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  6. News round-up 2 June 2011

News round-up 2 June 2011

Enterprise Zone competition

The competition to find the location of the next ten Enterprise Zones will be based on proposals that offer the best prospects to increase growth, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced.

The Government has said it wants to create a new generation of 21 Enterprise Zones across England that will have simplified planning rules, super-fast broadband and tax breaks for businesses to promote growth.

The criteria and application forms have now been sent out to the 29 existing or prospective local enterprise partnerships that have told Government they would like to establish one of the ten second-wave Enterprise Zones.

The Government has proposed an open competition for areas who want to bid to host one of the ten remaining Enterprise Zones

The applications, due by 30 June 2011, will be assessed against three key criteria: a clear and evidence-based strategy to drive sustainable economic growth; value for money; and robust and implementation: plans.

Access the application form and guidance.


Green space strategy urged

The impact of urban climate change could be reduced by as much as 2.5°C, by increasing the amount of green space in town and cities, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

It has published an information paper which argued that increasing the amount of green space and planting vegetation on roofs and walls in urban areas could reduce the impact of the ‘urban heat island effect’ by as much as 2.5°c.

Read the RICS press release.


Johnson urged to safeguard public areas

London’s Mayor has been recommended to make better use of his planning powers to keep London’s public realm as open and accessible and curb the creeping trend towards private control of public space.

That call has come from the London Assembly in a report which made the case for supplementary planning guidance on the subject.

Read the London Assembly press release.


Leeds homes plan allowed

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has given the go-ahead to proposals from Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey for up to 400 homes on former farmland on the north east flank of Leeds after a reopened appeal inquiry. Pickles’ stance was in line with the planning inspector who handled the hearing.

Read the decision letter and inspector’s report.


Oil drilling plan opposed

Proposals to drill for oil in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Surrey have been rejected by the County Council against the advice of planning officials.

Europa Oil and Gas applied to drill in Bury Hill Wood, off Coldharbour Lane at Holmwood, near Dorking.


Hearts mull stadium move

Heart of Midlothian Football Club has begun a joint study with Edinburgh Council to consider future stadium options.

Both parties are reviewing potential redevelopment of the existing stadium as well as the possibility of building a new one at a different location.


Retail developments

Morrisons and Sainsbury's have had their latest proposals for new supermarkets in Wells rejected by Mendip District Council. Both retailers are set to appeal.


Directors disqualified

Three directors of property company Land Strategy plc that sold plots of land in Studley, West Midlands, in a land banking scheme have been disqualified for a total of 27 years. This follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills.

Read The Insolvency Service press release.


Wirral trade centre project

Peel Group has submitted a planning application for an International Trade Centre at West Float as part of its ambitious Wirral Waters redevelopment. The outline application is for four separate multi-level buildings totalling around 2.5m sq ft (230,000 sq m) of floor space.


Peterborough regeneration

Revised plans for the first phase of the Great Haddon employment area planned to create 8,000 jobs have been approved by Peterborough City Council. The second phase is scheduled to involve up to 5,350 homes, a district and two neighbourhood centres plus a mix of retail, commercial, community and health facilities.


Butetown scheme s106 agreed

The developers of Havannah Quay, a proposed £450m urban village on disused industrial land at Butetown in Cardiff, have signed a s106 agreement after years of negotiating with the planning authority. The proposals include 2,000 new homes and a hotel.


Octopus scheme revised

Ken Shuttleworth, the architect responsible for the Gherkin office tower in the City of London, has revised his design for his proposed ’Octopus’ development earmarked for a site next to the M4 motorway at Chiswick on the western edge of the conurbation. The Highways Agency objected to the original design fearing its unconventional look would prove a “serious safety hazard” for drivers. Hounslow Council objected to the earlier plans as an “alien addition to the skyline”.


NIPA membership drive

The National Infrastructure Planning Association, launched last year and chaired by former transport minister Steven Norris, is now fully established and inviting individual membership for an annual subscription of £75.


Sustainable cities advice

Conurbations keen to meet the challenges of sustainable development should create independent ‘Infrastructure Investment Boards’ to oversee sustainable project implementation. That’s the recommendation of Grant Thornton’s newly formed Energy, Environment and Sustainability team in a report on sustainable cities just published.


Roger Milne

2 June 2011