Shoosmiths planning team helps client complete project in time for London 2012

Shoosmiths planning team helps client complete project in time for London 2012

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Author: Matthew Kenwood and Tim Willis

We advised BWML in relation to their proposals to carry out development at Limehouse Marina in London. This included provision for additional moorings on the site.

Our client was keen to secure the completion of the works before the start of the London Olympics, in order to ensure that there was sufficient capacity on site to address the additional demand arising from the Games.

We advised our client on the most expedient way to achieve this objective, short of applying for full planning permission which would potentially delay a start of site (and carried the risk of potential refusal by the local planning authority).

What issue or challenge did this company face and what was their goal?

Our client's ultimate aim was to secure the necessary planning permission to carry out the works at the Marina in good time before the 2012 Olympics. The challenge was therefore to find a route to achieve that end which provided some certainty and avoided any delay in a tight development programme.

What role did we play in helping the client achieve this goal? What obstacles did we have to overcome? What was the client's view of our support?

As BWML is a "statutory undertaker" for the purposes of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development Order) 1995, we advised that our client should seek to rely on their "permitted development" powers, pursuant to Part 17 that Order. This avoided the need for a full application for planning permission and therefore removed the risk of refusal and delays that could flow from that. As part of that process, we also had input on Environmental Impact issues, and assisted with a successful application to the Secretary of State for a "Screening Direction" confirming that no Environmental Statement was required. That decision allowed BMWL to rely on and carry out the works pursuant to "permitted development" powers and ensured the timely delivery of the new moorings and other infrastructure.

We were able to provide the client with a single point of contact, ensuring a good working relationship could be built quickly. This was an extremely high profile development within BMWL and we were keen to secure the client's confidence and engagement early on to what was an innovative approach to the delivery of the development through the use of permitted development powers.

What approach did we take and was there anything exceptional or unusual to note?

We had a meeting with the client contact early on and agreed the communication strategy and critical dates in the development programme, by which planning permission was required. This gave the client sufficient information to allow them to understand the planning process and report back to their own line manager accordingly.

What was the end result for the client and how did they benefit?

Our assistance and guidance on the availability of, and application of permitted development powers, allowed BMWL to complete the necessary works in good time before the start of the 2012 London Olympics and at little risk of delay or legal challenge.