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News in brief: Beccles relief road approved; Policy launched to support councils' sport facilities

Words: Laura Edgar

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 8 November, 2016

Beccles relief road approved

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has approved Side Roads and Compulsory Purchase Orders made by Suffolk County Council for the £7 million Beccles Southern Relief Road.

The relief road is a 2.2km single carriageway road connecting the A145 south of Beccles with Ellough Industrial Estate, which forms part of the Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Enterprise Zone.

Cornerstones, a law firm that acted for Suffolk County Council, said the relief road is intended to facilitate further development of the Enterprise Zone.

After a public inquiry in August 2016, the inspector recommended the orders be confirmed and Grayling agreed.

The decision letter can be found here (pdf).


Policy launched to support councils' sport facilities

Sport England has rolled out its Facilities Planning Model (FPM) to more English local authorities. The Model aims to support councils’ policy development for sport facilities.

Sport England provides a number of services aimed at informing the strategic planning of sports facilities, with the FPM at the centre.

The FMP sets out to support local authorities with the development of:

  • An evidence base for sports facilities to support planning policies in the local plan
  • Facility strategies to support investment and funding bids
  • Standalone feasibility studies to support rationalisation of new build proposals

Neil Allen Associates, a sport and leisure company, in partnership with project management company WYG, has been appointed to help deliver and provide greater access to the FPM for the local authority sector.


Application for 280 homes submitted in Stafford

Regeneration specialist St. Modwen has submitted a planning application to Stafford Borough Council for up to 280 new homes.

The application also details plans for a local retail centre and public open space, for land off Fairway.

Reserved matters planning consent was granted by the council last year for 199 new homes as well as a convenience store, but the developer is now proposing 280 homes for the land.

Ian Romano, senior development surveyor at St. Modwen, said: “With reserved matters planning consent already secured for new homes and a local retail centre on the site, this latest planning application will answer the need for high quality homes for people at all stages of the housing ladder in Stafford.”


Fracking ban members bill launched in Scotland

Scottish Labour has said it will lodge a Holyrood member’s bill that will aim to “change the law to ban fracking in Scotland”.

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish has launched a public consultation as part of her bid to have fracking banned in the country.

The Scottish Government is expected to publish its findings about unconventional oil and gas extraction soon.

Earlier this year, The Planner reported that the Scottish Parliament voted to support an outright ban on fracking.

Ken Cronin, chief executive of UK Onshore Oil and Gas, said: “The process set out by the Scottish Government to have a research phase and then a public consultation was welcomed by all sides in the debate. Scotland is the birth place of oil and gas exploration onshore which has been conducted safely for many decades under a strict regulatory regime. Four out of five Scottish households use gas for heating and thousands of jobs are sustained by taking gas and making it into products that we all use every day."

He concluded that the impact of importing gas from countries with "lower" environmental records rather than using the UK's own sources is "quite clear".

Read more about this story on the BBC Scotland website.

Image credit | iStock