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News in brief: RTPI research awards nominations deadline approaching; Khan buys hospital site

Words: Laura Edgar
2018 RTPI Awards for Research Excellence

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 15 May, 2018

RTPI research awards nominations deadline approaching

Entries for the RTPI 2018 Awards for Research Excellence from all RTPI-accredited schools and planning consultancies in the UK, Republic of Ireland and internationally closes on 18 May.

There are five categories under which to submit entries:

  • Academic Award
  • Early Career Researcher Award
  • Student Award
  • Planning Consultancy Award
  • Sir Peter Hall Award for Wider Engagement

Information about how to enter can be found here on the RTPI website.


Khan buys hospital site

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has used his new Land Fund to purchase a site at St Ann’s Hospital in Haringey.

The deal with Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust aims to redevelop the hospital and provide up to 800 new homes, with 50 per cent set to be affordable.

The number of affordable homes at St Ann’s is an increase on existing planning permission for the site – secured in 2015 – which would have delivered only 470 homes, with just 14 per cent being affordable.

City Hall’s investment is set to provide redeveloped NHS facilities on the 11.24-hectare site, including a new mental health inpatient building. Planning permission for the new health facilities were granted by Haringey Council last Tuesday (8 May).


Application submitted for mixed-use development in Nottingham

Urban developer Bildurn has submitted two planning applications to deliver office space and residential units on Station Street in Nottingham.

The brief for the development includes providing new grade A offices, in addition to residential accommodation, including for students.

Designed by Franklin Ellis Architects, the office element is set to deliver 50,000 square feet of accommodation, including car parking and roof terraces.

Bildurn has signed an agreement with Vita Group to bring forward the residential element under its Vita Student brand.

The site, which is over an acre in size, is located in the centre of Nottingham, opposite the train station.

The planning applications follow the start of demolition works on site last year, including the removal of the old employment office building, which will be completed this month (May).

More information can be found here.


Edinburgh council confirms Meadowbank hearing dates

The City of Edinburgh Council’s development management sub-committee will meet next month to consider two applications for the regeneration of Meadowbank.

On Friday 29 June, two hearings will be held. The first will consider detailed planning consent for a £47 million sports centre to replace the original venue, built for the 1970 Commonwealth Games, while the second will consider planning in principle for the redevelopment of the wider site, which must take place to finance the new sports centre. No decisions will be take on the height or density of the buildings, or the mixed uses.

If the applications are successful, extensive engagement on the wider masterplan will take place for the council to listen to the local community provide opportunities for feedback.


Government support required for carbon-free housing

A group that represents cities and local authorities has sent an open letter to planning minister Dominic Raab asking for support for their efforts to cut carbon emissions from new homes through the planning system.

The letter proposes new wording of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), consultation for which closed on 10 May, and a ministerial statement that provides “confidence and clarity”.

According to the group, the recent changing of national policy context for housing has led to confusion and uncertainty about what can and cannot be done at the local level to raise the sustainability of new build homes – particularly on energy and carbon.

The proposed measures aim to make it clear that local authorities have the freedom to set higher sustainability standards in new homes.

The letter has been coordinated by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) and is co-signed by Core Cities UK and UK100.

The letter can be found on the UKGBC website (pdf).


WSP to lead Liverpool’s energy strategy

WSP has been appointed by Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to develop a new city region energy strategy.

The professional services and engineering consultancy said it is drawing on resources from its specialist sustainable places team as well as expertise from transport and power networks teams.

The strategy will consider how the city region can best achieve its aim of delivering a sustainable place to live and a future-proofed energy system. It may ultimately be adopted as guidance by the Mayor of Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram, the combined authority, and other public-sector partner organisations.

To help inform the strategy and support ambitions to substantially reduce carbon emissions over time, WSP is using a specially developed ‘city region energy model’. The model will be used to profile future energy use up to 2040 by estimating and quantifying the impact of both national policies and local actions.

It will reference the work currently under way by the Mersey Tidal Commission, which is examining the business case to harness tidal power in the River Mersey and Liverpool Bay to create large-scale clean and predictable energy.


LGA launches town centre guide book

The Local Government Association (LGA) has launched a handbook that aims to provide guidance on how to approach the revitalisation of town and city centres by delivering long-term impacts and using broad principles that can be tailored to meet local needs.

The booklet is a starting point for everything councils will need to bring the best out of their town centres, including town centre trends, developing a forward framework and community engagement.

The handbook can be found on the LGA website.


Places for People acquires igloo fund

igloo Regeneration Ltd, which specialises in sustainable regeneration, has announced that Places for People has acquired the assets of the igloo Regeneration Partnership Fund, managed by Aviva Investors.

Places for People will acquire, inter alia, 50 per cent of the Blueprint Regeneration Partnership, a UCIS between igloo Regeneration Partnership Fund and Nottingham City Council, as well as 50 per cent of BIGG Regeneration, a joint venture with Scottish Canals.

Places for People has also required the fund’s joint venture holdings and ongoing property interests.

PfP Capital will act as the investment manager, with igloo Regeneration Ltd retaining its role as development manager.

The deal with Places for People marks the beginning of a second phase for the fund, which was launched in 2001.

The partnership is expected to help accelerate development on a number of ongoing schemes, including those at Nottingham Waterside, Ouseburn Valley Newcastle, Maryhill Lock Glasgow and Ironworks Leeds.