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Planning round-up 9 June

Published: Thursday, 9th June 2016

Salford Quays set to double up. Teesside regeneration report. Pig farmers pan planning. Go-ahead for Nottinghamshire waste gasification facility. And more stories...

Salford Quays set to double up

A planning application for the £1bn expansion of MediaCityUK which is expected to double in size and involve 10 new buildings in Salford Quays has been submitted to Salford City Council.

Key features of phase two of the development include 50,000 square metres of offices, 1,800 flats, new retail and leisure floor space, complemented by innovative public spaces with a pedestrian promenade running through the scheme. The planning application also includes a mixed-use market, an events building and a public square.

MediaCityUK is a joint venture between Peel Land and Property and Legal and General Capital. The development already houses 250 businesses including the BBC, ITV, dock10, Ericsson and SIS.

View the press release

Teesside regeneration report

Darlington Station should be recognised as the key rail gateway for the Tees Valley and considered for redevelopment, according to an independent report published this week by former Environment Secretary Lord Heseltine. The report was requested by Business Secretary Sajid Javid to look at ways to bring investment to Teesside after the closure of SSI steelworks in Redcar.

Earlier this year, Heseltine announced plans for a new Mayoral Development Corporation, the first outside London, to stimulate regeneration and local economic growth in the Tees Valley. 

The report calls for the creation of the South Tees Development Corporation as soon as possible and the transfer of the SSI site to the new entity.

The report also calls on the Tees Valley Combined Authority to work with the owners and operator of Teesside Airport to agree a sustainable future for the wider airport site, including the station.

In addition local authorities in the Tees Valley have been urged to identify suitable sites for ‘Starter Home’ development.

View the report

Pig farmers pan planning

Trade body the National Pig Association has complained that pig farmers are finding it increasingly difficult to get planning permission to replace worn-out buildings.

The association said keeping livestock in new buildings dramatically reduces the need for antibiotic use on farms and veterinary activity.

However, it has claimed that local authority planning processes have become “progressively more clunky” in recent years.

The association wants the level of detail demanded by planners to be proportionate to the scale of the application.

The trade body also urged planners to reject all attempts at “interference” by animal rights and vegan organisations as their arguments “were irrelevant to the planning process.”

In addition the association said strict timelines should be observed by statutory consultees such as the Environment Agency to prevent delays in the planning process.

View the press release

Go-ahead for Nottinghamshire waste gasification facility

A proposed £70m waste gasification plant and materials recovery facility earmarked for a business park at Bilsthorpe in Nottinghamshire has been given the green light by Communities Secretary Greg Clark.

His decision was in line with the recommendation of the inspector who held the recovered inquiry into Peel Environmental’s project originally due to be determined by the county council which backed the scheme.

The facility, which would handle commercially-sourced waste and recyclables, includes a front-end materials recycling facility (MRF) and 117,000 tonnes-per-year capacity plasma gasification plant to generate power for the Grid.

Clark’s, predecessor Eric Pickles, called in the application following protest from some residents and anti-incineration groups in the area

A decision on the plant was delayed while the SoS considered the implications of Air Products decision to scrap its Tees Valley project which was due to use similar technology.

Clark agreed with Peel Environmental that the technology proposed was “demonstrably proven and in operation elsewhere”.

His decision letter concluded that there was a need for the facility. Clark conceded there would be some visual impact from the scheme but concluded the facility would constitute “sustainable development under the terms of the National Planning Policy Framework”.

View the recovered appeal: Bilsthorpe Business Park, Off Eakring Road, Bilsthorpe

Report says productivity not connectivity should be Northern Powerhouse priority

A new report published by the think tank Centre for Cities has warned that the government’s Northern Powerhouse will only succeed if it focuses on boosting productivity in underperforming Northern cities.

That’s the conclusion of a study which looked at the Rhine-Ruhr and Ranstad regions of Germany and the Netherlands, often cited by the administration as models for the Northern Powerhouse.

The report, sponsored by leading law firm DAC Beachcroft , compared Northern cities to those regions of mainland Europe. It highlighted that those region’s success was not the result of extensive connections between cities (as was often assumed). Research showed that inter-city commuting links in the Rhine-Ruhr and Randstad areas were actually little better than in the North of England.

Instead, the economic vibrancy of those regions was driven by the strong performance of their individual cities, which are 40 per cent more productive than counterparts in the Northern Powerhouse.

View the report

Government’s Kent lorry park plan slated by MPs

The Commons Transport Committee has questioned the government’s plans for a massive lorry park in Kent as part of its response to mitigating the effect of so-called Operation Stack which comes into effect when disruption of ferry crossings from Dover and Folkestone creates a huge backlog of lorries.

The MPs on the all-party Committee found that the government's decision to proceed was a rushed reaction to the events of the summer of 2015 when Operation Stack was used longer than ever before.

The government’s proposed new lorry park could cost a quarter of a billion pounds and will require an area of land equivalent in size to 90 football pitches. It would be on a scale unprecedented in Europe.

View the news story

Local plan round-up

The inspector examining the Gloucester, Cheltenham & Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy has published his interim report which concluded that on the basis of the objectively assessed housing need (OAHN) the strategy should provide for some 35,175 dwellings, 4,675 more than the original joint core strategy.

This higher OAHN of 35,175 dwellings is re-apportioned as 9,983 dwellings in Tewkesbury, 10,851 dwellings in Cheltenham and 14,340 dwellings in Gloucester. The inspector concluded that exceptional circumstances existed for the release of some green belt land for Gloucester’s and Cheltenham’s proposed urban extensions but not Tewkesbury’s.

Meanwhile the inspector examining South Derbyshire District Council’s local plan has concluded the strategy is sound provided a number of modifications, mainly proposed by the council, are accepted.

The modifications provide revised housing targets for the Derby housing market area, which mean the district council should provide at least 12,618 dwellings over the plan period until 2028.

One modification means land west of Mickleover should be identified as a strategic site for around 1,650 dwellings. Another change makes it clear that a minimum of 53-hectares of new employment land is identified in South Derbyshire by 2028.

View the inspector’s interim report on the Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy. (PDF)

View more information on the South Derbyshire Local Plan

MK Dons new goal

Football club MK Dons, newly relegated from the Championship, has unveiled revised proposals for a proposed training facility, which includes up to 15 pitches, an academy and a three-storey hotel at Cosgrove, Northamptonshire. Plans are due to be submitted to South Northamptonshire District Council later this year.

View the press release

Paramount theme park delay

London Resort Company Holdings the developer behind the multi-billion pound London Paramount Entertainment Resort for North Kent has confirmed a further delay in its application to the Planning Inspectorate for a Development Consent Order. The company now says this stage won’t be reached until 2017.

London Paramount’s David Testa insisted that “funds are in place to take this project through the planning process”. He also promised that a revised master plan would be the subject of a further round of consultation.

View the press release

Manston Airport redevelopment

The owners of the former Manston Airport site in East Kent have submitted plans to redevelop the area to Thanet District Council.

A master plan for the mixed-use development, known as Stone Hill Park, proposes the provision of up to 2,500 new homes at the former Kent International Airport site as well as employment, leisure and community facilities.

The former airport has been at the centre of a protracted row over whether it should be retained for commercial aviation.

View the press release

Ministers announce energy NSIP delays

Last week the government announced delays to decisions on two nationally significant infrastructure energy projects. These involve the Yorkshire and Humber Carbon Capture and Storage Pipeline and the Hornsea Project Two offshore wind farm.

London mayor pledges action to safeguard employment space

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that he will put new measures in place to help protect and expand office space for small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs. 

This announcement follows the publication of new City Hall figures which show that since 2013, over 1.47 million square metres of office space could have been converted into residential units in London under changed permitted development rights. This means space for nearly 94,000 jobs in London could be lost.

The new measures will include:

  • Amending the London Plan so that there is stronger protection for small businesses and start-up workspace
  • Delivering new spaces for small businesses, the creative industries, artists and the fashion industry within new residential and mixed-use developments
  • Promoting schemes to provide linked affordable housing and business space in new housing developments
  • Working with the government on changes to permitted development rights.

View the press release

Green light for Hereford road scheme

Herefordshire Council’s planning committee has approved the planning application for Hereford’s Southern Link Road (SLR) The SLR marks the first phase of a bypass for the city and will assist in delivering new homes and jobs.

The £27m road link will join the A49 with the A465, south west of the city, through Grafton and Grafton Wood.

Councillor Philip Price, cabinet member infrastructure said: “This decision is the vital first step forward and allows us to continue to develop in line with the county’s emerging economic master plan. The Enterprise Zone at Rotherwas can now develop with the right infrastructure in place to support it.”

The SLR is scheduled to be completed by summer 2019. The rest of the bypass will be completed when further funding can be secured from the government.

Nearly 2,000 people objected to the proposals, raising concerns the road would destroy ancient woodland and would not reduce traffic in the city.

View more information

Prince’s Trust moves

The Prince’s Regeneration Trust (PRT) is to become a subsidiary of the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community (PFBC), it has been announced.

Both charities, which were founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, will come together with a “renewed focus on heritage and regeneration”.

View the press release

Legal round-up

Roger Milne