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Planning News - 28 August 2020

Published: Friday, 28th August 2020

Mixed-use scheme in west London approved, Proposals for Liverpool docks site submitted, Council backs LDO for district heating, And more stories....

Our planning news is published in association with ThePlanner, the official magazine of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

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Ealing Council has granted planning permission for a mixed-used development in Trumpers Way, Hanwell.

Colliers International advised MHA London on the purchase of the site, which is home to 32,328 square feet of industrial units. 

Designed by Patel Taylor Architects, the redevelopment, known as Elthorne Works, comprises 205 apartments - private and affordable - across three buildings. Eight town houses will be built and the gardens landscaped, as well as car parking and cycle spaces provided.

Industrial units will be available on the ground floor of the development to provide continued local economic activity.

Hossein Abedinzadeh, Founder of MHA London said: “I am delighted that we have been granted planning permission for this exemplar development which will provide benefits to the local community with much-needed homes, flexible workspace and new employment opportunities, in addition to enhanced public realm, car parking and cycle spaces. It is important to us that all our projects are not only commercially successful but provide a positive contribution to the neighbourhood.”

The development is located only one mile from Hanwell station, which is on the soon-to-be opened Elizabeth Line, and will provide commuting times to Bond Street Tube station of just 17 minutes, compared to 32 minutes currently.

Colliers International will also be working with MHA London on the delivery of the scheme.

20 August 2020
Laura Edgar, The Planner

A planning application for the redevelopment of a site next to Liverpool’s Stanley Dock has been submitted to the city council.

Cushman & Wakefield has submitted an application on behalf of developers Torus Developments.

The vacant 0.8-hectare site was used for industrial purposes. It is located on Lightbody Street, adjacent to the start of the Leeds Liverpool Canal.

Torus Developments plans to invest more than £30 million into the area as part of the group’s £1 billion investment in the Liverpool City Region over the next five years.

The proposals comprise 10, three-bedroom townhouses and 200 apartments with either one, two or three bedrooms. They will all be available through the Rent to Buy scheme.

They also feature 720 square metres of commercial space, split between new units on the ground floor of the proposed apartment building and the site’s disused railway arches, and a pedestrian link alongside the North edge of the listed Stanley Flight Canal Locks.

Chris Bowen, managing director of Torus Developments, said: “As one of our heartlands, we are dedicated to investing in redeveloping disused sites and bolstering affordable housing options in Liverpool. Lightbody Street is a landmark project for us and is one which encapsulates the city’s heritage and transformative spirit, so we’re delighted to be regenerating this site to meet the needs of future residents.

Andrew Teage, partner at Cushman & Wakefield, added: “The development will significantly enhance what is currently a vacant site within the Ten Streets regeneration area, providing much needed affordable housing as well commercial floorspace and improvements to the visual and environmental quality of the area.” 

20 August 2020
Laura Edgar, The Planner

The planning committee at East Devon District Council has unanimously voted to adopt a local development order (LDO) for District Heating Networks in the west end of the district.

The council’s first LDO means the installation of pipes, cables and other infrastructure necessary to provide district heating networks have planning permission within an area near Cranbrook, Exeter Science Park and Monkerton.

The council has declared that there is a climate emergency and is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2040. This support for district heating networks is part of its works to achieve the target through clean growth and low carbon development. 

The district heat network ensures the efficient delivery of low carbon hot water and heating for future development, the council noted, and is in line with the government’s framework for low carbon heat, which is set out in The Future of Heating, which was published under the Coalition government in 2012. 

As demand grows, the network can be expanded and new renewable technologies incorporated into it to enable further low or zero carbon opportunities.

Dan Ledger, portfolio holder for strategic planning, said the LDO will allow connections to the district heating system to become more easily deployed across the West End. “The LDO streamlines the planning process, providing developers within the West End clarity and hopefully a faster build-out process.”

Paul Hayward, deputy leader of the council and portfolio holder for economy and assets, added: “District Heating Networks are one of the preferred sources of sustainable heating for larger areas and will contribute significantly to carbon reduction targets in the years ahead.

Sadly, the UK lags behind our European neighbours in providing heating amenity by this method, but I hope that - with this approval - we can start down the road towards further widespread planned district heating network integration as quickly as possible.

“These green initiatives will make a huge difference to the standard of living and health of all residents in East Devon, therefore it has my wholehearted support.”

More information about the order can be found on the council website.

20 August 2020
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Sutton Coldfield Town Centre Regeneration Partnership (TCRP) has adopted a masterplan for the town’s regeneration. 

The masterplan was funded by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council. It was developed by Tibbalds Campbell Reith.

It sets out new standards that look likely to be adopted as a statutory planning document to provide guidance for those submitting and determining planning applications. 

The partnership wants to attract and retain businesses by transforming the public realm, and create settings where people, community events and businesses can flourish together. The development that has been proposed seeks to address economic and environmental challenges while ensuring the town remains an attractive destination to live, visit, work or invest in.

The masterplan aims to:

  • Reduce segregation caused by the ring road to better connect Birmingham Road, Parade, High Street and Sutton Park – breaking the ‘concrete collar’.
  • Balance the space given to cars, bicycles and people to create safer, more appealing streets.
  • Create new innovative public spaces at the heart of the town centre to inspire more community use, and improve the look and feel of Parade and Lower Parade by offering more seating, lighting and greenery.
  • Encourage opportunities to broaden the type of shops, bars, restaurants and community and heritage facilities in the town centre, while promoting opportunities for town centre living.
  • Protect and promote the historical environment in the town centre, living up to the ‘royal’ name, and introducing more natural features and planting. 

Simon Ward, TCRP chair and leader of Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council, said: “The publication of the Town Centre Masterplan marks the starting point of a long overdue major investment and regeneration journey for our Royal Town. Producing the masterplan in under a year, amid a global pandemic, shows the resolve of the town council and other TCRP partners to deliver on our absolute commitment to delivering the town centre Sutton Coldfield deserves.

“We are not resting on our laurels, though – this is just the beginning. There is more work to be done to make the ambitious yet achievable ‘Big Moves’ a reality, and members of the Town Centre Regeneration Partnership, landowners and businesses are already working on the next steps needed to deliver this generational opportunity for change.”

Richard Crutchley, associate at Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, which led the project team, added: “This masterplan is the result of a thorough and transparent consultation process, reaching out to a broad array of people and community groups to make sure discussions were inclusive, then incorporating everything we heard into these plans. From a deep understanding of ‘place’ the team has been able to generate viable short, medium, and long-term interventions that will be pivotal in driving local regeneration.”

Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design led a consultancy team that comprised transport consultants Urban Movement, retail consultants The Retail Group, and SQW, which provided economic market analyses.

21 August 2020
Laura Edgar, The Planner 

London City Airport has announced it will suspend work on extending its terminal as it re-evaluates the time frame for its development programme as a result of Covid-19.

Construction activity will be paused at the end of 2020 after the development of eight new aircraft stands that will accommodate the new generation of cleaner, more sustainable aircraft, a full length parallel taxiway and new passenger facilities are completed.

The decision comes after the airport suspended commercial flights during the lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19. During this tine, work was carried out to meet new health and safety standards and make progress on the City Airport Development Programme (CADP), which had been approved by the secretaries of state for both transport and communities in July 2016. 

In September, a new immigration facility will open while a new baggage facility with increased capacity and featuring the latest security screening technology will be operational next summer.

Since reopening on 21 June, London City has welcomed back four airlines, including its home-based carrier, BA City Flyer, with more airlines set to return over the next few months. However, with passenger levels still down the airport has re-evaluated the timing of the next phases of the development programme, including the new terminal extension.

Robert Sinclair, CEO of London City Airport, explained: “For the time being, we have taken the decision to focus our attention on delivering the vital additional airfield infrastructure which will provide our existing and prospective airline customers with the potential to bring new generation aircraft to this airport in greater numbers, which will be a crucial aspect of how we build a better, more sustainable airport.

“Completing the terminal extension and new east pier very much remains part of our future, and, with the foundations for both in place, we stand ready to take those projects forward when demand returns.”

19 August 2020
Laura Edgar, The Planner

A round-up of planning news 

Shapps unveils team to speed transport infrastructure schemes

The government is to launch a special unit to unblock transport infrastructure projects delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Department for Transport’s (DfT) advisory body, called the Acceleration Unit, aims to share lessons from successful projects and unblock schemes. It will report to transport secretary Grant Shapps.

The unit will be headed by Darren Shirley, chief executive of charity the Campaign for Better Transport and starts work next month. It will aim to apply lessons learned from successful projects such as the £1.5 billion, A14 scheme in Cambridgeshire, which was finished on budget and eight months ahead of schedule.

It will also engage experts with experience in delivering major schemes including Highways England’s director of complex infrastructure projects Chris Taylor, who oversaw the construction of the A14 scheme, and Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds, who led the conversion of London’s Excel Centre in East London into the first NHS Nightingale hospital in nine days.

The creation of the team follows the establishment of a Northern Transport Acceleration Council, dedicated to swiftly levelling up infrastructure across the North’s towns and cities, forming a direct link between Westminster and local leaders.

Leeds delays Clean Air Zone after pollution drops during pandemic

Plans for a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in Leeds have been delayed until January at the earliest and may even be scrapped following improvements due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The CAZ was set to come into force in September but has been put back until January due to improvements in air quality during the pandemic. Leeds City Council warned this could mean government support and funding for the scheme being withdrawn.

The scheme, first proposed in 2016, would see owners of heavily polluting lorries, coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles charged for entering parts of the city, but private car owners and motorcycles would have been exempt.

Deputy leader James Lewis said a further review of the scheme would now take place.

"If the city's air pollution is expected to stay below legal limits then we will no longer have the support of the government to introduce a charging CAZ," he said. “Given this uncertainty, our financial support will continue to be paused until the review is complete and we have received further direction."

Sutton Coldfield town centre masterplan unveiled

A masterplan to regenerate Sutton Coldfield town centre developed by Tibbalds Campbell Reith has been adopted by the area’s Town Centre Regeneration Partnership (TCRP).

The masterplan, funded by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council, sets out new standards that will now look to be adopted as a Statutory Planning Document.

It aims to provide a route map to develop a resilient, vibrant, and diverse town centre through coordinated regeneration activity with the community at its heart. The masterplan also aims to create a safe and innovative town centre and to unlock its future potential by attracting and retaining businesses, by transforming the public realm, and provide settings where people, community events and businesses can flourish.

It comprises a series “big moves”, including reducing segregation caused by a ring road, balancing the space given to cars, bicycles and people, creating new public spaces, encouraging opportunities to broaden the type of retail, community and heritage facilities, promoting opportunities for town centre living while protecting and promoting the historical environment.

TCRP chair and town council leader Simon Ward said the masterplan “marks the starting point of a long overdue major investment and regeneration journey” for  Royal Sutton Coldfield.

Emergency fund helps music play on at 135 venues

Grassroots music venues across England are the first recipients of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund unveiled by the government.

A total of £3.36 million under Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund, is being shared across 135 venues which applied for support during the Covid-19 pandemic. Recipients of the fund include the Troubadour in London, where Adele and Ed Sheeran performed in the early days of their career  as well as the Jacaranda in Liverpool, where the Beatles played early rehearsals and one of their first gigs.

The fund will also support the Sunflower Lounge, one of Birmingham’s oldest music venues, and Manchester’s Night People, home to Northern Soul and club nights. Other successful recipients include the Brickyard in Carlisle, which has hosted acts including Foals, Blossoms and Biffy Clyro since it opened in 2002, and the Louisiana in Bristol, where Florence and the Machine performed at the start of the band’s career. The accelerated funding has been delivered by Arts Council England in under a month to save grassroots venues previously facing insolvency.

The emergency grants of up to £80,000 will cover on-going running costs incurred during closure, including rent and utilities to help some of the country’s most vulnerable venues can survive.

Dacorum fells developer for tree preservation order breach

Dacorum Borough Council has successfully prosecuted a developer for breaching a tree preservation order.

Eric Gadsden, on behalf of W E Black Ltd and individually, pleaded guilty at St Albans Magistrates' Court and received a fine of £1,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,500 as well as the victim charge of £100. The company, W E Black Ltd, also received a fine of £2,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,689 as well as a victim surcharge of £181, making a total of £8,971.

The offence took place at the former Convent Of St Francis De Sales Preparatory School in Tring which is being developed into new homes. Works were approved with planning permission which permitted the removal of a number of the trees but three trees were required to be retained and protected during construction work. In January 2020, the developer removed one of the three trees, a mature beech tree which was considered to have a very high amenity value for the surrounding area.

“This case also highlights the importance the council attaches to protected trees which carry high amenity value,” said Dacorum's planning and infrastructure portfolio holder Graham Sutton. “Where expedient and in the public interest to do so, the strongest possible action will be taken against those who do not comply with planning regulations.”

Nottingham’s Guildhall secures new lease of life

Nottingham City Council has granted planning permission for the multi-million-pound development of the city’s Guildhall, which brings the vacant building into its next lifetime and will create more than 250 jobs.

The planning application was submitted by a joint venture between Locksley Hotels and hotel group Ascena in May, detailing plans for a 162-bed, four-star hotel, which will include a rooftop fine dining restaurant, spa and wedding and conference facilities. Courtrooms in the building will be converted into bar and restaurant facilities and will retain the original listed features. The modern extension to the northern elevation of the building will also utilise high-grade materials to give a nod to Nottingham’s lace heritage in its design.

Ascena project lead John Wilby said: “Having most recently housed the city council’s offices, Nottingham’s Guildhall is an iconic building in the city centre, which has hosted a magistrates’ court, police station and fire station since it was built in 1887.

“After it has sat vacant for the best part of a decade, we’re pleased to have hit this significant milestone in breathing new life into it. The development will not only bring jobs to the area but will also help elevate the city as a tourist destination.”

Hackney puts the bite on shark sculptures

The London Borough of Hackney has secured a court order preventing the installation of floating, phonic shark sculptures.

Designed by architect Jaimie Shorten, the five singing sharks had been selected as the winner of the Architecture Foundation's 2020 Antepavilion contest and were due to be installed in the Hoxton Docks canal and fitted with audio equipment to give lectures on architecture and urbanism.

The installation was inspired by the Headington Shark – a sculpture installed by Radio Oxford presenter Bill Heine in his rooftop that became the subject of a long-running planning dispute.

The borough won an injunction preventing displays of art installations at Brunswick Wharf ahead of a court hearing later this week.

25 August 2020
Huw Morris, The Planner