Latest news

Planning News - 8 March 2018

Published: Thursday, 8th March 2018

Stansted submits plans to raise passenger cap, Khan calls in Hounslow development, Development partner announced for new Hampshire garden town and more stories...

This weeks planning news in association with ThePlanner, the official magazine of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

RTPI logo
Planner jobs

London Stansted Airport has submitted to Uttlesford District Council a planning application seeking to raise the current cap on passengers by eight million a year.

The application, according to the airport, seeks to make “the best use” of its single runway over the next 10 years, as it looks to create 5,000 new on-site jobs, improve passenger choice and convenience, and boost international long-haul flights to China, India and the United States of America.

Following consultation with local communities, plans would see the restriction on annual passenger numbers rise from 35 million to 43 million.

According to the application, the next generation of quieter aircraft will ensure that passenger growth won’t see the number of flights increase or result in a worse noise footprint.

Since Manchester Airports Group (MAG) took over at the airport five years ago, passenger numbers have increased by 10 million to 26 million a year. MAG said the growth comes from a 25 per cent increase in destinations served by the airport and twice the number of airlines use the airport (22).

Stansted anticipates that the cap of 35 million passengers a year will be reached by the early 2020s. To provide long-term clarity for airlines wanting to use the facilities, it says now is “the right time” to consider the framework for growth beyond the current limit.

Ken O’ Toole, CEO of London Stansted, said: “Looking to the future, demand at Stansted is predicted to remain strong and with constraints on runway capacity in the South East increasing, we are expecting to reach our current limit on passenger numbers in the early 2020s. We are now at the point where it is right to consider the framework for the airport’s growth beyond the current limit.

“From day one, we have been guided by a belief that when our business prospers, the regions and communities in which we operate also prosper and I am proud of the fact that we have managed to deliver our growth in a phased way and worked hard to closely involve our local communities in this journey.”

The application requests permission for additional airfield infrastructure within the current airfield boundary, including two new links to the runway.

Support for the plans has been expressed by James Palmer, Mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, the Harlow Enterprise Zone, and the Haven Gateway Partnership.

Work is continuing on the second phase of work to transform the facilities at Stansted Airport – a five-year construction programme worth £600 million to deliver a new arrivals building and convert the existing terminal into a dedicated departure facility. The first phase saw £150 million spent “improving the passenger experience”.

The application can be found here on the Uttlesford District Council website.

26 February 2018
Laura Edgar, The Planner

The Mayor of London has called in a 427-home development on the Citroen Site on Capital Interchange Way, Brentford.

Sadiq Khan made the decision after Hounslow Council rejected the application on 16 February.

The plans, by housing association L&Q, include 40 per cent affordable housing, comprising 107 for shared ownership and 61 based on social rent levels. They also included a nursery, and retail and office space, which could lead to the creation of 43 new jobs.

The development would be located in a new Opportunity Area, which has been identified as having the potential to accommodate at least 7,500 new homes and 14,000 jobs.

The council refused the application on 16 February, citing concerns that the development would have a negative impact on local heritage sites, including Kew Gardens.

Khan said he and his planning team will “fully consider” the impact on heritage sites. City Hall will now work closely with L&Q to try to boost the amount of affordable housing even further than the current levels of 40 per cent.

He said: “I have been clear that I will use the full range of my planning powers to help get London building the new and genuinely affordable housing we so desperately need. This rejected application in Brentford already delivers a good number of affordable homes, but by taking it over, it gives me the opportunity to work with the housing association, L&Q, to increase the levels even further.

“I will, of course, weigh up concerns raised about the impact on nearby heritage sites with the pressing need for more new and affordable homes in London.”

Khan plans to consider the application at a representation hearing at City Hall later in the year.

27 February 2018
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Basingstoke and Dean Borough Council and Hampshire County Council has chosen master developer Urban&Civic, partnered with the Wellcome Trust, to deliver their plans for the first phase of Manydown.

The garden town will be located to the west of Basingstoke.

The councils served an Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) notice in July 2016.

Following comprehensive 18-month procurement, Urban&Civic, supported by global charitable foundation the Wellcome Trust, was chosen as joint leasehold owners of the land.

Work will now move forward to finalising contracts with Urban&Civic to join the councils in a joint venture partnership to deliver Manydown, based on garden city principles.

Cabinet member for Manydown at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council John Izett said Urban&Civic and the Wellcome Trust “share our ambitions for Manydown and I am confident they will contribute hugely to meeting the challenges ahead to create Manydown as a great place to live, which is so important to the borough and our residents”.

The two councils, he assured, will “remain actively involved”, working with Urban&Civic and the Wellcome Trust.

Chief executive of Urban&Civic plc Nigel Hugill said: “Manydown will reinforce Basingstoke by building on existing strengths. Our selection against really tough competition demonstrates the increasing scalability of the master developer approach in meeting housing numbers on strategic projects across south-east England. Wellcome are a wonderful addition to our list of allies. There is much to be done but people should soon come to see the differences.”

In March 2017 the councils submitted an outline planning application for the northern part of Manydown. Plans for the new community include up to 3,500 homes, businesses, shops, two new primary schools and land for a secondary school. They also include parks, children’s play facilities, sports pitches and allotments.

The application is under consideration.

28 February 2018
Laura Edgar, The Planner

The Mayor of London has presented his Transport Strategy to the London Assembly, as he looks to improve transport across the city.

The London Assembly will consider the strategy before it is published “in the coming weeks”.

Sadiq Khan’s plans aim to deliver on his ambition for 80 per cent of trips in the capital to be made on foot, by cycling or using public transport by 2041.

In June 2017, the mayor published the draft transport strategy, pledging to make the entire transport system zero emission by 2050, improve reliability and extend the London Underground, DLR and Overground services.

More than 6,500 responses were submitted during the consultation on the draft strategy, from the public and key stakeholders from across the UK.

Khan said: “I’ve been clear that we need to be bold in how our city operates as London’s population grows, and this means not only investing record amounts in new infrastructure like extensions to the Tube, rail and Crossrail 2, but working with boroughs and local communities to reduce our reliance on car use across London.

“With our unprecedented focus on walking, cycling and clean public transport, our ambitious Transport Strategy can act as a crucial driver for new homes and jobs, but also improve quality of life for everyone living in London.”

Val Shawcross, deputy mayor for transport, added that the strategy shows “how we can provide affordable, accessible and world-class transport for every Londoner, while ensuring our transport network acts as a huge catalyst for new jobs and homes across the capital”.

Khan’s Transport Strategy includes:

Major transport schemes including the Elizabeth line, Northern Line extension, Crossrail 2, Bakerloo line extension and the Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf crossing.

Billions to be invested in delivering the Healthy Streets Approach across all London boroughs, such as major transformation schemes at Oxford Street and Old Street in Central London.

Forging ahead with Crossrail 2, which is “vital” to the success of the wider UK economy. 

“Record-breaking” investment across the entire Tube network to run more trains more often and carry far more passengers, including completion of new signalling and more frequent services on the Metropolitan, District, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines. 

Dramatically improving air quality across London and making London a zero-emission city. 

Improving accessibility across London to enable all Londoners, including disabled and older people, to travel spontaneously and independently.

28 February 2018
Laura Edgar, The Planner

A five-year strategic business plan to leverage maximum economic and social benefits from the £1.2 billion Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) City Deal fund has been formally agreed by the entity’s cabinet.

The cabinet is made up of the political leaders of the local authorities involved.

The economic objectives of the city deal are to create 25,000 new jobs and leverage £4 billion in private sector investment.

The business plan focuses on skills and employment, innovation, connecting the region, regeneration and infrastructure.

The strategy also sets out how the city deal’s £495 million ‘Wider Investment Fund’ will be used over the next five years to implement the key objectives of the city deal.

A housing investment fund is planned to support housebuilding, ranging from larger builders and developers on stalled housing sites on former industrial sites, through to small builders, community builders, custom builders and regeneration specialists, on small sites across the region.

Proposals for a tech venture fund to support firms across the CCR to scale up, with a potential investment pot of £100 million, are also involved.

The city deal aims to benefit to the whole of the CCR region, which includes the 10 local authorities of Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Torfaen, and Vale of Glamorgan.

Last month the cabinet agreed to commit £40 million to support in principle the £180 million Metro Central Development, a project that will deliver a new central transport interchange at the heart of Cardiff’s city centre Core Employment Zone.

Andrew Morgan, chair of the CCR regional cabinet and leader of Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council, said: “The city deal is a unique programme of collaborative working which will enable economic change, improved digital and physical connectivity, improved skills and educational opportunities, and regeneration across the region.

“By attracting new investment and growing more successful businesses, by improving our connectivity, by developing our skills and education, we will restore the capital region to its historical role as the ‘engine room’ of the Welsh economy.”

The business plan can be found on the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal website (pdf).

2 March 2018
Roger Milne, The Planner

Special circumstances unproven for green belt granny annexe

Plans for a detached granny annexe in the grounds of a farmhouse in the Nottingham green belt have been refused as the appellant failed to explain how extant plans for an annexe within the main house would ‘disrupt his family life’.

56-home scheme ‘incompatible with industrial park'

Plans for 56 homes in County Durham have been blocked despite a housing shortfall in the area, after an inspector called the development ‘incompatible’ with a noisy industrial park nearby.

13-storey student accommodation block allowed in conservation area

Plans to replace a former cinema with a 13-storey block of purpose built student accommodation can go ahead after an inspector decided that it would have a positive impact on the surrounding conservation area.

43-home Aldershot regeneration scheme would harm heritage assets

Plans to create 43 new flats by extending a multistorey car park complex in Aldershot town centre have been blocked after an inspector ruled that the scale of the scheme would be detrimental to the adjacent conservation area.

Javid approves 504 homes across seven applications in West Sussex

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has determined a number of housing applications to Mid Sussex District Council in light of its outdated local plan, granting permission for 504 homes and refusing a further 130.

Javid allows sports pitch housing in revisited decision

Sajid Javid has approved plans for 142 homes on playing pitches leased to the University of Chester, after his predecessor Greg Clark’s 2016 decision to refuse permission primarily on flood risk grounds was quashed by the High Court.

Temporary permission for South Downs gypsy site after eight-year legal battle

An inspector has granted temporary consent for a gypsy site in the South Downs National Park that was twice blocked by former secretary of state Eric Pickles, following a ‘failure of policy’ to support gypsy travellers.

67 green belt log cabins allowed in Delamere Forest after Pickles refusal

An inspector has approved Forestry Commission plans for 67 holiday log cabins and other visitor facilities in Cheshire, after Eric Pickles deemed a similar scheme inappropriate green belt development in 2014.

2 March 2018
Matt Moody, The Planner

You can access the full decision letter and supporting documents relating to the appeal stories by searching the Planning Inspectorate’s Appeals Casework Portal.

Search Appeal decisions