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News in brief: Inverness Campus centre plans revised; NPPF changes hit Fareham hard, says councillor

Words: The Planner
Heath and science centre / iStock-680638974

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 14 August, 2018

Inverness Campus centre plans revised

Plans for a major healthcare and life sciences centre serving the Highlands and Islands region have been revised after consultation.

The joint project between NHS Highland, the University of the Highlands and Islands and Highlands Islands Enterprise (HIE) is forecast to create 189 jobs.

The scheme will be housed within a building of more than 8,000 square metres on the university’s Inverness Campus. This will include a £34 million elective care centre for the north of Scotland, which is due to open in 2021 and will have 28 inpatient beds, four operating theatres and day case and outpatient facilities.

The new building will also feature a life science business incubator created by HIE to provide office and laboratory spaces for start-up and inward investment firms engaged in creating new products and services for the healthcare sector.


NPPF changes hit Fareham hard, says councillor

The government’s revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is set to increase the number of homes Fareham is required to build, with the area “one of the hardest hit” in Hampshire.

The changes to the way housing need is calculated mean that Fareham will need to build at least 544 units a year, which is an annual increase of 124 units, or 30 per cent.

The Housing Delivery Test will be introduced in November. Councils will be measure against this to see if they have met the new housing requirements. If the test returns a below 95 per cent result, the council will be required to prepare a Housing Delivery Action Plan.

New sites will have to be found for the council’s draft local plan.

Seán Woodward, executive leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: “It appears that Fareham is one of the hardest hit of all local authorities in Hampshire.  Despite voicing our significant concerns during the consultation, the government’s publication of its changed planning rules will have an immediate effect. That places the council in a situation where we must consider planning applications in the context of the government significantly increasing our deemed housing need.”


Wellness centre gets the go-ahead

A £14 million leisure scheme in the Greater Manchester borough of Tameside, to be developed by real estate investment firm Network Space, has been approved.

Denton Wellness Centre will bring an eight-lane competition swimming pool, learner pool, spa area, fitness suite and ten-pin bowling alley to the town.

Designed by Pozzoni Architecture, the centre comprises a range of community facilities including meeting rooms, children’s soft play area and multi-use studio spaces.

The development is being delivered for Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council. Following construction (by Willmott Dixon), it will be managed by the council’s leisure operator.


Carter Jonas sells residential development opportunity in Buckinghamshire

Property consultancy Carter Jonas has sold a ‘significant’ residential development opportunity on behalf of a consortium of private landowners to Abbey New Homes.

The 15.49 acre (6.27 hectare) former agricultural site on the northern edge of Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire has outline planning permission for up to 117 new homes, with 30 per cent allocated to affordable housing, together with informal public open space with a children’s play area.

Carter Jonas worked with Gladman Developments to obtain planning permission before bringing the site to market.


Woolwich approves phase one plans for £31m creative district

The Royal Borough of Greenwich’s plans to create a “landmark destination for the arts” in the borough’s Royal Arsenal area has moved closer with planning permission granted for the first phase of a multimillion-pound restoration of historic military buildings.

This will create a 15,000 square metres heritage complex of theatres, dance studios and restaurants set between the river Thames and the new Woolwich station on London’s Elizabeth Line.

The permission is for conversion and change of use to performance and creative space for three grade II listed former Royal Arsenal munitions buildings – known as 17,18 and 19.


Trebor and Hillwood submit Bristol industrial site applications

Trebor Developments and property investment firm Hillwood have submitted a planning application for a 244,000 sq ft industrial scheme in Bristol.

Central Approach is less than a mile from the new junction 1 of the M49 motorway, and will be developed in a single phase offering three units of 134,000 square feet, 77,000 square feet and 34,000 square feet.

The aim is to make the development available for occupation during the third quarter of 2019.

The acquisition is the first following the two organisations’ announcement in March that they had entered into a strategic partnership to undertake industrial and logistics developments across the UK.


Dover Town designated as neighbourhood area

Following an application by Dover Town Council to Dover District Council, Dover Town has been designated a Neighbourhood Area to help the local community shape the future of the town.

It’s a designation that, says the council, will help it progress the preparation of its neighbourhood plan.

Dover Town’s neighbourhood area covers the six wards that come under Dover Town Council.


Acorn acquires 65-unit Devon site

Acorn Property Group’s Exeter office, in partnership with Galliard Homes, has completed on the purchase of a 7.4-acre site in Chillington in south Devon, where it plans to build 65 new homes.

Outline planning permission for the scheme was obtained earlier in the year. The development will comprise three and four-bedroom houses, 35 per cent of which will be affordable.

The deal represents the second for Acorn’s Exeter office. Subject to a reserved matters application approval, works will start early next year.

Acorn says it has it has “worked carefully with the local planners and community to make the most of the homes and the views of the beautiful local countryside”.


New playing field and area for South Northamptonshire

A residents’ group in Rothersthorpe in south Northamptonshire has been granted planning permission for a new playing field and play area.

Permission has been granted for a change of use of land bordered by Banbury Lane and Church Lane from agricultural to community use.

The Rothersthorpe Community Space Project (RCSP) wants the site to become a place for ball games and a children’s play area.

Objections to the proposals included the size of the development and the loss of both view and privacy for neighbouring properties. However, following a questionnaire sent to households in the village, 79 per cent of replies were in support, 8 per centre were against while 13 per cent offered no response.


Transport Planning Day ‘People’s Award’ deadline extended

The Transport Planning Society has extended its People’s Award nomination deadline to this coming Friday, 17 August.

The Transport Planning Day campaign seeks to encourage communities to tell professionals how transport planning has changed their lives.

People who have been involved through their communities in shaping transport projects in their area are asked to nominate individuals for the People’s Award. Communities could include parish or town councils, residents’ associations, civic societies or similar bodies.

More details can be found on the Transport Planning Society’s website, including an example entry.

The winner will be announced at Transport Planning Day at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London on 13 November.

Image credit | iStock