As 2018 comes to and end we reflect upon the achievements of the Practice over the last twelve months and speculate on the next twelve!
We began the year with a visit by RIBA President Ben Derbyshire who enthused the team focussing on quality of design as a key output for the combined professions of architecture and town planning. As Chairman of the RIBA Planning Group, Philip Waddy worked with the RIBA executive in responding to the Government’s launch of the revised draft National Planning Policy Framework in March and then in November Philip was on a panel of experts debating housing and sustainability at the Palace of Westminster.
Over the year we have logged in excess of 100 new commissions in addition to existing client instructions. These cover housing, education, retail and commercial projects and we have also delivered some exciting heritage schemes including Winterbourne Barns in Gloucestershire, Manor Farm Dunton and All Souls College Oxford. We have begun work on a number of exciting opportunities within the Oxford – Cambridge arc and in October submitted four Garden Community proposals to Government totalling 11,500 new homes plus associated infrastructure and commercial development.
We also restructured our business in 2018 into a ‘One Team’ model and have strengthened the practice significantly over the year welcoming Andrew Bateson as senior Planning partner plus Associates Gayatri Suryawanshi, Michael Blake and Ifti Maniar. Our team is stronger than ever with great interdisciplinary skills which perhaps explains how our success rate in achieving planning consent for our clients in 2018 was 96%.
So what’s in store for 2019? Brexit is obviously the big unknown and we hope our politicians resolve their differences so that the country can plan sensibly for life post 29thMarch 2019. There are huge opportunities ahead for us both in terms of the Oxfordshire Growth Deal and the Oxford – Cambridge arc which promise much new development in the years ahead. Above all we will continue to focus on quality of service and a result driven output for our clients, all of whom we wish a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!