Log in | Register

News in brief: RTPI questions IfA credentials; Scottish air quality concerns; Greater Manchester Spatial Framework date

Words: Martin Read
Manchester skyline

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 29 May, 2018

Fresh release date for revised Greater Manchester Spatial Framework

The second draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) will now be released in July, a month later than previously announced.

The framework’s release, which will be followed by a twelve week public consultation, has been delayed as a result of extra work to consider the implications of recent local election results and to maximise the opportunities for town centre and brownfield development.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, called the GMSF “vital for the success of our city region” and “our best chance to solve the housing crisis".

“It will be a bold, ambitious plan to ensure that we have the right homes and jobs in the right places, and the transport connections and infrastructure to support developments.”


RTPI challenges apprenticeship body’s assessment plan ruling

The RTPI has challenged the Institute for Apprenticeships’ (IfA) ability to assess professional standards following the the latter institute's rejection of the assessment plan for a degree-level apprenticeship developed by the Chartered Town Planner Apprenticeship Trailblazer Employer Group alongside the RTPI.

The group has lodged an appeal against the IfA’s decision and is expecting a ruling in the summer. It means that universities will not be able to recruit students as planned this September.

The government approved the principle of a Chartered Town Planning Apprenticeship in May 2017, developed by the Trailblazer Group with help and support from the RTPI.

Victoria Hills, RTPI chief executive, said that "there is widespread concern in the built environment professions that the IfA lacks good understanding of the role of chartered professional bodies and their well established and rigorous assessment methods. For more details click here.


Responsibilities for English Borderlands Champion set out

The UK Government has confirmed the responsibilities of John Stevenson MP as the Borderlands Deal Champion.

Stevenson, MP for Carlisle, was announced earlier this month as Champion for the Borderlands Growth Deal. In this unpaid and entirely advisory role, he will work with the UK government and local partners to help progress the Deal towards agreement, acting as ‘champion’ for the English Borderlands councils. (Growth Deal proposals to government will continue to be led by the five Borderlands local authorities.)

Northern Powerhouse minister, Jake Berry, believes Stevenson will be “a strong voice for a Growth Deal which will supercharge growth, boost tourism and create new economic opportunities for communities across the region”.

Deal negotiations were started in January 2018 by the Secretary of State for Scotland, Rt Hon David Mundell MP, and the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry MP.


Air pollution set to hit dangerous levels in Scotland

Scotland’s air quality forecasting service has warned that this week is likely to see levels of toxic ground level ozone break World Health Organisation and Scottish regulatory safety standards across most of the country.

The warning results from air masses from Northern continental Europe increasing pollution levels across the UK, and the expectation that ground level ozone will form in rural parts of Scotland because of the sunny weather.

Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, commented: “Traffic is a key culprit of today’s pollution, so the Government needs to get serious about making it easier for us to walk, cycle, and use public transport, and delivering on its Low Emission Zone promises.”


Planning Applications Wales website goes live

A new portal for the submission of planning applications or associated consents to Local Planning Authorities, replacing the Planning Portal, has gone live in Wales today.

The new site includes simplified forms and is designed to meet the needs of all users of the Welsh planning system.

Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths, said: “We’ve made sure the service meets the needs of Welsh users. The new website will also make it quicker and simpler for anyone wanting to submit a planning application.” PortalPlanQuest Ltd, operators of the Planning Portal, won the tender to produce this Wales-specific online application service. The site can be accessed at www.gov.wales/planningapplications and www.llyw.cymru/ceisiadaucynllunio


Planning permission for Fish Island mixed-use scheme

Architects pH+ and developer City & Suburban have received planning permission for a mixed-use scheme on Fish Island in Hackney Wick as part of the Wickside Masterplan.

Drawing on the concept of shared space where residential, working and public uses meet; The Trego Road mixed-use housing scheme is designed around a series of communal tiered yards, parks, and gardens.

The scheme, which will provide 52 new homes, has been developed to respond to the ‘scale and materiality of the existing and emerging context whilst ensuring the building possesses a character of its own within the streetscape’.


Plans approved for museum collections management facility

Swindon Borough Council has approved plans to build a collections management facility for The Science Museum Group (SMG) at its national centre in Wroughton, near Swindon.

Pegasus Group submitted the application on behalf of SMG for a facility that will transform how SMG manages, cares for and shares its world-leading collection.

Objects from the Science Museum Group collection will be stored, researched and prepared in the new facility before they go on display across the Group’s family of museums (the Science Museum in London, the National Railway Museum in York, the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford and Locomotion in Shildon).

Construction is due to start next year, with the first collections arriving in 2020. The facility, which will be open to the public, will cover a footprint of 26,000 sq m. Storage halls, conservation laboratories, research spaces and photography studios are included within the facility.


Bingham land sale moves new housing development closer

The Crown Estate has completed the sale of land north of Bingham to Barratt and David Wilson Homes, meaning that the developer can now start on-site.

The 225-acre site, which has outline planning permission for 1,050 homes, forms part of a substantial extension to the north of the Nottinghamshire town.

When built, the new homes will be a short walk from the town centre and connected to it by a network of footpaths.

The Bingham North masterplan, adopted by Rushcliffe Borough Council in 2013, sets out plans for a new community to the north of the town, with space for new local shops, a primary school, a community centre, and public space including a park and lake.

Image credit | Shutterstock