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News in brief: Nominations now open for 2016 RTPI elections; 190-home village extension secured after green belt designation overturned

Tidbury Green

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 28 June, 2016

Nominations now open for 2016 RTPI elections

The RTPI is now receiving nominations for its 2016 annual election. It says it is looking for a “range of different life and work experiences, diversity, a zest for new ideas, and a desire to make a contribution and a difference”.

The RTPI said: “It is important that the board and GA reflects its community, therefore we need a good balance of gender, age, skills, ethnicity and geographic diversity around the table.”

The following places will be subject to election this year:

  • Vice President for 2017 (will become President in 2018)
  • Board of Trustees – Chair
  • Board of Trustees – Treasurer
  • Board of Trustees –Trustee representing Scotland
  • Board of Trustees –3 Chartered Members
  • General Assembly - 2 Technical Members
  • General Assembly - 14 Chartered Members
  • General Assembly – 3 Students or Licenciates
  • General Assembly – Legal Member/Legal Associate

Nominations can be made here.


An obituary: Robert James Turley, 29.05.1950–05.05.2016

Rob Turley, MRTPI, who died from cancer in May, will be well known among the planning and development profession as the founder of and driving force behind the independent and national planning consultancy, Robert Turley Associates, now known as Turley.

Rob was born in Belfast on the 29 May 1950. He was brought up and schooled in Belfast, where the seeds of a lifelong passion for football were first sown – Linfield Football Club being his “home” team. Rob also excelled at tennis, playing for Ulster in international matches and the Manchester University tennis team in the National University Tennis Championships.

The full obituary can be found here.


190-home village extension secured after green belt designation overturned

Bellway Homes has been given permission to build 190 homes in Solihull – a 34-acre development that will form an extension to the existing village of Tidbury Green.

The site was previously earmarked in the Solihull Local Plan to be incorporated into the green belt, but Bilfinger GVA, acting on behalf of Lioncourt Strategic Land, successfully challenged the local plan in the High Court to ensure that the land remained viable for development. The land had previously been removed from the green belt in 1997 for possible long-term housing needs, but was later assessed as being unsuitable for development and returned to green belt designation.

A representative at Bellway homes said: “We are now focused on ensuring that the delivery of this important urban extension is in keeping with the existing village and surroundings while providing an attractive residential opportunity.”


Atkins appointed sustainability adviser on Old Oak Common redevelopment

Consultancy Atkins will work with Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation and its project management consultancy Faithful+Gould to develop a set of  “ambitious environmental sustainability targets” to be used in the £26 billion redevelopment project.

According to Atkins, these targets will then feed into all future development across London, looking to improve upon targets set out in the London Plan and mayoral strategies.

The targets will be based on six core themes: urban form and public space, transport, energy, waste and materials, water and green/blue infrastructure.

“Rapidly emerging smart technologies” will apparently be of “critical focus” in developing these targets, with the Grand Union Canal being identified as having the potential to provide a cost-effective way to harvest water for use in toilets, irrigation and cleaning, as well as forming a centre around which community activities are established. It could “even be used as a form of giant refrigerator to help cool buildings in the summer”.

More information can be found here.


Energy Minister promotes Scotland’s offshore renewable energy capacity

Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse spoke of Scotland’s potential to be “at the forefront in all stages of offshore renewable energy” at RenewableUK’s Global Offshore Wind Conference in Manchester.

He cited the government’s consent for “the world’s largest floating offshore wind project”, the Statoil Hywind development off the coast of Peterhead, and said that with this project and others “momentum is building around the development of floating wind technology which could enable not just Scotland but other parts of the UK to secure even more clean energy from offshore wind as we move into deeper water in the future”.

Wheelhouse also spoke of the acquisition of the 7-megawatt Levenmouth test turbine in Fife as a research and development facility, which he said would “help lay the foundations for Scotland to take advantage of opportunities within the sector in the long term, and strengthen our offshore wind investment proposition”.


NOMA brings forward historic buildings to office conversion

The Co-operative Group and Hermes Real Estate joint venture NOMA is bringing forward the development of two historic buildings in Manchester city centre to cater for a “growing demand” for creative office space in the city.

Federation, a former drapery warehouse next to the city’s creative Northern Quarter, will be the first space to complete this summer. The adjoining grade II listed building Dantzic will also be converted to deliver “loft-style” workspace, while Hanover, a listed building opposite Manchester’s Victoria Station, will also be transformed into 90,000 square feet of office space and 18,000 square feet of retail and leisure space.

According to NOMA, research by Colliers International found the supply of grade A office space in central Manchester has fallen 61 per cent to its lowest level since 2006, with vacancy rates estimated to have reached a record low of 6 per cent. These developments seek to address the needs of an identified “growing influx” of investors in the Northern Powerhouse.


Brent Council celebrate opening of Woodhouse Urban Park

A new urban park, part of the South Kilburn regeneration programme, is now open to the public.

Commercial landscaper Ground Control worked alongside Erect Architecture to deliver the scheme, which includes “sustainable play provisions” alongside new landscaping and planting, and new public footpaths.

The park is a central part of the new regeneration project for the area, which will include 2,400 new homes, a new local primary school, shops and new health facilities.