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News in Brief: Funding for Welsh towns, Warrington local plan challenge

Words: Laura Edgar

A round up of planning news: Tuesday 24 February, 2015

Housing policy elements removed from local plan after challenge

After Satnam Millennium Ltd challenged Warington Borough Council’s local plan under section 113 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. The company succeeded on counts that an objective assessment had not been carried out to determine affordable housing allocation that would meet the area’s need and that the plan did not comply with Strategic Environment Assessment requirements. The core strategy as a whole was not quashed, with the council now planning to make the relevant changes.

£5m to improve Welsh town centres

Lesley Griffiths, Welsh communities and tackling poverty minister, has dedicated £5 million toward the regeneration of town centres across Wales. Seven local authorities will receive the loan funding: Tredegar Rhymeny, Grangetown, Llanelli, Rhyls, Caernarfon and Barry. The funding, the Welsh Government explained, aims to improve town centres, bring empty buildings back into use, create jobs, encourage economic growth and increase the number of homes in town centres.

Scottish tram line projects may receive support

Derek Mackay has signalled that future tram scheme may receive Scottish Government support, despite the Scottish National Party’s anti-tram views. Mackay said he would back proposals if they fitted in with the areas existing public transport network. He told Scotland on Sunday: “We are not anti-tram. It if fits in with public transport networks, we would support.” The SNP will not, however, fund the Edinburgh project, which they have opposed since 2007.

Apple to build €850m data centre in Ireland

The data centre, which will be located in Athenry, County Galway, is one of two Apple will be investing €1.7 billion in, the other of which will in Viborg, Denmark. The centre is to be run on renewable energy and is expected to create 300 jobs. Apple said the project will involve recovering land while an outdoor education space will be built for local schools. Apple chief executive Tim Cooke said the project is their biggest in Europe.