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Innovative planning supports night time economy, young planners told

05 December 2017

RTPI Young Planner Chairs W Amy Lame 1.12.17

The innovative use of existing planning mechanisms - including S106 agreements and local plans - can help deliver a thriving night time economy, young planners have been told.

RTPI Young Planners heard from London City Hall's Night Czar, Amy Lamé and Jon Morgan, Theatres Trust Director about how they're using planning – and in particular four key measures - in their work to grow the night time economy.

These measures include:

  • having a pub, club or other culture venue designated as an asset of community value to help protect the venue’s use. Lamé told the young planners it makes people 'stop and think' about the importance of a particular business or community facility
  • S106 agreements, the contributions developers make to local infrastructure and services, could be a way of funding new venues and leisure facilities. Lamé and Morgan cited examples of where this had been done – a LGBT pub in East London and various theatres, also in London, but it has not been widely used across the rest of the country
  • 'Agent of change' regulations in London will ensure new developments take account of all existing uses. Lamé says new buildings will have to be sound proofed so they can peacefully co-exist alongside night venues, putting a stop to the current problem where residents in new residential developments complain about noise from existing night spots, effectively closing them down
  • More strongly planning for and promoting culture in Local Plans and Town Centre Strategies – Lamé and Morgan both agreed that a strong vision is needed

Following the meeting, Luke Coffey MRTPI, RTPI Young Planner of the Year said:

“It’s clear proactive planning can play a key role in creating a vibrant, safe and diverse night time economy – not just in London but in cities and towns across the UK. The challenge for us, as young planners, is to put the preservation and enhancement of the cultural component of place at the heart of what we do to ensure that it is not an afterthought.”

At their biannual meeting, held last week at London's Ministry of Sound, the young planners also heard from Stephanie Fischer, architect at Burrell Foley Fischer LLP, about her work reviving failing town centres with leisure led developments. She cited examples of their work from Broadway, Nottingham, Prestatyn, Newlyn and Lewes to show how planning for leisure led redevelopments act as catalysts for further redevelopment, creating employment, new activity and night time vibrancy.

Read: Clear communication key to effective planning, RTPI Young Planners hear

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