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News round-up 29 September 2011

McCarthy to join Capita Symonds

Richard McCarthy, director-general for neighbourhoods at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for eight years, is quitting Whitehall to join Capita Symonds, the private sector services provider.

McCarthy will develop Capita Symonds’ provision of services to the public sector, specifically central government, alongside the wider Capita Group. He previously held positions at DCLG, the Peabody Trust and Horizon Housing Group.


White City makeover plan

Westfield, the major shopping centre developer,  has submitted outline plans for its proposed £1bn extension for land north of its existing flagship shopping centre at White City

The master plan for the nine hectare site, either side of Ariel Way, includes around 1,600 new homes, new community facilities, shops and a new department store.

Westfield unveiled draft plans for redeveloping the site earlier this summer after the area was earmarked for regeneration by the Greater London Authority and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham with the publication of the White City Opportunity Area Planning Framework.

If the planning application is approved, Westfield will begin the detailed design of the development next year, with construction unlikely to start before 2014. 


Green light for Haringey redevelopment

Haringey Council in London has given the go-ahead for an ambitious mixed-use scheme called Haringey Heartlands which aims to regenerate an area of derelict land between Hornsey Park Road, Mayes Road, Clarendon Road, Coburg Road and the railway lines in Wood Green with a housing-led mixed-use development of up to 1090 new homes, 207 of which will be affordable.

Other elements of the scheme will include shops, restaurants, offices and public open space. The scheme was drawn up by National Grid Property Holdings and the London development Agency.

Read the Haringey Council news release.


Tesco proposed for Washington

Peel Land and Property has submitted a planning application for new Tesco food store at the Peel Centre, Washington, County Durham. The 87,400 sq ft superstore would include a petrol filling station, in-store café and 560 parking spaces.


Localism Bill latest

The Localism Bill, which includes major reforms of the planning regime, is due three more days of debate and last-minute amendments in the Lords in October.


Metro extensions?

Proposals which could see a massive expansion of the Tyne and Wear Metro network have been unveiled.

The light railway system is already undergoing an £500m revamp of rolling stock, stations and facilities.

Now owner Nexus has revealed a 20-year project which could see the network, the UK’s first light rail network, extended further into Sunderland, North Tyneside and Gateshead.


Alconbury development

Urban&Civic, the development company which bought the site of the Alconbury airfield in Cambridgeshire, has confirmed it is considering building up to 5,000 new homes as well asproviding parkland and a new business park. The 570-hectare site has been designated as one of the Government’s new ‘enterprise zones’.


Energy-from-waste blight fear

The three Welsh local planning authorities closest to Covanta’s proposed energy-from-waste project near Merthyr Tydfil have told the Infrastructure Planning Commission that the scheme could harm tourism and regeneration prospects in the area.


AONB plea

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Yorkshire Wolds to be granted special protection status as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in a bid to thwart plans for wind farms in the locality.


Energy recovery facility approved on appeal

Environmental services company SITA UK has won its appeal over plans for a 32-megawatt energy recovery facility on land five miles north of Avonmouth adjacent to a power station site. The scheme had been refused consent by South Gloucestershire Council in June 2010. A planning inspector recommended the appeal should be allowed and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles agreed.


Welsh commitments

Key commitments of the current Welsh Assembly Government programme announced this week include proposals to release more public land for affordable housing and the creation of new marine conservation zones.

Download the Programme for Government.


Third Menai crossing?

A third bridge across the Menai Strait could be needed if a new nuclear plant is built on Anglesey, a transport plan  by consultants Grontmij has argued, after concluding that freight and car traffic to the proposed Wylfa B nuclear power station plant would add to congestion on the two existing road links.


EIA proposals for NI

Northern Ireland Environment Minister Alex Attwood has announced consultation on proposed new regulations which will consolidate and update the Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999.

The EIA Regulations require projects that are likely to have a significant effect on the environment to undergo an environmental impact assessment before they receive development consent.

The minister said: “This consultation proposes changes to speed up the inquiry process for major planning applications and make planning regulations easier to understand, use and a means to move applications onwards.”


Spurs redevelopment decision urged

London Mayor Boris Johnson and the leader of Haringey Council, Claire Kober, have both urged Tottenham Hotspur Football Club to press ahead urgently with their proposal to build a new stadium at Northumberland Park, next to their historic ground in White Hart Lane, now they have been given planning approval by Haringey. 

Representatives from the Greater London Authority and Haringey Council have met senior Tottenham executives, including chairman Daniel Levy, to reinforce that message with a comprehensive £17m joint offer on the table that would see a raft of public realm and transport improvements made as part of a long-term regeneration package.

The offer means that the club would be relieved of all planning gain requirements that are often associated with large scale developments. The Northumberland Park project now solely relies on a commercial decision by Tottenham Hotspur to go ahead with their proposals, stressed the London planning authorities.


Enterprise partnership confirmed for Northamptonshire

Businesses in Northamptonshire will be supported by a new local enterprise partnership approved by Business Minister Mark Prisk and Decentralisation Minster Greg Clark.

The Northamptonshire local enterprise partnership covers a population of around 683,000 and represents over 24,785 businesses. It has the support of businesses and local authorities in the area and joins the 37 partnerships announced since the Government’s Local Growth White Paper was published in October last year.


Roger Milne

29 September 2011