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News in brief: Planning firm appointed to develop Staines masterplan; Mixed-use development proposed for Polmont

Words: Laura Edgar
Town Hall Square, Staines / Geograph_1891909

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 12 May, 2020

Planning firm appointed to develop Staines masterplan

Spelthorne Borough Council has chosen planning practice David Lock Associates to lead a team preparing a masterplan for Staines-upon-Thames town centre in Surrey. 

The masterplan will consider ways to diversify the range of activities that take place in the town centre as well as look at options to improve access around the town centre, particularly for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users. 

It will focus on making the town centre a more attractive place in which to spend time, improving existing streets and spaces and capitalising on the town’s riverside location.  

A delivery strategy will outline how changes can be implemented over the short, medium and long term. 

The scheme is being prepared in support of the emerging Spelthorne Local Plan and will be used as part of the evidence base for that document. 


Mixed-use development proposed for Polmont

Property company Hansteen has published proposals for a mixed-use development on land to the East of Gilston Farm at Polmont, near Falkirk in Scotland.

The development is intended to create jobs and deliver housing, as well as “play a major role in supporting the economic recovery from the current Covid-19 crisis”".

The 55.6-hectare site will include residential, employment, commercial and retail uses, with associated infrastructure.

A proposal of application notice (PAN) has been submitted to Falkirk Council.

The indicative masterplan currently comprises:

  • Residential land for about 500 homes.
  • Land for employment related uses.
  • Green network/open space, which features a large area for open space or a water park that can act as flood attenuation for climate-change modelling events and as amenity open space.


A14 scheme opens early

Highways England’s A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon scheme has opened eight months ahead of schedule.

It was due to open by December 2020. 

The £1.5 billion scheme should transform journeys on the A14 in Cambridgeshire by taking up to 20 minutes off journey times, strengthen links between the Midlands and the East of England, and improve access to and from the UK’s largest container port at Felixstowe.

Work to the road verges, including completing landscaping as well as cycle, horse riding and pedestrian paths, will continue. Some temporary overnight closures or off-peak daytime lane closures will be needed to carry out the remaining works safely.


West Midlands outlines priorities for Covid-19 recovery

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has outlined 10 priorities for the region's economic recovery after the coronavirus (Covid-19). 

Political and business leaders have endorsed the 10 priorities, upon which the West Midlands will draw up its own recovery plan.

The task force comprises experts from across the region’s public, private and academic sectors. The plan will aim to build a better, greener and more inclusive economy.

The 10 priorities are:

  1. Ensure residents are kept safe and healthy
  2. Accelerate transport construction plans
  3. Build more homes faster and reshape town centres
  4. Get people who lose their jobs back into work quickly
  5. Support local businesses
  6. Secure huge new investment in technology and innovation
  7. Make sure the recovery is inclusive and works for everyone
  8. Step up green growth plans
  9. Take the West Midlands out to the world and bring the world into the West Midlands
  10. To regain control of the region’s recovery.

The priorities are supported by the West Midlands Covid-19 Economic Impact Group (EIG), which brings together business leaders, central government, banks, trade unions, and local authorities including the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). Political leaders from the seven metropolitan councils and fellow members of the WMCA board have also endorsed the priorities in a statement of intent.


Images of Purfleet regeneration published

New images of the £1 billion regeneration of Purfleet-on-Thames in Essex have been released. They show how the scheme is expected to transform the town centre and riverfront, with upgraded transport links sitting alongside new homes, social infrastructure and a creative complex of 1 million square feet.

Purfleet Centre Regeneration Limited (PCRL), a joint venture between mixed-use developer Urban Catalyst and Swan Housing Association, is behind the regeneration plans in collaboration with Thurrock Council.

The illustrations were created by architects at AHMM, who are working with drMM on the overall masterplan originally put together by KSS and aLL Design.

The new images show indicative plans for the new train station, the entrances to the media village, and some of the homes that will be built.

Once completed, the regeneration will deliver a new town centre and up to 2,850 new homes.

The plans were approved in April 2019. 

Image credit | Geograph (top) and AHMM (bottom)