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Date: 4th July 2016

‘Cautious optimism’ was the message from a number of the leading planning
professionals in the Midlands after taking part in a special round the table
discussion on Brexit.

More than 30 representatives from leading Planning and Development firms based in
and around the Midlands attended the meeting which was hosted by leading
Birmingham-based barristers No 5 Chambers’ highly rated planning experts Martin
Kingston QC, Jeremy Cahill QC and Richard Kimblin QC at Hotel Du Vin in
Birmingham. Expert economic input to the debate was provided by Siobhan Lodder of

Leading house building brands including Barratt Homes, Bloor Homes, Miller Homes
and Taylor Wimpey were joined by consultants and lawyers from the Planning sector to
unravel the potential impact that separating the UK from the EU might have on the
sector and ultimately its consumers.

Despite the economic uncertainty which has struck since last month’s historic vote,
there remained a note of cautious optimism based on the fundamentals of the need for
more housing.

Martin Kingston QC said: “The tone was relatively upbeat. There are inevitably
uncertainties both now and ahead but the demand for housing and commercial
investment, and therefore the demand for land, is still high.

“Everyone agreed that some immediate guidance and action from the government to
quell that initial uncertainty would be useful particularly in relation to larger schemes
with longer lead times and heavier upfront investment.

“That would help steady the ship, keep planning applications and land acquisitions
moving forward and ensure growth keeps moving in a positive direction.
“On the whole, and at least for the short term on smaller sites, there is room to be
optimistic. On larger more complex sites and for the longer term the picture is much
less clear largely because of the political uncertainties.”

It was recognised that EU funding plays a critical role in the construction industry in
some growth areas. Methods of sourcing new investment from the public or private
sector have not yet been determined but, with a robust banking sector, the UK should
remain an appealing prospect for investors’ subject again to the political uncertainties
resolving themselves.

In addition the discussion raised the ongoing labour supply issues faced by the sector
with some representatives recruiting up to 20% of their workforce from other EU

No5 Chambers is widely acknowledged by professionals working in the industry as one
of the leading sets of Planning and Environment Barristers in the country. Housing
some of the most sought after barristers in the field, members provide advisory and
advocacy services to the highest standard and represent clients across both the public
and private sectors.

With a strong team of QCs and juniors, backed by a proactive and skilled clerking team,
the group has been instructed to represent clients at every level with barristers involved
in a wide range of complex and controversial proposals.

Martin Kingston QC was listed second in The Planning Law Survey’s Top Five Planning
Silks nationwide in April this year, and was also one of two No5 barristers named as the
top two highest rated barristers in the Residential sector.

For further details visit the No5 website at or contact the marketing team
on 0845 210 5555.

This press release was distributed by the International Trade Council.
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