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Planning round-up 29 September 2016

Published: Thursday, 29th September 2016

Merseyside moves. Thames Gateway remains a key growth area claims RTPI. Green light for Staffordshire quarry leisure project. Doncaster regeneration link approved. And more stories...

Merseyside moves

A 34-storey residential tower, called the Lexington, providing more than 300 flats in the Liverpool Waters development has been approved by Liverpool City Council. It will be the tallest element of the scheme.

The Lexington at Princes Dock has a prominent position on the Liverpool waterfront a stone’s throw away from the Three Graces; the Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building, which give the city its iconic skyline.

News of this development came days after the council started consultation on its 300-page draft local plan which sets out a strategy up to 2033 to deliver some 29,000 new homes.

Liverpool’s population is expected to rise to just short of half a million people by the end of the plan period and the strategy, which has been in development with numerous agencies since February 2013, has identified 81 detailed policies to manage this growth.

View the press release

London developments

  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that Dame Margaret Hodge MP, former chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, will review the proposed £185m Garden Bridge project.
  • Khan has confirmed that he will introduce a tariff system for new housing schemes involving a benchmark proportion of affordable housing and a planning regime requiring stronger viability assessments for projects which don’t hit the target.
  • Also mooted for new Supplementary Planning Guidance would be a faster and more certain planning process for developers volunteering a greater proportion of affordable development than the SPG benchmark.
  • The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has proposed an Article 4 Direction designed to safeguard small industrial sites including garages from the new permitted development rights allowing change of use to residential without planning permission.
  • Lewisham Council is reviewing its proposed compulsory purchase order (CPO) for land around Milwall FC’s stadium in south east London which is threatened by a mixed-use regeneration scheme branded ‘New Bermondsey’, which involves up to 2,400 new homes.

Thames Gateway remains a key growth area claims RTPI

Despite decades of economic decline and considerable underperformance compared with the rest of the region, the Thames Gateway area remains South East England’s biggest growth opportunity.

That’s the central conclusion of the RTPI’s submission to the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission.

However, the institute has stressed that good governance, strategic planning and the effective use of transport infrastructure was needed for the sub-region to reach its full potential. Critically, coordinated strategic planning for the area required joint planning across existing council boundaries.

The RTPI pointed out that the area already enjoyed a slew of major investments, including the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, High Speed 1, Canary Wharf, the Olympics and Crossrail. These and other projects meant the sub-region had the potential to become the best-connected corridor in and out of London.

The RTPI argued that there were huge opportunities for economic growth built around advanced technological industries that would develop new skills within the local community.

That, though, would require the government to take an advanced technology, high value approach that exploits the region’s existing ports and logistics industries.


Green light for Staffordshire quarry leisure project

Plans have been approved by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to transform a 52-hectare former quarry into a major new holiday ‘village’ and leisure scheme.

Moneystone Quarry had been identified as a location for sustainable tourism in the Churnet Valley master plan. Laver Leisure’s proposals involve some 250 woodland lodges, water sports facilities and a leisure hub which will include a restaurant and swimming pool.

Planning permission was secured by Manchester-based HOW Planning. Jon Suckley, partner at HOW Planning, said: “The overall scheme will open up an area of previously worked land, helping to create new jobs and boost the local economy as well as providing a large number of new facilities for the local community."


Doncaster regeneration link approved

Planning permission has been granted for the second and final phase of Great Yorkshire Way which will complete the link between the motorway network at Junction 3 of the M18 and Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

Coordinated by Doncaster Council and funded by the Sheffield City Region Investment Fund, the second stage of this regeneration route will create a one-mile connection from Bawdry Road to Hurst Lane.

Construction of the second phase could start towards the end of 2016 and be completed by late 2017.


Second waste gasification plant approved for Corby


A second gasification plant in Corby has been approved by Northamptonshire County Council. The Shelton Road facility, proposed by Clean Power Properties Ltd, is designed to produce over 16 megawatts of power for the National Grid.

The project will ‘treat’ local waste and includes materials recovery. The scheme will deploy advanced thermal gasification plants to treat an estimated 150,000 tonnes of ‘biomass rich’ refuse-derived fuel (RDF) and around 45,000 tonnes of mixed solid waste per year.

When built the facility will be located within two miles of Drenl’s proposed 120,000 tonnes-per-year gasification plant on Gretton Brook Road awarded planning permission in early 2014. So far that scheme has yet to climb off the drawing board.

Read more information on the Shelton Road facility

Research into Development Control Order change regime

The National Infrastructure Planning Association (NIPA) has commissioned research from University College London to investigate whether Development Control Orders (DCOs) are too detailed and what the effect of that is on the projects concerned. The results will be published next year.

The research should shed some light on the issue of flexibility and the ease or difficulty of using the DCO change process. This work should help clarify how fit for purpose the material and non-material changes regimes are.

Manchester residential boost

Manchester City Council has given the go ahead for a further series of major residential projects across the city including Capital & Centric and Henry Boot’s £200m Kampus, and Muse and Network Rail’s £150m New Victoria schemes. The previously controversial Yo! Homes development was also approved.

The city centre schemes will provide a total of over 1,200 new flats as well as commercial and retail floor space, restaurants and a new public square. One scheme will involve the demolition of existing warehouses.

Cheshire decisions

Cheshire East Council has deferred a decision on a 250-home Bovis housing scheme at Haslington, approved Barratt and David Wilson Homes’ 426-home development at the former Manchester Metropolitan University Alsager campus and refused a £13m retail park at Barracks Mill, a derelict site in Macclesfield, proposed by Cedar Invest.

Also approved was a 140-dwelling scheme in open countryside near the Jodrell Bank telescope complex. All the applications had been recommended for approval by officers.

Party conference pledges

A future Labour government would launch a major programme of council house building together with supporting infrastructure, the party's annual conference was told this week. The party has promised a programme of half a million council homes over a five-year period. It has also signalled an outright ban on fracking.

Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats called for £45bn to be invested in building an extra 750,000 homes over five years at the party’s conference in Brighton last week.

Treasury spokesperson Susan Kramer said the £45bn price tag would form part of a wider fund to deliver infrastructure including roads, railways, schools and hospitals.

The party said the £45bn would be enough to double housebuilding to 300,000 homes a year for five years.

Court brief

Waverley Borough Council is facing a High Court challenge to its decision to proceed with a much-delayed regeneration scheme in Farnham, Surrey.


Roger Milne