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News in brief: Entries open for RTPI research awards; Newcastle Quayside hotel approved

Words: Laura Edgar
2018 RTPI Awards for Research Excellence

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 20 March, 2018

Entries open for RTPI research awards

The RTPI 2018 Awards for Research Excellence are now open for entries from all RTPI-accredited planning schools and planning consultancies in the UK, Republic of Ireland and internationally.

There are five categories under which to submit entries:

  • Academic Award
  • Early Career Researcher Award
  • Student Award
  • Planning Consultancy Award
  • Sir Peter Hall Award for Wider Engagement

Aude Bicquelet-Lock, head of research at the RTPI, said: “The RTPI Awards for Research Excellence recognise and promote quality, impactful spatial planning research from accredited planning schools and planning consultancies to a wider audience of policymakers and practitioners, as it plays such a critical role in shaping planning policy and practice.”

Entries close on 18 May 2018. Information about how to enter can be found here on the RTPI website.

Idox plc and Routledge/Taylor & Francis are sponsoring the awards.


Institute calls for evidence

The RTPI has called for local authorities to respond to its survey that will inform its latest research on planning service resourcing, staffing pressures, delivery structures and practice.

The research will also take account of future investment and funding opportunities set out in the housing white paper.  

The deadline for the survey has been extended to 23 March 2018.

More information on the research and how to respond can be found on the RTPI website.


Newcastle Quayside hotel approved

Newcastle City Council has approved plans for a four-star hotel on the city’s quayside.

FaulknerBrowns Architects submitted the plans on behalf of Union Property and Meliá Hotels International.

The hotel will be built on one half of a site previously occupied by offices for British Telecommunications (BT) constructed in the 1990s. Work to convert the western block into a Travelodge hotel are now complete, and these new plans include the demolition of the eastern block and construction of an INNSIDE by Meliá hotel in its place.

The hotel will comprise 161 guest bedrooms as well as conference facilities, a residents’ fitness suite, and a new bar and restaurant.


Design competition for Ebbsfleet

Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and the NHS have launched an international design competition to help develop a healthy city at Ebbsfleet in Kent.

The competition, which has two stages, is being managed by the Landscape Institute.

The garden city will be located 17 minutes from Central London by high-speed rail.

Ideas are invited from individual landscape professionals, or teams that include landscape professionals, with multidisciplinary teams incorporating artists and engineers particularly encouraged.

Entries should address the shape of the whole city, rather than just one site, with the NHS hoping to look beyond Ebbsfleet at the wider health of the nation with the ideas that are submitted.

More information about the competition and how to enter can be found on the competition website.


Office extension approved in Farringdon

Architecture practice Gibson Thornley has been granted planning permission to remodel and extend an existing office in the Charterhouse Square Conservation Area, in Farringdon, London.

Link House is set to provide 14,500 square feet of contemporary workspace.

The architects propose to retain the existing concrete frame but the façade will be changed to feature large windows arranged in a clear, rational grid of three bays. A new ground level will be formed for better connections at street level.

Ben Gibson, co-founding director at Gibson Thornley said: “By extensively remodelling London’s existing built fabric, we can ensure that the capital has the best possible office space without the need for costly demolition and construction of entirely new buildings. We’re confident that this building will make a distinct impression along the street in one of the capital’s most rapidly developing districts.”

Link House is due to go on site this spring.


Offices in Cambridge approved

Cambridge City Council has approved plans for a new office development at 10/20 Station Road.

Perkins+Will secured the permission on behalf of developer Brookgate.

The six-storey building will replace Jupiter House and Leda House in the emerging CB1 district.

It will comprise 14,274 square metres of commercial floor space. The development also includes 98 car parking spaces and 482 cycle parking spaces, as well as a pocket park.


Mixed-use scheme in Covent Garden approved

Camden Council has approved a mixed-use scheme on Shorts Gardens in London’s Convent Garden.

The proposed scheme is a joint venture development between Span Group Ltd and Structadene.

It comprises new and refurbished office space with a restaurant/ bar within a large unused basement. The scheme also proposes four new apartments within an existing adjoining warehouse building on Betterton Street, with a new rooftop extension.

At ground floor along Shorts Gardens, the scheme will see the ‘opening up’ of existing bricked up arches to improve and enliven the character of the street, providing interaction between the inside and the public realm. A new curved bronzed metal and glass two-storey extension will provide new office accommodation with external terrace spaces.


AECOM to support neighbourhood planning in England

AECOM has been awarded a contract by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to deliver planning and environmental services to communities in England that want to deliver a neighbourhood plan.

The four-year appointment is part of a MHCLG contract that will be led by Locality. AECOM is its principal contractor.

The firm will support the delivery of potentially hundreds of neighbourhood plans, which include the location of new housing and businesses. The new contract will introduce a scoping phase whereby AECOM will help groups to identify their needs, as well as the opportunities for growth and regeneration in their communities. This information will help MHCLG and Locality determine how community groups can be best supported.