Planning for approval – what you need to know

Proposed RIBA Curriculum Topic: Places, Planning and communities

Planning has been devolved to local authorities now for some time but some councils are challenging development in a way which can make securing approvals more difficult. The approach of the Planning Appeals Commission and evolving policy are crucial to understanding what development will be allowed and what may need refinement. A number of councils are now currently consulting on their draft Plan Strategies as the Local Development Plan process moves forward and their various approaches will impact on what is permissible in the future. 

RSUA has asked William Orbinson QC to join with Angela Wiggam, Director at Turley, to deliver an expert-led seminar for architects who are navigating the planning system.  This seminar will explore challenges and opportunities with respect to securing planning permissions from both a technical and legal perspective.

Course content

This session will cover:

  • Types of appeal, including virtual hearings
  • The approach of the Planning Appeals Commission, recent decisions and the impact on securing planning permission
  • Local Development Plans – an update on the progress made by each Council and how to engage in the virtual Independent Examination sessions
  • draft Plan Strategies – what they mean for applicants
  • Q&A with speakers

Speaker Info

William Orbinson QC

As Northern Ireland’s first and only Senior Counsel with an exclusive specialism in planning and related environmental law issues, William Orbinson QC spends his time providing the development community with commercially-aware expert planning and environmental advice, and appearing in major planning inquiries, development plan inquiries and independent examinations, planning appeals, enforcement appeals, judicial reviews and prosecutions. With more than a quarter of a century’s specialist experience, he works in all spheres of development, including residential, commercial, conservation, retail, waste and energy.  William is an Associate of RSUA.

Angela Wiggam

Angela is a chartered town planner with over 17 years’ experience and an Associate member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.  She began her planning career working for the Department of Environment where she was part of the planning team working on the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP).  She worked for the Department of Environment for several years before taking up a role with Turley in 2005.

Angela is a planning Director at Turley where she leads on a range of development projects and has a specific focus on Local Development Plans.  She has a significant level of expertise and knowledge across all sectors of planning and has acted as an expert witness representing clients’ interests at Local Development Plan Inquiries and Lands Tribunal cases.