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Planning news - 14 July 2022

Councils can bid for money to prepare brownfield land for housing

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has announced that councils can now apply for a share of £180 million from the Brownfield Land Release Fund 2.

The fund is intended to help prepare disused urban areas for 17,600 new homes, as well as creating 54,000 jobs over the next four years.

Initially, £40 million is available to support local regeneration projects, which the department said will release council land for about 4,000 new homes. It will fund small-scale infrastructure and remediation work so homes can be built on council-owned sites.

The fund forms part of the government’s work to help young people and families own their own home, as well as level up across England.

The remaining £140 million of the Brownfield Land Release Fund 2 will be made available to councils over the next two years.

Minister for government efficiency Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “Opening up this land is a fantastic opportunity for regeneration, improving government efficiency and playing a vital role in tackling the housing shortage while increasing home ownership. I am pleased to see this work is being delivered, after many attempts over the decades.

“This will provide a boost to the economy, foster the creation of thousands of jobs, and it is also the opportunity to convert derelict and unloved land into beautiful new hamlets or villages, which will give many young families their first step on the housing ladder."

Money from the first Brownfield Land Release Fund (£77 million) went to councils to prepare brownfield sites for £7,750 homes. This included £400,000 for Blackpool Council a new traffic system for a development at Ryscar Way, with the improved road access opening up land for 51 new homes.

As with the previous scheme, the new fund will be delivered through the One Public Estate partnership between DLUHC, the Office of Government Property and the Local Government Association (LGA).

James Jamieson, chairman of the LGA, commented: “Councils sit at the centre of the collective national ambition to provide more and better housing, and this fund offers an excellent opportunity for English councils to unlock their brownfield land for new homes and deliver local housing priorities.

“With multiple application windows over the next three years and built in support from the One Public Estate programme, councils can tackle complex and challenging brownfield sites to benefit their communities.”

More information can be found on the LGA website.1

11 July 2022
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Improvements to Stockport hospital approved

Plans for £30 million improvements to Stepping Hill Hospital have been approved by Stockport Council.

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust’s investment is intended to improve emergency and urgent care services. The trust wants to provide a more efficient healthcare facility where patients, families and carers will receive the highest-quality care and support.

Plans, which include new assessment, treatment and consultation areas, will increase the size of the current clinical area by more than 300 square metres. A new children’s emergency department will be delivered, as well as enhanced mental health and medical same-day emergency care provision.

The main campus frontage will also be extended to accommodate an enlarged ambulance and patient reception area.

Exterior work on the campus will include hard landscaping, tree planting and outdoor seating provision.

Planning consultancy Lichfields’s Manchester office secured the provision on behalf of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust.

Imogen Zulver, senior planner, said: “We have worked closely with the trust and the local council to deliver this project. The new campus opens a fresh chapter for quality healthcare provision in the South Manchester area, which has been designed to centre around patients’ needs and provide a state-of-the art facility that will benefit the community for decades to come.” 

Karen James OBE, chief executive at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, has said previously: “These new facilities will help us to provide the safe, good-quality care which these patients need.”

11 July 2022
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Land sold for Leicestershire garden village

The sale of 460 acres of land in north Leicestershire has been completed for a garden village to be developed.

Agents Wells McFarlane, APB and Newton LDP acted on behalf of two private landowning families. The land, north of the A46 between Birstall and Rothley, has been sold for an undisclosed sum to local housebuilders Davidsons Homes and Barwood Homes.

The site is included in Charnwood Borough Council's local plan. The council approved a hybrid planning application in 2020. Homes England has backed the scheme with funding to support infrastructure improvements, while the developers are providing “substantial” section 106 contributions.

Broadnook Garden Village will comprise 1,950 homes, 319 of which have been designated as affordable; 15 hectares of employment land; a local centre with supermarket and community facilities; a primary school; an assisted living retirement village comprising 175 homes and a 70-bed care home; sports facilities; natural open spaces; play areas; allotments; cycle routes; and footpaths. 

A spokesperson for the three agents said: “This sale has been a decade in the making, requiring extensive collaboration and local knowledge to navigate the complexities associated with a scheme of this scale. From the outset, the project was encumbered with significant and numerous challenges including a demanding planning background and highly technical design and infrastructure requirements. However, the team addressed the various hurdles to bring forward this substantial new community that will provide much-needed housing together with employment land, education and a new district centre.”

James Wilson, group managing director at Davidsons Homes, added: “We have been working on this project for a very long time and, as with any big transaction, there have been many problems to overcome and the agents have acted with fantastic professionalism to help us problem-solve in order to make this transaction happen. We look forward to seeing Broadnook become a wonderful place and an asset to the area, and we take with great responsibility the task to deliver this over the coming years and potentially decades.”

Construction work is expected to begin later this year.

11 July 2022
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Residential care home plans revealed in Huddersfield

Property firm Muller Property Group has announced its plans to redevelop a brownfield site on Thomas Street in Lindley, Huddersfield.

The plan proposed is for a 2-2.5 storey residential care facility of up to 60 beds with en suite facilities and access with all other matters reserved.

It will feature full-time on-site nursing care facilities, recreational spaces for residents on all floors, including lounges, dining rooms, activity rooms, cinema, as well as a hair salon and secured landscaped gardens.

The site is approximately 0.70-acre (0.27 hectares) in size and is located within the Lindley suburb of Huddersfield and in a predominately residential area. The site fronts onto Thorncliffe Street to the east and Brian Street runs to the south.

Colin Muller, chief executive of Muller Property Group, said: “We have identified a significant shortage of assisted living bed spaces within Lindley and the local surrounding areas.

“There is a demand for upwards of 560 ensuite care bedrooms to serve the elderly population and an undersupply of approaching 300 bedrooms equipped with ensuite provision. The delivery of a 60-bed high-quality care home accommodation for the elderly will help address a considerable shortfall mirrored across the wider district.

“The proposal to revitalise a sustainably located, brownfield and vacant site with a modern residential care facility will bring substantial social and economic benefits to the area.

“Developments of this nature provide a good range of jobs for local people with a cross section of wage levels. We expect a care home like this to generate at least 50 new jobs.”

The application will be considered by Kirklees Council.

6 July 2022
Prithvi Pandya, The Planner

Six finalists for GBR’s new home revealed

Six finalists for Great British Railways’s (GBR) new home have been announced by transport secretary Grant Shapps. 

Birmingham, Crewe, Derby, Doncaster, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and York have been named as the six finalists from 42 towns and cities.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “A Birmingham base would put GBR at the heart of the nation’s rail network and close to its customers – with 94 million rail journeys made here in the region each year.

“The momentum is with us and if GBR chooses Birmingham as its home, then it’s full steam ahead.”

Keith Aspden, leader of City of York Council, said: “Our city’s strengths are obvious, we have the perfect site in York Central, situated in the centre of the city and located next to York Rail Station, which in turn is at the heart of the largest rail cluster outside of London and the South East.”

A public vote will now take place to determine the new location, which will provide strategic direction for the running of GBR, and bring a number of highly skilled jobs to the area.

Sam Corcoran, council leader at Cheshire East, said: “We are the heart of the railway community and everybody in Crewe knows it's a railway town. We were formed around the railway.

“We have hit all of the government’s criteria for this. We are up against places like Birmingham and York with big populations so we really need everybody to vote for Crewe.”

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “We’ve already had an overwhelming level of public support for our bid, but now we need the whole of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, the North and beyond to support us by voting for Doncaster. Come on Doncaster, we can do it!”

Votes can be made online at the GBR website2.

13 July 2022
Prithvi Pandya, The Planner

News round-up

Plastic park approved in Cheshire

Cheshire West and Chester Council has granted planning permission for a £165 million park that will be developed at Photos, a strategic energy and resource hub near Ellesmere Port.

Peel NRE, part of Peel L&P, is behind the plans.

The plastic park will feature innovative processing and treatment technologies to make the most of up to 367,500 tonnes of mixed recyclables and plastic every year.

The consent will also see a hydrogen refuelling station developed, with the overall scheme set to create 147 new jobs.

Richard Barker, development director at Peel NRE, said: “It’s imperative that we deliver creative solutions to the UK’s plastic problem. This project clusters recycling technologies in one place so that we can make the most of a whole range of plastic materials arriving on site, avoiding the need to ship them to different facilities around the region. It’ll mean we can cut down on vehicle movements, create 147 new jobs and deliver essential infrastructure to underpin a North West circular economy that’s much more sustainable.

“We’ve planned Protos as a holistic destination to support the UK on the road to net zero. With the recently announced Protos CO2 network, linking to the proposed regional carbon capture infrastructure, the plastic park is just another example of forward-thinking development that responds to the dual-challenge of reducing our waste sent to landfill, whilst cutting carbon emissions.”

This approval comes after a number of other consents at Protos, including the UK’s first waste plastic to hydrogen facility and a PET (polyethylene terephthalate) recycling plant that will take food and beverage packaging, such as plastic bottles, and recycle them for use in making new packaging products.

Plans to redevelop Glasgow bowling club submitted

A planning application to redevelop the former Mount Florida Bowling Club has been submitted to Glasgow City Council by NOAH Developments.

Plans for the site, which is owned by Noah Developments, include providing a multipurpose landscaped community open space, a community hub in the upgraded pavilion building and a 32 one, two and three-bedroom apartments.

In addition, ownership of the proposed community facilities, which cover 50 per cent of the overall site) will be gifted at no cost to a local community group. The facility will be accessible from the surrounding residential areas.

More information on the development is available here3.

Planning promotion agreed for Carlisle garden village

Northern Trust Company has announced that it has finalised a planning promotion agreement with the private landowner of land at St Cuthbert’s Garden Village, in Carleton, Carlisle.

The land, which totals 176 acres, is currently a greenfield site in agricultural use.

The plans for the site will be promoted in two separate phases, with an aim to provide up to 750 new homes.

Northern Trust and the landowner are working alongside Savills planning and development teams in the North West to secure the planning and to agree on a land deal respectively.

Jonathan Ainley, associate director in the planning team at Savills in the North West, commented: “We have worked on behalf of the landowner over the last five years to promote this site and now look forward to the next phase, working with Northern Trust to progress a garden village at Carleton in the short term. It forms part of the largest garden village in the country and we are confident it can deliver high-quality new homes, with excellent public spaces and connectivity, whilst also supporting Carlisle City Council in its ambition to achieve economic growth.”

Greenwich approves Barnfield Estate plans

The Royal Borough of Greenwich has approved plans to build 14 zero-carbon council homes and a community/commercial unit on the Barnfield Estate.

The development will consist of six one-bedroom flats, two of which are wheelchair accessible, six two-bedroom and two three-bedroom flats. Other amenities include seven parking spaces and 26 cycle storage spaces.

It forms part of the council’s Greenwich Builds programme to build more than 750 homes for local people on housing waiting lists.  

The community/commercial unit included in the design comprises 191.9 square metres of floor space with an open-plan layout to allow for flexibility. At the centre of the development is a large communal outdoor space for use by existing and future residents, which will include landscaping and provision for child play spaces.

The homes will be net-zero carbon, achieved by high levels of air tightness, the use of solar panels and heat pumps and a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery to minimise energy waste and improve internal air quality. These technologies should make the homes both energy efficient and cheap to run for tenants.

Land commission encourages project recognition

Landowners and community organisations which have engaged in natural capital projects to benefit communities have been encouraged to come forward by the Scottish Land Commission for recognition of their work.

The commission is working In partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Community Enterprise and Eunomia to gather examples of projects that can be showcased as good practice and replicated across the sector. Projects and activities being sought are those that try to improve the way the land around them is used to help to fight climate change.

Community benefits can include restoring peatland to reduce flood risk, training local people to plant trees, working with local communities on how to share the benefits of natural capital funding and much more.  

The case studies will be highlighted by the commission to demonstrate how communities can get involved in improving the land and natural environment around them and the benefits they can experience because of this.

Bournemouth approves apartment plans at Lansdowne

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council has approved plans for a six-storey block of 33 apartments in Holdenhurst Road at Lansdowne.

It was secured by Ken Parke Planning Consultants Ltd (KPPC) and the scheme is for Majestic Property & Estates Limited.

It will involve demolition of an existing two-storey building at 17 Holdenhurst Road and construction of studio, one and two-bedroom flats in a new building with a stepped design to align with taller and lower buildings on each side.

There are existing permissions for conversion of the two-storey office building on site for residential development and an additional two-storeys to form a four-storey building.

The new development will allow for three storeys on its southern side to complement neighbouring terrace buildings and six storeys on its northern elevation to fit in with taller buildings.

12 July 2022
Laura Edgar and Prithvi Pandya, The Planner


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    Planning news - 14 July 2022

      The Planning Portal is delivered by PortalPlanQuest Limited which is a joint venture between TerraQuest Solutions Limited and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). All content © 2023 Planning Portal.

      The Planning Portal is delivered by PortalPlanQuest Limited which is a joint venture between TerraQuest Solutions Limited and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). All content © 2023 Planning Portal.