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News in brief: Joint working and a strategic approach required to address climate crisis; Housing First consultation in Scotland begins

Words: Laura Edgar
Liverpool City Region / iStock-467030583

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 17 November, 2020

Joint working and a strategic approach required to address climate crisis

The RTPI has spoken about how planning needs to address the climate crisis ‘full on’ with authorities working together across boundaries.

The institute worked with the Liverpool city region and local councils in the area to compile research for a report - Strategic Planning for Climate Resilience - which includes recommendations for Liverpool city region. The report incorporates studies of good practice by planning schools at the universities of Liverpool and Manchester.

Richard Blyth, head of policy practice and research at the RTPI, commented: “The climate emergency has not gone away. Planning must address it full on. A strategic approach is critical for this and many other 21st century challenges. We were pleased to work with the city region on this useful project.”

Read the full story here on The Planner.


Housing First consultation in Scotland begins

A 90-page national framework for Housing First in Scotland has been published for consultation.

According to Housing First Scotland, it is a "how and why" professional guide that sets out what each partner brings and what each will need to make Housing First a success from 2021.

Housing First provides housing as a first response to redress the disadvantages faced by people whose homelessness is made harder by longer-term experiences such as trauma and addiction.

Pathfinders in Aberdeen/shire, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling launched fully in 2019. These local partnerships sought to expose the challenges and difficulties encountered in scaling up Housing First across a local authority area, and to share that learning.

Homeless Network Scotland drafted the framework, supported by expert advisors from across national and local government, housing and support providers and the pathfinders.

The framework can be found here (pdf). The consultation can be found here.


Protos Plastic Park masterplan published

Peel L&P Environmental has released a first look at the Plastic Park planned for its Protos energy and resource hub near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

It is the first of many planned in the UK.

The plant will process different types of plastic waste so that it does not go to landfill, be exported overseas or end up in the sea. It feature a variety of plastic recycling and treatment technologies to get the most value from plastic waste, including:

  • A Materials Recycling facility (MRF) to take dry mixed recyclables and separate out recyclates such as card, paper, glass and cans and plastics.
  • A Plastic Recycling Facility to take the plastic from the MRF, and plastic delivered directly to Protos, and separate out different types of plastic.
  • PET recycling facility –  to be developed by Enviroo with a planning application expected later this year, the facility will take PET (the main material used for food and beverage packaging, such as plastic bottles) and turn it into polymers for new food packaging products.
  • Waste plastic to hydrogen facility – consented earlier this year and already under development.

Richard Barker, development director, Peel L&P Environmental said: “Currently only around a third of the 4.9 million tonnes of plastic that the UK throws away each year is recycled, meaning we urgently need new infrastructure. The pandemic has highlighted how essential this material is to everyday life, but how it is dealt with when it comes to the end of its life needs addressing."


260 homes approved in Cheshire

Cheshire West and Chester Council has approved 260 homes in Ellesmere Port.

Housebuilder Anwyl Homes has started work on the development, which will expand on a neighbouring Anwyl development called The Oaks.

Plans also include a multi-use games area, football pitch and areas of green open space.

The development is a joint venture with housing association Torus. Anwyl Homes will deliver an additional 130 two, three and four-bedroom homes for private sale by Anwyl while Torus will market the other 130 affordable homes.

Planning and development consultancy Turley helped to secure reserved matters approval for the 19-acre site, while Shoosmiths provided legal support.


Ice centre plans approved in London

Proposals for London's first Olympic-sized twin pad ice centre have been granted planning permission by Waltham Forest Council.

The approval is subject to a second stage approval from the Greater London Authority (GLA).

The centre was designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects on behalf of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA).

It will replace the existing single-pad Lee Valley, which, after 36 years, is nearing the end of its operational life.

The facility will include two Olympic-size ice rinks with capacity for 800 spectators, a gym and exercise studio, a multi-purpose studio and a café.

The site for Lee Valley Ice Centre is within metropolitan open land, and is thus afforded the same level of protection as the metropolitan green belt. FaulknerBrowns Architects said that one of the principles of the project was the need to "produce as tight and efficient a building footprint as possible to mitigate the impact on metropolitan open land, the landscape of the regional park, and its biodiversity and habitat".

The facility has been designed to be sustainable, with energy efficiency maximised through "high performance insulation and highly efficient air source heat pumps" and includes significant native planting and landscape enhancements in order to achieve a biodiversity net gain of over 35 per cent.


Homes England investment reaches £1.8bn

The government has announced that investment delivered by Homes England through the Housing Infrastructure Fund Forward Funding (HIF FF) has reached £1.8 billion since its launch in 2017.

A total of £2.7 billion of investment will be contracted through the fund to accelerate the delivery of almost 175,000 homes outside of London.

Sixteen English local authorities across England have secured a share of the Forward Funding, which helps them to unlock land for new homes by building roads, bridges and cycling and walking routes.


Application submitted for Little Lever development

Developer and contractor Watson has submitted a planning application to Bolton Council for 274 new homes on two plots of land adjacent to Little Lever.

Of the one, two, three and four-bedroom houses and apartments, 89 per cent have been designated as affordable. The remainder are for sale.
The two sites, Creams Mill and Hall Lane, are 1.4km apart and connected by the Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal, which has not been in use since it was breached above Prestolee Locks in 1936.

The proposed development, led by P4 Planning, includes the repair of the 60m breach and the restoration of a 700m stretch of the canal to bring it back into water.

It also features the remediation and development at the former Creams Paper Mill site, which has been vacant since 2004 and is allocated for housing, and renewable energy technology for the homes.

Watson is working with two housing associations - Great Places Housing Group and Bolton at Home - to deliver affordable housing.

The scheme has been designed by TADW Architects.


Custom building scheme in Edinburgh to go ahead

The City of Edinburgh Council has granted planning permission to Custom Build Homes (CBH) for 10 homes in the new town of Shawfair.

New homeowners will be able to customise their home to suit their lifestyle now and in the future.

The impressive site is surrounded by green space, including a network of cycle and walking paths leading into Edinburgh.

The homes will either have three, four or five bedrooms.  

Shawfair has a newly designed “green town centre” with schools, offices, shops, places to eat and exercise outlets.

CBH said it has designed the homes to be energy-efficient and can be configured in 27 different ways depending on the needs of individual households. Each home will be constructed on behalf of purchasers and delivered as a “blank canvas” for interior design.


Telford & Wrekin Council partners with DEF Software

Telford & Wrekin Council is working with DEF Software to create and launch a new back office development platform.

The council instructed DEF Software to write the web-based application. It is hoped that the platform will be easier to deploy and access, being completely customisable for the authority.

Any device in any location will be able to access the new platform, with DEF Software aiming to re-create the speed and functionality of existing on-premise planning application platforms.

Image credit | iStock