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News in brief: Planning ‘buddy’ scheme launched for women; Contractor appointed for brownfield institute

Words: Laura Edgar
Mentoring scheme for women in planning / iStock-1298962052

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 9 March, 2021

Planning ‘buddy’ scheme launched for women

Women in Planning has launched a mentoring scheme with the intention of bringing together individuals who are seeking support and guidance on their career development from experienced professionals. It was published on International Women’s Day (8 March).

The scheme will see applicants ‘buddy up’ with a mentor during a matching process that best suits both the mentee and the mentor.

Applications are open to all those working within the planning sector, from students through to women in the boardroom.

Read the full story here.


Contractor appointed for brownfield institute

The University of Wolverhampton has appointed ISG as the main building contractor for the National Brownfield Institute (NBI) at its £120 million Springfield Campus.

Planning permission for the National Brownfield Institute was granted by the City of Wolverhampton Council in December 2020. The £17.5 million research centre was designed by Birmingham-based Associated Architects.

The institute will develop modern methods of building through innovation and partnership with the construction industry, focusing on the practical application of future brownfield regeneration through the work of research teams, leading policy development and commercial services.

Work will start later this month.


Council appoints firm for carbon-neutral bus station

Leicester City Council has appointed Arcadis to deliver what is believed to be the UK’s first carbon-neutral bus station. The station will replace St Margaret’s Bus Station.

The new design includes mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, air source heat pumps and 750 square metres of solar panels. These will generate enough energy to power the station and feed extra energy back into the grid.

The project is a fast-track inner city regeneration scheme and is due for completion in May 2022. Planning approval was granted in January 2021.


Outline consent granted for mixed-use Warrington scheme

Warrington Borough Council has granted outline planning permission for an eight-storey apartment block on Stanley Street, Warrington.

The development will deliver 39 affordable self-contained apartments and 112 square metres of commercial space.

The scheme represents the first residential-led scheme to come forward as part of the town centre Bank Quay Gateway regeneration area.

Developer Chesro Ltd, represented by planning consultants County Planning Ltd, submitted the scheme for permission.


Maidenhead town centre plans approved

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s development management panel has approved plans to build a new town centre designed in partnership with the local community. The plans will see £500 million invested in Maidenhead.

Nicholson’s Quarter is planned for the site of a failing single-storey 60s shopping centre, the Nicholson’s Centre. The scheme is considered to be one of the UK’s first shopping centre to town centre conversions.

The mixed-use project comprises around 660 new homes, workspace for more than 2,000 thousand people, 60 shops and restaurants. There will be 1.5 acres of public space.

A Sir Nicholas Winton Square will also be created, which has been named by local residents in honour of Sir Nicholas' act of bravery during the Second World War.


New developments in Scotland should contain mobility hubs

Transport charity Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK) has urged the Scottish Government to make sure that large housing developments contain ‘mobility hubs’ for transport as a condition of planning consent to improve the environment and reduce congestion.

In its response to a Scottish Government call for ideas on National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4), the charity said greener travel should be at the heart of the country’s planning future.

It called on ministers to consider requiring developers of housing estates comprising 50 dwellings or more to create hubs providing various facilities, such as electric vehicle-charging, bike-sharing and car-club schemes.

The charity also argued that smaller developments of 25 homes or more should feature at least one shared transport initiative.

Image credit | iStock