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18-20 September 2015
New College Oxford

The Venue

The Venue

The Conference will again take place in the world famous Oxford Union.

The Union is the world's most prestigious debating society, with an unparalleled reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford. It has been established for 189 years, aiming to promote debate and discussion not just in Oxford University, but across the globe.

The Union is steeped in history. It was founded in 1823 as a forum for discussion and debate, at a time when the free exchange of ideas was a notion foreign to the restrictive University authorities. It soon became the only place for students to discuss political topics whilst at Oxford. W.E. Gladstone, later to become one of the greatest British Prime Ministers, was one of the leading figures of the Union's early years. Gladstone was President of the Union in 1830, shortly before entering the House of Commons. Many others have followed him into politics, and the Union can boast dozens of former members who have been active in its affairs whilst at Oxford and then gone to become both nationally and internationally prominent figures.

Accommodation at New College

new college hall

New College is one of the largest Oxford colleges. The College occupies a very attractive site near the centre of Oxford. The front quadrangle, dining hall, chapel and cloisters were built within a few years of the College's foundation in 1379; this was the first time that an entire scheme had been built in this way, and it formed a model for later colleges. Over the centuries, some reconstruction and much new building has taken place. It is the perfect host to the Joint Planning Law Conference. This year the kitchens are being refurbished so we have the opportunity to dine in Balliol College Dining Hall close by for the dinners.

Guest Accommodation

new college hall accommodation

2 nights' bed and breakfast accommodation is included in the delegate fee. Many of the study bedrooms have ensuite facilities.

The facilities in each room include:

  • Free Internet access (Ethernet)
  • Telephone
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Towels, linen and welcome toiletries
  • Bathrobes provided for non-ensuite rooms

Dinners – Balliol College

balliol college

There are 2 formal dinners with excellent food and wines included in the delegate fee. These have historically taken place in New College Dining Hall however this year their kitchens are under refurbishment so we have the opportunity to try the excellent cuisine at Balliol College close by, managed by the award-winning Executive Head Chef, Bertrand Faucheux, served in the beautiful dining hall which dates from the nineteenth century.

There is no formal seating plan and everyone is very friendly, it is a great chance to network with other professionals in the planning field. There are plenty of 'old timers' and 'new faces'...

balliol college

A pre-dinner reception will held in the Master's Lodgings on the Friday evening and in the Founders' Gardens (weather permitting) on Saturday evening.

After dinner on Saturday evening. back by popular demand,  their will be live entertainment from 'The Alibis'; band members include Rhodri Price-Lewis QC, Reuben Taylor QC and Katrina Yates from Landmark Chambers.  They will be performing in the JCR – a performance not to be missed!

The Alibi's

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Other Facilities and Services


Delegates can check in from 1500 hours on Friday next to the Porters' Lodge beside the main entrance on Holywell Street. Late arrivals can check in at the Porters' Lodge which is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Telephone: 01865 279555


Delegates are requested to check-out by 10.00 am on the day of departure. There is a room available to leave luggage until it is convenient for you to collect.

Conference Office

This is located in the Old Bursary. Once checked in to your room, please register there to receive your name badge and conference documentation. If you arrive after registration is closed on Friday evening your badge and documentation will be available at the Oxford Union before the conference commences on Saturday.

Take an online tour of the venue


Directions, Maps and Parking

Detailed directions including how to get to the College by rail, coach or car will be sent to you on registration or can be found here.

There is no parking within the College. We have hired a car park at the University sports complex nearby, at a cost of £25 + VAT per car for the weekend. A shuttle bus will operate at the beginning and end of the conference and a map and permit will be sent once you have registered. Please note you park at your own risk. The gates of the sports complex will be locked overnight.

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New College

Balliol College

Oxford Union


08 January 2015

Congratulations to Steve Quartermain, DCLG on being awarded a CBE and John Rhodes, founding partner of planning consultancy Quod, who received an OBE in the New Year Honours, both who have spoken at...


07 January 2015

Ian Dove QC (past speaker), Andrew Gilbart QC (past speaker) and David Holgate QC have all been appointed as High Court Queen's Bench Division Judges in 2014. Many congratulations to them all.


Relevant, interesting and challenging in equal measure, the conference combines high quality, topical content with a welcoming, friendly and highly sociable atmosphere.

Executive Director, Argent Group plc

The Oxford Planning Conference is an excellent opportunity to keep up, both with the new developments and thinking in a rapidly changing world and also with old friends and colleagues. It is a winning combination of education and sociability which I always make it a point to try not to miss.

Barrister, No 5 Chambers

Download Brochure

Book early to avoid any disappointment

Download the 2014 brochure and book your place online for this years event (booking available Easter).

Contact us