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News in brief: Burnham concerned by Heathrow expansion plans; Galliford Try takes on Wolverhampton housing schemes

Words: The Planner
Heathrow airport

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 26 June, 2018

Burnham concerned by Heathrow expansion plans  

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has asked Prime Minister Theresa May for a guarantee that the Heathrow expansion will not reduce or delay transport investment in the north of England.

Burnham remains concerned that the expansion of Heathrow could leave the North waiting even longer for the investment to build modern rail infrastructure linking its big cities to Manchester Airport.

The government’s bill for public transport improvements to support the Heathrow expansion could be up to £16 billion, he warned. This would take transport spending in the capital to around £50 billion in the coming years.

With the government committed to major investment in London to build HS2, and signs of support to the £30 billion Crossrail 2 project, Burnham raised fears that the vast majority of the transport capital budget is effectively committed to the capital city, leaving little for the rest of the country.

Burnham said: “If the expansion of Heathrow is to go ahead, it should be on the basis of a clear guarantee from the government that it won’t delay or reduce much-needed transport investment in the North.”

Read more here on The Planner.


Galliford Try takes on Wolverhampton housing schemes

Galliford Try Partnerships has been announced as the developer on two new housing regeneration sites in the city of Wolverhampton. It follows the developer’s acquisition from Bouygues (which is withdrawing from the low-rise family housing market) of the Tower and Fort Works site in Graiseley as well as the former Tap Works site in Low Hill.

At the Tap Works site, 40 units will be council homes for rent, the remainder to be sold as market housing. The first council homes are set to be completed within a year. The remaining council homes as well as market housing for sale is expected to be completed within three years.

The Tower and Fort Works contract will deliver 77 homes at the historic Great Brickkiln Street location, with a quarter of the homes on the site set aside as affordable council houses. The remainder will be sold as market housing, with the development consisting of a mixture of two, three, four and five-bedroom houses, plus five apartments, including two wheelchair-accessible flats.


Plans for a West Midlands national park unveiled

Proposals to create a national park in the West Midlands that would cover more than seven cities has been published.

Kathryn Moore, professor of landscape architecture at Birmingham City University drew up the proposals.

There are currently 15 national parks in the UK.

The idea, which was unveiled at the Critical Artistic Thinking in Design Conference, would have the potential to support further regeneration, boost environmental conservation, improve transport link and drive inward investment and tourism into the region, explained Moore.

If it could be delivered, a West Midlands National Park could also help create new jobs across the West Midlands region and boost the economy by transforming the image of the area.

The vision will also be on show at the university’s open day on Saturday 30 June at its City Centre Campus.

The next steps will see case studies undertaken on the Tame Valley, Curzon Street and Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games bid to decide possible revenue streams and how the vision may be realised.


Arlesey development approved

Central Bedfordshire Council has granted approval for Telereal Trillium’s plans to build 950 private and affordable homes at Chase Farm, Arlesey.

The development is the first to be delivered through the Central Bedfordshire Promoter Framework, which was established to accelerate the supply of new housing in the area using surplus council land.

The development of the 168-acre greenfield site also includes a two-form entry junior school, a care home, a GP surgery and dental clinic, new sports facilities and a retail centre.

A new link road, connecting Arlesey High Street in the west to the A507 in the east, will provide access to the development and help to reduce congestion in other parts of the town.


Hotel plans for Dagenham

Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration company, has agreed a deal to build a new 78-room hotel adjacent to the site of the soon-to-be largest film studios in London.

The hotel will be run by Travelodge and built by Barnes Construction through a funding agreement with Berkeley Square Developments on behalf of Be First.

The £7 million deal comes hot on the heels of the announcement by Be First of a preferred partner to build and operate new film and TV studios and a movie-themed visitor centre on the 22 acre-site at Dagenham East.

The new hotel will also feature a ground-floor restaurant, and Berkeley will develop a Costa drive-through outlet.

The hotel is due to be built in 2019.


Developer appointed to build 145 Liverpool homes

Housing provider Liverpool Mutual Homes has appointed Galliford Try Partnerships to build 145 affordable homes in the city centre.

The homes, which were approved by Liverpool City Council in November 2017, will be built at Edge Lane.

The £20 million scheme will comprise 107 one and two-bedroom apartments available as Rent to Buy, while 38 two and three-bed houses will be built for shared ownership.

Completion on the development is expected in 2020.


Manchester mixed-use St Michael’s scheme will not be called in

The St Michael’s development in Manchester is to go ahead after the secretary of state confirmed that the application will not be called in.

An economic impact study for the scheme has estimated that the £200 million development will contribute more than £80 million in gross value added to the local economy and £147 million in government tax revenues over 10 years.

The project is linked to the former Manchester United footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs. It will include an international luxury five-star hotel featuring 216 bedrooms and 189 high-end apartments in a tower reaching 39 storeys. There will also be 148,000 sq ft of office space, 33,000 sq ft of leisure space. A public square will also feature.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, called St.Michael’s “the type of high-quality development that our city centre needs”, while architect Stephen Hodder MBE, chairman of Hodder + Partners, said: “This development will regenerate a pivotal city block adjacent to the city’s civic core, and I applaud the evident passion, ambition and vision of all those behind St Michael’s.”


Nexus to conduct retail studies for Warrington, Stoke, Newcastle-under-Lyme

Nexus Planning’s Manchester office is to prepare retail and leisure studies for Warrington Council and the joint client of Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent Councils, with both studies contributing to the local plan evidence base of the respective councils.

For Warrington, Nexus Planning will advise on any gaps in provision and any communities that may be disadvantaged by lack of access to retail services. For Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent Councils, the consultancy will advise on retail capacity up and to 2033, inclusive of the future role of the city centre and town centres.

Councillor Anthony Munday, cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “We realise how concerned residents and businesses are at a time when retail is contracting generally across the UK and more people are shopping online.”

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