The Government’s proposed planning reforms stand to offer opportunities and benefits to start up companies, according to planner Nick Paterson-Neild.

Mr Paterson-Neild, partner at Barton Willmore, presented his thoughts on the Government’s Planning for the Future White Paper in a video debate with UK Property Forums managing director Matthew Battle.

His presentation follows on from the The Power of Innovation and Collaboration session at UK Prop Fest on September 15, sponsored by Barton Willmore, Stantec, Jansons Property and Segro. It looked at how the Thames Valley and The Oxford – Cambridge Arc could benefit.

Mr Paterson-Neild said the plans support the knowledge economy and the need for innovation and collaboration.

He added: “We are looking at a reformed planning system which is coming our way, with legislation next year, and beyond other policy changes are afoot.

“There is real opportunities and benefits for start up companies. There is a more flexible approach to the way land, and use classes for land, is defined.

“There is an opportunity for businesses to create space that can transend the restrictions of the former planning legislation and actually be more responsive and dynamic.

“I think that is what businesses are crying out for, an opportunity to enable them to stride forward and create new opportunities for development.”

Mr Paterson-Neild said Thames Valley Science Park illustrates the modern type of business park, designed to encourage collaboration.

He explained: “The concept there, from the beginning, was to move away from what was dubbed as ‘an atomised business park’ where there are a series of pavilion buildings where people may go to go about their daily business but not necessarily interact with people from other companies.

“But where actually the design concept was more akin to a street, more akin to a campus-style environment that we are more familiar with in an education type of context, where the different activities of different occupiers are brought together. Then there may be core facilities that are complementary to those individual businesses.

“Whether they are multi-let buildings or tenants within an entire building, the concept remains that you want to try and create interaction and bring those people together because it’s the interaction between different sectors which can actually lead to a step change in innovation.”

TVSP, he said, also illustrates how successful clusters can work including at the proposed Cine Valley where Blackhall Studios plans a major development along with various TV, film and creative support.

He said: “The UK is very much a world leader in film and TV production. There are so many skills based in this country and have been for many years and there’s a real demand for creative media content particularly through a number of new operators through the internet.

“It’s a big growth area, an area the UK can excel at but it’s just one example of industries that will benefit from collaborative environment where likeminded organisations can flourish.”

All five webinar sessions from UK Prop Fest can be watched here.

Image (from Mr Paterson-Neild’s presentation) is of The Oxford to Cambridge Arc.

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