Weekly planning news
Planning news - 27 April 2023
Fourth phase of Trent Basin development approved
Nottingham City Council has granted planning permission for 111 homes built on the north bank of the River Trent and outline consent for another 90 homes as part of the fourth phase of Trent Basin.
Trent Basin lies at the eastern edge of Nottingham’s wider Waterside Regeneration Zone.
Blueprint Regeneration, which specialises in the development of energy-efficient homes and workspaces, is delivering the schemes at Trent Basin.
Trent Basin is part of Nottingham City Council’s wider vision to transform the waterside area over the next decade into a sustainable residential community.
The site spans 3.7 hectares of former underused industrial land. As well as housing, the fourth phase comprises a ‘pocket park’ and a children’s play space, with land set aside for Nottingham City Council’s mobility hub and café. A ‘parking barn’ will be delivered as part of an overall car-free living approach, alongside enhanced cycling and walking paths.
Proctor & Matthews Architects will continue to work on the development with Blueprint Regeneration.
Samantha Veal, chief executive at Blueprint, said: “Trent Basin has captured the imagination of the community over the years, and we are thrilled to continue to deliver this game-changing neighbourhood, where people can live a sustainable lifestyle in a truly unique setting. Community is at the heart of Trent Basin, and with each phase we are adding to the amenities on offer to create a connected neighbourhood where people can take full advantage of the communal facilities as we design them together.”
Andrew Matthews, founding director at Proctor and Matthews Architects, added: “The design for Trent Basin focuses on creating a new riverside community that is well connected and walkable, with shared spaces for meeting neighbours and sustainable new homes that work towards Nottingham’s carbon-zero ambitions. Housing is arranged in sheltered courtyards while the extensive people friendly public realm that stitches the development together is made possible by the introduction of a car barn allowing the streets and spaces to become the focus of community life.”
Blueprint is supported by developer igloo Regeneration.
24 April 2023
Laura Edgar, The Planner
Permission sought for two schemes in Lancaster
Story Homes is seeking planning permission from Lancaster City Council for plans totalling 277 homes.
One planning application comprises 232 homes for land off Grab Land. This has been allocated for housing in Lancaster City Council's local plan.
A second scheme features 45 homes and is proposed for land at Ashton Road. It is located in the Lancaster South Broad Location for Growth, as identified in the local plan.
Both schemes are intended to deliver affordable homes to meet local housing need, new landscaped open space, a play area and improvements to the local highway network.
Travel plans would be put in place for both developments, said Story Homes, to highlight sustainable travel options available to all residents. Electric vehicle charging points and cycle storage are also part of the scheme.
Speaking about the Grab Lane proposals, Paul Fenton, land manager at Story Homes, said the application was submitted following “a thorough period of engagement with local and statutory stakeholders”.
“The scheme has been carefully designed to respect the local landscape character and heritage setting, with particular attention paid to the prominence of the nearby Ashton Memorial and Williamson Park.
“It will deliver a range of family homes that will help to meet local housing need, with a number of affordable homes. The homes will be complemented by an attractive landscaped area that will offer ecological and biodiversity benefits through natural surface water management features.”
24 April 2023
Laura Edgar, The Planner
28 Public Practice associates to join local authorities
Public Practice has announced its 10th cohort of associates that will bring their expertise and skills to the public sector across England.
They will join 23 borough, district or unitary councils.
The previous recruitment campaign saw the social enterprise organisation expand into the North of England.
As demand remains for urban design and planning, this cohort includes roles for town centre regeneration response to property development.
Public Practice CEO Pooja Agrawal said: “Public Practice continues to grow and expand across England. Since launching, we have placed highly-skilled associates into every borough across London, and we continue to expand into the North of England, attracting multidisciplinary experts to areas of the country where they can have maximum impact.”
It was recently announced by housing minister Rachel Maclean that £1 million in funding had been allocated to the recruitment of more skilled planning professionals to local councils by Public Practice.
The funding will be used to expand the associate programme’s reach, opening up to local authorities in all regions of England for the first time since the organisation's launch in 2017. It recruits skilled candidates for year-long placements within local authorities. The programme is supported by a learning and development course.
Of the successful candidates for the latest cohort 82 per cent will be working in the public sector for the first time. This time, Public Practice said it has seen a high level of interest in placemaking roles responding to the regeneration of England’s town centres. This includes Calderdale Council, which sought a programme manager – economy and investment.
Agrawal added: “We are excited to provide purpose-led jobs to motivated built environment professionals, and support more authorities to achieve their placemaking goals through attracting the right people.
“We will continue to work hard to ensure our associates represent the diversity of the communities they serve by establishing a model of best practice and consistently improving our non-bias recruitment process.”
Joanna Averley, chief planner at Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), commented: “We are delighted to be working with and funding Public Practice as part of the government’s programme to support local planning authorities to recruit and develop skilled planners and built environmental professionals across England. This follows previous funding and is part of the wider programme to ensure planners have the skills and resources they need and are equipped to deliver a quality service for local communities.”
Victoria Hills, chief executive at the RTPI, said: “To be an effective and sustainable profession, we must be genuinely representative of the society in which we work. We believe that a diverse and inclusive profession is central to the future of planning. It is inspiring to see Public Practice working to make this a reality for the public sector throughout England.
“The work of the programme in increasing the talent available to England’s local planning authorities and broadening the skills they need to tackle 21st-century problems is invaluable. Together, we are ensuring planners are equipped to fully play their role in creating resilient, sustainable, connected, inclusive and vibrant places.”
24 April 2023
Laura Edgar, The Planner
Fareham consults on BNG policy
Fareham Borough Council is consulting on guidance for the biodiversity net gain (BNG) policy that will feature in the area's local plan 2037.
Earlier in April, the council's executive approved a proposal to consult on additional guidance for the BNG policy.
The guidance will be set out in a supplementary planning document (SPD) for developers, planning applicants and Fareham residents. According to the draft SPD, it will apply to the whole of Fareham borough excluding Welborne.
From November, developments will be required to deliver at least a 10 per cent uplift in BNG.
Policy NE2: Biodiversity Net Gain in the local plan states: “The development of one or more dwelling or a new commercial/leisure building should provide at least 10 per cent net gains for biodiversity from the existing baseline value of the site and should be maintained for a minimum of 30 years.”
The requirement applies to major and minor development as defined in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), including redevelopment, and is applicable to both greenfield and brownfield development.
The draft SPD continues: “The approach taken towards BNG in Policy NE2 is based upon the emerging legislation contained within the Environment Act 2021, the commitments within the 25-year environment plan, and the guidance contained within the National Planning Practice Guidance and the Good Practice Principles for Development produced by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management as well as the responses from Natural England to the various stages of the formulation of the Fareham Local Plan 2037.”
The guidance also provides clarification on any exemptions: the expectations of the council as to where and how qualifying development should provide the BNG, and how BNG is to be secured, managed and monitored – and for how long.
Executive member for planning and development Simon Martin said: “This supplementary planning document helps to safeguard our natural assets and green spaces throughout the development process. I encourage residents to have their say on adding biodiversity net gain requirements to future developments to help to protect wildlife habitats long into the future.”
The consultation closes on Tuesday 30 May. It can be found on the Fareham Borough Council website.1
Laura Edgar, The Planner
24 April 2023
Welsh capital to consider road-user charging regime
Cardiff City Council’s cabinet will next week start consulting on what would be a new vehicle user charging regime for the capital.
The consultation will identify the type of scheme(s) that will be implemented. The possibilities include a road user payment measure, congestion zones, and workplace parking levies.
The council has stressed any charges won’t be introduced until 2027 and that it has moved away from a former position that measures would only apply to non-Cardiff residents. Such a strategy would have seen its cost falling substantially on people commuting into Cardiff.
The local authority said that any future road user payment, aimed at improving air quality and reducing congestion, could be used to improve public transport in Cardiff by supporting a number of initiatives like a city-wide tram system and an improved bus network.
A report that will be considered by the council’s cabinet recommends that key transport improvements should be up and running in advance of any scheme being introduced.
- Working in partnership with the Welsh Government, and using grant funding and borrowing on future income from the scheme, the following initiatives could be available before any road user payment kicks in:
- the introduction of £1 bus fares on key routes;
- better and expanded bus services;
- the delivery of the phase 1 tram from Central Station to Pierhead Station in the Bay, Coryton and City Line frequency enhancements; and
- improvements to regional commuting.
Once any scheme is introduced the money raised – alongside government funding contributions – could help bankroll initiatives such as:
- a Metro citywide tram system including Crossrail (in the city area) & Circle line, new stations with a minimum of four trams an hour;
- a prioritised bus network across the city with reliable turn-up-and-go services – targeting a 100 per cent increase in bus ridership;
- delivery of an electric (EV) bus and taxi fleet;
- support for the development of a wider regional commuter/shopper Metro and bus network;
- the completion of the Eastern Bay Link, which in conjunction with enhancements to the city centre highway network would enable better traffic flow around the wider city circumference; and
- sustainable travel incentives – travel discounts, tickets, and bike purchase vouchers.
Leader of the council Huw Thomas said: “We know our residents want action on climate change and they want the air their children and their loved ones breathe to be cleaner. We know residents want to see electric buses and taxis serve the city, to have new train/tram links and stations, and to drive on better-maintained roads, with safe cycling and walking routes.
“We know they see the queues of traffic and know the damage this is causing to their health and the environment, whilst also strangling the city’s economy. It’s clear that action is needed if we are going to change the dial on this.
“Reducing these figures will require us to look at the way we live and the way we travel. Cardiff needs and deserves a cleaner and greener transport system. However, funding this will likely only be possible by the introduction of some form of low-cost road user payment which would have exemptions for those least able to pay.”
Cabinet member for transport and strategic planning Dan De'Ath, added: “Many major UK cities have already taken – or are currently considering – this step. A form of road user payment helps achieve their low-carbon, clean air, and transport aims and objectives.
“In consultation with residents, businesses, and commuters, we want to explore how such a payment could provide funds which – when considered as part of wider funding arrangements – could completely transform the transport offer in Cardiff.”
20 April 2023
Roger Milne, The Planner
Insurers and wildlife charity partner on flooding solutions
RSA Insurance is partnering with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust to provide natural flood management (NFM) solutions to areas most affected by flooding in the UK.
In England alone, more than five million properties – one in six – are at risk of flooding, according to the National Assessment of Flood Risk report conducted by the Environment Agency.
The British Ecological Society (BES) has highlighted the effects that frequent extreme weather events can have on freshwater ecosystems, as well as the need for proactive strategies to increase ecosystem resilience by improving the connectivity of habitats.
Under the partnership, RSA and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust will work on an extensive NFM programme to help to reduce flood risk across Cheltenham and Gloucester. The insurer has identified these areas as having an acute flood risk by using 20 years of data from river, coastal and surface water flooding.
The programme is made up of three interventions that have been designed to reduce flooding and enable the environment and local communities to be more resilient to its impacts:
Showcasing NFM interventions in and upstream of Gloucester and Cheltenham.
The development of nature and water highways (connected areas of green space) through some of the most nature-depleted and high-deprivation areas in England.
The installation of community-sustainable urban drainage schemes to attenuate surface-water flooding and support urban wildlife.
Roger Mortlock, CEO at Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, said: “Nature has a huge role to play in helping us tackle the impacts of climate change, including flooding. We are no strangers to the impact of flooding in Gloucestershire – that’s why we are delighted to be working with the RSA to demonstrate the role that nature can play. This is a project where both nature and people benefit, building more resilient places where communities can enjoy a closer relationship with nature.”
Church conversion into housing approved
Wigan Council has approved the redevelopment of a vacant church and presbytery into affordable homes. Work is expected to begin in May.
Not-for-profit charitable organisation Housing People, Building Communities (HPBC) will offer a reduction on the purchase price by using 500 hours of buyers’ 'sweat equity' to save money towards a deposit. The prices of the homes will be reduced by up to £10,000 if buyers take up the offer to save by working on the development. The project will be delivered in partnership with social housing provider Prima Housing Group.
The site is located on Ince Green Lane, Ince, and has lain empty since 2017. The charity was approached by the Liverpool RC Archdiocese in 2020 about whether the church and presbytery could be retained and repurposed to provide affordable housing for local people using HPBC’s model.
Plans were submitted to provide 27 new homes, with the church to be converted into 10 two and three-bed houses/apartments, the presbytery into three-bed, two-bed and one-bed apartments, and the grounds behind will accommodate 14 three-bed houses.
Fusion Demonstration Plant plans approved in Oxfordshire
South Oxfordshire District Council has approved plans by national property consultancy Carter Jonas on behalf of UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) for a Fusion Demonstration Plant at Culham Science Centre.
The multimillion-pound facility will be built and operated by Canadian firm General Fusion, which is developing a fusion power device based on Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) technology – a form of fusion that uses the process that powers the sun to create carbon-free, safe and abundant electricity.
The test machine will be constructed at 70 per cent of the full power plant scale to enable the testing and refinement of fusion technology through continuous research and development based on actual performance. This testing and research will pave the way for the company’s future commercial power plant.
The new facility at Culham Science Centre will benefit from existing fusion supply chain activities in the UK as well as UKAEA’s knowledge and expertise in the field.
Glasgow active travel projects receive £3.6m
Glasgow City Council has announced projects that encourage walking, wheeling and cycling are to receive a share of £3.6 million from Places for Everyone in Glasgow.
The funding will provide a boost of £2.29 million for the Govan City Network active travel route. It covers Govan and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital area, which will serve several communities and provide a direct route into the city centre via Paisley Road West.
Three liveable neighbourhood projects will receive £1.19 million to benefit continued progression, including the transformation of Saracen Street's historic town centre, and the development of a key active travel route north of Hamiltonhill on the site of a former railway.
Flourishing Moledinar, a community-inspired project focused on walking, wheeling and cycling, as well as pedestrian safety, will receive £136,504.
Funding will move forward plans for rebalanced road space and public realm improvements in Cessnock, which will be developed alongside the Govan City Network and Glasgow City Region Bus Partnership activity on Paisley Road West.
Modular housing application to be submitted in Kent
ilke Homes, in partnership with The Riverside Group, plans to deliver up to 449 homes in Kent, subject to reserved matters planning approval from Thanet District Council.
The modular housing developer plans to deliver a mix of houses and apartments ranging from one to four bedrooms, which includes homes for social rent, shared ownership and build-to-rent.
Being delivered on a 21-acre site owned by The Riverside Group, most of the homes will be manufactured off-site at ilke Homes’ factory in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire.
A reserved matters application will be submitted next month and, if it is approved, work on site is anticipated in early 2024.
Six week Seafield consultation opens
A six-week consultation by the City of Edinburgh Council and Seafield: Connecting Coastal Communities is asking residents, businesses and other interested groups how they think Seafield could be transformed and regenerated into a new 20-minute neighbourhood.
The local community is being invited to attend two events where they can give their views in person. Those attending will be asked what they like best about the area just now, what kind of housing they would like built there in the future and how the existing promenade could be improved.
The consultation is also seeking to get views from the local community on what other facilities they would like in the area such as health centres, schools and shops as well as how public transport could be improved.
An online consultation is available for those unable to attend the vents.
Placefirst appointed to Sunderland housing scheme
Build-to-rent (BTR) provider Placefirst is set to deliver 220 homes across two major regeneration schemes in Sunderland subject to planning approval.
Placefirst has been appointed as preferred development partner by Sunderland City Council to deliver 140 new homes at Farringdon Row, the second residential neighbourhood within the Riverside Sunderland masterplan.
The new community will benefit from views across the Wear and the regenerated Riverside Park and support the diversification of the housing offer and repopulation of the city centre.
Placefirst will deliver a BTR neighbourhood of energy efficient homes specially designed for long term rent. It will also feature a network of communal and public open spaces that will enhance connectivity throughout the new Riverside Sunderland community.
A planning application is anticipated later in the year, with development planned to start in spring 2024.
25 April 2023
Laura Edgar and Prithvi Pandya, The Planner