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Planning round-up 13 October 2016

Published: Thursday, 13th October 2016

New neighbourhood and park proposed for Leeds brewery site. Birmingham tram extension. Major North East England housing schemes. Liverpool projects. Scots back Heathrow. And more stories...

New neighbourhood and park proposed for Leeds brewery site

Property company Vastint has unveiled ambitious proposals for a mixed-use, park-side neighbourhood for the eight hectare former Tetley Brewery site in Leeds City centre.

The centrepiece of the scheme is a 2.3-hectare urban park in line with the council’s aspirations for the area.

The first phase of the development would involve up to 1,000 new homes, five per cent of which will be for affordable housing, in line with the council’s policy.

Also proposed is around 85,000 square metres of employment floor space, including facilities for creative industries and 15,000 square metres of retail, cultural, educational, leisure and health uses. In addition, there are plans for a 400-bedroom hotel.

The housing, which will include a mix of one, two and three bedroom homes, will be located mainly on the northern edge of the park with employment, cultural uses and a hotel, along the western and southern edge.

Read the news story

Birmingham tram extension

Proposals to extend the Midland Metro tram network through Birmingham city centre have been lodged with the Department for Transport.

The Midland Metro Alliance has formally applied on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) for a Transport and Works Act Order to build and operate the Birmingham Eastside extension from Bull Street to Digbeth.

The order would allow work to start on the 1.7 kilometre extension which will serve the proposed HS2 station at Curzon Street, offering connections to New Street, Moor Street and Snow Hill train stations.

Subject to local public inquiry, work is scheduled to begin in 2019 and the line to open in 2023. The scheme has a price-tag of £137.2m.

As well as linking all of the city centre railway stations it would improve access to Birmingham Coach Station and to bus routes to the south east of the city centre.


Major North East England housing schemes

Developer Hindhaugh Homes has started consulting over proposals for a 500-home development on a 24.9-hectare site to the south-east of Acklington Road and behind James Calvert Spence College at Amble, Northumberland. Some 15 per cent of the dwellings would be affordable.

Separately, Story Homes and the Durham Diocesan Board of Finance have been granted outline permission on appeal for 220 homes and full permission for 80 homes at Sedgefield, County Durham after an inspector disagreed that the site could be considered a valued landscape. Ten per cent of the dwellings will be affordable.

Liverpool projects

  • Officers at Liverpool City council have recommended that schemes providing hundreds of student flats should get the green-light. Specialist developer Unite is planning two towers at Lime Street and Spelthorne Street, of 19 and 16 floors and a total of 212 bedrooms.
  • Meanwhile Rhyl-based Anwyl Construction is planning 430 student flats in 15 floors at the site of the former National Express coach station in Norton Street, Islington, following the coach operator’s relocation to Liverpool ONE bus station.
  • In a separate move a dozen developers have expressed interest in buying the historic Municipal Buildings from Liverpool City Council, following approval of plans to sell the civic landmark and vacate staff by next summer. The 1860s listed building has 12077 square metres of floor space and is expected to attract hotel and residential developers.


London round-up

  • London Mayor Sadiqi Khan, and Darren Rowell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, have announced a feasibility study into creating the capital’s first new TV and film production studios for at least 25 years at Dagenham East.
  • Khan has also unveiled detailed proposals for delivering the Central London Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in 2019 (a year ahead of schedule), extending the ULEZ to the North and South Circular roads in 2019 or later, and started the formal consultation necessary to introduce the ‘T charge’ for older polluting vehicles in October 2017. This initiative came as new research revealed people living in most deprived areas of London were exposed to higher concentrations of harmful pollution.
  • A planning application has been submitted by developer Berkeley Homes to Enfield Council for 262 new homes at the site of Middlesex University’s former Trent Park campus which includes an historic listed mansion.
  • A report by policy network Future of London has warned that more extreme weather events due to climate change meant flooding was now one of the greatest threats facing the conurbation.
  • Nearly £23m of tax-payers money is now at risk of being lost because of the way the government has backed the controversial Garden Bridge project, according to an investigation by the National Audit Office. This highlighted that the Department for Transport was very wary about the scheme’s value for money and had limited oversight of its support for the charitable trust behind the venture.

Scots back Heathrow expansion

The Scottish government has thrown its weight behind expansion of Heathrow after arguing that an enlarged west London airport would result in benefits for Scotland, including new jobs, more flights and the use of the state-owned Prestwick airport as a logistics hub for the construction of a third runway. 

The Prime Minister is due to announce the UK government’s decision on new airport capacity in south east England soon. If she opts for Heathrow, May will face opposition from many Tory MPs. She might have to rely on the SNP's 54-strong Commons bloc if there's a vote.

Find out more about the Heathrow proposal

Oxfordshire logistics

Cherwell District Council has approved detailed planning permission for 18,394 square metres of logistics floor space and outline planning permission for another 44,314 square metres of floor space in south east Bicester.

Under these proposals the majority of the application site, which is adjacent to the A41 some 3.2 kilometres to the south east of Bicester town centre, would be used for class B8 use (logistics) with auxiliary office space use (class B1).

The development at Symmetry Park includes parking space, landscaping, open space, drainage and a sewage treatment plant.

Local residents have voiced concern that the Oxfordshire ‘garden town’ is becoming the focus for warehousing.

Welsh power line approved

The government has approved the Development Consent Order (DCO) for Western Power Distribution’s 26 kilometre 132kV power line scheme (approximately 25.3km above ground and 3.3km below ground), connecting the consented Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm to an existing overhead line near Llandyfaelog in south west Wales.

Infrastructure planning guru Angus Walker from legal firm BDB discusses the project and the state of the latest pipeline of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects NSIPs in his recent blog.

Read the blog post from BDB

Essex housing approved

Tendering District Council has approved outline plans for more than 200 new homes for land at Turpins Farm Kirby-le Soken in Essex after the applicant, The Burghes Estate, reduced the number of proposed new dwellings by 40 units.

The site, which overlooks Hanford Water, had previously been scheduled as a ‘green gap’ but is now earmarked for residential use. Proposals for a scheme of 213 homes on the former Martello Caravan Park at nearby Walton has already been approved while separate schemes for 240 homes and 110 homes respectively have just been granted on appeal at Kirby Cross.

Cornish development

Public consultation has begun on the proposed locations for housing and commercial development across Cornwall up to 2030 as part of the latest round of work on the unitary authority’s local plan.

A total of ten locations and two eco-community sites are in the mix. The areas are:

  • Penzance & Newlyn
  • Hayle
  • Camborne-Pool-Illogan-Redruth
  • Helston
  • Falmouth & Penryn
  • St Austell
  • Newquay
  • Bodmin
  • Launceston
  • Saltash
  • Two ‘Eco-community’ sites at West Carclaze and Par Docks.

This move comes in the wake of the publication of the planning inspector’s final report into the council’s local plan which was judged to be sound subject to numerous modifications including an increase in the minimum housing provision figure to 52,500.

This represents 5,000 more dwellings than the plan’s original target. There is also now a separate requirement for additional purpose-built student commotion and some 2,550 bed-spaces for the elderly. The strategy contains no site allocations. The local plan is due to be approved by the council in November.

Essex local plan hiatus

The inspector examining Castle Point Borough Council’s new local plan has questioned whether the Essex planning authority has fulfilled the duty to cooperate.

He has recommended that the council holds a meeting with the other five authorities in the Thames Gateway South Essex sub-region to discuss key issues about the borough’s housing target of 2,000 new homes by 2031. The inspector has pointed out that this figure does not represent objectively assessed need but rather the capacity of the borough to accommodate growth.

He has also asked what specific steps have been taken, or what mechanisms are in place, to distribute unmet housing need elsewhere in the Housing Market Area (HMA) or beyond.

And, pointedly, he wants the council to explain its rationale for reducing the housing requirement from 4,000 in the Draft Local Plan to the figure of 2,000 in the latest version of the blueprint.

Manchester’s Central Park?

Ambitious plans have been unveiled to transform 330-hectares of green space, located on the edge of Manchester city centre to create a City Forest Park on a scale comparable to New York’s Central Park.

The site borders three local authority areas: Salford, Bury and Bolton and is connected by river, road and cycleway to Manchester city centre.

The City of Trees partnership, initiated by The Oglesby Charitable Trust and Community Forest Trust is looking for backers to help raise £1m to take the plans for the park forward.

Damien Hirst’s new gallery wins 2016 Stirling Prize

Newport Street Gallery in London has won the 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize for the UK’s best new building. It was designed by architects Caruso St John. The project involved the conversion and transformation of a street facing a railway line in Vauxhall into a free public gallery for artist Damien Hirst's private art collection. 

Three listed Victorian industrial buildings, formerly carpentry and scenery painting workshops for West End theatres, have been remodelled and flanked at either end by entirely new buildings; one with a striking, spiky saw-tooth roof. 

Legal round-up


Roger Milne