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13/01/2015

News in Brief: Northampton station opens, Birmingham Development Plan

Words: Laura Edgar
Birmingham

News in Brief, Tuesday 13 January, 2015

McLoughlin visits Northampton’s new station

Transport secretary Patrick Mc Loughlin visited Northampton’s new, £20 million rail station to mark its opening. Partly funded by £10 million of government investment, it is hoped the station will provide a modern gateway to Northampton and meet the demand of visitors and commuters. Managed by London Midland, the station has been built by Network Rail in partnership with Northamptonshire County Council and Northampton Borough Council. It is larger than the previous station and has more ticket gates.

Birmingham asked to justify emerging development plan

Birmingham City Council has received a letter from a planning inspector asking it to justify housing figures and the allocation of green belt land for development in its draft development plan. The letter comes in the wake of a four-week public inquiry folowing submission of the draft Birmingham Development Plan (BDP) for examination in July 2014. The plan estimated that 80,000 new homes would be required in the city and surrounding area by 2031. It also proposed releasing two sites designated as green belt to the north and east of Sutton Coldfield for 6,000 homes, as well as employment space. Planning inspector Roger Clews wrote to the council this week to explain to them that further work needed to be done to justify the housing figures and that the decision to release the two green belt sites (Langley and Peddimore) was not adequately explained.

A34 Milton upgrade work begins

Part of an £11 million scheme, work has started on the A34 Milton Interchange to turn it into a ‘hamburger’ style roundabout. It will have a carriageway built through the middle while a tunnel will take those travelling from Didcot onto the northbound carriageway. David Nimmo-Smith, transport cabinet member at Oxford County Council, has said that capacity will be boosted by 30 per cent.

Council proposes main route into city revamp

Bristol City Council has put forward plans for public consultation to build over the Temple Circus roundabout, near to Temple Meads station. It will be replaced with a public square and a more direct route into the city. The plans are part of a £21 million development across the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. The proposals include a new metro bus stop, clearer public transport signs and new cycle routes. The consultation will take place at the Engine Shed until 30 January.

Homes for approved for Somerset

A government inspector has approved South Somerset District Council’s local plan. It covers housing and business growth proposals until 2028, including 16,000 houses. While all of the houses may not be built, the local plan does designate land where development can be allowed. The planning inspector has made several changes to the plan, including proposals for 2,500 homes to the south west of Yeovil now consisting of 800 homes.

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