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  6. Planning round-up 15 September

Planning round-up 15 September

Image of a shortlisted entry

National Grid to give “serious consideration” to pylon design finalists

Six finalists from some 250 submitted pylon designs have been selected for the Pylon for the Future competition, run by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, National Grid and the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Image of a shortlisted entry

Scale models have gone on display at the V&A Museum in the capital as part of the London Design Festival.

Comments from the public on the designs will be considered by judges (which include energy secretary Chris Huhne and National Grid executive director Nick Winser) ahead of picking a £10,000 winner in October.

National Grid said it will "give serious consideration" to using the winning design in future projects.

Meanwhile, the monopoly power and gas transmission company has welcomed the news that the stalled independent study into the costs of undergrounding power lines should now be completed by the end of the year.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has signalled that the study into the comparative costs of new high voltage overhead and underground power circuits will be published at the end of 2011. The study is being undertaken by Parsons Brinckerhoff in association with Cable Consulting International.

Read the IET announcement.

View the DECC news article.

Visit the competition’s website.


Scottish ministers intervene over tram project

The Scottish Government has announced is to oversee the final delivery of the Edinburgh trams project.

Ministers have also confirmed that the remaining £72m grant will be reinstated, allowing the route to continue to St Andrew's Square.

Cabinet Secretary for infrastructure and capital Investment Alex Neil said a team of experienced project managers from Government agency Transport Scotland (TS) will fill key senior roles in the new governance structure of the project’s organisation.

View the Scottish Government’s press release.


CPRE issues third-party appeal plea

The Campaign to Protect Rural England has renewed its call on ministers to rebalance the planning appeals system.

The organisation wants the grounds on which developers can appeal restricted and a limited community right of appeal introduced.

Read the CPRE’s latest planning news releases.


Scottish Government confirms enterprise designation plans

The Scottish Government has confirmed that it will designate four so-called Enterprise Areas where companies will be incentivised to locate.

View the Scottish Government’s press release.


Welsh Government publishes CIL advice

The Welsh Government has published new advice for local authorities over how to prepare a charging schedule as part of work on the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

View the guidance ‘Community Infrastructure Levy - A Guide to the Production of a Charging Schedule’.


Campaigners continue bypass court action

Campaigners against plans for the controversial Aberdeen bypass have been given a date in December to continue their court action.

Protest group Road Sense has lodged a fresh legal bid to block the construction of the £400m road.

Judge Lord Bonomy has ruled that appeal judges should hear arguments from both sides over four days from 13 December.

The bypass was originally given the go-ahead by Scottish ministers in December 2009.

View details of the scheme.

Visit the Road Sense website.


Estate consultation in North Wales

The Countryside Council for Wales has begun consultation on the future of the vast Lake Vyrnwy estate in Powys, currently owned by Severn Trent Water.

The utility recently named United Utilities and RSPB Cymru as preferred bidders to develop the location, valued at £11m and including some 12,000 acres of farmland and 5,000 acres of forestry.

Parts of the estate being offered for lease are entitled to special protection and include Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Special Protection Area (SPA) for birds and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) designated for its outstanding upland habitats.

View the CCW press release.


Bed boost for Derry

Northern Ireland minister for the environment Alex Attwood has announced planning permission for two new hotels in Derry.

The two proposals will add 176 bedrooms to existing provision in the City and help cope with the anticipated demand during the forthcoming City of Culture 2013 celebrations.

View the Northern Ireland Executive’s news release.


Bristol Channel turbine talks underway

RWE npower renewables has begun consultation for its planned offshore wind farm in the outer Bristol Channel.

The company’s project is known as Atlantic Array and would have a generating capacity of up to 1,500 megawatts.

At the closest point to shore, the wind farm would be around 14 kilometres from the nearest point on the North Devon coast and 16km from the nearest point on the South Wales coast and 13km from Lundy Island.

View the consultation.


Welsh aid for ecosystems

Welsh environment minister John Griffiths has today announced an extra £1m to help create new habitats and stronger ecosystems in the Principality.

Read the Welsh Government’s press release.


SSSI damage costs

A field sports company and its director have been fined a total of £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £125,000 by York Crown Court after admitting damaging Farndale Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in the North York Moors National Park.

The prosecution, brought by Natural England, centred on a number of activities associated with pheasant shooting in Farndale, a wooded valley renowned for its wild daffodils.

View the Natural England press release.


Market makeover

Plans have been unveiled for the redevelopment of the Market Towers office building on the corner of Nine Elms Lane and Wandsworth Road in the the Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea (VNEB) Opportunity Area - a vast industrial district in central London, which is being transformed into a new residential and business quarter.

The proposal is for a mixed-use scheme including hundreds of homes, a hotel and a new public square with shops, restaurants and cafés.

An application is due to be submitted to Wandsworth Council later this year.

View the Wandsworth Council news article.


Bridging bid

A bid to secure fresh funding to the tune of £82.5m for Sunderland’s proposed new landmark bridge, the New Wear Crossing, has been submitted by the City Council to the Department for Transport .

The department expects to make a funding decision before the end of 2011.

View the Sunderland Council announcement.


Homes boost for Stratford-on-Avon

Stratford-on-Avon District Council's Cabinet has unanimously recommended that 8,000 homes should be built across the local authority in the period up to 2028.

That proposed housing growth figure follows the publication of two key independent reports whose evidence will be used as part of the council’s emerging Core Strategy.

View the council’s press release.


Longest zip wire plans rejected

Plans for the longest zip wire in the northern hemisphere have been turned down by the Lake District National Park Authority.

Members decided by nine votes to five to reject a proposal for a 1,200 metre single cable from the summit of 658 metre Fleetwith Pike to take thrill-seekers down to Honister Slate Mine’s existing car park.

View the authority’s press release.


Conwy homes rethink mulled

Conwy County Council has signalled it wants a rethink over housing provision over the next decade after baulking at the prospect of 6,000 new homes. That figure was suggested by latest government population projections.


Iconic London night club threatened by new homes proposal

One of Britain’s best-known nightclubs, London’s 20-year-old Ministry of Sound, has said it will consider suing Southwark Council if the planning authority approves two separate high-density private residential schemes near the club’s location at Elephant and Castle.

The club claims proximity to housing will generate complaints about late night noise which could force it to close.

Roger Milne

15 September 2011