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News in brief: Bid for government funding submitted for Morley; Regeneration parliamentary group established

Words: Laura Edgar
Morley town centre / iStock-1294241769

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 9 February, 2021

Bid for government funding submitted for Morley

A regeneration plan has been submitted to the government to claim funding from its Towns Fund.

The plan has been informed by residents and put together by a partnership of local businesses and community representatives. Developed by the Morley Town Deal Board with support from Leeds City Council, the Town Investment Plan is seeking funding for up to £25 million.

The projects forming the Town Investment Plan include:

  • The New Pavilion Skills Campus: The historic site would be redeveloped into an adult skills hub.
  • Work on Morley Town Hall and Town Square: Aims to deliver a high-quality refurbishment of the grade I listed building and develop a cluster of arts and culture spaces.
  • The Morley Station Gateway: This would build upon Network Rail investment to better connect the train station to the town centre and wider Morley area.
  • A heritage investment fund: This would target improvements to prominent town centre buildings through restoration and reuse, as well as business support.
  • A greener town: Work would deliver new and upgraded green space across Morley to tackle local air quality and health challenges.

The proposals were informed by a large-scale public consultation, which received responses from more than 1,600 people.


Regeneration parliamentary group established

Gagan Mohindra, MP for South West Hertfordshire, will launch an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Regeneration this month.

The establishment of the APPG aims to bring together a new cross-party group of MPs who are committed to promoting the importance of urban regeneration and development.

It will promote the commercial property industry within the government and showcase regeneration success stories. The APPG’s “goal is to spread the benefits of regeneration more widely and enable every town and city to share in the economic and social rewards of regeneration, development and urban renewal”.

The APPG has committed itself to engaging with the industry as “only industry has the expertise, and only industry has the ability to put plans into action”.

Mohindra said: “The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Regeneration & Development is being established in order to spread the benefits of regeneration more widely, and enable every town and city to share in the economic and social rewards of regeneration, development, and urban renewal. Whilst housing has risen up the political agenda, and attracted considerable financial support in the process, the rest of the property sector is struggling. I am setting up this new group to help transform the prospects of the commercial property sector in the same way that the housing market has been transformed. Housing has led the way in generating ideas and overcoming obstacles, and now the rest of the property market needs to follow.”


Heritage strategy published in Sheffield

A heritage strategy created by the community has been published in Sheffield. It is called Joined Up Heritage Sheffield.

“This is a hugely important step for Sheffield,” explained Valerie Bayliss, chair of Joined Up Heritage Sheffield (JUHS). “We are presenting a 10-year plan for improving understanding of the city’s diverse and fascinating heritage – a heritage that embraces many aspects of Sheffield life. Many people think of heritage as about historic buildings. Heritage is indeed about the built environment, but it’s also about so much more than that: places as well as buildings, collections and records, customs and traditions, memories, stories and languages. We’ve neglected a lot of this for far too long.”

The strategy features an action plan, which sets out work to be undertaken over the next decade.  

Bob Johnson, leader of Sheffield City Council, welcomed the strategy. “It is particularly powerful that it’s been developed by Joined up Heritage and the Sheffield community. The council supports the aims and intentions of the strategy, seeing it as an important foundation for collaboration and joint work in the future.

Joined Up Heritage Sheffield has also been supported by the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.


Application for former brewery site submitted

A planning application for the first 132 properties of a 1,000-home development has been submitted to Sunderland City Council.

The “sustainable smart homes” would be built on Riverside Sunderland’s former Vaux brewery site.

The 132 homes (91 houses and 41 apartments) would be a mix of one, two and three-bedroom units. They have been designed by architects at Proctor & Matthews and MawsonKerr.

The scheme, which will be built using modern methods of construction, is being managed by igloo Regeneration on behalf of the council.

The full development is scheduled to be completed by 2023, in time for the Sunderland Future Living Expo, a public event that aims to showcase a new way of city living.


West Yorkshire to progress schemes

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee has approved recommendations to progress eight schemes totalling £140 million to the next stage of development. Two new rail stations are among the projects.   

The government’s Getting Building Fund, through which the combined authority secured a total of £52.6 million, is being used to accelerate 15 ‘shovel-ready’ projects in response to the pandemic, helping to create nearly 2,300 new jobs and safeguard another 500 jobs.  

These include the first phase of the Bradford city village scheme, which features plans to invest £23.3 million into developing a “diverse independent shopping experience”, at the heart of which would be the new Darley Street market.

Roger Marsh OBE DL, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the NP11 group of Northern Local Enterprise Partnerships, said: “We’re committed to leading the economic recovery from the impact of Covid-19, and schemes such as these will help pave a way forward for our region, alongside the work being undertaken by our West Yorkshire Economic Recovery Board.”


Wolverhampton secures cycle infrastructure funding

The City of Wolverhampton Council and West Midlands Railway have secured £525,000 in grant funding for the construction of a new cycle hub offering more than 100 spaces for bikes at Wolverhampton Interchange.

The hub should provide 92 undercover and 18 uncovered spaces, as well as controlled access, LED lighting and CCTV security. It will be located next to the railway station multistorey car park, near the pedestrian footbridge to the city centre. The hub forms part of the city’s £150 million interchange development, which is intended to deliver improvements to bus, tram, train and cycle connectivity.

Walking and cycling charity Sustrans has contributed £472,500 in funding as part of the Department for Transport’s programme Cycle Rail. The remainder mostly comes from the government’s £1 million Towns Fund Accelerator Grant for the city.

Final design work on the hub will now begin.


New council housing proposed for Canada Water transformation

Southwark Council has agreed to acquire a site in Canada Water from British Land.

This will see the delivery of 79 affordable homes – 60 homes for council rent and 39 three-bedroom family homes. The new homes will be built by British Land on behalf of the council, with detailed planning permission already in place for the development.

The development will be fully electric, featuring air source heat pumps to achieve Southwark Council’s carbon reduction targets.

The site is next to Roberts Close and is a few minutes’ walk away from Canada Water station.

The Roberts Close development forms part of Southwark Council’s New Homes programme to build 11,000 new council homes across the borough by 2042.

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