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Planning round-up 15 December 2016

Published: Thursday, 15th December 2016

Developers criticise Greater Manchester strategy for lack of ambition, Bristol’s Broadmead revamp, Sheffield mulls urban outdoor facility, And more stories...

Developers criticise Greater Manchester strategy for lack of ambition

Over a dozen developers and property figures in Greater Manchester have written an open letter to senior local politicians in the city complaining about a lack of ambition in the draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, currently out for consultation.

The letter says the draft strategy isn’t planning for enough new jobs or housing and has sidestepped the vexed issue of unmet need for social housing.

The letter says the plan in its current shape “is a handbrake on opportunity that will hamstring the stated ambition to transform Northern Growth”.

Read the full open letter.

Bristol’s Broadmead revamp

Outline proposals have been lodged with Bristol City Council for the revamp of the Broadmead shopping district in the city centre with a range of shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, leisure activities, new housing and open spaces.

Developer Bristol Alliance, which owns the neighbouring Cabot Circus, has proposed the demolition of existing buildings and a new mixed-use scheme on land at and adjoining Callowhill Court, Broadmead, The Horsefair.

This would involve around 102,200 square metres of retail, commercial, leisure and hospitality floor space together with up to 150 new homes, landscaping and public realm works

The Podium, arguably the most recognisable landmark in the quarter, would be retained as a feature in the transformed centre.

Bristol Alliance is a 50-50 partnership between Hammerson and AXA Real Estate Investors. It is the owner of Cabot Circus Shopping Centre, Quakers Friars and the surrounding shops in Bristol City Centre.

Find out more about the development.

Sheffield mulls urban outdoor facility

Plans to create an outdoor adventure experience at the site of a former ski village at Parkwood Springs in the north west of Sheffield have been unveiled by the city council.

Under consideration for the site, a mile from the city centre is a mountain biking trail centre, urban bike park or national snow sports centre or a combination of different adventure activities, depending on market interest.

New mountain bike trails and a dual-slalom in the area now attract around 10,000 visits a year but the council believes there is scope for a lot more.

The proposed development site, which contains the entire former ski village as well as some land that can be developed for associated business use, borders the popular urban ‘oasis’ of Kelham Island.

Detailed development proposals will be determined when the council appoints a preferred bidder for the site.

Read the news story.

Chocks away for Surrey airport homes proposal?

Surrey Officers have recommended that Waverley Borough Council should this week approve a hybrid planning application from Dunsfold Airport Ltd and Rutland Ltd for a major development at Dunsfold Aerodrome near Cranleigh in Surrey.

The scheme involves some 1,800 new homes, a care home, a local centre, a primary school, significant industrial and commercial floor space and supporting infrastructure.

The proposals included change of use for some existing buildings, the demolition of others and the removal of three runways.

The airfield is identified in the council’s recently approved draft local plan as a location for new development in the period up to 2032. The strategy is set to provide for 519 new homes annually.

Read the news story.

East Sussex parish councillors resign over Javid appeal decision

Half of Newick Parish Council in East Sussex has resigned after Communities Secretary Sajid Javid overturned their rejection of plans for 50 homes on a farm site which both the parish council and the local planning authority, Lewes District Council, had opposed because the site was not in the emerging neighbourhood plan.

East Leeds 1,100-home project makes progress

Development of a new community of 1,100 homes on a former opencast coalmining site in east Leeds in the Aire Valley has made progress. Last week Leeds City Council’s City Plans Panel approved the access arrangements for the 71-hecatare site at Skelton Gate near Junction 45 of the M1.

As well as the housing, Templegate Developments Ltd’s scheme will involve a new school, a local centre, a food store and public open space. The company is a joint venture between Evans Property Group and Keyland Developments.

Shortfall in custom builders’ registers revealed

New research carried out by The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) has revealed that while 18,000 people have signed up on local authority custom and self-build registers a total of 18 councils haven’t provided registers yet despite this being a statutory requirement.

The ‘defaulters’ were named as Barking and Dagenham, Boston, Bradford, Brighton and Hove, Bromley, Copeland, Coventry, Craven, East Hertfordshire, East Northamptonshire, Halton, Luton, North Lincolnshire, North Somerset, Ribble Valley, Sandwell, Stockport and Tameside.

Rochdale and Sutton also have registers but have not yet marketed them or established a dedicated website.

Read the press release

Bentley’s Crewe master-plan unveiled

Cheshire East Council has approved for public consultation a master plan for the long term future of the operations of luxury car maker Bentley in Crewe.

The proposals, drawn up jointly by the local authority and the car-maker, involve the creation of a campus-style site which could grow and expand in line with the company’s ambitions.

Bentley Motors is the largest employer in Crewe, with more than 4,000 staff on a site around Pyms Lane and Middlewich Road.

Bentley was granted planning consent in May for a 46,450 square metre expansion of its operations providing an engineering technical centre, design centre, and workshop, to be constructed on a 4.5-hectare site opposite Bentley’s existing office and warehouse complex.

Bentley Motors’ proposals for its expanded site would require the closure of parts of Pyms Lane and Sunnybank Road to the public in a move which would see the creation of a single site for the car maker.

Read the news story.

Worcestershire SPD stipulates health assessments

New guidelines on how housing and other developments can be designed to encourage healthier lifestyles have been proposed for south Worcestershire in the shape of a draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). 

The SPD proposes that planning applications for larger developments of 25 homes or more should include a so-called health impact assessment.

The guidelines cover issues like encouraging walking and cycling, ensuring land is available to grow food and encouraging the use of efficient and sustainable energy.

The Malvern Hills, Worcester City and Wychavon councils have published the proposed guidelines in a document called “Planning for Health” which will form a new element of the councils’ joint development plan strategy.

Read further details.

Cambridgeshire new town ups ‘starter home’ contribution

The Northstowe Joint Development Control Committee has agreed revised proposals for the affordable housing planned for the second phase of the Cambridgeshire new town.

Originally the provision of 20 per cent affordable housing for Northstowe Phase 2 was expected to be achieved with a 60/40 split of affordable rent and low cost ownership.

However, in January 2016, Northstowe Phase 2 was announced as one of five pilot Starter Homes schemes as part of government plans to help increase access to home ownership.

The new development proposes 40 per cent starter homes; a further ten per cent of affordable homes would be rented to local people on housing waiting lists.

This means that half of the properties built in the 3,500-home second phase of the new town will be sold or rented at lower than market rates.

Read the news story.

Poll support for green belt affordable housing

A poll on the 24housing website has revealed an appetite for building new homes on at green belt locations.

Some 25 per cent said they would build on the green belt, regardless on tenure, with a further 39 per cent saying they would build on the green belt if the homes were genuinely affordable or socially rented homes.

The remaining 35 per cent said they would not build on the green belt.

Read more about the poll results.

Blackburn town centre is tops

Blackburn town centre has beaten hundreds of high streets across the country to be named Britain’s best.

More than 500,000 votes were cast in the third annual Great British High Street Awards and Blackburn scored well enough to take home the crown, beating 26 other finalists.

Read the news story.

London round-up

  • Transport for London’s latest five-year draft business plan has proposed a doubling in investment in cycling, a cleaner bus fleet, speeding up the extension of the Bakerloo line to Lewisham, modernising Camden and Holborn tube stations, extending the Overground to Barking Riverside and making progress on new East London river crossings to take the pressure off the Blackwall tunnel.
  • Shard developer Sellar Property Group has won planning permission from Westminster City Council for a contentious 14-storey office block in west London, dubbed the ‘Paddington Cube’. The scheme will occupy the site next to Paddington Station originally earmarked for a 72-storey skyscraper, dubbed the Paddington pole, which sparked considerable criticism.
    Read more about the development.
  • BT has submitted planning applications to Camden Council for its new-look kiosks, called Links, offering free public Wi-Fi, other digital services and free phone calls. Hundreds of BT’s existing phone boxes across the capital will be replaced by the new Links.
  • New homes set for one of the last underused sites in London’s Vauxhall, Nine Elms, have been rubbed-stamped by London mayor Sadiq Khan after being approved by Wandsworth Council.
  • A mixed-use development close to Battersea Power Station will replace a warehouse and garage with 307 new homes and incubator-style office space in a collection of buildings ranging from five to 18 storeys.

Legal round-up

  • The High Court has ruled that Babergh District Council’s decision to allow ten homes to be built in East Bergholt, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, was flawed as it did not take account of the village’s needs – as set out in the Suffolk planning authority’s own local plan. Permission for the development was quashed. The case was brought by East Bergholt Parish Council.
    Read the news story.
  • A £250,000 confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 has been obtained by Brent Council against a company who rented out an illegally converted house in Wembley. The North West London council prosecuted the firm for breaches of planning law. 
    Read the news story.
  • Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead councils, together with Greenpeace and a resident of Hillingdon, have served legal papers on the government for unlawfully supporting the expansion of Heathrow. This ‘coalition’ is seeking a Judicial Review of the government’s decision. 
    Read the news story.

Roger Milne