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  6. News round-up 20 January 2011

News round-up 20 January 2011

Dungeness still in frame for new nuclear station

A former Conservative cabinet minister has told Parliament that the Government would be “unwise” to rule out Dungeness as a potential location for new-build nuclear capacity because of possible environmental damage to an internationally important shingle beach.

That warning came from Lord Jenkin of Roding when peers discussed the latest draft nuclear National Policy Statement (NPS) in the House of Lords.

He pointed out that EDF Energy, who operates the existing advanced gas cooled reactor station at the site on the Kent coast, had commissioned consultancy Halcrow to see whether the shingle to stabilise the beach could be extracted locally without a detrimental impact on designated habitats.

Government minister Lord Marland insisted that although the Coalition had not included Dungeness as a candidate new nuclear site in the draft NPS the door was not completely shut. “We are still in consultation,” he said.

 

Call for new hub airport in South East

The UK economy will suffer and London will lose jobs to its European competitors unless a brand new hub airport is created in the South East, according to a report released by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

The report makes the case for new airport capacity to serve London and for this to be provided at a new hub airport, although not necessarily on a new site.

A further report will be published later this year which will present options for meeting the needs identified here. This will consider a range of locations for new airport capacity, including options for a new airport which could be in the Thames Estuary, as well as consideration of existing sites with the exception of Heathrow.

Read the Mayor of London news release.

 

Heritage transfer

New guidance for local authorities and public sector bodies looking to transfer the ownership and management of historic buildings, monuments or landscapes to community-based organisations is now available on the English Heritage website. The advice has been compiled in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund, National Trust, Architectural Heritage Fund, Prince's Regeneration Trust and the Development Trust Association's Asset Transfer Unit.

Read more on the English Heritage website.

 

Green light for research centre

Plans to build Europe’s largest biomedical research centre in Camden have been approved by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

The pioneering laboratory and research institution, at Brill Place, is set become a world- class facility for cancer research, securing 1,500 jobs.

Plans for the 90,000 sq ft environmentally sustainable centre were submitted by the UKCMRI Consortium, consisting of Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council (MRC) and University College London (UCL).

 

Scots green power boost

A hydro scheme that could power 2,500 homes in Sutherland has been approved by Scottish ministers.

The 4.5 megawatt (MW) scheme on the Maldie Burn, near Kylestrome on the Reay Forest Estate, will create around 25 jobs during construction, with income from the scheme providing increased security for employment of the estate employees.

The Scottish Government is currently processing 32 energy applications (24 onshore wind, three hydro and five thermal projects).

The most recent onshore wind scheme given the go-ahead was the 33-turbine Dunmaglass wind farm 20 miles south of Inverness.

 

Key objection to super dairy scheme

Proposals for a super-dairy at Nocton near Lincoln are facing more opposition with the news that the Environment Agency has objected to the scheme on the grounds that the facility would pose an unacceptable risk of pollution to local groundwater.

North Kesteven District Council’s planning departments has received 13,500 comments on the 3,770-cow dairy plan and a decision is expected in March

 

Urban extensions mooted

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council has begun consulting on its Earl Shilton and Barwell Area Action Plan which proposes to allocate land for mixed use sustainable urban extensions to the south of Earl Shelton and west of Barwell.

In Earl Shilton this includes 2,000 new homes, 10 hectares of land for employment and in Barwell this includes 2,500 new homes and 15 hectares of employment land. In addition, the policy seeks green space provision, neighbourhood shops, primary school and children’s centre and regeneration of existing local centres.

Read more on the Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council website.

 

Rail station plan

Network Rail has submitted plans to Northampton Borough Council for a major redevelopment of Northampton railway station.

It is working in partnership with West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC) to develop a modern gateway to the town, providing enhanced capacity and better facilities. The project falls within Network Rail’s permitted development rights and it has applied for prior approval of the design and positioning of the scheme.

The planned development includes a new station building, a multi-storey car park, and new footbridge and platform canopies, together with revised highway access. Later phases of the scheme, which will be subject to a separate planning application in future, include a 20,000 sq m of commercial development on land surrounding the station.

 

Student block for Kings Cross Central

The go-ahead has been given for a student accommodation block at the King’s Cross Central development in London, now Camden Council’s approval has been agreed by the Mayor of London who is content to allow the scheme to proceed.

The building, designed by Glenn Howells Architects, will be 14 storeys high for the most part, rising to 27 storeys at one end, and will provide 657 student bedrooms.

 

Green light for Cambuslang homes

South Lanarkshire Council has given outline planning permission for a 1,500-home housing scheme to Taylor Wimpey Developments Ltd and Ashfield Land Ltd for land located at Newton Farm, Cambuslang. A quarter of the development will be affordable housing. A local centre will also be built near Newton train station, including a main food outlet and four or five other units.

 

Summers for RTPI

Richard Summers has become president of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) in succession to Ann Skippers. Summers, 64, is currently head of planning at The Landscape Partnership. Away from work he is a keen motorcyclist and teaches meditation and dowsing.

 

Opencast mine rejected

Proposals for an opencast mine on the edge of a Welsh World Heritage Site have been rejected by Torfaen County Borough Council.

Glamorgan Power wanted to extract 350,000 tonnes of coal from Varteg Hill, near Blaenavon, Torfaen.

Councillors refused the application on the advice of officers who highlighted the site's proximity to residential properties and the unacceptable impact on local residents in relation to noise and dust.

 

One to watch

Planning makes it to the telly again on Friday, 21 January, when a Channel 4 documentary called ‘Planning outlaws’ is due to be screened at 7.30pm. A dream home which had to be demolished, a house of straw and a pair of concrete lions are featured.

 

Roger Milne

21 January 2011