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Planning round-up 23 July

Published: Thursday, 23rd July 2015

Beagle-breeding facility allowed on appeal by Clark. Hatfield energy from waste project blocked a second time. Big four retailers fail to activate a third of proposed new stores. And more stories...

Beagle-breeding facility allowed on appeal by Clark

Communities Secretary Greg Clark has allowed on appeal controversial proposals for a facility where beagles will be bred for use in animal experiments at Grimston near Hull originally refused by East Riding of Yorkshire Council. The scheme involves listed building consent.

The inspector who held the recovered appeal had recommended that listed building consent should be allowed but argued that full planning permission for the erection of a new building and the demolition of existing buildings at the site should not be permitted.

Clark concluded that the scheme should be allowed as it was broadly in line with development plan policies and the harm to heritage assets would be of a low order.

View the decision

Hatfield energy from waste project blocked a second time

Environmental services company Veolia’s proposed waste recycling and energy recovery scheme at New Barnfield, Hatfield has hit the buffers again.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark, acting on the recommendation of the planning inspector who held the recovered appeal, has refused the project which was backed by Hertfordshire County Council but bitterly opposed by local residents, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and local MP Grant Shapps, a former housing minister.

The proposals had been earlier refused by former Communities Secretary Eric pickles but the refusal was quashed by a High Court ruling a year ago.

However Clark ‘s decision letter following the redetermined appeal concluded, like the planning inspector, that the scheme represented inappropriate development in the green belt and posed harm to the setting of heritage assets at Hatfield House and Park.

View the decision

London round-up

  • The British Property Federation (BPF) has urged government to use its promised review of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to stop London councils setting ‘sky-high’ charges which risk constraining growth of the UK’s Higher Education sector.
  • A new report says that housing conditions in London are ‘worsening at a much faster rate than the previous decade’, with 59,000 homes per year needed to meet demand. That’s the conclusion of London School of Economics researchers in an assessment, produced for housing association Family Mosaic, the researchers warned that a shortfall of 30,000 homes a year in London is ‘entirely plausible and may well be a major underestimate’.
  • A new report from business lobby group London First and Terence O’Rourke has analysed progress across all 38 Opportunity Areas in the capital and identified the challenges they face.
  • Proposals for what would be the City of London’s new tallest tower have been submitted for 22 Bishopsgate. The £1.5bn 62-storey office block would be a 278 metre-high skyscraper, taller than the Shard.
  • London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced a new ‘Growth Commission’ to help realise Crossrail 2’s full economic potential across the capital and the UK
  • North London Islington Council is consulting on new rules to make it harder for developers to ‘game’ the planning system and avoid building affordable homes.
  • Londoners are being invited to give their opinion on four new designs for a bridge across the River Thames between Nine Elms and Pimlico.

Big four retailers fail to activate a third of proposed new stores

Just under a third of planning applications submitted by the ‘big four’ supermarkets across the UK have been built, according to latest research compiled by construction industry data provider Barbour ABI.

Its figures show that of the 556 projects approved for Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s since January 2010, only 179 schemes are under construction or have been completed.

Tesco has the lowest planning-to-construction ratio, at 21 per cent. Morrisons, on the other hand, has a planning-to-construction ratio of 56 per cent.

View the press release

Council submits draft local plan despite DCLG housing land concerns

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council has decide to submit its draft local plan for examination despite being told by the Department for Communities and Local Government that latest household projections indicate the council should be making provision for significantly more new homes.

The Merseyside planning authority is proposing sites for 615 new units every year during the lifetime of the strategy. Latest projections suggest that figures could nearly double and be over 1,200 new homes annually.

View the press release

Landmark traveller appeals redetermined and allowed

Two gypsies who earlier this year won a landmark ruling that the former Communities Secretary Sir Eric Pickles had discriminated against travellers by intervening in appeals involving pitches at green belt locations in the London Borough of Bromley and Dartford, Kent have this week had their appeals allowed by planning inspectors.

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Brummie CIL scheme due to start next year

Birmingham City Council is set to adopt a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charges scheme for England’s second biggest conurbation. The regime is due to come into force from January 2016.

The council is one of a handful of planning authorities who have given the go-ahead to implement the CIL in advance of an adopted development plan.

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Ministers decide not to intervene over potash project

Ministers have announced they will not intervene and hold a public inquiry into controversial plans for a £1.7bn potash mine beneath the North York Moors National Park. Charity the Campaign for National Parks, said it was considering a legal challenge over approval of the project.

View the press release

Third time lucky for Derbyshire theme park redevelopment

Plans by developer Waystones for 300 homes on the site of a former Wild West-themed amusement park in Derbyshire have been approved by Amber Valley Borough Council after two previous bids for the redevelopment of the site were unsuccessful. The American Adventure in Derbyshire closed in 2007 and the land has been unused ever since.

View the press release

Gloucestershire football club’s ambitious goal

Forest Green Rovers which hopes to be a Football League club within five years has unveiled ambitious proposals for a £100m sports facility which will include a new stadium for the club.

The development, dubbed ‘Eco Park’, will be a 100-acre sports and green technology centre at Junction 13 on the M5.

Half of the scheme will be dedicated to creating state-of-the-art sporting facilities, including an all-seater stadium, training fields, 4G pitches, multi-disciplinary sporting facilities, as well as a sports science hub. The other half will involve a green technology business park, providing up to 4,000 jobs.

View the press release

Energy projects round-up

  • The site for a £10bn nuclear power plant scheme in Cumbria has been confirmed after a deal to secure land near the existing Sellafield complex was completed. Joint venture group Nugen said it had paid an undisclosed sum for a vast tract of land at Moorside where possibly three new nuclear plants may be sited.
  • Green Power Company EDF Energy Renewables has decided not to proceed with its appeal against refusal of permission for a 14-turbine wind farm proposed for a site north of the A303 at Bullington Cross near Winchester. The application was turned down at a joint meeting by three Hampshire councils last year.
  • Plans for a solar farm on 44 hectares of land at Charborough Estate which is owned by Dorset MP Richard Drax and will be run by green power company Good Energy have been given the go-ahead by East Dorset District Council.

Legal round-up

  • The long-running legal battle by supermarket giant Tesco to block rival Asda’s plans for a new out-of-town superstore at Lydney in Gloucestershire has moved to London’s Court of Appeal. Tesco, which claims that it will lose more than a third of its town centre store’s trade to the new Asda, hopes the Court of Appeal will reach a different decision than High Court judge Mrs Justice Patterson, who dismissed its claim last year.
  • A lawsuit against the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has been filed by green power supplier Greenpeace Energy and nine German and Austrian utilities.

Awards and competition corner

Members of the public are being asked to take part in a new competition designed to celebrate England’s ten most attractive and inspiring places. England’s Great Places has been launched as part of the celebrations to mark the centenary of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

RTPI president Jane Askew said:

“Your great place could be a natural landscape, a historic town, perhaps a national park. It might be a vibrant and diverse community you are especially proud of, a special place within a city, a stunning cultural quarter or a neighbourhood. You could nominate an area that has undergone significant regeneration and has been transformed by that process.”

Each place nominated will also be judged against how it was shaped, protected or improved by planners and the planning system.

Members of the public can make their nominations until 1 September. An eminent panel will then produce a list of 10 regional winners, who will all go forward to a public vote to find England’s Greatest Place.

In a separate but related matter the overall winner of the inaugural Civic Voice National Design Award is the motorway services area between junctions 11a and 12 on the northbound stretch of the M5 in Gloucestershire.

View more information on RTPI’s England’s Great Places