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New company director highlights some of the big opportunities across the UK regions

Bristol-based Senior Director Rob Peters has recently been appointed to the role of Company Director.

Rob oversees our planning teams in Bristol, Cardiff, Scotland and Northern Ireland. He also took a lead role in establishing our office in Reading and he is spearheading the firm’s investment in the East of England, following the recent acquisition of Beacon Planning in Cambridge.

Rob considers some of the biggest opportunities and development hotspots across these regions. 

Bristol and Cardiff

The 'Western Growth Engine' initiative draws on the collective strength of South Wales and the South West, which will be aided by the removal of the Severn Bridge tolls next month. As a result we are already seeing significant developer and investor interest for sites in Monmouthshire and Newport, and the potential for growth in the logistics sector on the M4 corridor. We welcome this joint initiative because our offices on either side of the Severn Bridge work very closely, seamlessly delivering our integrated services across both jurisdictions.

The proposed introduction of Strategic Development Plans, linked to the City Regions, in Wales represents a long term opportunity to promote sites at key locations.  Turley is working with the HBF to lead this debate with a focus on the Cardiff City Region.

In Bristol, we act for Hammerson/Axa in the central shopping area, Cabot Circus, and we recently secured outline planning permission for 100, 000 sq m of retail, leisure and hospitality facilities and up to 150 homes (see image below); seeking to greatly enhance the experience of people in Bristol and visitors to the city.  

CallowHill Court
Callowhill Court


Northern Ireland

As we approach the two year anniversary of the collapsed power sharing agreement, uncertainty has become a constant backdrop to development in Northern Ireland.

The Belfast Local Plan was released in August, presenting a bold and ambitious vision for the city up to 2035 for 31,600 new homes coupled with 500,000 sq m of employment space to support 46,000 new jobs. There is a big push to repopulate the city centre which has only recently started attracting new residential development, presenting opportunities for Build to Rent and specialist residential models.

Belfast Harbour and the Titanic Quarter, both of which we have worked on for many years, are identified as key employment locations, offering major growth opportunities for the city.

There are a number of key regeneration site opportunities within Belfast city centre in waterfront locations and on prime location former car park sites.

Outside of Belfast, the Fermanagh and Omagh plan was published in October and we expect to see plans by Antrim & Newtownabbey, Derry City & Strabane, and Mid & East Antrim in early 2019.

We opened our Derry~Londonderry office just over a year ago and we are advising on a range of projects in the north west of Ireland and into the Republic, including the high profile “Our Future Foyle” project - a proposed £25 million regeneration project to transform the banks of the River Foyle and Foyle Bridge, delivering significant economic and health benefits for the city and wider North West region.


In Scotland, The Planning Bill is currently progressing through its Stage 2 scrutiny in Parliament, with the objective being to deliver a more streamlined planning system that is plan-led and provides more certainty.

The residential market is strong across the central belt, but with a particular focus around the Edinburgh city region which has the fastest growing population in Scotland.

The St James project by THRE is driving substantial investment in the east of Edinburgh city centre with major office, retail, cultural, hospitality and leisure developments subject to transactions or new development proposals. Planned extension of the tram to Newhaven is driving significant investment along its proposed route. The west end of the city is also active with the acquisition of The Haymarket by M&G and the former House of Fraser by Parabola.

The main universities in Glasgow and Edinburgh are pursuing extensive capital investment programmes, including the former Western Infirmary site, Glasgow, to provide significantly enhanced facilities to compete in the domestic and international student markets.


The Oxford to Cambridge growth corridor, or “brain-belt expressway”, presents a very exciting picture for the east of England. The road link between the two cities, via Milton Keynes, will enable construction of up to one million new homes up to 2050 and will provide a welcome boost to jobs and the economy. This development potential of the East region was a key reason for Turley’s own investment in a new Cambridge office including the acquisition of Beacon Planning.

We are heavily involved in Rail Central for Ashfield Land/Gazeley, an 8m sq ft Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) logistics development south of Northampton. This major infrastructure investment will provide a modern and highly accessible SRFI to deliver more freight journeys via rail, reducing road freight to the benefit of the environment. The DCO process has been a combined effort involving our planning, economics, heritage, urban design, environmental impact assessment and sustainability services.

How can Turley help?

Turley is very proud to operate across all countries in the UK. We are embedded in our local markets and we share experiences across our geographies. For further information on any of the topics discussed please contact Rob Peters.

29 November 2018