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News in brief: 150 attend RTPI parliamentary reception; Bill for the environment introduced to Parliament

Words: Laura Edgar
RTPI Parliamentary reception / RTPI

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 4 February, 2020

150 attend RTPI parliamentary reception

MPs and peers from across the political spectrum attended the RTPI’s annual parliamentary reception, alongside planning professionals.

Attended by more than 150 guests, the reception was held in the Pavilion Terrace for the first time.

The reception is an important opportunity for planners, politicians and others interested in the built environment to get together for an evening of discussion and networking.

Guests included figures from organisations such as the Chartered Institute of Building, BAME in Property, the Landscape Institute, the Planning Inspectorate, and local authority heads of planning.

The RTPI has extended a special thanks to the RTPI’s parliamentary patron Sir Bob Neill MP, who welcomed guests with a speech, as well as the event’s sponsor British Land, represented at the event by Michael Meadows.


Environment Bill introduced to Parliament

The government has introduced its Environment Bill 2020 to Parliament as it looks to protect the natural environment for “generations to come”.

The bill returns to Parliament following the general election in December. It was first introduced to the Commons in October last year.

The government said the enhanced bill would “enshrine environmental principles in law” and introduce measures to improve air and water quality, tackle plastic pollution and restore habitats.

The bill makes provisions for the establishment of an independent Office for Environmental Protection, which would scrutinise environmental policy and law, investigate complaints and where necessary take enforcement action against public authorities to uphold environmental standards.

The bill can be viewed on the UK Parliament website.


Consultations launched in Edinburgh

The City of Edinburgh Council has asked residents to share their views on the draft City Mobility Plan and the Choices for City Plan 2030.

The draft City Mobility Plan is a 10-year strategy that aims to create accessible, affordable and environmentally friendly travel in and around Edinburgh.

The Choices for City Plan 2030 sets out options for the sustainable management of future development during a time of major change.

The council explained that the two draft plans are closely linked and therefore are being consulted on at the same time to ensure that any new development helps people to make healthier choices, improving quality of life through enhanced provision for walking and cycling and better links to public transport.

Council leader Adam McVey said: “These ambitious plans to transform our approach to both transport and development in the capital are essential to our ambition to become carbon-neutral by 2030, to vastly improve the city’s environment and to create a healthier, fairer and more inclusive place for everyone.

“We’re about to embark upon a period of significant change, where we simply must meet the challenges posed by population growth and a climate emergency head on. We have it within our power to drive our city forward, to adapt and thrive despite the pressures we face. If we act now, with pace, we will realise the future Edinburgh and its residents deserve.”


Stockport issues call or sites

Stockport Council has issued a call for sites as part of its works to develop a new local plan for the area.

The council is asking people to identify land or sites they would like to see either protected or developed for a particular use.

This could either be the protection of open space or sites that should be promoted for a use different from its current use, whether for housing, business or leisure development.

The call for sites closes on close on 28 February 2020.

More information can be found here on the council website.


Dover approves expansion of business park

Dover District Council has granted planning permission for the latest expansion of the White Cliffs Business Park.

The new Parkway Trade Park will be developed on a 0.7-hectare site that sits adjacent to the Lidl supermarket on Honeywood Parkway at Whitfield.

It will include a drive-thru coffee shop, gym, and two trade counter units, along with new access and parking arrangements.


Housing approved in Ebbsfleet

Ebbsfleet Development Corporation’s planning committee has granted planning approval for 133 homes to be delivered by Redrow.

The latest phase will bring the total number of homes with full details approved up to 783 at Ebbsfleet Green.

The latest approval includes a range of carbon-reduction measures, such as solar panels, sustainable drainage and electric vehicle-charging points. The proposed development would incorporate high performance building fabrics and glazing, and 100 per cent low-energy lighting.

Mark Pullin, chief planning officer with Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, said: “The approval of the one, two, three and four-bedroom homes, which includes affordable housing, is a significant milestone for Ebbsfleet Green which now will only have one phase left for our planning committee to decide on.

“The Redrow site has shown how good-quality housing can be developed at pace here in Ebbsfleet Garden City.”


Deputy mayor for housing in London appointed

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that Tom Copley AM has been appointed as his new deputy mayor for housing and residential development.

He will succeed James Murray, who recently left the post to stand successfully as a Member of Parliament.

Copley has served on the London Assembly since 2012 and is chair of the London Assembly Housing Committee. He has campaigned as a councillor in Lewisham and as an assembly member for all Londoners to have access to safe, affordable and secure housing across the capital.


Ferneham Hall could be remodelled

A planning application that aims to remodel the new multipurpose venue to replace Ferneham Hall has been submitted to Fareham Borough Council.

Designed by architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, the plans include a fly tower, which is a rigging system that enables scenery and cast to be flown or carried above the stage.

Red-brick accents against a backdrop of grey and white have been proposed for the exterior, which reflects Fareham’s history of producing red brick.

In recognition of the council’s desire to become carbon-neutral by 2030, the building design would be thermally efficient and incorporate green technologies such as air-source heat pumps to provide low-cost heating, solar (photovoltaic) panels and LED lighting.

The application can be viewed here on the council website.

Image credit | RTPI