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News in brief: Application submitted for Birmingham site; Stockport plan out for consultation; Titchfield rejects neighbourhood plan

Words: Huw Morris
Martineau Place © Elliott Brown

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 30 July, 2019

Application submitted for Birmingham's Martineau Galleries site

Hammerson has submitted a planning application to regenerate its Martineau Galleries site in Birmingham as part of its city quarters concept. The plans look to regenerate a three-hectare site, which includes the Square Shopping Centre, Dale End car park and 1-7 Dale End, by building 1,300 homes, a hotel, restaurants and cafes, plus business space with a public square and boulevard. The scheme aims to provide a £225 million boost to the local economy and develop a “signature gateway” to Birmingham next to Curzon Street station.

Hammerson said 85 per cent of people responding to its public consultation last month supported its plans, with 81 per cent approving the scheme’s designs. The developer’s city quarters concept aims to transform many of its city venues beyond pure retail into neighbourhoods with homes, workspace and accessible public areas.


Stockport enters public consultation phase for masterplan

Stockport Council has launched a public consultation on a draft regeneration masterplan to transform part of its town centre with up to 3,500 homes. The consultation will use powers from the new Mayoral Development Corporation for the Stockport Town Centre West area that will come into effect in September. The plan – the first time the mayoral powers have been used in Greater Manchester and the first in the country to focus on a town centre – aims to build homes of all types and tenures across the area, along with an urban riverside, new public spaces and 93,000 square metres of mixed employment space.

“Stockport town centre is undergoing a massive £1 billion regeneration programme,” said council leader  Elise Wilson. “The council has already created a track record of delivery through major commercial and leisure projects like Stockport Exchange and Redrock alongside improvements in the Market Place, transport investment to improve road access into and around the town centre, and ambitious plans for the future of the Merseyway Shopping Centre.

“The momentum we’ve already generated provides the ideal platform for the long-term regeneration of Town Centre West as Greater Manchester’s newest, coolest and greenest new urban village.”

The public consultation will run until 6 September 2019. For details click here.


Architects appointed to design Milton Keynes University

Hopkins Architects has won the international competition to design Milton Keynes University. The winning entry comprised an open quarter with a series of academic pavilions to showcase the university’s activities, while “echoing the format of the original Milking Keynes vision” on the last major underdeveloped site in the city centre. The scheme’s centrepiece will be “the forum”, a drum-shaped red lecture theatre within a glass entrance lobby.

The new university, a partnership between Milton Keynes Council and Cranfield University, will open to its first undergraduates in 2023 and will focus on digital economy skills and new technologies, including AI, robotics and cyber security. Milton Keynes Council and Cranfield aim to use the university quarter and the wider city as a “living lab” to test out new concepts and ideas and inspire local students and people.


City Learning Quarter set for Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton City Council is set to approve funding for the final design for a City Learning Quarter. The council is set to agree £4 million to progress the city centre scheme this week, which it aims to recoup from a grant bid of up to £30 million form the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership. A demolition programme, which includes a former nightclub and small vacant buildings owned by the council on St George’s Parade, will enable more detailed ground investigations to take place ahead of a full planning application being submitted for the City Learning Quarter development. The scheme will see City of Wolverhampton College relocate its Paget Road campus activities to the location, and will also encompass the college’s Metro One Campus, the council’s Adult Education Service, and the Central Library. The City Learning Quarter will also see investment in the buildings and public realm around them as part of the £1 billion transformation of the city centre.

“The City Learning Quarter will sit in a key city centre location and is part of how we are reimagining our city centre,” said cabinet member for city economy Harman Banger. “It will provide a huge facelift to that area and bring in increased footfall to help boost the local economy.”


Royal Marsden plans £70m cancer facility

The Royal Marsden has submitted a planning application for a new, state-of-the-art, £70 million cancer facility in Sutton, Surrey. The Oak Cancer Centre will replace some of the hospital's features with modern infrastructure, bringing together 330 researchers currently dispersed across the site.

"The scheme has been carefully developed over a number of years with input from the local community, oncology professionals, patient groups and the London Borough of Sutton,” said Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Cally Palmer.

"The Oak Cancer Centre will enable us to help local people with cancer for decades to come, and to discover breakthroughs that will benefit patients not just in and around Sutton, but throughout the UK and around the world.”

A new rapid diagnostic centre will use the latest technology to provide earlier and faster diagnosis for more people. A medical day unit will offer patients peace and quiet while receiving chemotherapy, while an new outpatients department will allow people to undergo blood tests, see their consultant and collect a prescription on the same floor. By improving and expanding the centre for urgent care, patients becoming acutely unwell will have a state-of-the art facility where they can be assessed and treated without needing to be sent to a local A&E department.

The Royal Marsden opened 1851 as the world’s first hospital dedicated to cancer diagnosis, treatment, research and education. Today, together with its academic partner, the Institute of Cancer Research, it is the largest and most comprehensive cancer centre in Europe, treating more than 50,000 NHS and private patients every year.


Titchfield residents vote against neighbourhood plan

Residents of Titchfield have voted against Fareham Borough Council using a neighbourhood plan in a referendum.

A total of 241 residents voted for the plan, but 361 voted against on a turnout of 31 per cent. The council said that “as less than 50 per cent voted for the neighbourhood plan it “will not be made part of the statutory local plan” for Fareham.

Titchfield is the first neighbourhood plan to go before a referendum in the borough.


CIH CE to retire

Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) chief executive Terrie Alafat will retire at the end of November. Current deputy chief executive Gavin Smart will succeed her as chief executive.

Alafat was previously director of housing in the then Department for Communities and Local Government, with overall policy responsibility for the supply and management of housing across all tenures, housing growth, and homelessness prevention and support. As part of this, she also led on the Homes and Communities Agency.

Before this, she was director of housing and corporate strategy in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea until she moved to the civil service in 2003. Alafat was awarded a CBE in 2013 for services to homeless people.

Image credit | Elliott Brown