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Planning round-up 23 June 2016

Published: Thursday, 23rd June 2016

Latest quarterly planning application figures. Inquiry into M4 extension around Newport announced. Builders warn of capacity constraints to meet new homes targets. And more stories...

Latest quarterly planning application figures

Between January to March 2016, district level planning authorities in England received 119,700 applications for planning permission, down one per cent on the corresponding quarter of 2015 and granted 86,200 decisions, up three per cent from the same quarter last year.

They decided 82 per cent of major applications within 13 weeks or the agreed time, up from 77 per cent a year earlier, and granted 11,300 residential applications, down one per cent on a year earlier.

Some 9,000 applications for prior approval for permitted development rights were received during January to March 2016, up six per cent from the same quarter of 2015. Of those applications 7,400 were approved without having to go through the full planning process, up seven per cent on a year earlier.

View the statistics


Inquiry into M4 extension around Newport announced

Welsh Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates has announced that a public local Inquiry into the proposed new M4 project around Newport will start this autumn. The hearing is expected to last around five months at a venue in Newport with a pre-inquiry meeting taking place on 18 July.

Skates said the independent inspector will review the need for the scheme and consider all environmental, social and economic factors. The inquiry will also hear evidence from technical experts as well as supporters and objectors.


Builders warn of capacity constraints to meet new homes targets

Britain's housing crisis could get much worse because there aren't enough builders to supply the homes needed according to a survey of Britain's biggest housing developers conducted by estate agent Knight Frank.

Over half of those questioned said that the government had not been helpful enough in loosening building regulations or ensuring an increase in access to public sector land.

View the UK Housebuilding report - 2016

Report looks at how city-regions can deliver more affordable housing

A new report from the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University explores how Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and combined authorities can embed poverty reduction, affordable housing and inclusive growth in housing and planning policy at the city-regional level in England.

The study suggested that devolution of property taxes or housing benefit, new models for financing genuine affordable housing, a new land value tax and local control of right-to buy policies could all be deployed.

View the press release


Bracknell Forest gears up for new local plan

Bracknell Forest District Council has begun consulting on its new local plan which will have to make provision for some 14,605 new homes up to 2036.

So far a total of 8,577 homes have either been built, granted planning permission or have been allocated to sites. On that basis sites for more than 6,000 new homes still need to be found.

At this stage of the plan the council is not suggesting any particular sites for development but is keen to hear views on developing large or smaller sites on the edge of settlements and building more within existing settlements.

View the Bracknell Forest Council local plan page


Green light for Congleton link road

The £90m Congleton link road has been given the green light by Cheshire East Council. The 5.7 kilometre project is set to unlock delivery of new homes and jobs in the town.

With half the cost coming from central government and a target of £23m from developers, the council will be left to meet a shortfall of up to £22m.

The route runs to the north of the town, south of Eaton. It will link the A534 Sandbach Road, near its junction with Sandy Lane, to the A536 Macclesfield Road, near its junction with Moss Lane and provide a new village crossing at the river Dane.

The project should improve road connections to both Congleton Business Park and Radnor Park Trading Estate. It will also significantly boost connectivity to other major towns and the motorway network. The council’s Cabinet had already agreed to seek compulsory purchase powers to acquire land needed for the scheme.

View the press release


Manchester housing project

The planning application for Capital & Centric and Henry Boot Development’s £200m Kampus project in Aytoun Street has been submitted to Manchester City Council. The scheme involves the provision of some 478 flats across three towers on the one hectare site, two will be new-build and one an extension of the 1960s tower currently on the site.

The buildings will be staggered in height at between 12 and 16-storeys and include a roof village made up of timber Dutch townhouses. There will also be 69 car parking spaces and an urban garden. The site formerly belonged to Manchester Metropolitan University.


Rail freight master plan options

The consortium behind the proposed West Midlands rail freight interchange has unveiled two master-plan options for the project which is set to be built between Junction 12 of the M6 and the main A449 Stafford Road on the southern side of the A5.

The scheme will include a rail terminal with 17 warehouses and service buildings providing some 800,000 square metres of development on a site of over 242-hectares. The main difference between the options is the location of the rail terminal.

View more information


Hereford looks for housing partner

Herefordshire Council's Cabinet has approved plans to tender for a partner developer to help deliver the local authority’s housing plans which include proposals for an urban village in the county town of Hereford adjacent to the new city link road


Broadband boost

Virgin Media and the Home Builders Federation have announced a partnership to increase delivery of ultrafast broadband services to new homes across the UK. The partnership will enable HBF members to build homes with the infrastructure in place to provide 200Mbps broadband, more than 230 TV channels and landline services for customers.

View the press release

Oxfordshire shopping centre revamp

Proposals for major revamp of an Oxfordshire shopping centre have been approved by the Vale of White Horse District Council. The plans by developer Mace to redevelop the West Way shopping centre in Botley include some 149 homes, a 122-bedroom hotel, 262 student flats, a new community building and a new church.


Salford redevelopment

English Cities Fund has submitted an outline application for the residential-led development of a large part of the Salford Central scheme. These proposals involve a further 843 flats including a 33-storey tower.

The site on the banks of the River Irwell was initially reserved half for offices and half residential in the outline application approved in 2010 by Salford City Council. The plan is now to satisfy office supply in New Bailey next door, also part of ECf’s wider regeneration proposals.



London round-up


  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan has refused planning permission for a development involving a new football stadium and a block of flats that would encroach on green belt land in Chislehurst which had been backed by Bromley Council. Developer Brookfield has unveiled plans for a 37-storey skyscraper providing some 700,000 square feet of commercial and retail floor space in the City of London. Designed by architect Make the proposed office tower at 1 Leaden hall would feature a 9,600 square foot public terrace with winter garden overlooking the historic Leadenhall Market.
  • Conservation group SAVE Britain’s Heritage has written to Communities Secretary Greg Clark, requesting he calls in proposals to demolish a landmark site in the Soho Conservation Area. The proposals would see three unlisted buildings of merit, including the former Foyles store, demolished along with several other key buildings. Westminster City Council approved the application last month, despite strong objections from Historic England, the Victorian Society and others.
  • Atkins, one of the world’s top design, engineering and project management consultancies, has been awarded a contract to help make the Old Oak and Park Royal Opportunity Area one of the most sustainable urban developments in the UK.


Devon joint local plan

Public consultation on the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan is due to start at the beginning of next month. The land-use strategy will cover West Devon Borough Council, South Hams District Council and Plymouth City Council areas but will not include those parts of the local authorities for which the Dartmoor National Park is the planning authority. The joint plan brings together work that has already been carried out separately by the three councils.


Leeds proposes housing standards document

Leeds City Council has begun consulting on a housing standards Development Plan Document (DPD) This will introduce internal design standards for minimum internal space requirements for new dwellings and accessible housing.



Glastonbury wipe-out

A Glastonbury resident has been given until the end of this month by Mendip District Council to remove a large mural from his house featuring a psychedelic rainbow, Glastonbury Tor and Excalibur. His application for listed building consent for the mural was rejected by the council and his subsequent appeal was unsuccessful.

View the news story on


New POS president

Anna Rose, Service Director for Planning and Transport at Milton Keynes Council, has become the new President of the Planning Officers Society. Rose was elected at the society's Annual General Meeting held in London last week. She is a chartered town planner with over 12 years' experience in local government.


Legal round-up

Roger Milne