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England round-up: Alok Sharma appointed as planning minister; Burnham releases £21m to make Manchester greener

Words: Laura Edgar
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A round-up of planning news in England: 10 June-16 June, 2017

Biomedical research lab wins RTPI award

The Francis Crick Institute has won the RTPI’s Silver Jubilee Cup at the institute’s 2017 Awards for Planning Excellence.

The Planner

Alok Sharma appointed as planning minister

The government has announced that Alok Sharma, the MP for Reading West, is the new housing and planning minister.

The Planner

Burnham releases £21m to make Manchester greener

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has designated £21 million for a European Regional Development fund as part of his plans to make it a world-leading green city-region.

The Planner

Merseyside logistics hub green-lit

St Helens Council has approved plans for a £150 million logistics hub on land close to Haydock Industrial Estate.

The Planner

Report: Planning system fails to support industrial strategy

The government’s industrial strategy aims to address the country’s long-term economic challenges, but the strategy could be stifled by the planning system.

The Planner

West Midlands housing associations commit to housing first (subscription)

Housing associations in the West Midlands are backing new metro mayor Andy Street’s campaign against rough sleeping with a commitment to Housing First.

Indside Housing

Caravan park investigated for alleged breaches of planning law

Owners of a campsite at Three Legged Cross are being investigated for allegedly breaching planning laws after complaints were made over the number of caravans at the site.

Daily Echo

City council prepares to rubber-stamp final plans with Network Rail to rebuild Oxford station

A transformation plan for Oxford Station could be finalised as early as this autumn – with the council admitting the whole project could hinge on the widening of Botley Road bridge.

Bicester Advertiser

Robotics and AI: apply in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

Up to £16 million has been made available to UK business across two competitions for technologies and systems for extreme and challenging environments.

UK Government

Housebuilder adds to post-election pressure over Brexit

Housebuilder Crest Nicholson has become the latest business voice to pile pressure on the government over its Brexit strategy after the election – and warned of uncertainty hitting the housing market.

Sky News

PM’s chief of staff ‘sat on’ report warning high-rise blocks were vulnerable to fire

Theresa May’s new chief of staff Gavin Barwell was one of a series of housing ministers who “sat on” a report for four years that warned of high-rise blocks like Grenfell Tower being vulnerable to fire, according to a former chief fire officer and a secretary of a parliamentary group on fire safety.

The Mirror

Corbyn tried to pass law to make homes safe last year

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tried to pass through a law that would required private landlords to make their homes safe and “fit for human habitation” last year – but it was rejected by the Conservatives.

The London Economic

Planners urged to throw out £80m

Hove Station housing scheme planning officials have urged a council to commit to throw out an £80 million scheme for 186 flats next to Hove Station.

Brighton & Hove News

Council to launch planning document consultations

Residents have been invited to have their say on changes to two draft development plans – the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and for the whole of South Lakeland outside the national parks.

Cumbria Crack

Fears for wildlife as works starts on the HS2 

Fears have been raised for the future of wildlife in Warwickshire as work gets under way on HS2.

Stratford Observer

Progress made on £30m renewable energy centre plans

Plans to transform a semi-derelict site in Sheffield into a £30 million centre for recycling and renewable energy generation look set to move ahead after a £1.5 million funding boost was secured for the project.

Insider Media

Duke of Westminster’s property group to build rental homes in London  

The Duke of Westminster’s property group is to build 1,500 rental homes in south-east London, one of the capital’s biggest “build to rent” developments.

The Guardian

Potton homes plan rejected as deemed ‘unsustainable’ by council

Central Beds Council has turned down another controversial planning application in Potton – this time for 80 houses on the west side of Sutton Road, near the top of Bury Hill.

The Comet