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News in brief: Edinburgh Meadowbank sports centre development approved; Wind generates a fifth of UK’s electricity

Renewable wind energy / Shutterstock 155706680

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 3 July, 2018

Business secretary announces £200m nuclear sector deal

A kick-start for a new advanced manufacturing programme to develop nuclear technologies and a commitment to increase gender diversity in the sector are among components in this latest part of the government's industrial strategy.

The deal, designed to secure the UK’s civil nuclear future and drive down energy costs, was announced by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark.

“The UK is the home of civil nuclear technology,” said Clark. “With this investment in innovation and our commitment to increasing diversity in an already highly skilled workforce, I want to ensure we remain the world leader. Nuclear energy not only fuels our power supply, it fuels local jobs, wages, economic prosperity and drives UK innovation.”

The full story can be found here on The Planner.


Wind generates a fifth of UK’s electricity

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy statistics suggest that wind generated 19.1 per cent of the UK’s electricity in the first quarter of 2018.

Onshore wind farms supplied 10.6 per cent of the UK’s power needs, while offshore wind produced 8.5 per cent.

In total, renewable sources generated 30.1 per cent in Q1.

The statistics can be found on the UK Government website.


Meadowbank sports centre approved

The City of Edinburgh Council has granted planning permission in principle for a new Meadwobank Sports Centre in the capital.

The £47 million project will see a new community sports facility built on the site of the original Meadowbank, which closed in December 2017.

The development management sub-committee noted concerns expressed by local residents who would be affected by any development of the wider site. The committee insisted that local members of the community should be closely involved in shaping development in the area before detailed proposals come forward.

Council leader Adam McVey said: “When this council set its budget, we had some tough decisions. We knew that the old venue had reached the end of its lifespan but despite the budget pressures, we agreed that investment in this new facility and the benefits it will bring should be a priority for the city and for the coalition.”


PINS accepts Wylfa Newydd application for examination

The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) has accepted an application by Horizon Nuclear Power for a proposed nuclear power station to be located next to the existing power station at Wylfa A, on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales.

The application was submitted on 1 June 2018 and the decision to accept the application was made in accordance with section 55 of the Planning Act 2008.

Proposals comprise building two reactors with a combined capacity of 2.9 gigawatts.


Finalists selected to develop Ebbsfleet healthy city

Five finalists have been selected to go through to round two of a competition to design a healthy city at Ebbsfleet in Kent.

NHS England is leading the Healthy New Town Programme, working with Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group to deliver a healthy place to live and work.

The competition was launched in March by the NHS and the development corporation, with the aim to find the best ideas to help shape the garden city.

The panel of 10 judges selected five finalists to go through to stage two of the competition:

  • The Chalk Walk by Additive Urbanism, a landscape design studio led by Matthew Halsall CMLI, in collaboration with Ryan Szyani, Architectural installation designer.
  • The Ebbsfleet Sublime – The disruptive use of the picturesque to create well-being and place by LDA Design in collaboration with Architecture 00 and Vivid Economics.
  • Everyday Adventure by Huskisson Brown Associates working with Claire Powell Chartered Physiotherapist.
  • H.A.L.O – a model for growing a healthy infrastructure – by Bradley Murphy Design in collaboration with JTP, Peter Brett Associates and Sebastien Boyesen.
  • Swanscombe Gorge Park by Chris Blandford Associates in association with Buro Happold and Proctor & Matthews.

More information can be found on the Healthy Garden City website.


Holyrood committee questions land ownership proposals

The Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee is set to examine the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 (Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest In land) (Scotland) Regulations 2021.

The new regulations came about following concerns that the current system of land ownership was not sufficiently transparent because some people holding a controlling or beneficial interest may be difficult to trace.

The committee has launched a call for views on whether or not the proposed regulations will make a difference.

More information can be found on the Scottish Parliament website.


Wreake homes approved

A freezing direction on 48 properties at Frisby on the Wreake, Leicestershire, has been lifted and development on the plans can go ahead.

Development agency Fisher German’s planning team acted on behalf of the landowner to progress the application, which was for a site off Gaddesby Lane.

The application was originally submitted in 2015 and was approved by the council’s planning officer and planning committee, with a signed section 106 agreement in place. However, the secretary of state issued a freezing direction after a request to call in the planning application was made.

A neighbourhood plan was being progressed for the village at the same time. It identified other sites for development in the settlement, but the emerging local plan identified the Gaddesby Lane site as a proposed allocation.

Fisher German appeared at the local plan examination and at the neighbourhood plan hearing.
The inspector examining the neighbourhood plan had concerns over the approach taken to site selection concluded that the it could only proceed to a referendum if it was amended to reflect the emerging local plan allocations.

The secretary of state has confirmed that the application would not be called in, and the approval was issued.


Building communities APPG launches

An All Party Parliamentary Group on Building Communities has been formed and aims to progress political discussions on good design and placemaking and how they could help to solve the housing crisis.

In June, Bob Blackman MP (Conservative) was voted chair, Liz Twist MP (Labour) and Stephen Hammond MP (Conservative) vice-chairs, and Mark Prisk MP (Conservative) as group secretary.

The cross-party group of MPs and peers will meet in the autumn for its first session.

The Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) will provide secretariat services for the APPG.

Blackman said: “We need to find new ideas to tackle the housing crisis and build the homes the country needs. I firmly believe that only a holistic approach which marries community engagement, placemaking and strategic infrastructure spending will enable this.”

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