Well, what a year it’s been, both professionally and personally. We don’t often find time to reflect on achievements, and we rarely, if ever, pat ourselves on the back. So for our annual December round-up, we thought we’d shine a festive light on some of our sparklers from 2022. Hope you enjoy:

  • We’ve been so lucky to work with some amazing clients on some fabulous projects this year. Highlights have been supporting Great Western Air Ambulance Charity with the development of their Mission Support Centre in Almondsbury.  It’s one of those projects that makes your heart sing to the skies, as they are such an incredible organisation. Fingers crossed for a decision notice before December is out.
  • Another worthy winner was CHOICE Care, for whom we negotiated approval outside Stroud for a scheme of supported living accommodation for tenants with learning disabilities. A vacant employment site with an array of heritage, contamination, flood risk and habitat constraints, but a fitting and sustainable use of PDL for some very deserving occupants. Can’t wait to see this one built out.
  • And we’ve not been short of quirky projects – we secured consent for a new cycle and pedestrian route and  50 unit Maker Village for Meanwhile Creative at the Tramway site in south Bristol, an exciting scheme that puts people and sustainability at the heart of development. We also realised permission for a Treehouse complex within the Cadbury Camp Lane area of North Somerset. Collaborating with bespoke playground designers Touchwood Play and under the expert advice of Engley Trees, we navigated a blanket TPO, Green Belt, wildlife and bat constraints to deliver permission for some very happy young clients.
  • It’s also been our privilege to watch some of our newer clients blossoming. Dareshack is one of them. As a start-up, they had to reshape themselves to adapt to the pandemic, and initially focussed on opening just part of the hospitality offering in central Bristol that we had secured for them. Eighteen months later they launched their studio space with an amazing and diverse music and arts programme, and now, with full renovation complete, an exciting range of productions are underway. We’ve been so impressed by their resilience and creativity.
  • Getting some perspective on planning, politics and architecture this year, Jules took part in The Negroni Talks ‘On the Road’ Tour in the summer alongside Eleanor Young (editor of RIBA journal), Paul Smith (Group Exec officer at Elim Housing Association, Christiana Makariou (Development Manager at Goram Homes) and Sam Goss (Barefoot Architects). She also led a Jane Jacobs inspired walk for the RPTI Young Planners around central Bristol – who knew that issues raised in the 1960s would still be so relevant today
  • Hallelujah, we finally got to resurrect our end of summer drinks party. This September we held it at the magnificent The Mount Without, with unrivalled catering from Barney and Eloise at the Square Food Foundation. It was a very long time coming and great to see so many clients and colleagues come along. Watch this space for the next one (we’re eyeing up the finished RWA.…).
  • As a mega treat to celebrate our 50th birthdays (who knew!) we travelled north to Ullswater and stayed at the utterly gorgeous Another Place . Moonlight swims in the lake, luxurious accommodation, hot tubs, saunas, beautiful scenery, fantastic walking and most importantly no kids!. It made for a proper reset. It was also lovely to catch up with heritage consultant Sarah Dyer and learn about current planning and heritage issues in the north-east. Looking forward to some more swim-walk adventures in 2023.
  • Giving back, it’s all been about the girls in 2022. We’ve continued to support the phenomenal work of Bristol charity One25 and the CEOs Wonderful Women Group, which reaches out to some of the city’s most marginalised women.
  • We’ve also been incredibly proud to have sponsored women’s sport in the South-West this season. Portishead Town U18 girls footballers and Bristol Imps U12 rugby girls are all flying the flag for Planning Ventures – keep on keeping it up and staying true to the heart of the scrum girls #HerGameToo. 
  • And in our down time…. Lyn fulfilled a lifetime dream and finally bought a camper van, so will be chugging her way around the coast of the south-west and ticking off more miles, beaches and seapools.
  • Jules led the Friends of Jubilee Pool to secure the Community Asset Transfer of Jubilee Pool in Knowle, taking control of it in September 2022 – an extremely hard won but hugely rewarding achievement.  A huge Thank You to Hydrock, Rapleys, SDS, Solum Surveys, Swim England and Wardell Armstrong who provided Jules’s team with pro bono support. Plus Locality, Sport England and City Funds for their advice and guidance and Quartet Community Foundation, The John James Bristol Foundation and The Society for Merchant Venturers for their grant funding. It couldn’t have been done without them. She’d be thrilled if you made a resolution to join her for a Jubilee dip in 2023, or take part in the annual 24 hour Jubilee-athon swimming relay on the 28-29 January. Go on, dig your swimmers out for the new year, you won’t regret it.

So we’ve worked hard and played hard, with some amazing people, old and new.  We can’t thank you enough for continuing to support us this year and allowing us to help you realise your development dreams. Have a wonderful festive break, and then let’s do it all again in 2023.