Charlie Collins

Head of Planning South East, Savills

Charlie specialises in strategic development, planning promotions and applications, green belt and CIL. His focus is on the housing sector. Charlie has been a planning consultant for thirteen years, following his early career in local government. He has been responsible for the Guildford/Sevenoaks planning team since August 2016, growing the team to fourteen professionals.

Charlie was Savills Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) lead planner for three years, and now coordinates Thought Leadership for town planning at Savills.

Planning overview

“The planning system needs a magic trick – it is getting better and I will go through the areas of improvement, but I will also cover the areas of challenge.”

Around 44% of authorities have an up to date Local Plan, however a large proportion of authorities don’t. The implications are severe – those with no plan account for about 110,000 dwellings per year of housing need.

On a national level, Charlie looks at housing land supply. Each authority needs to demonstrate it has a five years’ worth of housing. The trend is good – but the south is exposed. The average supply is 5.5 years, 0.5% lower than national average of 6%. Struggles are connected to absence of plans and stalled delivery in Green Belt areas.

In the south, we are not delivering the housing promised. Delivery is important – the situation is better in terms of planning permissions with over 350,000 dwellings consented with delivery edging towards 250,000.

In reviewing 41 strategic sites across England (500 houses plus) it is clear there is a huge range and little correlation in speed of delivery. Charlie shares thoughts on the common factors for success.

Finally, the climate change challenge is here. In context, each year around 1% of existing housing in Britain is added to though new development and this is roughly what we need – the problem is how we deal with existing housing stock. View Charlie’s presentation to find out more.

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