                              CAMBRIDGESHIRE

 Newsletter of the Royal Town Planning Institute East of England
                                                                                         & NORFOLK
 Winter 2007 Edition

 Registered Charity No. 262865 and Scotland SC 037841

                                                                                                       photo by courtesy of Barton Willmore

                                                                              What Lies
                                                                              Can you recognise this town?
                                                             You could win a £25 Marks & Spencer voucher
                                                                            (see page 3 for further details)

                                                                                This edition of the Orient Express is jointly sponsored by
INSIDE Regional Activities Committees • Ten Flood Risk Mysteries • Reports
from Regional Conferences • Regional Conference Programme 2008 • Live, Work                                  BARTON
and Play at Cambourne • Grand Arcade, Cambridge • Young Planners Update                                    WILLMORE

Regulation 96A of The Newsletter (East of England)          Lastly let me thank our reader for patiently reading this
(Grand Editorial) Regulations 2002 to 2006 says that        stuff. So let me, at last, wish you a Happy Xmas, or hope
at least one in four newsletters must have a sensible       you had a Happy one - depending on when you read this!
content (see definitions) in excess of 70% of the total.
By virtue of the above therefore, I hereby address our      P.S. Miles and family, Natasha and family (and
reader in Burnham on Crouch at this festive season.         admirers), Marcia Worlspittle (Mrs.) and Clee etc. all
                                                            send their Best Wishes for the New Year.
Firstly I would like to thank Barton Willmore and
Bryant Homes for their tremendous support in                Peter Hakes
formatting and paying for the printing of the Orient        Editor
Express. The resulting newsletter has, I believe,
considerably increased our credibility and created a
publication that our reader actually wants to read. We
                                                            On behalf of the Region, I would
look forward to this continuing through 2008.               like to wish all our readers a
Next I must express grave concern at the lack of
                                                                Happy Christmas
volunteers coming forward to join the Regional Activities
Committee. In the last edition we had a very timely         (or if this arrives later than
exhortation from Charles Veal and a personal comment               expected, a very
by past chair Jackie Ward, stressing the importance             Happy New Year)
of this. The lack of volunteers could jeopardise the
functioning of the region and together with consequent
unsustainable pressures on Tina’s workload might                                  NEXT ISSUE
put at risk, amongst other things, our highly regarded                            The next issue should be published in Spring 2008
conference series.                                                                Deadline for copy is 15 February 2008 to:
                                                                                  The Editor, Peter Hakes, 30 Viking Way,
                                                                                  Brentwood, Essex, CM15 9HX
An example close to home is the fact that I have been                             tel: 01277 220043
editing this publication for the last 150 years and at                            email:
sometime we will need someone to replace me-so think
on dear reader!                                                                   Editing:      Peter Hakes/Tina Jessup
                                                                                  Design:       Barton Willmore
This leads me on to thank our conference organisers and                                         planning.anglia@bartonwillmore.
also to stress the need for people to write up summaries                          Printing:     Thames Print Room
for this organ.                                                                   Distribution: Jean Aldous

Also congrats. to the Young Planners –who go from                                 THANKS TO ALL CONTRIBUTORS

strength to strength - for what ever they get up to -
                                                            Peter Hakes & Tina Jessup
mainly going to pubs? – but why don’t they invite me –or    Peter’s photo courtesy of Essex County Council and SAIL INTERREG Project
Natasha-she’d love it!                                      Notice to Readers
                                                            The RTPI East of England Regional Management Board wish to point
                                                            out that the sponsors have had no editorial role in the production of this
Similarly ‘well done’ to the Planning Aid Team who have     newsletter and the Board does not endorse the sponsors or have any view on
raised our service to a new level- and good luck to Phil    any matter on which they are involved.
Grant, one of the architects of this, who has defected to
                                                                   This edition is jointly sponsored by Barton Willmore and
                                                                                          Bryant Homes
2 The Orient Express Xmas ‘07
                                                           QUIZ – WHAT LIES BENEATH

                                                          Is it a town or is it a city? Now let’s not be

                                                          The answer of course was PETERBOROUGH
                                                          and a staggering 51 of you knew it!

                                                          But there can only be one winner and that was Nicholas
                                                          Ford and he has won a £25 Marks and Spencer gift

                                                          The runners up were:-
                                                          Colin Endean, Richard Javes, Rachel Almond, Colin
                                                          Haigh, Karen Hollitt, Michael Ovenden, Roger
                                                          Harborough, Emma Fitch, Tim Barker, Stewart
                                                          Patience, Gary Hancox, Andra Bowyer, Catherine
                                                          Brow, Charles Sweeny, Paul Derry, J Felgate, David G
                                                          Bradley, Dave Bissenden, Alan Stones, Peter Digby, Ian
REGIONAL PLANNING AWARD 2008                              Slater, Christine Newmarch, Michael Brooks, Pen Hird,
                                                          Peter W G Powell, William Allwood, David Bath, John
Entries are now invited for the 2008 Award. This          Hammond, Richard Watson, Peter Eyres, Julie Robshaw,
prestigious award is open to all members of the East      Carry Murphy, Alan Hill, Andrew Cundy, M A Jones,
of England Region.The Rules are simple and few in         Mrs Clare Buddle, Andrew Harriss, Michael Robinson,
number:-                                                  Frances Fry, Ian Currie, Connie Frost-Bryant, Carl
                                                          Simms, Louise Lewis, Margaret Young, Peter Moss, Ben
1. Any completed project or proposal in the field of      Harvey, Ms R Wellings, Adrian Parker, Stuart Kay and
   town & country planning which has been or could        Roy Warren.
   be implemented or applied in the region is eligible.
2. Any member of the East of England Region may
   nominate an entry.                                     Well now it’s your chance to win that valuable voucher.
3. The nominator should give a title to the               All you have to do is decipher the aerial photo on the
   achievement, a brief description of it, and identify   front cover and tell me where it is!
   the recipient(s) of the Award.
4. The nomination should be accompanied by any            Letters, post cards and e-mails (to address on opposite
   supporting material thought to be appropriate          page) will be eligible.
   (this can follow the nomination, but by the closing
   date).                                                 These will be kept in a secure place until 4 weeks after
                                                          central distribution from East of England RTPI HQ. The
Closing Date: 23 May 2008                                 first entry taken (by someone independent of the RTPI)
                                                          from this secure place will be the winner. Only those on
Assessment Criteria:                                      the East of England RTPI register will be eligible with
                                                          the exception of the Editor and staff of Barton Willmore
The entries will be judged on the basis of, Innovation;   and Bryant Homes.
general applicability across the Region; public
participation or partnership working; standard of         Good luck!
presentation and outstanding recognisable benefits of
the scheme.                                               WHY NOT ADVERTISE IN
Entries should be made to:-
                                                          THE ORIENT EXPRESS?
                                                           The Orient Express is published quarterly. 1800 copies
RTPI East of England Regional Office                       are distributed to planners throughout the six counties
4 Opus House, Elm Farm Park, Great Green,                  of the east of England and a copy is now available
Thurston, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP31 3SH               from the RTPI East of England region web site. It is
or email:                        therefore an ideal vehicle for your message!

                                                                                              The Orient Express Xmas ‘07 3

Held in Bury St. Edmunds                                      Lane and the bi-monthly teleconferences need to be
                                                              more effectively structured to reflect the needs and
Among the matters discussed, the most significant were:-      concerns of the Regional staff. This could reduce
                                                              the time taken on the teleconferences and make the
 NOMINATIONS FOR COMMITTEE                                   (extremely expensive in terms of travel costs and
  Richard Chillingford reported that no nominations           staff time) meetings in London more productive and
  had been received for the posts of Regional Chair,          beneficial to the Regional staff.
  Senior Vice Chair or Junior Vice Chair for 2008.            The Committee AGREED to introduce those
  The Committee were very concerned about this and            measures which are within the Region’s remit and
  agreed that RTPI Head Office should be advised.             to press for the others to be introduced as soon as
  PARTY REPORT                                              EAST OF ENGLAND BUSINESS PLAN AND
  The focus of discussion was to establish ways of           BUDGET 2008-2010
  reducing the work load of the Administrator and            A Draft Business Plan was presented to the Meeting
  this crystallised into two categories: - current work      and the Secretary explained the differences from
  which could be done by someone else; and current           the 2007-2009 Plan which principally concerned
  work which could be streamlined. By achieving              the changed Administrator’s Office arrangements
  these changes the Administrator would be free to           and the reduction in income from conferences
  concentrate on her priority tasks and keep within her      following the decision by the Regional Activities
  contracted hours.                                          Committee / Regional Management Board to hold
  The main suggested changes were:                           8 conferences in 2008. Concern was expressed
  President’s Visit: It was agreed that the Regional         about the Committee’s ability to form all the Groups
  Activities Committee members should take more              and achieve all the objectives set out for them as
  responsibility for the organisation of the President’s     there is a serious shortage of volunteer personnel
  Visit. A Panel should be formed to organise the visit,     time available for the work of the Region. This
  which should meet in the autumn preceding the visit        is particularly acute with regard to conference
  to discuss topics, site visits, projects, etc.,            organisation and the current overload on the
  Quiz Night: The Quiz Night and similar social              Regional Administrator. (see above item).
  events are important but not a high priority for           Subject to some detailed amendments the Plan was
  the Administrator. A member (or members) of the            APPROVED.
  Regional Activities Committee should take on the           Note: A full copy of the Plan can be obtained, in the
  responsibility for the organisation of the event.          fullness of time from the Editor.
  Conferences: The Organisers are to take back the
  responsibilities they used to undertake of selecting,     2008 PROGRAMME
  inspecting and booking conference venues and               See elsewhere in this newsletter
  of arranging for assistance with registration and
  publicity/note taking.                                    YOUNG PLANNERS EVENTS
  Annual Report:. A much shorter summary should be           See elsewhere in this newsletter
  produced in future
  Membership Records Database: There is a lot of            REGIONAL PLANNING ACHIEVEMENT
  duplication of time and effort by Administrators and       AWARDS
  central staff making changes to membership records.        Jackie Ward reported that there had been seven
  Direct access to the central membership database is        nominations for the Award. She had assessed them
  promised for the late autumn which, will reduce the        and passed them on to her colleagues on the Awards
  time spent checking the changes for relevance and          Panel. In her view five entries were of very high
  accuracy by Regional staff.                                standard, two were poorly presented. Winners will be
  Staff Meetings: The staff meetings at Botolph              announced at the AGM in May 2008.
4 The Orient Express Xmas ‘07
  The Treasurer was confident that the budget target         SPONSORS NEEDED !!
  would be met.
  Revisions had been requested by RTPI Head Office          Your Regional Activities Committee (RAC) is
  to the 2008 Regional budget. Rent costs for the           aiming to organise ten conferences to be held
  Regional office will not be centralised, as had been      in various locations around the region in 2008.
  expected, and are to remain an expense of the             These conferences are a vital source of Continuing
  Region. The budget therefore needed to be revised         Professional Development (CPD) for Members,
  to account for this unexpected, significant increase      Students and Licentiates: delegate numbers vary
  in expenditure. There was a further complication          from 30 to 90 + delegates depending on size and
  in setting a new budget as there was uncertainty          location of venue, time of year and conference topic.
  surrounding the Region’s surplus. The Committee           All conferences are organised by volunteer members
  agreed the revised budget and will seek confirmation      as RTPI East of England has very limited resources.
  and clarification of the surplus.
                                                            With fewer active members this year the RAC is
 SPONSORSHIP                                               finding it difficult to commit to a full programme of
  See elsewhere in this newsletter                          conferences next year, and have decided to ask for
 ORIENT EXPRESS                                            The RAC is inviting all large practices in the region to
  The Committee were very grateful to Barton                help us by sponsoring.
  Willmore for agreeing to continue to sponsor the          The form that sponsorship of conferences could
  Orient Express in 2008.                                   take varies, but could include some (or all) of the
  We have been asked to help promote this by                 Meeting (or making a contribution towards) the
  encouraging more employers to sign up for the               cost of the venue
  scheme. An article will appear in a future Orient          Meeting (or making a contribution towards) the
  Express.                                                    cost of lunch and refreshments
  See:-        A volunteer conference organiser. This person will
  learning_partnerships                                       need to be responsible for finding and booking a
                                                              suitable venue and finding and booking speakers.
 PLANNING AID                                               Providing a folder for delegate packs (optional
  Our Planning Aid Co-ordinator, Phil Grant, had just         – we don’t do this at the moment)
  left his post to become the RTPI Planning Policy
  Officer based in Botolph Lane, London. The vacancy        In return the company name will be included on the
  will be advertised and it was hoped that Phil would       conference promotional literature (and website and
  be allowed to bridge the gap for a while until the post   e-newsletters) and in the report published in Orient
  had been filled.                                          Express. In addition, your company would be able
                                                            to have a display and promotional literature at the
 RESIGNATION                                               conference venue.
  Laura Smith, a student member of the Committee,
  will shortly be resigning as she is moving to             If your company is interested in sponsorship and
  London. The Committee thanked Laura for all her           would like further information please contact the
  contributions to the meetings and for her help at         Regional office,
  regional events.                                          email:,
                                                            tel. 01359 233408.
Note: A full copy of the minutes can be obtained from
the Editor.
                                                                                               The Orient Express Xmas ‘07 5

When we offered to contribute a                                           site forms an integral part of a FRA.
planning and flood risk article to The                                    One of the more significant issues
Orient Express our first thought was                                      associated with breach assessment is
that we wanted to avoid just another                                      the consideration of rapid inundation
tedious list of the differences between                                   areas behind the defence. As one can
PPS25 and PPG25. Having gained                                            imagine, the catastrophic failure of a
experience on both sides of the fence                                     defence involves the sudden arrival of
we thought what might be more                                             huge quantities of water in an area. It
useful would be to focus on the issues                                    is generally considered unacceptable to
that often arise in the Environment                                       develop in such areas and hence, when
Agency’s (EA) consultation responses,                                     development is permitted, significant
the idea being that it may relieve                                        levels of flood risk management are
a few frustrations and allow better                                       required.
communication between the parties
involved.                                                                 4     The EA are requesting that the
                                                                          development has dry access/egress
1 The site is allocated in the adopted                                    during a flood, but it’s in the middle of
  plan. How can the EA still be objecting to it?            a floodplain!
  Problems can arise if the EA considers that too           If a development is surrounded by a flood plain
  little information was available when the site was        normal access will not be achievable during a flood.
  allocated or new information, such as a change in         This issue of safe access may be addressed if land
  legislation or a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment,         ownership extends all the way to the edge of the
  identifies the site as a high risk area. With the         flood plain, but this can be a major issue for say
  emergence of Local Development Frameworks                 a constrained redevelopment site in the middle of
  and the various supporting documents which will           an urban area. Consultation with the emergency
  test existing allocations, this issue will hopefully      services and assessments of depths/speeds of flood
  disappear. In the meantime, the site specific Flood       waters may go some way in quantifying the issue.
  Risk Assessment (FRA) should acknowledge                  However, in some instances a decision may be reliant
  the latest guidance/information and develop the           on the balanced view of the planners.
  mitigation measures accordingly.
                                                         5 The proposals will redevelop a brownfield site in a
2 Why hasn’t the EA provided any technical                 flood risk area. Why doesn’t the EA acknowledge
  assessment of the FRA which accompanied the              the regeneration benefits?
  planning application?                                    Any applications with flooding issues are commented
  This is mainly due to the EA’s internal emphasis         on by the Development Control team of the EA who
  on the sequential test in PPS25. Objecting on            are solely concerned with flood risk, not planning
  sequential grounds alone makes it clear to the LPA       policy. The idea is that the LPA can then consider
  just how seriously the EA considers the sequential       all of the specialists’ responses and make a weighted
  test. Including any technical review of the FRA is       decision in planning.
  often seen as detracting from the EA’s principal
  policy objection.                                      6 The site is currently 100 % impermeable. Why
                                                           have the EA asked for surface water runoff to be
3 The site is behind a flood defence. Surely that’s        reduced to greenfield rates?
  enough for any kind of development?                      Part of the purpose of the EA is to reduce flood risk
  Historically there was a general acceptance that         overall. One way the Agency works towards this goal
  in some cases a substantial sea or river defence         is to provide planning advice which asks for the best
  was sufficient mitigation for a development to           possible outcome. We often find agreement on runoff
  proceed. However, as flood risk policy and best          rates can be found in the form of a compromise
  practice evolved, this position changed to reflect       which perhaps provides a reasonable reduction
  a more cautious approach. As the consequences            in runoff rates but without losing significant
  of a defence failure are so great, regardless of         developable area to large attenuation ponds,
  how unlikely that failure may be, the assessment         infiltration systems, etc. However, occasionally, there
  of how a breach or overtopping would impact the          may be significant issues with the local surface water
6 The Orient Express Xmas ‘07
   infrastructure and hence very low runoff rates for a       consultation responses to planning
   site can be a justified request by the EA.                 applications. Many of these can
                                                              be avoided through pre-application
7 Anecdotal evidence suggests the site hasn’t flooded         consultation with the EA. If
  in the last 60 years. Why is a full FRA being               you have any questions we’d be
  requested?                                                  pleased to advise further. Please
  Whilst anecdotal evidence can be presented in               initially contact Rik Totman at our
  a FRA, it does not overcome the need to assess              Newmarket Office.
  all forms of flooding or the need to quantify the
  risk in terms of design storm criteria and climate          Tel: 01638 555107
  change. Furthermore, a large part of a FRA can be           Email: Richard.
  the management of surface water runoff from the   
  development and how this must be such that flood            Web:
  risk to or from the site is not exacerbated.

8 The EA is asking for too much information about
  the site. It’s only an outline application. Are they
  being unreasonable?                                 has been developed by the RTPI
  Information is required to support the principle of          to assist its users in handling their jobs effectively and in
  the proposals and hence the deliverability of the            continuing their professional development.
  development. For example, soakage rates will have
  to be established if the surface water management            Users benefit from their learning being recorded
  proposals rely on infiltration systems. The EA are           electronically in a personal learning log and in receiving
  therefore likely to be simply asking for justification to    an online self-assessment for each downloaded planning
  avoid an unnecessary number of planning conditions.          module. Users are able to use this log as evidence of their
9 The EA says the site is at risk of flooding but it
  can’t provide any information on flood levels?               All planning modules on this website are commissioned
  The EA does not have extensive collections of                and prepared under the strategic direction of an Editorial
  historic flood records and detailed flood models. The
  majority of the EA’s Flood Zone maps are based on
                                                               The material is divided into the following types:
  a computer simulation capable of modeling which
  areas would be likely to flood. However, this process         Action Lists: spatial planning, business and
  was not intended to provide the more detailed level            management modules providing an easy-to-adopt set of
  of information generated by river specific simulation          steps to follow in implementing an action plan
  models. The good news is that the EA has an ongoing
  river modeling program which means that the                   Knowledge Builders: modules which offer a detailed
  coverage of quality flood level information is always          overview of the topic and references to further online
  expanding.                                                     and print based sources of topic specific information

10 Why is the EA objecting to my client’s planning              Self-Development: bite-sized, self-contained chunks of
   application when there are 300 residential units              learning for personal development purposes
   being built next door?
                                                                Diagnostic: self-audits of existing processes, procedures,
   The two most common explanations for this situation
                                                                 skills and knowledge
   are either that the extant planning decision precedes
   a new flood risk policy or new information which             Management Book Digests: easy-to-absorb abstracts of
   has subsequently increased flood risk in the area, or         well-known management books
   that the development has incorporated measures to
   manage flood risk to an acceptable standard.                New content is added regularly!

Solving the Mysteries                                          tel: David Hill on 020 8568 1500
The above are just a sample of the issues arising in 

                                                                                                       The Orient Express Xmas ‘07 7

It was rather appropriate that with a theme around design, the
conference should be held in the Music Room at the Assembly
House; such an important architectural building in Norwich.

Trevor Price of LSI Architects spoke about ‘The Broads
Sustainability Guide’, which looks beyond the usual
environmental topics such as energy, waste, water, and
appropriate materials; there is the promotion of a design
ethos that is contextual and sensitive towards the Broads. It                                           Photo courtesy of Robert Hobbs
gives information on local sourcing and cultural change in
                                                                   described. First was the ‘Trust Me!’ level, where the council is
building design. It is also widely available, both on the Broads
                                                                   left to get on with the job. The second, the ‘Show Me!’ level,
Authority website and in hard copy at low cost in visitor
                                                                   is where the public are shown what the council is doing to
locations. Low cost, attractiveness and user friendliness were
                                                                   improve the streets. The third level, ‘Involve Me!’ was about
key requirements of the guide. Ultimately it will inform the
                                                                   involving the public in street design, for example home zones
local development framework of the Broads Authority and
                                                                   where the public have some influence on how the street is
emerging development control policy, but it is also hoped that
                                                                   managed. The fourth and final level was known as ‘Let Me!’
it will influence a holistic approach to design and construction
                                                                   and this involved letting the residents run things themselves.
in the future.
                                                                   His message was that a community spirit in neighbourhoods
                                                                   was beginning to come back after moving towards individual
John Preston of Cambridge City Council, and education
                                                                   aims throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and there is a strong
secretary of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation,
                                                                   role for community groups today.
focused on the Cambridge Historic Core, Conservation Area
Appraisals, and the new planning system. He began with an
                                                                   Louise Harris of Inspire East talked of Enabling and Design
interesting fact; approximately 3.5 million bricks are made
                                                                   Review Service. The role of Inspire East was to be a champion
each year and approximately 2.5 million bricks are discarded.
                                                                   of high quality places to live and work, and to encourage
There was an emphasis on the re-use original materials, e.g.
                                                                   sustainable communities. Through the development of an
lime mortar. It is important to understand the character and
                                                                   ‘Excellence Framework’ it aims to help raise aspirations and
distinctiveness of areas and if successful design is to work
                                                                   to improve the quality of development and regeneration in the
well it must enhance the environment, hence Conservation
                                                                   region. A holistic approach was promoted as the best way to
Area Appraisals. Around fifty percent of conservation areas
                                                                   achieve sustainable communities and through the excellence
in Cambridge are covered by appraisals and the Historic Core
                                                                   framework this can be achieved. There are eight components:
was a major project covering 76 streets. The attention to detail
                                                                   social and cultural, governance, transport and connectivity,
is paramount; each street having its own character appraisal,
                                                                   services, environmental, equity, economy, and housing and
with analyses topics include a general overview, a gazetteer
                                                                   built environment. Through their Enabling and Design Review
of buildings and redevelopment opportunities, townscape
                                                                   Service, Inspire East offer independent design advice to
elements, and streetscape enhancement. They also link back to
                                                                   development projects and are community focused to move
local plan policies.
                                                                   projects forward to meet their aims of high quality places to
                                                                   live and work.
Gareth Hughes of Broadland District Council and a member
of the CABE Design and Access Group gave a talk on ‘Design
and Access Statements’. He began by emphasising how we               ENERGY – THE IMPACT FOR PLANNING OF
were awaiting an exemplar of where a Design and Access               ITS CONSERVATION, USE & GENERATION:
Statement had been successful. Many were written after the                         16:10:07
design had been produced, as this was much easier but they         Stephen Tapper, Chair of the Planning Officers’ Society
meant to be tools to help applicant and agent, especially at       Sustainability Committee, began with a presentation on
pre-application stage.                                             ‘Changes to Planning Policies to Achieve Energy Generation
                                                                   & Conservation’. He discussed how flooding brings home to
Richard Hebditch of Living Streets discussed the value of          people the likely impact of climate change and how it was
engaging the community in the design and maintenance of            necessary to have a strong evidence base when considering
public space, giving examples of good practice in community        policy, although the evidence base is always changing. Planners
engagement. He argued that without engaging people we              have the responsibility to drive and inspire energy use and
end up with subways and guardrails, a sign of society trying       consumption within a long time frame, e.g. 15-20 years in
to control people too much. Four levels of involvement were        local development frameworks. Steven argued that councils
8 The Orient Express Xmas ‘07
should be looking to identify local opportunities to promote         efficiency savings rather than just trying to plug the gap from
renewable, low carbon and decentralised energy systems, such         renewables. In Malmo for example, 90 per cent of the city
as in Woking where they have local Combined Heat and Power           is heated by district plants. Sandy also cited a number of
systems. Developers also have an important role to play in           positive things happening in the region such as Inspire East’s
using design and energy statements to evaluate the opportunity       Excellence Framework, and the Carbon Challenge Project in
of on-site energy generation, taking into account the local          Peterborough.
planning authority’s evidence base. He concluded by arguing
for the need for a council-wide strategy for climate change          Martin Davies’s presentation was entitled the ‘Future for
in which planning policy plays an important part, and where          Bio-Fuels & Use of Bio-Gas’. He spoke about the future for
there is an effective evidence base, but also recognising the        bio-fuels and the implications on the rural economy, landscape
primacy of housing targets.                                          and conservation. Martin questioned whether agricultural land
                                                                     changing to development was sustainable in the long-term,
                                                                     and argued that GM crops may well have to be considered in
                                                                     the future to meet our energy needs. Martin also spoke about
                                                                     the use of bio-gas from waste in combined heat and power

                                                                     Spencer Burrell of Morston Assets talked about ‘Best
                                                                     Practice: The Kings Lynn Millennium Housing Project’, an
                                                                     exemplar project of sustainable construction and innovative
                                                                     building design. The goals were to use less energy, improve
                                                                     room size and increase the daylight present in the buildings.
                                    Photo courtesy of Robert Hobbs
                                                                     An eco-homes excellent rating was also necessary. Community
                                                                     stewardship was identified as a key area in the scheme
Vicky Portwain of Coriolis Energy spoke about ‘Delivering
                                                                     in order to reduce vandalism etc. Attention to detail has
the East of England’s Energy Targets’. The East of England
                                                                     been paramount and an ecologist was employed in the site
Regional Spatial Strategy sets targets of 14 per cent of
                                                                     preparation. Transport - the movement of cyclists in particular,
electricity consumption to be delivered by renewables by 2010
                                                                     were given importance in the design aspect and transport is
and 44 per cent by 2020. Vicky argued these targets would
                                                                     a key element in achieving eco-homes rating. Morston have
only be met through commercial scale provision rather than
                                                                     found through Phase 1 of the development that energy saving
microgeneration. There is the need for a healthy renewables
                                                                     is not a huge factor in people buying homes. The type of
market and it should also be noted that wave and tidal energy
                                                                     dwelling, size and appearance is more important. Car parking
sources would not be commercially viable by 2010. Biomass
                                                                     is also an issue for homebuyers as people are reluctant to
is often cited as an alternative fuel but there are issues
                                                                     give up their cars. Education of residents in the benefits of
surrounding sourcing the raw material, traffic movements,
                                                                     energy efficiency was also necessary and Spencer concluded
high capital costs and long contracts. England is a very
                                                                     by emphasising the importance of keeping aware of changing
favourable location for wind power, but to be successful, it is
important there is connection to the national grid. This can be
very expensive due to the previous centralised regime around
                                                                     Rob Willis of Scott Wilson concluded with ‘Best Practice:
power stations. There are also the environmental impacts
                                                                     The Low Carbon Challenge: Energy Efficient Designs and
of wind turbines such as the visual impact on the landscape
                                                                     Layouts’. He discussed how efficient lighting could lead to a
and noise. This poses a problem as planning applications
                                                                     30 per cent saving on carbon emissions. Other energy efficient
take an unnecessary length of time according to Vicky and if
                                                                     measures included orientation of buildings to the south,
renewables are to become a more prominent source of energy
                                                                     locating tall buildings to the north to avoid overshadowing,
then there needs to be less opposition to the schemes.
                                                                     and building balconies and louvres into buildings-the latter
                                                                     allow for prevention of excessive heat gain in summer and
Sandy Cruickshank of GO-East discussed ‘Energy Generation
                                                                     allow a lower sun in winter. Roof gardens are also a good
& Conservation in the East of England’. He began by
                                                                     method of insulation, reducing the possible heat island effect.
mentioning the importance of money in climate change, as
                                                                     Rob referred to the example of Woodberry Down in north
highlighted by the Stern Report. The Government took more
                                                                     Hackney and also discussed how Combined Heat and Power
notice once the economics were explained and their 2016
                                                                     was important in achieving an ‘ecohomes very good’ standard
target of zero-carbon homes is way ahead of what other
                                                                     for the development. In conclusion, he discussed the way
countries are doing. The financial support for zero-carbon
                                                                     forward for planning layout and design, of which a key factor
housing is limited, although there has been much policy
                                                                     was changing lifestyles and taking a comprehensive approach
coming from Government in the past year. In the East, the
                                                                     to sustainability.
aspiration is to reduce energy usage. There is the need for
                                                                                                             The Orient Express Xmas ‘07 9

At the time of this newsletter going to print, the following is a draft Programme of Conferences planned for 2008:

                                                                            be Confirmed
   LDF’S - WHERE ARE WE NOW?                         Chelmsford             This is likely to be the first conference of 2008
   SUSTAINABILITY 1 (topic to be defined)                                   Looking at Quality of life / Sport / Health research
   PLANNING AND THE LANDSCAPE                        Ipswich                In association with the Landscape Institute
   PLANNING ENFORCEMENT                                                     In association with the National Assoc for
                                                                            Planning Enforcement
   CONSERVATION                                      Kings Lynn             In association with the IHBC. Incorporating the
                                                                            RTPI President’s visit to the Region
   PLANNING AND FLOOD RISK                                                  With assistance from the Environment Agency
   UPDATE FOR COUNCILLORS                            Cambridge              In association with the Politicians in Planning
   PLANNING LAW UPDATE                               Cambridge              Annual update conference
   SUSTAINABILITY 2 (topic to be defined)                                   In association with CIC East
   ACHIEVING HOUSING QUALITY AND                                            In association with RIBA / Inspire East
Any offers of help or assistance from Regional members would be very gratefully received! Suggestions of topics, speakers and
venues are also useful.

Please help us to provide the Regional events you need!

Up-to-date information can be obtained from: Tina Jessup, Regional Administrator, RTPI East of England
Tel: 01359 233408; Fax: 01359 232176; Email:;

    RTPI Library & Information Service                                                           REGIONAL
   The library is a reference-only collection consisting mainly of post-
   1990 publications on planning-related topics, including a wide-ranging                 All Members of the Regional
   collection of current UK development plans and 100 current journals.
                                                                                             Management Board and
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   includes details of library holdings (excluding current legislation),
   a comprehensive index to journal articles, and details of Institute                    Members can be contacted via
   publications and policy statements.                                                     the Regional Office at: RTPI
   The reading room at Botolph Lane is open in office hours. To get the best              East of England, 4 Opus House,
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   Internet search facilities are available free of charge, and there is a staff-          Thurston, Bury St Edmunds,
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   information as required.                                                               email:
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10 The Orient Express Xmas ‘07

Next Spring sees the 10th anniversary of work starting           With around 4,250 homes planned for Cambourne
on Cambourne, a visionary new settlement in the heart            and an expected population of over 10,000 residents,
of the Cambridgeshire countryside. Situated nine miles           providing adequate facilities to sustain such a thriving
west of Cambridge, it is being developed by a consortium         new community was a priority for both developers and
of three of the UK’s largest housebuilders - Bryant              planners. Cambourne has a centrally located High Street
Homes, George Wimpey and Bovis Homes.                            which provides a broad mix of retail outlets, offices and
                                                                 other services. It includes the Morrisons supermarket,
It may have been hard to imagine back then what a                library, health centre and the pub, The Monkfield Arms
thriving, sustainable, self contained community would
be created at Cambourne. But with 600 acres of open              A multi-denominational church is planned for the future
space, miles of cycle and bridleways, allotments, a              at Cambourne, as is a fully equipped sports centre. But in
well-known supermarket, a petrol station, two primary            the meantime there’s no shortage of sport available, with
schools, sports facilities, a four star hotel, medical centre,   tennis courts, a flood-lit multi-use games area with a
offices, a Business Park, takeaways, library, a cricket          hard surface pitch and an artificial grass pitch, a number
pavilion, vets and almost 3,500 homes - it certainly has         of sports fields, a cricket pitch and pavilion, a skateboard
plenty to boast about.                                           park designed by professionals in conjunction with local
                                                                 teenagers and an informal kick-about area for the kids.
Homes are grouped into three areas – Great Cambourne,            The Cambridge Belfry Hotel at Cambourne also has a
Lower Cambourne and Upper Cambourne, each set                    superb gymnasium, pool and spa leisure complex.
around a green open space. A whole spectrum of
different homes provide something for everyone. One              An imaginative new play area with a Roman theme
bedroom apartments nestle next to six bedroom                    opened at Lower Cambourne in 2002. The theme was
detached properties; two bedroom terraces sit neatly             chosen to reflect archaeological findings dating back
beside three-storey townhouses. There are retirement             to Roman times on this part of the settlement and the
homes, live/work properties, chalet-style homes and              different environments within the play area cater for
affordable housing too, all of which have lead to a well-        toddlers up to teenagers.
mixed and balanced new community.
                                                                 The Eco Park also has two recreational areas – one
Within months of the first residents moving in, a sense          a teenage hangout area, and the other an eco-themed
of community began to emerge in Cambourne. There                 area for younger children. The teenage hangout area
are now more than 7,000 residents, the vast majority             has been planned in conjunction with youngsters living
of which are passionate about their new community and            at Cambourne to make sure they got exactly the sort of
proud to be part of this exciting project as the drawing         facilities they wanted. Another popular children’s play
board plans have steadily become the reality in which            area, equipped with colourful swings, slides and play
they live their everyday lives.                                  equipment, has been created near the green in Great
Built over 1,000 acres, Cambourne combines the very
best of town and country living and has been widely              Educational facilities have been key in attracting families
recognised as a fantastic example of how wildlife and            to Cambourne. Monkfield Park Primary School opened
care for the environment can be incorporated and                 in 2000 and quickly established itself in the top 25 per
positively encouraged by housebuilders and planners.             cent of schools having gained glowing OFSTED reports.
                                                                 The school has been the first in the county to have an
Cambourne features over 600 acres of green open space,           Advanced Skills level teacher and also leads the way in
including 112 acres of new woodland, 55 acres of new             educational technology.
ecological grassland, 14 acres of new lakes and wetlands,
10 miles of new hedgerows, 12 miles of new cycleways,            The Vine Inter-Church School opened in Upper
footpaths and bridleways, a 70 acre new country park,            Cambourne in 2005 and now has more than 420 pupils
a 22 acre new ‘eco-park’, 18 acres of new ‘greenways’,           aged four to 11. The Just Learning private day nursery is
125 acres of new ‘nature reserve’ and 250,000 new trees          also proving popular with parents and is an integral part
and shrubs.                                                      of the Cambourne infrastructure.

                                                                                                      The Orient Express Xmas ‘07 11

 Not only does Cambourne offer the ideal place to live, it    to the third phase of development – Upper Cambourne. A
 also offers the ideal place to work. Cambourne Business      wealth of new homes is set to be built, providing modern,
 Park is a vital aspect of the development, offering          comfortable living. With the sustainability of Cambourne
 modern, adaptable office space built to the highest          in mind the properties will all be built to high green
 specification across 50 acres. Situated at the entrance      specifications.
 to Cambourne, the Business Park has easy access to the
 road network which feeds into major north-south and          And there are more community facilities to come too as
 east-west trunk roads. There is also an excellent public     the next exciting growth phase gets underway. A third
 transport system, including major rail links into London     primary school is also planned as part of the enhanced
 just a short journey away. Cambourne provides an ideal       development of Upper Cambourne, along with a multi-
 hub for regional and national businesses.                    purpose sports centre, a golf course, a care home, fire
                                                              and police stations and a DIY/garden store.
 Richard Phillips, Bryant Homes’ regional managing
 director commented: “The vision behind Cambourne is to       Richard added: “Going forward, our aim is to bring
 provide a whole new living environment with shops and        Cambourne more in line with current Government
 services on the doorstep that will encompass the best of     guidelines on land use. We are seeking to improve the
 the past with all the benefits of modern planning. We’re     viability and sustainability of the community in terms of
 not just building another housing development, from the      facilities and services by increasing the total population.
 very outset our sincere desire has been the creation of      As well as ensuring a good mix of housing, we will
 a new community which offers a fantastic environment         preserve open countryside by increasing the number of
 for residents and visitors to live, work and play. The       homes being built on land already designated as housing
 fact that this has come to fruition is tribute to everyone   areas, but will not be building on areas designated as
 involved – not least the residents.”                         green open land.”

 So what next for Cambourne? With Lower and Great             For further information on Cambourne visit www.
 Cambourne virtually complete, attention has now turned

                                                                                             Photo courtesy of Barton Willmore

        SERVICES                                              Semi-retired and fully-retired Regional Members,

            Register of semi-retired Planners                 are entitled to entry to Regional Conferences at the
                                                              subsidised rate.
            For details, Contact Tina Jessup, Regional
            Administrator, RTPI East of England               Full-time Student Regional Members in full-time
            Tel: 01359 233408; Fax: 01359 232176;
            Email:;                 are entitled to entry to Regional Conferences at the
                                                              subsidised rate.
            A Carer’s allowance may be available for those Members who have to make special care
            arrangements in order to attend a Regional event.
 12 The Orient Express Xmas ‘07

                            WORLD TOWN PLANNING DAY 8.11.07

From that week’s Queen’s Speech, John Dagg sketched          will apply to transport projects such as strategic roads,
out provisions in the Climate Change Bill, the Planning      airports and ports; water – reservoirs and water transfer
Reform Bill, the Housing and Regeneration Bill, Energy       stations; wastewater projects and waste – energy from
Bill, Local Transport Bill, and Heritage Protection          waste and hazardous waste recovery and disposal.
(Draft) Bill, and mentioned in passing the Marine Bill.
It is clearly going to be a very busy and intense year for   She questioned the legal scope of powers to be conferred
planners and lawyers.                                        on the Commission, the issue of consultation, and the
                                                             very complicated role that the Commission will have
John then gave a quick review of the year:                   guiding and assisting and advising applicants and
                                                             deciding the applications. She concluded that there
The intention of the Government to transfer strategic        would be a clear lack of democratic accountability, but
regional plan preparation to Regional Development            it does separate the policy making from decision-making.
Agencies (RDAs) requires primary legislation. However        Finishing, she said ‘we will end up with a complicated
RDAs are not set up to deal with broader integrated          system for simple projects, and a simple system for
regional strategies and are appointed bodies with no         complicated projects!’
democratic mandate!
                                                             David Brock, of Mills & Reeve spoke about ‘Planning
The deadline for saving policy from plans that pre-date      Gain’. The Planning Charge (PC) is “A new statutory
the Planning and Compensation Act 2004 passed on             planning charge to enable councils to capture greater
28th September resulting, in some authorities, in a mix      levels of planning gain to support new infrastructure and
of saved old policy and emerging Local Development           housing”. Planning gain is identified as the uplift in land
Framework as the local basis for development control.        value that occurs with the grant of planning permission,
To date the saved policy has not always been easy to find,   and will support infrastructure, and support new housing.
and guidance on the transitional position seems to be        In short it is “a dedicated tax”.
                                                             It will not deal with affordable housing nor will it deal
Other important changes: the coming into force of PPS3       with “costs related to the specific development site”.
on 1st April and cancellation of Greenfield and Density      David advised those delegates from local authorities to
Directions; PPS25 in December 2006 and CLG Circular          identify the infrastructure that is needed in the area and
04/2006 followed by the T & C P (Flooding) (England)         ensure this is included in the LDF.
Direction in force from the beginning of this year; new
Advertisement Regulations in April; and amendments to        The PC is not the end of Planning Agreements. David
chapter 6 of PPG15 in CLG Circular 01/2007.                  outlined some of the things that may be deemed
                                                             necessary to make development acceptable in planning
Shabana Anwar of Burcham Dyson Bell gave a talk on           terms that would not be part of the PC regime, and
Planning for Major Infrastructure and the proposals          pointed out that the five tests of Circular 5/2005 still
for change set out in the Planning White Paper. We can       apply. He outlined some common problems of planning
look forward to NIPS (National Infrastructure Policy         agreements and commended the Law Society’s Model
Statements), and the IPC (Infrastructure Planning            Planning Agreement. He concluded by pointing out that
Commission). One of the benefits of the new system           there are major similarities between the PC and the
is the bringing together of the consents required for a      abandoned Planning Gain Supplement and that there is a
major project into a unified consent regime. Shabana         great deal of work ahead in implementing the PC.
gave an example of the present system with the
Heathrow Terminal 5 project requiring 37 applications        Peter Brady of the Planning Law Practice entertained
under 7 regimes. In England the unified consent regime       us with a gallop through a Planning Law Case Review

                                                                                                 The Orient Express Xmas ‘07 13

of 2006/07. A brief article such as this cannot hope          a board of Councillors – the Local Member Review Body
to do justice to the range of cases that Peter reviewed       (LMRB). As over 90% of applications are determined
for us. The Oysterfleet Hotel plc v Secretary of State        under delegated powers this move may be self-defeating.
case was included as it illustrated the difference            If permission is refused by officers there will be an
between the Inspector’s choice of words in weighing           inevitable demand to be heard by the LMRB – didn’t we
the evidence before him, and the precise words used in        used to call that a planning committee?
PPG2. Ashwell Property v Cambridge City Council was
another Greenbelt case, Horner v Lancashire County            Martin concluded that many of the proposed changes
Council was the only Environmental Assessment case to         appear to be change for the sake of change. The
catch Peter’s eye. Britannia Development v Secretary          proposals are likely to lead to an increase in litigation on
of State was an interesting case where 7 out of 81            the fairness of the procedure, and the courts may have to
dwellings had been built in the wrong position. The           consider the planning merits of a case where these have
Inspector refused retrospective planning permission for       not been aired properly through the revised system.
five of the dwellings. The Court held that the Inspector
hadn’t considered the personal position of the occupiers                                                     Jackie Ward
and the Decision was quashed even though the point
wasn’t raised in evidence by the developer or the local
planning authority. M and M Land v the Secretary
of State showed that Certificates of Lawfulness, like                   Communications
planning permissions can be abandoned. Mid Counties            Would you rather receive information from the Region
Co-Op v Forest of Dean DC was an interesting case              by email? The Region’s e-mailing list is growing! We are
for all Development Controllers. The High Court held           keen to reduce the post coming through your letterbox
that Forest of Dean DC had failed to deal properly with        or into your in-tray - would you rather receive your
an objection and failed to give adequate reasons for           information by email?
granting approval. The strong message common to all            There is the added advantage that you would receive the
the cases that we whizzed through was that the Courts          most up-to-date information at the earliest opportunity
are tough on procedure. The merits of the case are             of events organised at short notice, or changes to
                                                               published information about events.
arguable, but the process is not.
                                                               Please contact the Regional Administrator Tina Jessup
                                                               at if you are keen to receive
Finally Barrister Martin Edwards of 39 Essex Street
                                                               information electronically.
took us through Current Appeals Practice and the
Government’s Proposals. Martin advised that the
right of appeal is available even if the local planning
authority refuses to register an application (Court
of Appeal in R v Sec of State Ex p Bath and N E
Somerset). He reminded the audience that the TCPA
1990 still preserves the right to be heard. The Planning
Inspectorate (PINS) cannot enforce the written
representations procedure on appellants. Martin
outlined the government’s proposals for changes to the
appeal system. This includes speeding up the system by
changing the timetable for different types of applications,
e.g. all householder appeals will have to be lodged within
8 weeks.

There is a provision in the white Paper for minor appeals
to be determined by the local planning authority through

The Orient Express Xmas ‘07 14

Nestled in the historic city of Cambridge between Petty
Cury and Downing Street, lies the city’s most exciting
and ambitious retail development of recent years. The
£220million ‘Grand Arcade’ scheme is being carried out
under the partnership of the Universities Superannuation
Scheme (USS) and Grosvenor Developments Limited
(GDL). The sophisticated retail development on Christ’s
Lane opened on 1 November this year and boasts a
collection of popular fashion retailers including Zara
and H&M. The anchor tenant to the scheme is John
Lewis, who have a brand new 280,000 sq ft purpose
built department store spread over five floors. Hidden
behind the historic facades of St. Andrews Street lies the
Grand Arcade itself which is due to open in Spring 2008
and will contain 52 shops, 2 cafes and 1 restaurant.
The developers aim to offer ‘a 21st Century shopping
experience in the heart of Cambridge’.

According to the British Retail Consortium, UK
retail sales in 2006 reached £256billion and with the
escalating popularity of internet shopping it is essential
that the viability and vitality of retail
developments in city and town centres are                  KEY FACTS                  the period of the development plan.
enhanced and revitalised. To strengthen                                               The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
the growth of these centres, Planning          The cost of the scheme developed       Structure Plan 2003 identifies growing
Policy Statement 6: ‘Positive Planning          by Universities Superannuation        population and in-migration as the
                                                     Scheme and Grosvenor
for Town Centres’ (PPS6) encourages                     Developments Ltd.             reason for the increased demand in retail
‘the diversification of uses’ to provide a                                            floorspace with Cambridge currently
                                                          450,000sq ft
wide range of services and improve the          The total size of the new Grand       ranked fourth in the UK for floorspace
environment. The Grand Arcade scheme                  Arcade development.             demand. The marked recovery of the
has incorporated a number of community                    280,000sq ft                economy during the 1990’s coupled with
facilities into the development including       The total size of the brand new       Cambridge’s growing, affluent catchment
                                                  John Lewis store on Downing
the new Cambridge Magistrates Court            Street which is the anchor tenant
                                                                                      population of over 2.7 million, produces
on St. Andrews Street and the newly              to the development. It covers 5      a retail comparison goods market
                                                storeys and is one of the largest
rebuilt and refurbished Cambridge                                                     – excluding convenience categories, of
                                                 stores in John Lewis’ portfolio.
Central Library which will offer a modern                                             about £1.2billion per year. With the UK
working environment, café and conference                       52                     clothing market set to increase to a value
                                               The number of retail units housed
facilities and will reopen alongside the              by the Grand Arcade.            of £22.2billion by 2008 compared to
Grand Arcade in Spring 2008.                                                          £20.4billion in 2003 there is no doubt
                                                 The number of car parking spaces     that demand for floorspace will continue
Both national and regional planning              provided by the recently re-opened   to increase.
                                                        Lion Yard car park.
guidance recognise the need to make
better use of existing land in areas                             500                  To support and guide Cambridge City’s
                                                  The number of cycle park spaces
of significant growth to promote and              provided under the scheme which
                                                                                      Retail Strategy, Hillier Parker were
manage change in town centres over                  also includes storage lockers.    commissioned in 2001 on behalf of
                                                                                                          The Orient Express Xmas ‘07 15
                                                              within Cambridge’s existing, historic environment often
                                                              noted for its architectural merit. The project has a bold
                                                              structural composition with a contrasting mix that
                                                              combines the old facades and streetscene of St. Andrews
                                                              Street with a palette of modern, yet natural materials
                                                              such as glass, stone and timber. Although the newly built,
                                                              pristine stone facades of Christ’s Lane look prominent
                                                              in the streetscene, the development has been built to
                                                              provide a long term, durable, flexible space and it is
                                                              expected that over time the surfaces will weather and
                                                              integrate into the environment.

Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City
Council and Cambridge City Council to provide a Retail
Review of Cambridgeshire. The study concluded that
following the development of the Grand Arcade and the
extension to the nearby Grafton Centre, there would be
no need for additional retail development in the City.
It was therefore essential that the design and delivery
of the Grand Arcade scheme provided an accessible,
well built development to sustain the vitality of the City
centre for the foreseeable future.

The Grand Arcade development is in a sustainable                                           Photos courtesy of Barton Willmore
location, surrounded by a network of transport routes
including cycle lanes, one way and pedestrianised streets     The Grand Arcade will provide a glass covered arcade
and bus routes including the Park and Ride scheme             and atrium, acting as a thoroughfare between John
which under a planning agreement, the developers              Lewis, Petty Cury, St. Andrews Street and car/cycle
committed £3 million towards securing the site in nearby      parks. The diversity of uses and services will encourage
Trumpington. The location of the scheme within the busy       an animated and busy streetscape, providing meeting
City centre provides the ability to shop close to where       areas and establishing a sense of place. The aim is to
people live and work reducing the need to travel and          create a vibrant city centre which remains in use from
reliance on the private car. Alongside the availability       the morning through into the night creating a safe, active
of a wide range of public transport routes, additional        and inviting space, maintaining the vitality and viability
car parking provision has been developed in association       of this retail hub for the foreseeable future.
with the Grand Arcade scheme. The existing Lion Yard
car park was demolished to make way for a new, multi          And remember, shopping is for life not just for
storey car park which utilises space above the retail units   Christmas...
and offers 960 spaces. A cycle park with 500 spaces
and secure lockers has also been provided to encourage
sustainable methods of transport to the site.                  Jennifer Massingham is a Planner
                                                               at Barton Willmore in their
The retention and use of the historic facades of St.           Cambridge Office
Andrew Street is an innovative and essential element of
the scheme which should help establish the development

16 The Orient Express Xmas ‘07

A year on from their first event, the Norfolk Young            Council and both young planners. Although it poured
Planners Group held their fifth event in what is turning       down twice during the walk, this did not deter those
out to be a very well supported network in the city of         who attended. The tour was focused on contemporary
Norwich. This time it was simply a social event held at        architecture and high-density housing. Afterwards a
the Slug and Lettuce in the city and was attended by           drink was had in the historic Wig and Pen near the
25 built environment professionals, mainly planners but        Cathedral.
also a few surveyors and landscape architects after our
decision to open up the young planner events to younger        In September Jacqui Ward, APC Development Officer
members of the RICS, RIBA, IHBC and the Landscape              at the RTPI, gave a presentation on the Assessment of
Institute. This follows on from the model present in           Professional Competence at the Angel Hotel in Bury
Yorkshire by YORNET, which is a built environment              St Edmunds. The event was well attended by around 35
professionals network supported by the RTPI Yorkshire          young planners from around the region in what proved to
branch.                                                        be a very interesting and informative event. Afterwards a
                                                               number stayed on for a walking tour of the Historic Core
The way regions were organised was again a topic               Zones Project area of the town, given by Ramon Keeley
of discussion at the recent National Young Planners            of St Edmundsbury Council. Drinks followed in the Dog
Conference held in Glasgow in October. There were four         and Partridge. Thanks must be given to James Phillips
representatives from the region in what was a very             of St Edmundsbury Council for his help in organising the
enjoyable and interesting two days. Glasgow, for those         event and finding a change of venue at short notice.
who have been before, is a very grand merchant city and
the young planners were very privileged to be received by      The next Young Planners event to be held in the region
the Mayor for a civic reception in the Council Chambers.       will be on 21 February in the Council Chamber at City
The attention to detail in the architecture of this building   Hall in Norwich. The topic will be housing related and
was quite stunning. Bids are being circulated for next         we are seeking sponsorship for what we expect will be
year’s conference at the moment and I would thoroughly         a popular event, which will also be open to the IHBC,
recommend attending it. October also saw the Haven             the Landscape Institute, RIBA and RICS. If you or your
Gateway Young Planners Group hold their first event            employer would be interested in sponsoring this event
(see related article by Laura Smith).                          then please contact me on
Since the previous edition of the Orient Express and
in addition to the event already mentioned, there have         We are also always looking to promote events
been two further events in the region. The Norfolk Young       throughout the region so if you would like to become
Planners Group were treated to a walking tour of the           involved in the organisation of the network then please
city by Chris Bennett, conservation officer, and Helen         e-mail me at the address above.
Bowman, development control officer, both of the City                                                      Robert Hobbs

                    DESIGN AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT - 18.10.07
 The first Haven Gateway Young Planners event took place in Ipswich with Bob Kindred from Ipswich Borough
 Council and Mike Munt from English Heritage who shared their knowledge with a range of public and private
 sector young planners from the Haven Gateway area.
 The initial question and answer session and the PowerPoint presentation at Suffolk County Council were focussed
 on PPG15, the role of English Heritage and the responsibilities of Ipswich Borough Council. Plans for specific
 sites along the Ipswich waterfront and their impacts on the local historic environment were then discussed.
 During the walking tour the speakers talked through the opportunities and constraints at some of the key
 development sites along the historic waterfront, including the Cranfield Mill development and the University
 Campus Suffolk. Key issues included the number of proposed building storeys in relation to the surrounding
 conservation area and the role of redevelopment in contributing to the restoration and upkeep of listed buildings,
 particularly the historic churches.
 The issues sparked some lively debate between the two speakers, much to everyone’s interest and amusement.
 Dinner and drinks at the Lord Nelson Pub were enjoyed by all.’’
                                                                                                       Laura Smith

                                                                                                  The Orient Express Xmas ‘07 17

You are all cordially invited to meet Marcia Worslspittle,
‘the Catherine Cookson of the Marshes’, at an ‘At Home’ and
‘Christmas Extravaganza’ on 24th December 2006.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The Town and Country Planning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 (Environmental Impact Assessment)
Yes, a real old fashioned festive jamboree awaits you in the                                                                                                                                                                                                     (England) (Amendment) Regulations
snug of the Double Glaziers Arms [1] at Saltfleet, starting at                                                                                                                                                                                                                 2007
the witching hour of 7.21 pm.

 Come and be lulled into a soporific state of blissfulness                                                                                                                                                                                                    The consultation paper published 19 October 2007,
  as you listen to selective readings from some of Marcia’s                                                                                                                                                                                                    sets out proposals for amending the Town and Country
  best loved works-in true marshland dialect (simultaneous                                                                                                                                                                                                     Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England)
  translation is planned).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               (Amendment) Regulations 2007 following two related
 Let all your senses be stimulated by the delights of the
  award winning Chris Shepley Formation Dance team.                                                                                                                                                                                                            judgements in the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The
 Marvel at the fire eating and juggling (but not necessarily)                                                                                                                                                                                                 proposed changes to the EIA regulations are a result of
  feats of lefty Cartwright.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   interim advice from the Department for Communities
 Drink the local beverages, brewed as in days of yore, by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               and Local Government (DCLG) in June 2006 which was
  Abraham Oosedam himself.
 Be seduced by the genuine marshland gloom through                                                                                                                                                                                                            then issued to Chief Planning Officers in England.
  which our exotic dancers Zoë and Shiraz will just be
  discerned as they sway and wiggle in a dramatic climax to                                                                                                                                                                                                    The significance of the ECJ judgements is that where
  the proceedings, as you listen to the triumphal concluding                                                                                                                                                                                                   it has not been possible to carry out or complete an
  passages of the 1974 Overture by Sigmund Oosedam and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               EIA during the initial stages of a development which
  watch, amazed as a mind blowing fireworks display lights
  up Bradwell Power Station on the other side of the creek,                                                                                                                                                                                                    consists of a multi-stage process, for example an outline
  culminating in the burning of the effigy of Captain Fergus                                                                                                                                                                                                   application with subsequent reserved matter applications,
  C. Grimthorpe – leader of the 1788 [2] Revenue Men.                                                                                                                                                                                                          it must be possible for an EIA to be completed at a later
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               stage. Interim guidance to the Chief Planning Officers
Forget all those boring office parties get down to the marshes
where anything goes!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           from DCLG advise that administrative procedures must
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               comply and carry out EIA screening of applications at
Notes:-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the reserved matters stage following the determination
[1] The venue was to be the Lean-to Extension of the Oozefleet Multi Media
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               by the House of Lords in the ex parte Barker case.
Performance and Arts centre, Museum and Paraffin Emporium - winner of
the special category of the Boadicea East of England Art in the Community
Millennium Awards. However it has now been declared ‘unfit’ and we                                                                                                                                                                                             The amending regulations not only enable EIA to be
understand that Abraham Oosedam has promised the return of most of the                                                                                                                                                                                         carried out at the reserved matters stage but would
grant money.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               also allow EIA to be attached to the conditions of a
[2] 24th December 1788, is a date etched in the memory of all
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               full planning application for all types of development
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               including minerals developments. Following a review of
  What do you think about the new look                                                                                                                                                                                                                         minerals permissions under Schedule 2 to the Planning
  ORIENT EXPRESS?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and Compensation Act 1991 and Schedules 13 and 14
                                                                                      T E
                                                                                       R                                                                                                                                                                       to the Environment Act 1995, EIA may also be applied
If you have any views on new
                                                                                    Winter etter of the

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               to determined conditions which would require the
                                                                                             2006          Ro                                                                                                            BE     NER
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     CAM DFORDSH IN
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                                                                                                          No. 262
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format or anything else to do with                                                                                                                                                                                          SU       E
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         & N FFOLK

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               submission and approval of detailed matters prior to the

the newsletter, or if you or your                                                                                                                                                Wha
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               commencement of all or part of the works on site.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            by court

                                                                                                                                                                                 Bent Lies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    esy of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  n Willm

organisation would like to become a                                                                                                     You co
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                                                                                                                                                                      n a £2 n you re
                                                                                                                                                                         (see arks & Sp ise this tow
                                                                                                                                                                                   3 for encer vouc n?
                                                                                                                                                                                        furthe        he
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sponsor, please write to:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               The changes are due to come into force with these
Peter Hakes,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Regulations in January 2008. A new good practice guide
30 Viking Way, Brentwood,                   INSID
                                                   E The

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               on EIA and a Departmental Circular will replace DETR
                                           Confere        Boss
                                                  nces &         Goes
                                                                       East On
                                          News           Activit               World
                                               • The            ies •                Town
                                                     Queen’s          Inspire              Planni
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                                                                       15.11.        Renewa               • Reg
                                                                              06 • You       ble Ene            ional

Essex, CM15 9HX
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                                                                                                                   s • RP                  This
                                                                                                                         TI                       edition
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Circular 2/99 ‘Environmental Impact Assessment’.
                                                                                                                                                                        t Expr
                                                                                                                                                                              ess is


                                                                                                                                                                      ����� ���

or email:

18 The Orient Express Xmas ‘07
The Orient Express Xmas ‘07 19

            LOCKED FILING CABINETS                                                                      Electric Cinema, when they lay together in the, all too
               By Marcia Worlspittle (Mrs)                                                              brief, nights of passion in his small flat overlooking the
            translated by Slim Worlspittle (Mr)                                                         old brewery, when with great pride he had watched her
                                                                                                        play the euphonium in the Crabton and East Norfolk
An extract from the latest issue of Planners Up Front                                                   Wind Ensemble, when they had had those secret picnics
and on Top, reproduced by kind permission of Natasha                                                    under Corsican pines on Broome Heath when he had
               Oosedam, Editor in Chief.                                                                nibbled her home made pork pies….. and when they had
It was a slow but not tedious cross-country rail journey,
with many stops and the perusing of time tables, but                                                    At last, there she was … not Bella Muggerwort but Bella
at last he arrived at the east coast town of Crabton-                                                   Brethington-Whilmslowe. So she had married the Head
on-Sea. The highlight, if one could call it that, was the                                               of DC!
fact that following the arrival of the double DMU at
Shrewsbury Station from Wales, it then rather perversely                                                He stooped down and gently laid the flowers, which he
reversed all the way to Birmingham. On taking this up                                                   had carried around all day, on the moss covered stone in
with the conductor, he was assured that this was normal                                                 that quiet shady Norfolk cemetery.
practice!- but he had had to change his seat and face
the direction in which the train was now proceeding, so                                                 As he moved slowly away with tears in his once bright
that he was better able to appreciate the increasingly                                                  azure blue eyes he wondered whether Nancy, their
urbanised townscapes in the ‘Black country’ in stark                                                    daughter, ever thought of him.
contrast to the Cambrian hills, stone walls and fast
flowing streams which he had left behind.                                                               To be continued….

                                *      *       * *                                                      This was first published in Hard Back under the title
                                                                                                        ‘Closed Accounts’, but did not sell as well as expected
He gazed wistfully at the old East Norfolk RDC Town                                                     and is now available in a sort of squigy thin paperback
Hall, now converted (but not very well) to an elderly                                                   version with substandard glue not quite holding the
person’s complex. ‘Will I end up there?’ he wondered.                                                   poorly printed paper together.

                                                                                                                                     atasha x
At lunch time he scanned the faces of the office workers
emerging from the brand new Civic Centre. But he
recognised no one and no one recognised the now white
haired man, onetime Forward Planning Officer, soldier of
fortune and spy!

He had kicked at the pebbles on the North Sea facing
beach, trying to remember days when he had first met
the beautiful Bella.

He recalled the fleeting moments when they had walked
hand in hand on that beach, when they had kissed under
the gas lamps in Sheepshank Lane, when they had
snuggled together on the red plush back seats of the

       The views expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the Regional Activities Committee or Management Board,
                                                       the Institute or the author’s employer’s.

                                                   RTPI East of England Regional Office                                          Royal Town Planning Institute Registered Address
 4 Opus House, Elm Farm Park, Great Green, Thurston, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP31 3SH                                          41 Botolph Lane, London, EC3R 8DL

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