Latest news

Planning round-up 1 September 2016

Published: Thursday, 1st September 2016

Fund for new rail stations. Proposed Cardiff University development criticised by conservation body. Local plan moves in St Albans and Winchester. Greater Manchester projects. And more stories...

Fund for new rail stations

Rail Minister Paul Maynard has announced a £20m funding pot for new stations in England and Wales.

The next round of the new stations fund will provide up to 75 per cent of the cost for construction of new stations or to reopen previously closed stations. The funding will improve access to the rail network and create new travel, employment and housing opportunities.

It follows on from an initial round of funding involving new stations at Newcourt in Devon, Pye Corner in Wales and Lea Bridge in London, and stations at Ilkeston near Derby and Kenilworth near Coventry in the process of being delivered.

Organisations such as local authorities, and train operating companies keen to boost local growth are all being encouraged to submit bids.

View the news story

Proposed Cardiff University development criticised by conservation body

Cardiff University’s proposed multi-million-pound five-storey Centre for Student Life project, a scheme which involves plans for the demolition of three Victorian villas, has triggered a fierce row over its impact on the city’s Cathays Park Conservation Area.

Nerys Lloyd-Pierce, chair of Cardiff Civic Society, has made it clear the body is objecting to the proposals on visual and design grounds.

"The Cardiff Civic Society has no objection to a new Centre for Student Life in principle, however, the current design is far too overbearing for its location” she said.

View the press release

Local plan moves in St Albans and Winchester

The inspector appointed to examine St Alban’s City Council’s Strategic Local Plan 2011-2031 has raised concerns about the duty to cooperate element of the development plan and issues to do with housing assessment, provision of sites and the delivery of associated infrastructure. These reservations are highlighted in the inspector’s preliminary report, just published.

The planning inspector handling the examination of Winchester City Council’s Local Plan Part 2 has told the local authority that it has “essentially met all the statutory requirements” and has demonstrated a five-year supply of deliverable housing land.

The inspector has also endorsed the council’s intention to review the Local plan no later than 2018 which will mean a new Strategic Housing Market Assessment.

The inspector said this should include a more realistic assessment of likely delivery rates at North Whiteley and at Silver Hill, in the city centre.

Greater Manchester projects

  • Detailed proposals for the £1bn expansion of MediaCityUK were due to be approved by Salford City Council’s planning committee this week. Peel Media submitted the application for the next 10 buildings at Salford Quays in June. Overall, the expansion is expected to deliver 50,200 square metres of offices, 1,800 flats, retail and leisure, public spaces and a pedestrian street.
  • Backhouse Developments’ residential conversion of eight hectares of former brickworks in the Sutton Manor area south of St Helens has been given outline planning permission. The proposal allows for up to 250 family homes and the opening of the Pendlebury Brook watercourse which bisects the site. The location is surrounded by Brickfields Woodland, managed by the Mersey Forest.
  • Vivere Group Ltd, advised by Indigo Planning, has submitted plans to Salford City Council for City View, a 55,195 square metre residential development on the outskirts of Central Manchester. The Fletcher Rae Architects-designed proposal includes four residential buildings arranged as stepped towers ranging from 8 to 25 storeys, with amenities and public space. The development will regenerate an industrial site and derelict pub currently occupying the plot, which is located on Regent Road in Salford.

Hatfield urban extension

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council has approved re-submitted outline proposals from Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners on behalf of Hallam Land Management for a 400-home urban extension on a 17-hectare site bounded by the A18 Doncaster Road and the southern edge of the town of Hatfield.

View more information

London round-up


  • Tower Hamlets Council has approved a £90m mixed-use scheme for a site close to Whitechapel’s Crossrail station which is due to open next year. Involved are a total of 564 new homes, 149 of which will be affordable housing, and 3,530 square metres of commercial floor space including shops, a gym and a cafe around a new public square.
  • Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has agreed to extend financial guarantee up to level of £9m after the Trust behind the controversial Garden Bridge project requested one totalling £15m. Grayling has capped the amount and warned the project will receive no further support from the taxpayer.
  • Most Londoners think tall buildings should only be built in areas like the City and Canary Wharf and that there should be limits on how high they can be, according to a survey by pollsters Ipsos MORI for the Skyline Campaign.
  • Hammersmith and Fulham Council has requested further information from Chelsea Football Club over the impact of its plans for a new stadium at its Stamford Bridge site in west London on the nearby grade 1 listed Brompton Cemetery, well known for its wildlife including a number of bat species.


Thames development concordat

A streamlined approach to regulating development in the River Thames has been agreed by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and the Port of London Authority.

The ‘Thames Concordat’ is a new set of principles both organisations will follow in cases where both the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Port of London Authority (PLA) have a regulatory remit. It aims to limit duplication for businesses seeking to carry out development in the Thames.

The Concordat applies to areas where there is duplication between the MMO’s and the PLA’s statutory responsibilities. It covers from the PLA’s seaward limits in the Outer Thames Estuary to its landward limits at Teddington Lock (the Tidal Thames) and tidal tributaries.

View the press release

Mixed fortunes for Cheshire projects

Cheshire East Council’s planning committee has unanimously refused a proposal for a 900 home extension to Wychwood Village at the site of the former Gorstyhill Golf Club.

The project was first proposed by applicant Haddon Developments at the end of 2014. The determination of the scheme was delayed while a decision was made on whether to include the site in the council’s emerging local plan.

The developer had already appealed non-determination of its proposals which were worked up following Haddon’s director Peter Hunt’s acquisition of the former De Vere golf course in 2011. There was strong local opposition to the development.

In a separate move councillors went against the advice of officers and approved proposals to create a water sports and outdoor activity centre for wakeboarders, kayakers and swimmers near Alderley Edge at a green belt location.

Cheshire Lakes CIC’s plans for the 20-hectare former sand and gravel site were originally opposed by Manchester Airport because of concern that developing the site would increase the number of feral geese using the two lakes involved, upping the risk of bird strikes. The airport withdrew its objection following assurances from the developer about mitigation measures.

View more information

Nottinghamshire green belt solar farm shines

Gedling Borough Council has given the go-ahead for a four megawatt solar farm in the Nottinghamshire green belt near the village of Calverton. Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners acted on behalf of developer Earthworm Energy.


Lord Kerslake honoured by RTPI

Lord Kerslake has been elected an Honorary Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) for his outstanding contribution to helping promote the value of town planning.

He is the former Head of the Civil Service and was an influential Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government. The peer is currently chair of Peabody and London's King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. He is also the President of the Local Government Association.


Legal round-up



Roger Milne