3Fox was part of a consortium appointed to deliver a series of seminars, on the financial implications of planning, to council leaders, members and officers for the Planning Advisory Service. The consortium, called the Growth Agenda, was nominated as planning consultancy of the year at the 2014 Placemaking Awards.

Read the evaluation report here: pdf download

Watch a short film about the seminars here: vimeo.com


Under the theme "Understanding the economic and financial impacts of planning policies and decisions", the seminars covered:

  • the direct financial consequences to the council  of planning policies and decisions  (e.g. CIL, s106, NHB, business rates, council tax)
  • planning’s indirect impact on the local/regional/national economy (e.g. jobs, reducing cost of worklessness, increased spending power)
  • communicating the impact of growth strategies to stakeholders and the community.

The series comprised four national events, each for about 40 council officers and councillors, and three leadership academies, each for about 25 senior councillors. The seminars will take place in different locations around England between 30 September 2013 and February 2014. Demand for places led to the addition of two more seminars.

"We are trying to help councillors and officers understand the broader financial and economic impacts of plan policies and decisions on applications, the legislative framework and other contexts for these decisions, and how to communicate growth strategies to communities in a more relevant way,” said PAS principal consultant Gilian MacInnes.

"This is part of our goal that councils make confident and proactive use of plans and planning powers to bring forward development to help their communities and places.

"The first of the leadership academies takes place in October and when we announced it all the places were booked almost immediately," added PAS principal consultant Steve Barker. "A great range of local authorities are taking part, including county councils north and south, London boroughs and smaller districts."

Each seminar featured a morning of presentations and discussion followed by an afternoon "real-time, real-plan" gaming exercise enabling delegates to put their learning into practice.

The consortium included CIL Knowledge, New Economics Foundation and Regenfirst, working together as the Growth Agenda. 3Fox managing director Toby Fox contributed ideas to make the material lively and engaging and co-presented on communicating the benefits of growth alongside Regenfirst director Matthew Nimmo, who covered communications with local residents while Fox concentrated on communications with the development industry.



"Thank you for an excellent event that was a huge eye opener for us. We look forward to approaching the speakers to discuss in more detail, as this is a path we must take."

Richard Norris
Team leader housing finance
Bedfordshire County Council

"I thought the event was very well run and very successful. We will be pleased to be working with you next year."

Andrew Clague
Senior partner
Clague Architects

"Very helpful and dedicated staff. Pleasant to work with you all. You all took pride in the output of materials sent to you and the outcome of the event."

Prince Kamada
Regeneration manager
Southwark Council

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