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News Planning 31st Mar 2016

Freeths debate: how do we make the planning system work for business?

On Wednesday 13 April, national leading law firm Freeths LLP are teaming up with the University of Derby, to host the third in a series of debates. The subject is “How do we make the Planning System work for Business?” To be held at Derby University, we are anticipating an evening of inspiring discussion and debate with high profile business leaders on the current state of the UK planning system and their visions for the future.

Many people in business think the UK Planning system is broken. In the 21st Century we now have a high cost system that does not deliver results with any degree of confidence and is plagued by delays. The problem is: how to fix it?

The evening will be hosted by Chairperson Mike Copestake of Freeths, with guest speaker Derek Latham – Chairman, Lathams Architects and Robert Bruce – Partner, Planning Team, Freeths LLP.

Mike Copestake, Freeths, said:

“Recent research from the Spatial Economics Research Council suggests that, amongst other things, planning restrictions substantially raise house prices and have a negative impact on retail productivity. In this debate,we want to explore why this is, whether those restrictions are in the public interest and if not, how they should be changed.I am delighted to be chairing this event alongside Derek and Robert, both of whom are senior and well known practitioners in the field of Planning and look forward to their insights into this important subject.”

Mike has been a partner at Freeths’ Derby office for over 20 years and will be sharing his extensive knowledge of the challenges facing the East Midlands business sector through his experience in commercial legal practice.

Derek Latham is an Urban Designer, Architect, Landscape Architect, Town Planner, Conservation Architect and was principal of Lathams for 35 years. He now advises Historic England on its Urban Panel and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Derby.

Robert Bruce, a partner in the Planning & Environment team at Freeths. He has over 15 years’ experience advising on planning, highways,compulsory purchase, infrastructure, and local government law and, more recently, the community infrastructure levy. He has represented clients on the £3.5bn redevelopment of Brent Cross and acted on a Judicial Review of the original decision of the Government relating to HS2.

For more details, including how to attend the debate please visit:

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