Weekly planning news
Planning news - 8 December 2022
Nominate your 2023 Woman of Influence
The Planner has launched the nominations process for its 2023 Women of Influence list to see who you think has been influential in and around planning over the past 12 months.
Who has influenced policy change or culture change? Who is engaging with communities to plan for inclusive and connected places? Who is inspiring colleagues and the next generation of planners? Have any mentored you? Are they influencing the reputation of the profession? Who has not been recognised in the past?
These women could be planners, but equally, they could be lawyers or activists, politicians or journalists. Your nominee can be from anywhere in the UK or around the world.
Your nominees' influence must be tangible and timely.
The Planner is looking for quality rather than quantity. We recommend that you supply 150 to 250 words for your nomination – and please give us examples of their impact!
You can make more than one nomination, but the deadline for all nominations is 11 January 2023.
Nominations will be assessed by a panel of judges who reflect our readership and on 8 March 2023 – International Women’s Day – we’ll publish our 2023 list of Women of Influence on The Planner website.
Here is last year's list for inspiration1.
To make a nomination, fill out the form here2.
6 December 2022
Phase two of £32m LODES competition opens
Five energy storage projects across the UK are set to receive a share of £32 million from the government to help increase the resilience of the electricity grid.
Funding for the five projects is provided from the second phase of the Longer Duration Energy Storage (LODES), which saw £2.7 million awarded to nine projects during phase one.
The competition is aimed at developing technologies that can store energy as heat, electricity or low-carbon energy carriers like hydrogen.
The most promising projects from phase one will receive more funding. These include:
StorTera Ltd, based in Edinburgh, will receive £5.02 million to build a prototype demonstrator of their sustainable, efficient, and highly energy-dense single-liquid flow battery (SLIQ) technology.
Sunamp Ltd, based in East Lothian, will receive £9.25 million for a project that will trial their advanced thermal storage system in 100 homes across the UK.
The University of Sheffield will receive £2.60 million to develop a prototype modular thermal energy storage system, enabling optimised, flexible storage of heat within homes, providing benefits for both the occupant and the grid.
RheEnergise Ltd will receive £8.24 million to build a demonstrator near Plymouth of their ‘High-Density Hydro®’ pumped energy storage system.
EDF UK R&D, in partnership with the University of Bristol, Urenco, and the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), will receive £7.73 million to develop a hydrogen storage demonstrator utilising depleted uranium at UKAEA’s Culham Science Centre in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.
Graham Stuart, minister for climate, said: ”Accelerating renewables is key to boosting our energy resilience. Energy storage helps us get the full benefit of these renewables, improving efficiency and helping drive down costs in the long term.
“This £32.9 million government backing will enable green innovators across the UK to develop this technology, helping create new jobs and encouraging private investment while also safeguarding the UK’s energy security.”
5 December 2022
Prithvi Pandya, The Planner
Berkshire council votes to send local plan out to consultation
West Berkshire Council has voted to move the review of its local plan to a public consultation that will start in January.
It considers the period to 2039 and includes proposals for 9,000 new homes.
The local plan also features infrastructure proposals to support new development as well as services for existing communities.
Plans for a strategic development to the north-east of Thatcham have been scaled back to 1,500 new homes following a consultation during the regulation 18 period. It is expected that 600 of the homes will be affordable. Between three and four miles of footpaths are proposed in the open space that surrounds most of the site.
As part of the vote, more than 40 development management policies were updated, including minimum house sizes, the maximum amount of water to be used in new dwellings, policies relating to health and wellbeing and residential amenity.
Richard Somner, executive member for planning, transport and countryside at the council, said: ”This plan is a green plan, a business-friendly plan, a housing plan for our children and future residents and a good plan for West Berkshire. I'm pleased that councillors voted to send the local plan to regulation 19 consultation, which will start in January 2023.”
Consultation on the local plan review is due to begin on 6 January.
5 December 2022
Laura Edgar, The Planner
Dover approves solar farm
Dover District Council has granted planning permission for a solar farm capable of supplying energy to around 7,000 homes.
It will be located on 29 hectares of farmland off The Lane in Guston.
The permission is for a 24-megawatt (MW) solar farm with battery storage and associated works. It will be used for a period of 40 years.
The electricity generated will be transmitted to the National Grid via a connection to the Guston substation.
30 November 2022
Laura Edgar, The Planner
Funding to protect forests announced by the government
The government has announced funding for projects that tackle threats to trees and forests, as well as additional investment for England’s local authority tree planting initiatives.
According to the government, of the 53 million tonnes of wood and wood products consumed in the UK each year, 81 per cent is imported from abroad. It explained that the project funding intends to support the development of new technologies and working practices to help homegrown timber production meet a greater proportion of domestic demand.
The government wants to improve timber security and grow the UK’s forestry and primary wood-processing sectors.
Applicants that were successful include:
The University of Lincoln’s ISILDUR project: It will work with tree nurseries to address labour shortages in the forest nursery sector by developing an intelligent robotics solution for plant processing.
The University of Cambridge’s TIMBER project: It is designing and creating prototypes for new building materials to drive home-grown, low-carbon and long-lasting construction nationwide;
Red Squirrel South West: It will be given funding to develop a management programme for invasive grey squirrels across a 35-mile stretch of native North Exmoor coastal woodland, helping to regenerate woodlands and supporting the reintroduction of native species like red squirrels.
Fifty-seven local authorities across England have received nearly £10 million in funding through the Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund. This could be used to employ staff to access the professional expertise needed to drive tree planting and woodland creation activity at a local level. It is expected that more than 100 new green jobs will be created across the country as a result, with an emphasis on up-skilling professionals from outside the forestry sector.
Trudy Harrison, forestry minister, said: “At a local level, trees are the lifeblood of communities, essential to supporting wellbeing, beautifying our streets and improving people’s quality of life while providing a safe haven for wildlife.
“Protecting and restoring our precious natural world can work hand-in-hand with building a stronger, healthier economy. Using new technologies through these funds will build a bigger, better and more resilient forestry industry for the future, as we strive to deliver on our commitment to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.”
Hannah Bartram, chief executive officer at the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT), said: “The Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund is set to make a real difference, supporting local authorities to accelerate their tree and woodland planting plans and helping to tackle the climate change and biodiversity crises.
“The fund has been well received and demand has been high – it will support local authorities across the country, equipping them with the new staff, skills, and expertise needed to drive tree planting and woodland creation commitments.”
1 December 2022
Laura Edgar, The Planner
Tree planting begins on Leeds woodland
Planting for a new woodland in Leeds has begun on land owned by the University of Leeds.
The land is on the northern edge of the city.
The first tree was an oak tree. It was planted by Roger Gair, who worked at the university for more than 40 years, 20 of them as secretary. He retired in 2021.
The woodland will be called Gair Wood. Mass planting will begin in the New Year, with the public involved.
Situated near Golden Acre Park at Bramhope, the 37-hectare site will eventually feature 66,000 trees, a mixture of broadleaf species including oak, elder, hornbeam, wild cherry and silver birch.
Devolution deal to be consulted on in Cornwall
Levelling-up minister Dehenna Davison and leader of Cornwall Council Linda Taylor have signed a £360 million devolution deal to give the region ‘greater influence’ to tackle the challenges associated with second homes.
The deal is subject to public consultation.
It commits the government to work more closely with Cornwall Council on changes to alleviate the challenges of short-term lettings of second homes. Funding worth £360 million is part of the 30-year deal.
Read the full story here in The Planner.3
Sheffield approves Harmony Works plans
Sheffield City Council has approved plans for the Harmony Works project to create a new home for music education in Sheffield.
The plans will see the historic grade II* listed Canada House on Commercial Street transformed into a music facility. It will feature a variety of teaching and rehearsal rooms, community spaces, a publicly accessible café, and a newly renovated performance space in the glass-domed hall.
The £1.6 million government funding from the levelling-up fund will be used to acquire the empty Canada House building, which was built in 1875.
Harmony Works is continuing to work on the development of the project and securing additional funding.
78 houses and flexible commercial space green-lit for Ely
East Cambridgeshire District Council has granted planning permission for a single-family housing (SFH) development comprising 78 houses and flexible commercial space in Ely.
It will be delivered by Godwin Developments. Rapleys was the planning consultant and RG+P was the architectural practice for the scheme.
Cathedral Green will include two and three-bedroom houses with private gardens or terraces, as well as 85 resident and guest parking spaces. It has been devised specifically for the rental market.
The homes will be built using modular methods of construction and will have high levels of insulation and triple glazing. Each home will have two cycle spaces and there will be EV-ready charging for all homes.
The 1.99-hectare scheme is located close to the centre of Ely.
One in 12 renters at risk of eviction
Research by charity Shelter has found that one in 12 renters in England is currently under threat of eviction.
This equates to 941,000 people.
The polling, conducted by YouGov and funded by Nationwide Building Society, found that of those at risk of eviction, 504,000 private renters had received or been threatened with an eviction notice in the past month. This is an increase of 90 per cent compared with the same period last year.
Also, 482,000 are behind on their rent.
Shelter has warned that the government’s “failure to unfreeze housing benefit in its Autumn Statement ignores the rental crisis that is unfolding across the country and will result in rising homelessness this winter”.
Site for 89 homes purchased
Cala Homes (West) has completed the purchase of the Killearn Hospital site and its grounds.
The purchase means that Cala can move ahead with its plans to create a community comprising 89 homes, expansive landscaped green spaces and connectivity links to nearby Killearn village.
In 2023, a programme of remedial and demolition work will take place, which Cala Homes said could take up to nine months to complete.
Planning approval has already been granted by Stirling Council for 89 homes featuring bungalows, terraced, semi-detached and detached homes.
Croydon Council approves George Street plans
Croydon Council has approved plans for a building on 96-98 George Street, designed by architecture practice Orms.
It will extend to 11 storeys with a café and office space on the ground and mezzanine floors, and offices on the basement and upper floors.
They will deliver a “significant” increase in office floor space and new retail space, in a “highly sustainable and distinctive” building that will help to reinforce central Croydon as a key business destination.
A landscape design has been developed to improve College Square and provide an area of the public realm that is accessible to all and provides a welcoming environment for students, office workers, shoppers and the area’s other users. There is also public art provision in partnership with Croydon College.
The building is planned to be energy-efficient to minimise water and energy use.
Avant Homes acquires housing land in Catterick
Avant Homes North East has acquired a 10-acre site in Catterick, Richmondshire, to deliver 135 new-build family homes.
Named Brompton Mews, the development will be just four miles from Richmond town centre on Cookson Way.
It received planning permission in August this year following an appeal decision, and will comprise a mix of two, three and four-bedroom homes.
Of the 135 homes proposed to be built, 30 per cent will be affordable with a range of affordable rent and discount market sale properties. Avant Homes is committed to community contributions of around £380,000 for the provision of local education and recreation facilities.
Work is set to begin on site in January, with a show home expected to open in spring 2023.
BioMed lab space plans gets greenlight in Cambridge
Cambridge City Council has approved plans by real estate provider BioMed Realty to deliver 600,000 square feet of purpose-built laboratory space in Cambridge.
The company will deliver the development on the 15-acre Cambridge International Technology Park site, which it acquired in September 2021.
BioMed has assembled a pipeline that will deliver up to a million square feet of additional class A space for life science companies while helping the UK reach its potential of becoming a ‘scientific superpower.’
The development is expected to create 2,700 highly-skilled jobs and will be one of the most sustainable schemes in the region. It will incorporate a number of technologies to reduce energy consumption and improve water use, resulting in significant carbon emission reductions.
It is targeting a BREEAM Excellent score and a net gain in biodiversity.
Lichfields launches Newcastle nursing home consultation
Planning consultancy Lichfields will launch a public consultation this month for new residential apartments on the site of a former Newcastle nurses’ home.
The regeneration project led by Jomast Developments could see a mix of 57 one and two-bedroomed private-rented properties developed at the old Angel Heights nurses’ home on Westgate Road and an existing brownfield site attached to the rear of the property.
Plans include an on-site management team, landscaped courtyard, renovated frontage – and retention of the existing mature trees at the front of the site.
Development of 12 new-build duplex-style apartments with car parking spaces on land to the rear of the property is also planned.
If plans are approved in the middle of 2023, on-site construction work could start next year.
LGMH and VIVID set to deliver 1000 modular homes
Legal & General Modular Homes (LGMH) and VIVID have announced a five-year joint venture partnership to deliver more than 1,000 highly sustainable, affordable modular homes.
The partnership will see LGMH and VIVID deliver up to 300 Net Zero (regulated) Carbon homes a year working together to address the energy and housing crisis.
The joint venture will deliver its first homes in 2023.
Salboy acquires Boddingtons Brewery in Manchester
Property developer Salboy has acquired the former site of the Boddingtons Brewery, a 52,700-square-foot site on the northern edge of central Manchester.
The mixed-use scheme will split across five buildings including a 26-storey tower, all of which will comprise 556 new homes for sale and rent, 31,000 square feet of commercial and retail space and residents’ amenities that include rooftop terraces and landscaped gardens.
The scheme will be named in due course and forms a major part of Manchester City council’s long-planned, residential-led regeneration of the site that was home to the brewery until 2005.
It will be located next to Manchester College’s new city centre campus, within a short walking distance of the city’s Northern Quarter.
The scheme is expected to attract students and young people among whom demand for accommodation in central Manchester has never been higher.
6 December 2022
Laura Edgar and Prithvi Pandya, The Planner