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Adrian James is a Partner at Bruton Knowles property consultants and Head of the Cardiff office. He acts for a wide range of clients in the private, public and institutional sectors and is a national spokesperson for the firm on all public sector issues. 

Cardiff Business School and Bruton Knowles, as sole sponsor, develop property related Breakfast Briefings in partnership, ensuring that essential topics are identified and examined.  

Our recent sponsorship of the Cardiff Business School Breakfast Briefing, focussing on the introduction of a new Vacant Land tax, saw over 70 delegates join us to hear Mark Drakeford, Welsh Government Finance Minister, deliver a fascinating talk about one of the first planned devolved taxes for Wales. As well as outlining government thinking behind the plans and preparation, the Minister also provided an insightful perspective into how public policy is being developed in Wales and the numerous checks and balances that help forge a workable strategy.   

The overriding political wish is clearly to encourage land owners and developers away from land banking and pure speculation in order to increase the flow of commercial and residential developments in practice, and the Minister estimated that some 50% of planning consents are never implemented. It was reassuring to hear that there will be checks and balances in place and opportunities for landowners to avoid the tax should there be practical reasons why development cannot proceed. As well as a lack of planning and other statutory consents, Mr Drakeford reassured that this would also include viability, adverse market conditions and a lack of building site personnel.

Following the talk, the question and answer session from a very engaged audience proved to reflect the mixed views and feelings on the subject – the real impact on landowner behaviour and speculative development.

Our next sponsored breakfast seminar at the Cardiff Business School will tackle the subject of The Changing Face of Cardiff, to be held on Thursday 13th December, between 8.00a.m. and 9.30a.m. at Cardiff Business School, Postgraduate Teaching Centre, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU. 

Through the lens of the built environment, this breakfast briefing aims to highlight what Cardiff is and what it might become. We will be able to consider how Cardiff has transformed its face and fortunes over the last decade and how those changes will impact on the future of the city and its surrounding areas. There will be a review of neighbourhood scale, current and proposed small scale schemes with the potential to change communities, district level initiatives that are re-orientating Cardiff’s economic centre and a look at the implications of large housing and infrastructure projects. 

Dr Brian Webb from Cardiff University's School of Geography and Planning will share his insights followed by an open forum for questions and answers. 

Attendance at the event is free of charge but places are limited so early registration is recommended. You can register directly here

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