Weekly planning news
Planning news - 31 August 2023
Affordable and extra care homes approved in Bridlington
East Riding of Yorkshire Council has granted planning permission for 54 affordable homes and a 68-apartment extra care development.
The scheme will be located two miles from Bridlington town centre, on land off Pinfold Lane. It is allocated for residential development in the East Riding Local Plan.
Esh Construction is bringing the scheme forward in a land-led deal worth £25 million in partnership with Housing 21 and Yorkshire Housing.
The three-storey extra care building will feature one and two-bedroom flats and communal facilities, including a restaurant, hair salon, and a resident lounge. It will be managed by Housing 21.
Esh Construction will build the 54 affordable homes for Yorkshire Housing. These will be a mix of two and three-bedroom houses, two-bedroom bungalows and one-bedroom ‘walk-up’ apartments. They will be available for affordable rent, shared ownership, and rent-to-buy. The developer said modern methods of construction (MMC) would be used throughout the scheme, and 26 homes will be built with a timber frame.
Laura Devaney, land and partnerships director at Esh Construction, said: “With an ageing population it is important that we are building more new extra care housing to satisfy the needs of later-life living options, as well as helping to meet the government’s affordable housing targets. The development in Bridlington is an exciting project and we look forward to getting work under way next year.”
Kathryn Gare, head of acquisitions at Yorkshire Housing, said: “When finished, this site will provide over 50 families with high-quality affordable homes and bring us even closer towards our target of delivering 8,000 new homes. The properties will be made available for affordable/social rent, shared ownership and rent-to-buy.”
Deborah Hope, head of development at Housing 21, said: “Our new extra care scheme at Pinfold Lane, will provide much-needed, high-quality accommodation to support local older people and their changing needs as well as being a great addition to the local economy. Pinfold Lane is our second extra care scheme in East Riding”.
Work is expected to begin during the first quarter of 2024.
24 August 2023, The Planner
Council revises local plan timetable owing to nutrient neutrality issues
Winchester City Council's cabinet has approved a revised local development scheme (LDS) for producing the area's next local plan at a meeting earlier this month (August), citing nutrient neutrality issues amongst the reasons why.
The previous LDS set out an expectation that the local plan would be adopted in August 2024, following submission for examination to the Planning Inspectorate this November.
The revised LDA sets out that the plan will be submitted for examination in the third quarter of 2024 (October-December), with adoption expected in the third quarter of 2025.
According to a statement on the council's website, the problem of nutrient neutrality is one of the reasons for the delay. The report considered by the council states that the council is “currently unable to identify a deliverable solution for nutrient neutrality to deliver the housing in the local plan”.
It continues: “This is a key area of work that still needs to be resolved over the coming months to meet the requirements of the Habitat Regulations Assessment. As a result of this, the local plan timetable has been revised to allow more time for this to happen.”
Winchester City Council is one of 26 local authorities in the country that needs to address both phosphates and nitrates.
The Planner has previously reported1 that nutrient neutrality issues are affecting 74 local authorities, with nutrient pollution being an urgent problem for freshwater habitats and estuaries that are home to wetland birds, fish and insects. Increased levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, for example, can speed the growth of certain plants, which disrupts natural processes and damages wildlife.
Other issues cited are:
Town and employment study: This last took place before the Covid-19 pandemic. The impact on the high streets and the economic ramifications “were far more far-reaching than were first imagined”, states the report. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that these studies are updated.
Strategic transport assessment: This transport modelling work is provided by Hampshire County Council’s trading arm. It requires reassessing to take account of new travel trends post-pandemic, said the council. The timetable for completion is longer than originally anticipated and the county council needs time to complete this.
Response to Regulation 18 consultation: With 3,438 written comments submitted for the local plan policies and site allocations that were included in the Regulation 18 consultation, the city council explains that it has taken longer to analyse and identify changes to the draft policies than was originally allowed for in the current LDS. Additional time has been given.
Statement of community involvement: This should be revised every five years. Time will be taken this autumn to ensure that it is updated and relevant to "achieve the widest possible engagement" before moving to the Regulation 19 stage of the plan. This will be revised and consulted on during autumn 2023.
Jackie Porter, cabinet member for place and the local plan, said: “This revised timetable shows that we are on track to produce a sound and evidence-based local plan, despite the uncertainties around national policies and legislation. This robust approach means that we can achieve the best outcome for our district – future development that is managed, responsible and in keeping with its surroundings. Our local plan is not developed in isolation, and we are rightly giving proper consideration of the feedback we have received to date and I now look forward to working towards the next stage of the plan and continuing our engagement with local communities.’
More information can be found on the local plan website2.
21 August 2023
Laura Edgar, The Planner
Elmbridge submits local plan for examination
The Draft Elmbridge Local Plan 2037 has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for examination.
This follows approval of the draft in July by Elbridge Borough Council's cabinet, which was recommended to approve the draft local plan for submission.
The draft plan provides for the delivery of at least 6,785 net additional homes across the borough, with at least 30 per cent to be affordable. Of the homes, 1,215 are proposed for Esher, 1,255 for Walton-on-Thames, and 1,200 for Weybridge.
A brownfield-first approach is set out by the council in the plan, with previously developed land within the urban area of the borough offering "the most sustainable" locations.
Strategic employment land will be safeguarded, according to the plan, to support and retain employment opportunities in locations that are attractive to businesses. Development in strategic employment land will be supported if it will be occupied by office and workspace, light industry, general industry, and storage and distribution.
Development in strategic employment land will be supported if there is no net loss in employment floorspace capacity.
More information about the draft local plan can be found on the Elmbridge Borough Council website.3
21 August 2023
Laura Edgar, The Planner
Pioneering carbon capture project lined up for Mold
The owner of a cement works in Flintshire has confirmed proposals to develop a carbon capture storage (CCS) scheme based at the Padeswood plant in Mold.
The Hanson Group says that under this proposal thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide currently vented from the site via a 110-metre-high stack will be captured before being pumped out to sea and then locked into depleted gas fields under the sea bed in Liverpool Bay through a huge network of pipes.
Hanson has said it hopes that this facility will be operational by 2027. However, to make this possible, it needs planning permission, environmental permits, and to undertake a wide-ranging public consultation.
The group estimates that the scheme should mean that every year 800,000 tonnes of CO2 would be handled – equivalent to taking 320,000 cars off the road.
A site for the new facility has been earmarked on land next to the cement plant. Once operational, this initiative would make Padesworth the first carbon capture-enabled cement works in the UK.
Later this year the company will be holding a statutory consultation exercise to provide the community with a formal opportunity to comment. Following this, a planning application will be submitted to Planning and Environmental Decisions Wales (PEDW) because the new facility will constitute a development of national significance.
18 August 2023
Roger Milne, The Planner
Two men arrested in Crooked House arson investigation
A 66-year-old man from Dudley and a 33-year-old man from Milton Keynes have been arrested in connection with the fire that burned down the historic Crooked House pub in Himley.
Staffordshire Police announced on 24 August4 that the pair had been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life. This crime carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, according to the Sentencing Council.5
In a short statement, the police made no mention of the subsequent demolition of the fire-damaged building, which was carried out in unclear circumstances and without the benefit of planning permission. The police investigation will be carried out while South Staffordshire Council is investigating “potential breaches”6 of the Town and Country Planning Act.
An appeal was made for anyone with any information to come forward by calling 101, quoting incident 761 of 5 August. Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The loss of the pub has prompted a furious reaction across the country, with CAMRA calling for legislation protecting pubs to be enforced more stringently7. The Guardian reported that a local ghost hunters' group had been guarding bricks at the demolition site overnight amid a “major lack of trust” over what could happen next.
25 August 2023
Ben Gosling, The Planner
Voting open for RTPI elections
The RTPI has opened voting for vice-president and roles on the Board of Trustees and the General Assembly.
The candidates for the 2024 vice-presidency are Helen Fadipe MRTPI and Kirsty Macari MRTPI.
Nominations for roles on Regional Management Boards, Regional Activities Committees, and Executive Committees in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales will open on Monday 4 September.
More information can be found on the RTPI website8.
UK’s first solar-powered all-electric park-and-ride site opens in Leeds
Leeds City Council has announced the opening of the UK’s first solar-powered Park and Ride in Stourton, which will be serviced by electric buses.
The panels are expected to generate 852,000 kilowatt-hours a year, powering a bus service to Leeds city centre.
They will be mounted on top of carport canopies and battery storage will store excess power so that the service will be able to run outside of daylight hours.
The project is part of Leeds City Council’s strategy to hit carbon zero by 2030, and Jonathan Roper, the principal renewable energy consultant at EvoEnergy, which is installing the panels, thinks the scheme might inspire similar projects elsewhere.
“This project is a sustainable example for other cities in the UK to follow. This site highlights how a project can positively impact a community, the local economy, and businesses throughout the city by enabling renewable energy-powered transportation and enhancing the volume of transport links,” said Roper. “It’s a great step forward in sustainable electrification of transport while overcoming local grid limitations and the essential need for smart energy solutions.”
Council appoints design review panel members
Croydon Council has appointed 31 members and four chairs to its newly launched design review panel which begins in September.
The members will use their areas of expertise to advise the council on major planning proposals, capital projects, regeneration and development projects in the borough.
The council appointed panellists with experience in planning, architecture, urban design, culture, landscape design, green infrastructure and placemaking.
Schemes the panel will be examining are:
- planning applications for major development and regeneration projects;
- infrastructure and highways;
- street furniture;
- public realm; and
- public art projects.
1930s building to become apartments
The South Downs National Park Authority has granted approval for a landmark grade II-listed building to be retained to provide 64 homes.
Approval is subject to a section 106 agreement to secure a substantial financial contribution for affordable housing in the national park.
The former St Dunstan’s building is located on a 4.75-hectare site north of Marine Drive and to the west of Rottingdean. It was constructed in 1938 in a small area of open downland as a rehabilitation centre for blind veterans. Recently, it has been used to provide respite care for older veterans, but owing to a decline in the number of veterans requiring the facility, the charity is relocating to smaller premises in Rustington.
The plans by James Taylor Homes Group feature 64 market dwelling homes, a new gym, and a swimming pool. There will be 13 one-bed, 19 two-bed, 31 three-bed and one four-bed flats.
The grade-II listed chapel at the site will be retained, while 188 cycle parking spaces will be provided in a new cycle storage building.
Onward Homes purchases 62 homes from Countryside Partnership
Developers Countryside Partnership has agreed to the sale of 62 affordable houses on its Bollin Grange development in Macclesfield to Liverpool-based housing association Onward Homes.
Onward secured funding for the project through its strategic partnership with government agency Homes England.
Of the houses, 26 will be made available for affordable rent while the remaining 36 houses will be made available for shared ownership. The homes are part of a wider 306-home development on Gaw End Lane, which is being delivered by the Vistry Group, which Countryside is part of.
Joe Turner, managing director of Countryside Partnerships Manchester and Cheshire East, said: “Bollin Grange is a strategically important development, not only for us but also for the broader Vistry Group, as we strive to establish a sustainable community in Macclesfield. The partnership with Onward will ensure a diverse range of homes that will help address local housing demand.”
All of the residences purchased by Onward Homes, which includes both apartments and a mixture of two, three, and four-bedroom houses, will be fitted with PV solar panels.
Stephen Heverin, growth and regeneration director at Onward, added: “These modern homes will meet an identified need for affordable housing in the Macclesfield area, as well as helping local people to put down roots through our shared-ownership tenure.”
Funding for local energy projects
England’s rural and local communities will soon be able to bid for a share of a £10 million government fund to help set up local energy projects.
The Community Energy Fund aims to kick-start projects such as small-scale wind farms, rooftop solar partnerships, battery storage, and rural heat networks. They should all be proposed, designed and owned by local people.
Minister for Nuclear and Networks Andrew Bowie said: “These energy projects could expand beyond local areas by attracting further investment from the private sector, in turn inspiring other communities to power their area with energy from England.”
The Community Energy Fund will open to applications in the early autumn.
Acorn buys land in Hensol Castle Park
Acorn Property Group has agreed to purchase 3.4 acres of land within the historical parkland of Hensol Castle Park in the Vale of Glamorgan for a residential development in South Wales.
Phase one of the development, currently known as The Mews, will include nine two and three-bed houses and one three-bed bungalow. Phase two, known as The Villas, will feature six four and five-bed detached houses.
The location’s proximity to Cardiff also means easy access to the M4 motorway and the city centre shopping and leisure amenities of Cardiff.
Engineering consultancy to continue in role for London mayor
Global engineering, design, and advisory practice Buro Happold will continue its role as lead consultant for the Mayor of London’s Local Energy Accelerator (LEA).
The LEA is a funding programme that supports the development and delivery of local energy projects across London.
It has been extended to spring 2024. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has made an additional £3 million available to support organisations to deliver clean and flexible local energy projects.
The fund forms part of London's work to be net-zero carbon by 2030.
Buro Happold will continue to work with partners Turner & Townsend and communications consultancy Camargue.
The programme funds support and expertise for organisations including local authorities, government departments, NHS trusts, and housing associations to develop projects such as district heat networks and technologies, including heat pumps and solar PV.
Deal agreed for 98 homes at Barkingside Yard in Ilford
Developer Countryside Partnerships, housing association Peabody and Transport for London’s (TfL) wholly owned commercial property company have completed the agreement to deliver 98 affordable homes on land next to Barkingside Underground Station in Ilford.
The land is owned by TfL and was previously used as a builder's yard.
The homes will be a mix of shared ownership and social rent with one, two, or three bedrooms. They will be split across three buildings of up to five storeys. Construction is expected to be completed in 2025.
Air source heat pumps, green roofs, new allotments, and communal gardens for residents feature in the designs. Barkingside Yard will be car-free for residents, except for Blue Badge parking spaces, with cycle storage spaces provided.
Architectural practice Sheppard Robson designed the scheme.
22 August, The Planner