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News in brief: Campaigners slam threat to medieval deer park; Heathrow reveals consultant teams behind expansion

Words: Huw Morris

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 6 December, 2016

Campaigners slam threat to medieval deer park

Environmental campaigners have attacked an application to build housing on an 800-year-old deer park in Berkshire.

Aldermaston Park near Reading was bought by property investor Praxis Holdings in 2014. The application for 227 houses would see the loss of more than 180 trees, some of which are hundreds of years old.

Part of the great hunting forest that Saxon kings and William the Conqueror called Windsor Forest, Aldermaston was first recorded in 1202.

Woodland Trust ancient tree specialist Jill Butler said: “This is an unprecedented planning application in terms of the devastating impact on an historic wood pasture and parkland, which is an incredibly valuable wildlife habitat.”

Warrington junction improvement to boost jobs and homes

The North West is to benefit from a multi-million pound junction improvement which will unlock a key housing and employment site next to junction 8 of the M62 in Warrington, creating more than 1,400 homes and 10,000 new jobs.

Highways England has awarded a £3 million boost to the £12 million road improvement scheme from the government’s new Growth and Housing Fund. The fund is a national initiative to improve the strategic road network for major development.

The M62 junction 8 scheme, which will be delivered by Warrington Borough Council with additional funding from Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, will improve access from the motorway to the  Omega development site.


Heathrow reveals consultant teams behind expansion

Heathrow has contracted seven companies to deliver the airport’s expansion.

Quod will be the scheme’s planning consultant, Mott MacDonald will develop the airport masterplan, Jacobs will provide airport planning and engineering services, while Amec Foster Wheeler will lead on Heathrow’s sustainability strategies and environmental impact assessment, and Grimshaw will act as concept architect.

Engineering specialists Arup and Atkins complete the team.

The seven – which will now be known as the Integrated Design Team – were chosen because of their experience in delivering projects of similar size, breadth and importance as an expanded Heathrow. Their appointment followed competitive selection processes and a thorough commercial review.

The teams have each been awarded four-year contracts.

Green light for 60 London Wall redevelopment

The City of London has granted consent for the extensive redevelopment of 60 London Wall.

The mixed use office and retail building is within a five-minute walk of Moorgate, Liverpool Street and Bank stations, which together offer connections to six underground lines and the Docklands Light Railway. It will benefit from the opening of the Crossrail/Elizabeth Line in 2018.

The redevelopment by LaSalle Investment Management and Citygrove Securities will provide nearly 30,000 square metres of prime office space across the ground and 10 upper floors with roof terraces, together with nearly 1,700 square metres of retail space. The project has a target completion date of Spring 2019.

Leeds unveils plans for parkway rail station

A new parkway rail station connecting to Leeds Bradford Airport is central to £270 million of improvements to transport in Leeds, it has been revealed.

The plan, along with two other stations to be created in the city and additional rail network improvements, emerged as the first details were revealed ahead of a new transport strategy for Leeds.

The parkway station would be built on the existing Leeds to Harrogate line, connecting to the wider rail network and supporting the development of one of the UK’s fastest-growing regional airports, which attracts 3.5 million passengers a year and contributes £100 million a year to the city region economy.

Two other new stations are also proposed at White Rose Shopping Centre and Office Park to support retail, connectivity and employment – and at Thorpe Park to support job creation and housing growth along the East Leeds Extension.

The new stations would be part-funded from the £173.5 million of Department for Transport funding secured following the decision not to proceed with the New Generation Transport trolleybus in May, with the funds needing to be invested in public transport before the end of 2021.

UK congestion could cost drivers up to £62 billion in next decade

The cost to drivers of time wasted in congestion at the UK’s worst traffic hotspots could amount to £61.8 billion by 2025 if congestion levels are not reduced.

Data specialist INRIX, using its Roadway Analytics traffic analysis tool, reveals that London has 12,776 traffic hotspots – more than any other city analysed, and time wasted in gridlock at these locations could cost drivers in the capital £42 billion by 2025.

The UK’s worst traffic congestion is on the M25 between junctions 15 (M4) and 16 (M40). Outside of the capital the worst traffic hotspot is on the A720 Edinburgh Bypass.

Read more here.