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News Round-up 14 February

by on February 14, 2013

Seaside project towns receive £16m funding

Some 20 English seaside towns are being allocated a total of £16m in project finance courtesy of the government’s Coastal Communities Fund administered by Communities and Local Government.

The schemes – which will benefit from grants of up to £2.6m – will deliver nearly 4,000 jobs, support 250 new business start-ups and create more than 1,500 apprenticeships and 400 volunteering opportunities.

The money will be used for a variety of initiatives including:

  • schemes to provide skills training and advice
  • the rejuvenation of old heritage and leisure facilities
  • helping businesses embrace digital technology

The funding is being spent on projects including ones in Cornwall and at Blyth (Northumberland) Clevedon (Somerset), Great Yarmouth, Hastings, Lincolnshire, Morecambe Bay, North Tyneside, Plymouth, Ramsgate, Redcar, Scarborough, Seaburn (Sunderland), South Devon, Swanage, Torbay and Whitby.

Read more on the website.

Trump tees off with planning application

US property tycoon Donald Trump has formally submitted a planning application for the second championship course at his £750m Aberdeenshire golf resort.

This addition at the Menie Estate is to be named the Mary MacLeod course as a tribute to Trump’s late mother

Sarah Malone, executive vice president for Trump International Golf Links Scotland, said the detailed application process with Aberdeenshire Council had started with the submission of indicative plans for the new course.

It will be a par-72 course measuring over 7,500 yards and will be laid out on 350 acres of land to the south of the main “championship” course at Menie.

The site is outside the designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which was at the centre of the controversy over the development of the first 18 holes.

However, Trump has reiterated his warning that he will not go ahead with plans to build a luxury hotel and homes on the Menie estate if plans for a controversial offshore wind farm in Aberdeen bay, in sight of the resort, are given the go-ahead.

High Street forum to be established

Local growth minister Mark Prisk has announced he will set up a Future High Streets Forum to help implement new ideas and policies in line with recommendations from Mary Portas’ review of the high street.

The forum will be made up of retail, property and business leaders and will function as an advisor to the country’s 27 Portas Pilots and 330 Town Team Partners which emerged from the Portas review.

This new organisation will offer advice on how to adapt to an era of online shopping and how to deal with changing consumer habits.

The forum will also help the Government develop policies with practical solutions to help town centres to adapt and change.

This will include parking solutions, promoting pop-up shops in vacant spaces, and the reinforcement of ‘town centre first’ planning rules.
The forum will be co-chaired by the minister and Alex Gourlay, chief executive health & beauty division at Alliance Boots, and will draw on the expertise of experienced members of the retail industry, academics and trade organizations.

Members include representatives from: John Lewis, the British Retail Consortium, the British Property Federation, the British Council of Shopping Centres, the Association of Town & City Management and the Association of Convenience Stores.

Read more on the website.

Old Street development for Hackney

Hackney Council’s planning committee has granted planning permission for a mixed-use redevelopment of Crown House at 145 City Road near the Old Street roundabout in London’s East End.

Under the plans by Rocket Investments Ltd, Crown House will be demolished and a 39-storey residential tower will be built accommodating 302 flats.

The scheme will also have a 10-storey office building as well as restaurants, cafes and a kiosk.

Stafford homes allowed on appeal

A planning inspector has granted planning permission on appeal for a residential development of up to 80 new homes at the former Castleworks factory site in Stafford.

Stafford Borough Council had refused the outline plans as the proposed development was located outside the Residential Development Boundary (RDB) identified in a saved policy of the Council’s local plan.

The inspector allowed the appeal, arguing that the council had allowed a housing redevelopment on another industrial site outside the RDB.

However, the inspector stressed the main reason for approving the scheme was the Council’s lack of a five-year housing land supply in line with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Croydon’s Nestlé tower to be converted to flats

Croydon Council’s strategic planning committee has approved developer Legal & General proposals to convert an office building in the south London urban centre into residential.

The 24-storey building was occupied by Nestlé until September last year.
L&G plans to convert the building into 288 new flats, 23 of which will be affordable, as well as shops and community facilities at ground floor level.

It will add up to five storeys to the existing tower and build a roof garden at the top.

Green light for redevelopment of Tottenham rubber factory

Haringey Council in north London has given the green light for a mixed-use redevelopment of a former rubber factory on Tottenham High Road.

The proposals include a 22-storey residential tower as well as a new primary school and a number of start-up business units.

Major new Norfolk homes scheme approved

South Norfolk Council’s development management committee has approved land promotion company Ptarmigan Land’s outline application to build 1,196 homes on arable land to the north of the village of Hethersett.

The village extension includes plans for a primary school, new shops, small business units and community facilities, as well as sports pitches and an extension to a nearby park and ride scheme.

Up to a third of the new homes would be affordable.

Liverpool docks master plan

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has unveiled a new master plan for Kings Dock, Liverpool.

The master plan sets out a development framework for a leisure-led, mixed-use quarter expected create up to 1,000 jobs.

Cinderford regeneration

The Forest of Dean District Council’s planning committee has approved two proposals to develop new employment space and provide improved access to the former Northern United Colliery site and Forest Vale Industrial Park near Cinderford town centre.

The decisions are expected to unlock around 300 jobs and bring in about £11m in investment for the Northern Quarter project, boosting Cinderford’s wider regeneration programme.

The outline planning applications submitted by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) provide for around 11,000 square metres of new office and employment space at the Northern United site.

Two new purpose-built buildings at Forest Vale Industrial Park will provide 2,800 sq m of employment space. Improvements along Newtown Road and its junction with Broadmoor Road are also planned to provide better access to the site.

As part of the planning agreements, the HCA will take measures to protect species of newt, bat, dormice and other wildlife identified by its team of ecologists.

Measures will include new ‘hotels’ and special lighting for bats and proposals to move other animals to suitable replacement habitats nearby. These measures are expected to cost around £50,000.

Loch to be drained for opencast mine

Scotland’s environmental regulator has approved plans for a Fife loch to be drained so it can be mined for coal.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has granted a licence for Scottish Coal Company Limited’s project to drain Loch Fitty.

The company will excavate an opencast mine on the site before restoring it to a “higher standard” than it is currently in.

Devon homes scheme wins appeal

Redrow Homes has won its appeal for a 130-home development at Ottery St Mary in Devon following East Devon District Council’s refusal of the plans.

The planning inspector allowed the appeal after concluding that the council was unable to demonstrate a district-wide five year housing land supply in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Planners on TV again

The third episode of BBC 2’s critically acclaimed series The Planners is screened on 14 February.

It will feature the fate of a housing development in the Cheshire village of Tattershall and shed wars in Stroud.

Coventry City in wrangle over cooperation

Coventry City Council has been accused of failing to fulfil its duty to co-operate on housing numbers in its local plan by two of its neighbouring authorities, Birmingham City Council and Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council.

The two LPAs have voiced their concern in letters to the planning inspector examining Coventry Council’s core strategy.

Neath Port Talbot tops performance stats

Latest quarterly statistics published by the Welsh Government on planning authority development control performance showed that between October and December 2012 Welsh planning authorities decided an average of 71 per cent of applications within the statutory eight-week period.

Neath Port Talbot was the best performing planning authority with 86 per cent of applications decided within the statutory period.

Monmouthshire Council was the worst performer out of the 25 planning authorities. It managed to determine just 43 per cent of applications within 8 weeks of receipt.

13 February

Roger Milne


Please note that Portal news articles normally appear on the main site. They’ve been published on the blog due to a technical issue. 

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