planning

Promotions in The Urbanists team recognises professional development

Congratulations on your hard work! (L-R): Liam, Jamie, Clara, Paraic and Lauren.

Congratulations on your hard work! (L-R): Liam, Jamie, Clara, Paraic and Lauren.

It is really satisfying to share with you the good news that we have promoted some of our team members in recognition of their positive influence on the business.

Professional development and wellbeing are at the heart of our culture within The Urbanists. We are all motivated to be exceptionally good at what we do so that this translates to better quality outcomes for our clients and to making better places.

Several members of our team have made significant strides in their professional development and we feel that such progress and maturity warrants recognition in terms of their role within the business. We congratulate the following on their success:

  • Liam Hopkins is now an Associate Director

  • Lauren Phillips is now a Senior Associate

  • Jamie Donegan is now an Associate

  • Clara Koehler is now a Senior Urban Designer; and

  • Paraic McDevitt is now a Landscape Architect

These promotions demonstrate the importance of the personal commitment that Liam, Lauren, Jamie, Clara and Paraic have made to their own professional improvement and to The Urbanists. We hope that this not only inspires their colleagues but demonstrates to our clients that their projects are being looked after by committed, diligent and talented people.

We look forward to furthering the professional growth of all of our team in the future!


The Urbanists to develop Wrexham corridor regeneration plan

The Urbanists have been appointed by Wrexham County Borough Council and Welsh Government to carry out a feasibility study into the future placemaking and development opportunities along the Mold Road Corridor. 

Wrexham is a key regional driver for North East Wales and Mold Road is an important arterial route into the town. The significance of the route is derived from the presence of Wrexham’s Glyndwr University, The Racecourse stadium and Wrexham General railway station. 

The challenge will be to devise and coordinate interventions that will make a considerable beneficial impact upon Wrexham and the wider region. The vision will be supported by a masterplan which will be underpinned by deliverable interventions set into a short, medium and long term delivery plan.

The Urbanists are leading the project and are being supported by Colliers on property inputs and Mott Macdonald on transportation advice.

wrexham aerial base.jpg

The Urbanists to advise NHS Trust for Cancer Centre

The Urbanists have been appointed as planning consultants to Mott Macdonald on behalf of the Velindre NHS Trust for the provision of the new Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff, including a Centre for Learning.  

This exciting project is a key element of the wider strategy of Transforming Cancer Services in South East Wales which is set out in detail on the VCC website.

This proposal is the central component of the strategy and will replace the existing hospital with a new purpose built facility.

Further updates will follow as the project progresses.

Urbanists Solar appeal success

We are pleased to confirm that our appeal, for Afan Energy, against the refusal of planning permission for a 5.1MW solar array near Maesteg, has been allowed. 

The Urbanists were the planning consultant for the client and also prepared the Landscape & Visual Impact Assessment. We worked closely with John Campion as expert landscape witness for the appeal.

The key issues were the impact on the character and appearance of the landscape, impact on living conditions of local residents, and whether the benefits would be sufficient to outweigh any harm.  The Inspector found that the proposal would make a worthwhile contribution to national energy targets, that it would not adversely affect the amenity of neighbouring uses or occupiers, and that it would be of only minor detriment to the landscape.

Circuit of Wales Common Land application approved

The Urbanists are delighted to announce that the application for deregistration of Common Land to allow the Circuit of Wales project to be developed, has been approved by the Welsh Government, following the recommendation of the Planning Inspectorate.  

The Urbanists Planning Director, Mark Farrar, acted as expert witness at the public inquiry, supported by Planning Associate Liam Hopkins, on behalf of the Heads of the Valleys Development Company.

circuit of wales


The Deputy Minister concluded that the significant public benefits that will result from the deregistration and exchange justifies the departure from the Welsh Government guidance on the approach to such applications.    

The Inspector found that the project would bring "extensive socio-economic benefits to the neighbourhood, Blaenau Gwent and beyond, which should be given very significant weight, as well as the overall benefits to the public interest in nature conservation” and “very significant public benefits exist which are sufficiently compelling to outweigh the identified harm“.  

The approval allows the required 244ha of common land to be deregistered and exchanged for 306ha of land which is now to become registered as new Common Land. 

This decision allows us to support The Heads of the Valleys Development Company to progress confidently into the detailed planning stages of the development.  We will shortly be submitting reserved matters planning applications for the first phase of the project including the site-wide engineering works, the motor racing circuit, pits and paddocks buildings and other accompanying buildings.  The decision is due to be placed on the Welsh Government website shortly. 

Circuit of Wales moves forward

We are pleased to report that the proposed Circuit of Wales has taken another positive step forward. 

The developer behind the scheme, the Heads of the Valleys Development Company (HOTVDC) has been informed by Rebecca Evans AM, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, that she is ‘minded to grant’ the Section 16 application that was submitted to deregister the development site from the common land register.

We provided planning advice to HOTVDC throughout the public inquiry that was held to determine the application. We look forward to continuing to assist the HOTVDC as it continues to progress this important regeneration project.  

Welsh Government’s decision is subject to HOTVDC completing previously agreed conditions regarding the commoners’ rights, which HOTVDC will now implement so that a formal decision may be issued.

http://www.circuitofwales.com/news/circuit-of-wales-public-inquiry-update/