Latest news

Planning News - 28 November 2019

Published: Thursday, 28th November 2019

Guide published for heritage in neighbourhood plans, Communities should have a say throughout planning process, Application submitted for Salford quay development, and more stories...

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

RTPI logo
Planner jobs

New guidance has been published to show local communities how heritage can be incorporated into neighbourhood plans.

The National Trust’s Guide to Heritage in Neighbourhood Plans is intended to help communities to take a lead in planning for historic areas by enabling them to identify and safeguard local heritage in the places in which they live, work and spend their leisure time.

Karin Taylor, head of planning at the National Trust, said: “As the guardian of many special places, the National Trust understands the benefits that historic features can bring to places and people.

“By creating a neighbourhood plan, communities can create general planning policies for development of land in their area. Through this, they have an opportunity to create a vision for the future of their area, agreeing what is special and how local character can be preserved and enhanced.

“Our new guide describes how heritage can be incorporated into neighbourhood plans. This includes guidance on collecting your evidence base, engaging with wider stakeholders, the statutory process and planning for heritage.”

Guide to Heritage in Neighbourhood Plans comprises guidance on: planning policy and designations; advice on providing an appropriate and effective evidence base that supports the heritage aspect in neighbourhood plan policies; and a range of tools for assessing design, character and sustainability.

It also briefly outlines the neighbourhood plan process, from designation of a neighbourhood area right through to the adoption of the plan.

Anyone involved in neighbourhood planning, and people with an interest in planning heritage, will be able to use the guide.

19 November 2019
Laura Edgar, The Planner

A national charity for the civic movement has urged all political parties to commit to giving communities a ‘meaningful voice’ at every stage of the planning system.

Civic Voice believes that this would create an “accessible, balanced and collaborative (ABC) planning system” to ensure that conversations are had with everyone – not just those who are already engaged.

In its manifesto for the forthcoming general election (12 December), the charity emphasises an urgent need for the rebalancing of power within the planning system.

Joan Humble, chair of Civic Voice, cited research by Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, published in July this year, which found that the public lacks trust in the planning system. It suggested that that just 2 per cent of the public trust developers and only 7 per cent have faith in local authorities when it comes to planning for large-scale development.

“We can either ignore this research and carry on as we are and continue to face the same challenges in building the homes the nation needs, or we can accept that the system is not working for local people and do something about it," said Humble.

The manifesto, as well calling for an ‘ABC planning system’, outlines a number of other requests, including:

  • The introduction of a preapplication community consultation stage and a limited community right of appeal into the planning system.
  • A strengthening of statements of community involvement so they are set out in accessible English, and explain how are the local authority and developers will be expected to meaningfully engage with local communities on planning.
  • Introducing an ‘Office for Public Participation’ to oversee standards and consistency in public consultations. For major developments it would be an independent ‘honest broker’ to carry out the preapplication consultation with the local community, removing any perceived conflict of interest for the developer.

Humble explained: “Whether right or wrong, people believe that the decisions impacting their local area are not made locally, but by outside interests, who, once the development has finished, move on. By calling for a meaningful right to participate at every stage of the planning system, we can change this. With the use of new planning technology, there is no reason why this cannot happen.”

Ian Harvey, director of Civic Voice, added: “We have a planning system that may not be completely broken, but it certainly needs rebalancing and fixing to work better for communities. Doing so will ensure we build a modern planning system with communities at the heart. With these changes, we believe we can build the homes that we need and ensure that everyone in England can say, ‘we care about where we live’.”

The manifesto can be found here on the Civic Voice website.

20 November 2019
Laura Edgar, The Planner 

Plans that include up to 1,495 homes at Salford’s Cotton Quay have been lodged with the city council.

If approved, the development would comprise buildings of 37 and 48 storeys in height, and four distinct quarters that recall the area’s association with the cotton industry.

The site has water to the north, south and west and sits next to the Holiday Inn hotel. Two buildings on the land – Laser House and Magnetic House – would be demolished.

As well as the housing, the plans include:

  • Commercial, retail and leisure spaces;
  • Two hotels;
  • Harbour lido bath in St Francis Basin;
  • New realigned access road and bridges;
  • Multistorey car park with rooftop play area, climbing wall and bouldering centre;
  • New public and pedestrian promenade; and
  • Floating gardens.

The application seeks full planning permission for 491 dwellings, 2,296 square metres of retail/commercial use, one of the hotels, the multistorey car park and most other aspects of the scheme. It also seeks outline permission for 1,004 dwellings, the second hotel and 920 square metres of retail/commercial space.

The Manchester office of planning consultancy Lichfields submitted the hybrid application with Salford City Council on behalf of The Royalton Group and Frogmore.

According to Lichfields, the development would support nearly 650 construction jobs and more than 100 jobs at the hotels and commercial outlets.

Nathan Matta, planning director at Lichfields, said: “The team has worked extremely hard to submit this application. If approved, this scheme would create a new sustainable community introducing a much-needed mix of high-quality new homes, bespoke leisure and recreation provision, biodiversity enhancements, and opportunities to continue the areas rapid economic growth."

Studio Egret West, Carey Jones Chapman Tolcher and Studio Partington designed the proposals.

20 November 2019
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Gloucester City Council has launched a consultation on its city plan, which identifies 22 potential sites for development.

Residential, employment, mixed-use, sports and community development could be delivered on the sites. The cit plan, accepted by the city council in October, also aims to deliver 972 new homes. 

Locations have been sourced from the ongoing and targeted ‘call for sites’, land on the brownfield register and a review of internal land assets, the council explained.

It also said the plan goes further than the adopted Joint Core Strategy (JCS) prepared with Cheltenham Borough Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council, as it stipulates that 25 per cent of the housing that comes forward must be affordable. The JCS looks to 20 per cent as a starting point.

The plan seeks to support healthier communities and therefore limits opportunities for hot food takeaways, and encourages more active travel, tree planting and reductions in air pollution.

As Gloucester City Council has declared a climate change emergency, the city plan features policies on flood risk and water efficiency, the promotion of sustainable transport, the use of electric vehicle-charging infrastructure and the delivery of more green infrastructure such as trees, hedges and biodiversity gain on sites.

Head of place for Gloucester City Council Ian Edwards said: “Development of land in Gloucester is essential as the city continues to grow and prosper. The Gloucester City Plan puts in place important policies and structure on how we’ll go forward.

”This plan was supported by all of the council after undergoing very thorough questioning by the overview and scrutiny committee.

“It has already gone through four rounds of public consultation, and the comments we received informed its development to this point. The public now has another opportunity to tell us their views on the draft plan so that it can go on to the next stage.”

After the consultation, the draft plan will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.

The consultation closes on Friday 20 December. It can be found here on the Gloucester City Council website.

20 November 2011
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Ealing Council’s planning committee has granted planning permission for a 990-home regeneration scheme in Acton.

The scheme will be delivered by joint venture partners housing association Catalyst and developer Mount Anvil.

The firms said they worked “closely” with Friary Park’s current residents to develop the proposals, “ensuring they have been at the heart of decisions”. The estate currently comprises 225 homes.

Of the 990 new homes, 45 per cent have designated as affordable housing, including 237 social rent homes and 28 London affordable rent homes. There will also be an increase in rented homes on the estate, from 225 to 265.

All existing Catalyst tenants on Friary Park estate have the option of being rehoused in the new development should they wish to take this option.

The scheme also comprises 1,459 square metres of commercial, retail and community space.

Friary Park is a short walk from the new Acton Central Crossrail station. The plans will also see a “significant” increase in the amount of green space on the estate with residents having access to private balconies and terraces, podium gardens, play trails and a “new and improved” multi-use games area and community centre, says the partnership.

Marcus Bate, investment director at Mount Anvil, said: “Securing resolution to grant planning permission for Friary Park is a huge step forward for the partnership and residents on the estate. Together we’ll be creating an outstanding place where people can thrive – better homes for the residents, much-needed new homes of all tenures for Ealing and new public green spaces and amenities for all to enjoy.”

25 November 2019
Laura Edgar, The Planner 

A round-up of planning news

Court fines Colden man for planning breach
Bradford Magistrates’ Court has fined a Calderdale resident £1,000 for breaching an enforcement notice that required the removal of scrap vehicles from land in Colden, Hebden Bridge.

Michael Czabaniuk, of High House Farm, Colden, was also found to be storing building materials and other plant, vehicles and machinery on agricultural land, without first applying for permission to change the use of the land.

He appeared at Bradford Magistrates’ Court earlier this month (November), where he pleaded guilty to the offence of failing to comply with an enforcement notice, which was served for an unauthorised change of use of the land.

Planning enforcement officers from Calderdale Council visited the site on several occasions in 2018 and advised Czabaniuk that he needed to remove the materials. Officers returned in February 2019 and found that the storage was continuing.

The matter was then referred to court. Czabaniuk was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,312 and a victim surcharge of £100.

Land with planning sold in Lincolnshire
Developer Minster Property Group has purchased a nine-acre site that has planning permission in a south Lincolnshire village.

The land, off Malting Lane near Donington, has permission for 73 homes, a quarter of which would be affordable or below market value.

Fisher German’s rural team secured the planning permission on behalf of its client, CEMEX UK Operations Ltd, a building materials company.

Contract awarded for Hornsea Two
Offshore wind specialist EEW Group has contracted Cheshire-based Hutchinson Engineering Ltd for the fabrication and on-site assembly of 30 suspended internal platforms (SIPs) for Hornsea Two offshore wind farm.

The SIPs are highly complex steel components (each weighs 10 tonnes and is 12 metres high) that will be suspended inside the bright yellow transition pieces that form part of the foundations for offshore wind turbines.

Once completed, Hornsea Two will be the UK’s largest offshore wind farm with enough installed capacity to generate clean electricity for more than 1.3 million homes.

Retrospective planning secured for log cabins
Luxury glamping franchise TinyWood Homes has been granted retrospective planning permission for six log cabins to be used as tourist accommodation at its Warwickshire site.

The permission was secured by Roythornes Solicitors and Grace Machin Planning & Property.  

The firms explained that Roythornes produced the statutory declarations that proved that the previous and existing use of the land was for tourist accommodation. Grace Machin produced a full policy justification statement that set out matters relating to the site’s history, local and national planning policy and the wider economic benefits.

IBIS hotel extension to be built in East London
Newham London Borough Council has granted hotel investor, owner and operator Accor Invest permission for a major rooftop extension to the IBIS Stratford Hotel in East London.

The extension will see three additional storeys added to the existing four-storey structure, increasing the room count by 77 to 185 rooms. The approved development also includes alterations to the façade and the creation of a new active frontage.

The extension was designed by architect Leach Rhodes Walker.

Work on the extension will begin in the first quarter of 2020.

Planner elected fellow of Ghana planning institute
Clive Harridge, the secretary-general of the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) and RTPI past president, has been elected honorary fellow of the Ghana Institute of Planners (GIP).

The awards ceremony took place during the 50th anniversary conference of GIP in Accra, where Harridge was representing CAP at the event. He was announcing the winners of the 2019 CAP Awards for Outstanding Planning Achievement in the Commonwealth.  

Harridge said: “I am hugely proud to receive this award, which is a great honour. As well as being a founder member of CAP, GIP is one of the leading planning associations in Africa and I am privileged to receive this award from such an eminent organisation.”

Neighbourhood plan in East Devon approved
East Devon District Council has backed the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan following a resolution at a meeting of the cabinet.

It will sit alongside the council’s local plan and has become part of the development plan for East Devon and will be used to determine planning applications for the Sidmouth area.  

Sidmouth Town Council produced the neighbourhood plan alongside the community and it received support from 90 per cent of voters when it was considered at a referendum in September.

The Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan is the 17th neighbourhood plan to be adopted in East Devon, taking neighbourhood plan coverage to over 50 per cent of the total district population.

26 November 2019
Laura Edgar, The Planner