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  6. News round-up 3 February 2011

News round-up 3 February 2011

Newport homes decision

Following an appeal inquiry the Welsh Assembly Government has granted outline planning permission to Network Rail for up to 575 new homes on land at Monmouth Bank Sidings in Newport currently used as a maintenance and distribution centre for the rail infrastructure operator.

Newport City Council had resisted the scheme because it wanted to create a new hospital and medical research facilities on adjoining land which once housed a steelworks.


Sunderland centre scores

Plans to transform Sunderland’s Bridges shopping centre have been given the green light by the City Council. Land Securities has obtained permission for its expansion plans which include a new Primark store and a remodeled entrance on the High Street.


Wind plan appeals

Detailed planning permission for a four-turbine wind farm development near Glenluce in Dumfries and Galloway has been obtained by Barlockhart Moor Wind Energy Ltd, a subsidiary company of independent developer West Coast Energy Ltd, following a successful appeal against refusal by the local planning authority. The scheme will have an overall capacity of 10 MW.


Go-ahead for student housing project

The UNITE Group plc, the UK's leading developer and manager of student accommodation, today announced that it has received planning consent for the development of a new student accommodation scheme at Ferry Lane, Haringey, north London, subject to approval by the Greater London Authority.


Legal challenge over freight terminal refusal

Helioslough Ltd has lodged a legal challenge against last year’s decision by the Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government to refuse proposals for a rail freight interchange on Green Belt land at Park Street, St Albans. The case will be heard in the High Court on Tuesday 28 June. The SoS and St Albans City and District Council will contest the case.


City project mooted

Land Securities has submitted a planning application for a mixed-use, office-led development at 30 Old Bailey and 60 Ludgate Hill in the City of London designed to provide some 389,000 sq ft of commercial and retail floor space.


Basildon boost

Two planning applications marking the start of the £1bn regeneration of Basildon town centre have been submitted by Barratt/Wilson Bowden (BWB) who are master planning the 25-year project.

The proposals for 156 family homes, a new lake and associated public open space are for land at the existing Gloucester Park swimming pool and land currently occupied by the park lake and bowls club.

Read the Basildon Council press release.


Green light for Greenwich schemes

Greenwich Council has approved two ground-breaking schemes in the capital. One is a cable car link across the Thames – the first project of its kind in the UK. The other is a proposed cruise liner terminal on the river Thames. Both schemes still require approval from the Greater London Authority.

Read the Greenwich Council news release.


IPC formally accepts second application

The Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) has formally accepted a second application to proceed to examination, its first in Wales. The scheme in question is an energy-from-waste development proposed by Covanta. In this case the facility is planned for a site at Merthyr Tydfil.

Read the IPC news release.


Landscape campaign

The Landscape Institute has launched a new campaign extolling the benefits which UK towns and cities enjoy by investing in landscape improvements.

Read the Landscape Institute press release.


Ruling justifies Hampton Court scheme

Elmbridge Borough Council has welcomed the High Court ruling which quashed the legal challenge to its grant of planning permission for development at Hampton Court Station and the Jolly Boatman at Hampton Court Way in East Molesey, Surrey.

The claimants unsuccessfully argued that the planning authority had failed to pay special regard to the desirability of preserving the setting of Hampton Court Palace and also erred in dealing with flood plain considerations.

Read the Elmbridge Borough Council news release.


West Northamptonshire housing strategy consultation

The next stage of the Joint Core Strategy for West Northamptonshire has been agreed by members of the West Northamptonshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee and is now out for consultation. The strategy sets out the proposed location for a further 21,500 new homes in the area up to 2026 in a series of new urban extensions, seven in and around Northampton and others at Daventry, Brackley and Towcester.


Faster Scottish decision-making

New figures show planning applications in Scotland are being processed at a faster rate. The percentage of local applications decided within two months between July and September last year was 67.5 per cent - an increase from 67.1 per cent for the previous three-month period.

The percentage of major applications decided within fourth months was 38.7 per cent - an increase from the 32 per cent recorded for the previous three-month period.

These updated statistics on planning performance in Scotland were released by Scotland's Chief Statistician.

Read the Scottish Government news release.


Conservation area guidance

Conservation areas all over England are benefiting from the voluntary efforts of local people, working closely with local councils and supported by English Heritage, a new report has highlighted. ‘Valuing places: good practice in Conservation Areas’ published by English Heritage, is a blueprint for action, describing dramatic improvements to 18 conservation areas from Berwick, Ulverston, Ripon, Bradford and Sheffield in the north to Truro, Aylesbury, Portsmouth and central London in the south.

Read the English Heritage news release.


World Heritage site nomination

The Twin Monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow, founded in the late seventh century in the north-east of England, has been put forward by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt as the UK’s latest nomination for World Heritage site status.

Read the Department for Culture, Media and Sport news release


Roger Milne 

3 February 2011