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News in brief: Employers to develop planning apprenticeship; 17th century Monmouthshire building to be restored

Words: Laura Edgar
Caerwent House

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 31 January, 2017

Employers to develop planning apprenticeship

The RTPI has submitted a proposal to the government to develop a Town Planner Degree Apprenticeship.

In an attempt to take advantage of the government’s Trailblazer Degree Apprenticeships scheme, the RTPI gathered interested employers, including local government and private consultancies that confirmed the need for a degree apprenticeship for town planning.

If it is approved, employers and universities may start to train the first apprentices from as early as spring 2018.

Currently, most planners enter the profession after graduating from RTPI-accredited undergraduate or post-graduate planning degrees.

Andrew Close, head of careers, education & professional development, said: “The proposal will be designed by employers to ensure that graduates gain the practical skills and academic training to succeed in the workplace. We hope more talented young people will be attracted to embark on a town planning career through this pathway.”


17th century Monmouthshire building to be restored

Monmouthshire County Council is set to restore a 17th century grade II listed building in Caerwent.

Caerwent House (see picture above) has been acquired by the council through a compulsory purchase order.

Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, and the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust will work with council to restore the building.

Council Leader Peter Fox said: “Caerwent House is within an attractive conservation area so it’s very pleasing to see the restoration of a fine building in one of Monmouthshire’s historic and picturesque villages.” 


275,000 sign petitions to save Nottinghamshire forest from fracking

Two petitions signed by 275,000 people to save Sherwood Forest from fracking have been handed to environment minister Andrea Leadsom.

Actor Phil Rose, who played Friar Tuck in the 1980s TV production of Robin of Sherwood, has joined the campaign.

The petitions have been organised by Friends of the Earth and 38 Degrees.

According to Friends of the Earth, INEOS, a chemical and oil manufacturing company, is in negotiations with landowners to carry out seismic surveys in Sherwood Forest and other public forests in Nottinghamshire, the Nottingham Post reported.

Lorna Greenwood, campaigns manager at 38 Degrees, said: “Huge numbers of people across the UK are coming together to protect our heritage. From people who have childhood memories playing in the forest to those who think fracking is the wrong direction to be going in, they are demanding that Sherwood Forest be left alone. It's now up to the government to decide whether they will listen to the public, or a big company.”


UK cities report record levels of construction

The biggest UK regional cities have reported record levels of construction activity, according to The Telegraph.

Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Belfast have seen an increase in development across a number of sectors, suggests the latest Deloitte crane survey.

The amount of office space in Birmingham under construction has increased by 50 per cent since last year, the survey notes, from 960,000 square feet to 1.4 million square feet.

Twenty-two residential projects started construction in Manchester last year while Leeds saw the highest levels of office space delivered to the market since 2007, says the report.

In Belfast, 19 projects, including offices, hotels and student halls, are under construction.

Read more here.


Challenge to Heathrow third runway halted

Campaigners have failed in a legal bid to block plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Greenpeace UK and a number of councils were seeking a judicial review of the government’s support for the expansion of the airport, announced in October.

The group, which included Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead councils, claimed there was a failure to consult before it abandoned a previous promise that a third runway would never be built. The group also argued that ministers failed to recognise unlawful air quality impacts.

Lord Justice Cranston said: “Once the secretary of state adopts and publishes a National Policy Statement the court will have jurisdiction to entertain the challenges the claimants’ advance.

“For the present, this claim must be struck out.”

Read more here.