Construction Breakfast – January 2017
Bristol City Council and the Future of Planning
Our construction breakfast events are hugely popular, providing construction professionals with a welcome opportunity to gather and network before work at Bordeaux Quay in Bristol. Every month, the event brings together stakeholders in and around the construction and property industry, showcasing keynote speakers that can add real value to the way that construction professionals collaborate. The best thing about it? The event offers construction professionals a slice of new thinking to go with their coffee and croissant.
This month, we were pleased to invite Paul Smith to address the audience of over 50 gathered construction professionals. Paul is an experienced Bristol City Councillor, who is the cabinet member for homes and communities, and therefore a key member in the decision-making about residential development in the Bristol area and with the neighbouring joint unitary authorities. Paul has worked in the housing sector for over a decade, speaking passionately about the emerging housing gap in Bristol and the Council’s evolving strategy and plans for dealing with it.
Development in Bristol presents its own set of unique challenges. The complex demands of political, planning, urban density, rising prices, and increasing population needs make this a vital time for local government to work with the private construction industry to be flexible and adaptive.
Paul explained that in Bristol the population increases by around 8000 each year, but housing growth in the past has not yet managed to meet that demand. Increasing rents, rising house prices and urban growth have not helped the situation. We heard about the different new initiatives the city Council has taken to release land for development, create new living spaces and develop existing sites which are privately owned but have not been taken forward to address this pressing issue of under supply over the next three years. Bristol City Council is dedicated to bringing forward new developments and is reviewing planning policies in 2017 to ensure that Bristol can get the most out of its urban spaces.
Paul engaged in a Q&A with the audience following his talk, which focused on planning processes, the shortage of skills and the effect of Brexit on workforce in the industry, the absence of a central contact at the Council for developers, and other key issues that the gathered professionals wanted further insight into. His talk gave everyone a sense of the challenges the industry faces, and offered interesting and varied solutions for the future of building in Bristol.
Our next construction breakfast will take place on Tuesday 7 February, with speaker Donna Kehoe, Agent from Bank of England. Click here to book your place!
Keep up to date with industry news and events (including our monthly Construction Breakfasts!) by subscribing to our newsletter or mailing list, following us on twitter, or keeping an eye on our events page.