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News in brief: Centre for Cities chief to head industrial strategy; Committee to meet to discuss garden village proposal

Words: Laura Edgar

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 14 March, 2017

Centre for Cities chief to head industrial strategy

Think tank Centre Cities has announced that chief executive Alexandra Jones is leaving the organisation.

She will become the director of industrial strategy at the government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Deputy chief executive and director of policy and research Andrew Carter has been appointed as the new chief executive by the Centre for Cities Board of Trustees.

Read what Jones and Carter said about the moves here.


Committee to meet to discuss garden village proposal

Tandridge Dsitrict Council will meet this week to discuss plans for a strategic approach to development as part of the area’s creation of a local plan.

In February, The Planner reported that the council leader had outlined his plans for a new settlement comprising 4,000 homes, developed around garden city principles.

At this stage, the strategy does not set out in detail exactly where new development will take place, just the principles on which they will be based.

The meeting will take place on 16 March.


Funding for new roads and land in Scotland

Scottish finance secretary Derek Mackay has confirmed that £15 million will be invested in the development of infrastructure.

This cash injection is expected to unlock significant levels of private sector funding.

Applications by Fife and North Ayrshire councils through the Tax Incremental Financing scheme (TIF), have been approved, with the councils now set to work with the Scottish Futures Trust on more detailed businesses cases.

TIF allows councils to fund infrastructure by borrowing against future business rates that are generated as a result of attracting more businesses into the area.

Fife Council applied for £10 million to help develop 22 hectares of land at Fife Interchange distribution and business park development. The £5 million TIF funding for North Ayrshire Council will be used to construct roads and services within the i3 Irvine, Innovation and Industry Park.

Read more on the Scottish Government website.


£1.8m for Dundee-London air route

The UK Government has invested £1.8 million to secure a link between Dundee City Airport and London Stansted for another two years.

The government said the public service obligation (PSO) agreed between it, Transport Scotland and Dundee City Council guarantees almost £3.7 million to keep the route open over 2017/18 and 2018/19.

The UK Government will contribute 50 per cent of the funding while the Scottish Government will contribute £1.4 million and Dundee City Council £400,000.

Loganair will continue to operate the route.


New power station opens in Manchester

A new gas-fired power station in Carrington, Greater Manchester, has been opened by energy minister Jesse Norman.

Operated by Carrington Power, a subsidiary of ESB, the site is 12 kilometres south of Manchester City Centre.

It will use natural gas to generate enough power to meet the needs of more than a million homes in the Greater Manchester area, said the government.

Norman said: “New power stations like this complement low-carbon wind and solar renewable energy by providing reliable electricity all year round, whatever the weather or time of day. And this investment has created skilled jobs for the area as well.”


Midlands council to build council homes

North West Leicestershire District Council is to build council homes for the first time in 26 years.

The 24 houses and bungalows will be built on council-owned sites at two sites in Coalville (Linford Crescent and Verdon Crescent) and one in Ashby-de-la-Zouch (Willeslet Estate).

The council’s contractor, Robert Woodhead Ltd, has started on site in Coalville. The first homes are expected to be ready for new tenants by the autumn.

All of the homes will be available for affordable rent and are funded solely from Right to Buy receipts and the council’s existing housing budget, said the council.