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Planning News - 14 March 2019

Published: Thursday, 14th March 2019

Cash approved for East Mids Development Corporation, Government signs off offshore wind sector deal, Peabody buys Holloway prison site, 3,000 homes approved in East London and more stories...

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

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The government has signed off £2 million in funds to go towards establishing an East Midlands Development Corporation.

Chancellor Philip Hammond first announced the funding at the Conservative Party Conference last year. Since then, business and civic leaders have worked together on an action plan for the development corporation.

A statement from Midlands Connect says the focus will be on maximising and accelerating development opportunities and strategic transport connectivity across the East Midlands, this would involve the HS2 station at Toton, East Midlands Airport, SEGRO Logisitics Park, Chetwynd Barracks and Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station, which is due to be decommissioned by 2025.

The development corporation will aim to encourage and bring forward the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs and thousands of new homes on these sites.

James Brokenshire, housing and communities secretary and the ministerial champion for the Midlands Engine, has informed Midlands Engine chairman Sir John Peace that the money will be released at the end of March.

The economic opportunities presented by the development corporation will now be promoted to investors next week at MIPIM in Cannes.

The first meeting of the interim oversight board, chaired by Peace, included representatives from Midlands Engine, Midlands Connect, D2N2 LEP, East Midlands Chamber, East Midlands Airport, city, county and borough councils from across the region, HS2 Ltd, Highways England, and universities.

It outlined what comes next for the region, including setting out a detailed assessment of the economic value of bringing the development sites together, and how the development corporation can accelerate the creation of new jobs – and increase productivity and housing in the region.

Peace said: “By capitalising on development opportunities focused around improved infrastructure, we have real potential to address barriers to productivity and turn it into economic growth. To achieve that, this development corporation must embrace the support of the private and public sectors to give world-class corporations the confidence to invest in our region.”

Maria Machancoses, director of Midlands Connect, added: “The vision for this development corporation has to be supported with strategic transport connections, particularly by linking the HS2 East Midlands Hub at Toton quickly and efficiently with Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and East Midlands Airport. Midlands Connect is working with East Midlands Councils to develop these transformational plans.”

The interim oversight board will meet again in June 2019.

7 March 2019
Laura Edgar, The Planner


A government-industry sector deal for offshore wind has been signed off by energy secretary Greg Clark. It could see the number of related jobs triple to 27,000 by 2030.

The deal, the first one for a renewable energy technology, means that for the first time in the UK, more electricity would come from renewable sources than fossil fuels, said the government.

Alongside the deal, the UK Government said it would provide over £4 million pounds for British business to share expertise globally and open new markets for UK industry through a technical assistance programme to help countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan and the Philippines skip dirty coal power and develop their own offshore wind projects.

The deal aims to:

  • Increase the sector target for the amount of UK content in home-grown offshore wind projects to 60 per cent, making sure that the £557 million pledged by the government in July 2018 for further clean power auctions over the next 10 years would directly benefit local communities from Wick to the Isle of Wight.
  • Spearhead a new £250 million Offshore Wind Growth Partnership to make sure UK companies in areas like the North East, East Anglia, Humber and the Solent continue to be competitive and are leaders internationally in the next generation of offshore wind innovations.
  • See the Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland release new seabed land from 2019 for new offshore wind developments.
  • Challenge the sector to more than double the number of women entering the industry to at least 33 per cent by 2030.
  • Foster more work with further education institutions to develop a sector-wide curriculum to deliver a skilled and diverse workforce across the country and facilitate skills transfer within the industry.

Energy minister Claire Perry said the sector deal would "drive a surge in the clean, green offshore wind revolution that is powering homes and businesses across the UK”.

It would bring investment into coastal communities and ensure that the UK maintains its position as a global leader in this growing sector.

“By 2030 a third of our electricity will come from offshore wind, generating thousands of high-quality jobs across the UK, a strong UK supply chain and a fivefold increase in exports. This is our modern industrial strategy in action.”

Benj Sykes, the co-chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and Ørsted UK country manager for offshore, said: “This relentlessly innovative sector is revitalising parts of the country which have never seen opportunities like this for years, especially coastal communities from Wick in the northern Scotland to the Isle of Wight, and from Barrow-in-Furness to the Humber. Companies are burgeoning in clusters, creating new centres of excellence in this clean growth boom. The sector deal will ensure that even more of these companies win work not only on here, but around the world in a global offshore wind market set to be worth £30 billion a year by 2030.”

7 March 2019
Laura Edgar, The Planner


Housing association Peabody has bought the former HM Prison Holloway site using a £42 million loan from the Mayor of London.

The deal requires Peabody, working in partnership with developer London Square, to start work by 2022 on more than 1,000 homes. Of the homes, 60 per cent must be for social rent, shared ownership or London Living Rent. The money comes from the mayor's Land Fund.

Brendan Sarsfield, chief executive of Peabody, said: “We are committed to working with the London Borough of Islington and the GLA to deliver an exceptional new housing scheme on this historic site. We are pleased to confirm we will deliver 60 per cent level of genuinely affordable homes integrating existing Islington communities with a new Peabody estate. As well as providing new homes, we will also ensure social infrastructure and place-making are at the heart of our proposals.”

City Hall worked with Islington Council on the planning policy for the site, which also requires public green space and a centre for women to be provided.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, said: “Our groundbreaking loan to Peabody means the majority of new homes on this site will be genuinely affordable – with around four in 10 of all new homes being for social rent. We’ve developed planning policies with the council that support this, and that also set out how the development should include public green space and a new centre for women.

“This shows what is possible on public land. We’ve been able to do this even with the limited powers we currently have. Ministers now need to play their part and give us the step change in investment and powers over land we need to truly fix London’s housing crisis.”

In a statement, Islington council welcomed the sale of the former women’s prison site, which closed in 2016.

“The Holloway Prison site is one of enormous significance for Islington. Aside from its historic importance, the site also represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver a considerable amount of much-needed, genuinely affordable housing for local people.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with the new owners to ensure the best possible outcomes for the community, including the delivery of desperately needed, genuinely affordable homes and vital social infrastructure, such as a women’s centre.”

Peabody is required to repay the loan in full.

11 March 2019
Laura Edgar, The Planner


The Section 106 agreement for a 3,000-home development in East London has been signed off and the development can now go ahead.

Preparatory works on the site are now under way before construction can begin at Beam Park, the derelict site of a former Ford manufacturing plant.

Of the 3,000 homes, 1,513 will be affordable.

Phase one of the development, providing 640 new homes, is due to be finished by 2022.

Once the whole development is complete, Beam Park will comprise a new railway station, a public square, and a medical centre that will serve new residents and up to 7,000 people in the surrounding area. There will also be two schools, retail spaces, a gym, nursery, community facilities, a multi-faith space and two energy centres. The Beam Park station is located on the C2C line, which goes into central London.

Andy Rowland, managing director for East Region at L&Q, said: “We welcome this milestone, which brings our plans for Beam Park one step closer to reality. The redevelopment of this site, which will provide 50 per cent affordable housing, will make a substantial contribution towards London’s housing needs.

“L&Q’s vision is that everyone has a quality home that they can afford. We look forward to working closely with our partners to create a successful new community with benefits for new and existing residents.”

The masterplan for Beam Park was produced by award-winning architects Patel Taylor.

7 March 2019
Laura Edgar, The Planner


Warwick District Council has approved plans for a new residential and community development submitted by L&Q for a 20.9-hectare site land south of Gallows Hill.

The scheme, to be known as Beauchamp Park, will deliver 450 homes, of which at least 40 per cent will be affordable.

The local community and future residents will benefit from new public open space, footpaths and cycleways, and children’s play areas.

In January 2016, outline planning consent was secured which agreed the principle of residential development on the site. Residents were invited to view the proposals in autumn 2018.

L&Q plans to invest in the community through its £250 million L&Q Foundation and skills academy.

Matthew Corbett, director of L&Q Foundation, said: “The L&Q Foundation has been created specifically to support the local communities in which we develop and operate. In the coming months we will be looking to engage the local community to understand how the L&Q Foundation and our academy can help create opportunities for local people.”

Work is expected to begin on the site this summer, with the first homes built by late summer 2020 and the entire development completed in spring 2023.

7 March 2019
Prithvi Pandya, The Planner


A round-up of planning news:

Morgan leads RTPI awards judging panel

The RTPI has announced Sadie Morgan as the chair of the judging panel for the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2019.

Morgan is a co-founder director of dRMM Architects, alongside Alex de Rijke and Philip Marsh. She currently chairs the Independent Design Panel for HS2, reporting directly to the secretary of state.

In 2013, Sadie became the youngest president of the Architectural Association. She is also one of 10 commissioners for the National Infrastructure Commission led by chief executive Phil Graham.

As chair of judges, Morgan will help RTPI president Ian Tant to judge the winner of the Silver Jubilee Cup, won last year by the Stromness Regeneration Project, a 10-year plan by Orkney Islands Council to regenerate a declining fishing village.

The winners of the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence will be announced at a ceremony on 24 April at Milton Court Concert Hall in central London.

Burnham and Boardman: cycling requires sustained funding

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and cycling and walking commissioner Chris Boardman have said that the national government needs to provide a sustained funding stream for cycling and walking.

They were giving evidence to the Transport Select Committee in Manchester.

Burnham and Boardman want cycling and walking to be afforded the same status by the Department for Transport (DfT) as roads investment. They highlighted that around 1 per cent of the DfT budget is allocated to cycling and walking.

The mayor said: “Greater Manchester made the bold decision to spend £160 million on cycling and walking to kick-start our plans for the UK’s largest cycling and walking network. There is a huge appetite to deliver these plans but we now need government to show the same ambition and put in place a consistent national funding stream for cycling and walking.”

Boardman added: “This isn’t about people riding bikes, it’s about creating healthier, better places to live, more economically robust areas, revitalising town centres, and giving people a real and attractive alternative to driving. By the government’s own calculations, money invested in enabling people to cycle and walk is the most efficient transport spend that a nation can make. I just don’t understand why the penny hasn’t dropped yet."

1,900 Northamptonshire homes approved

South Northamptonshire Council has granted planning permission for 1,900 homes. This will enable the completion of the Sandy Lane relief road.

The proposals also include public open spaces, a country park, play areas, a primary school, a mixed-use local centre, community facilities and offsite healthcare provision.

Roger Clarke, the council’s portfolio holder for planning, said: “The principle of building homes in that location is well established under the Joint Core Strategy, but the history of this site demonstrates how complex this kind of proposal can be… Having a road to nowhere is blighting our landscape and collective conscience and is holding back plans for Northampton’s desperately needed ring road.

“These plans will unblock those proposals and help Northampton reach its full potential.”

A minimum of 15 per cent of the first phase of housing will also be affordable housing and subsequent phases will be required to comprise a minimum of 17.5 per cent affordable homes.

Nightclub to make way for Wolverhampton learning quarter

The City of Wolverhampton Council has submitted a planning application to demolish the former Faces nightclub building as part of the City Learning Quarter scheme.

Current ground-floor tenants of the same Old Hall Street premises, Compton Care, have agreed to vacate the building by March 31. This will see demolition works begin in May, with completion due towards the end of the summer.

As part of the project, a collection of small vacant buildings in the council’s ownership on St George’s Parade will also be demolished.

The demolition programme will enable more detailed ground investigations to take place ahead of a full planning application being submitted for the City Learning Quarter development. It will see City of Wolverhampton College move its Paget Road campus activities to the location, and will also encompass the college’s Metro One Campus, the council’s Adult Education Service, and central library.

Tougher sprinkler rules called for

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for tougher sprinkler rules to guarantee fire safety in high-rise buildings and care homes.

The LGA is calling for the height threshold at which automatic fire suppression systems, such as sprinklers, are required in new residential buildings in England to be lowered to 18 metres – down from the current 30-metre/10-storey limit. The representative body for 370 councils and fire and rescue authorities in England wants the government to require automatic fire suppression systems to be installed in all new premises where vulnerable people sleep, including care homes and residential schools.

It says these measures will provide increased safety protection and reassurance to more people and have been proved to be effective.

Salford pupils name industrial development

Pupils at Harrop Fold secondary school in Little Hulton competed to rename Network Space’s nearby industrial development, and Raven Locks was chosen as the worthy winner.

Members of the student council put forward several potential names for the 14-acre site, which is located off Ravenscraig Road. A joint effort by 16-year-old Jack Higham and 15-year-old Luke O'Sullivan was selected by the industrial developer and investor.

The site was previously known as Ashtons Field, and the scheme’s new name was influenced by the area’s heritage. The pupils combined the road name with a reference to the network of historic underground canals that border the site.

In return, Network Space donated £200 to Harrop Fold’s student council. Jack and Luke were each awarded a £50 Amazon voucher.

12 March 2019
Laura Edgar, The Planner