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News in brief: RTPI responds to article on planning corruption; Plans for Emmeline Pankhurst statue submitted

Words: Laura Edgar

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 19 December, 2017


(This is the last Planner news round-up of 2017. Our news service recommences on Wednesday 3rd January.)

RTPI responds to article on planning corruption

The RTPI has issued a statement in response to a Sunday Times (subscription) article in which a former adviser to David Cameron said planning corruption is endemic in councils across Britain.

Rohan Silva “argues that the planning authorities have been given too much power to make decisions that could dramatically affect the value of properties and developments”.

Stephen Wilkinson, president of the RTPI, said: “RTPI chartered planners are bound by a strict code of conduct. Charges of corruption are extremely rare. The planning system is underpinned by the principle that development should deliver the widest possible range of public benefits. Decisions are vested in the democratic process for which planners are vital guardians.”


Plans for Emmeline Pankhurst statue submitted

Planning consultancy Turley has submitted plans for a statue of British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst on behalf of the Emmeline Pankhurst Statute Project, in Manchester.

According to a Turley statement, the nucleus for the scheme was the WoManchester Statue Project, which seeks to celebrate women and address inequality in their representation across Manchester statutes. Currently, there is one statue in the city that is of a woman – Queen Victoria in Piccadilly Gardens.

The public voted on a shortlist of women who had made a significant contribution to Manchester and, in many cases, the country.


Milton Keynes mixed-use development approved

Milton Keynes Council has approved a £90 million mixed-use development at Campbell Park.

tp bennett secured planning permission for the development on behalf of Crest Nicholson.

The scheme comprises 383 new homes that include villas, townhouses and apartments, alongside new shops, restaurants, a pub and nursery facilities.

In addition, the plans also feature a 117-berth marina, which in future is expected to form the start of a canal link between Milton Keynes and Bedford.


Council schemes approved

Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC) has granted planning consent for two council-led regeneration projects in Camberley.

Planning and development consultancy Montagu Evans advised the council.

The developments are:

  • At Ashwood House, in the town centre, 116 flats are planned, as well as car parking and communal space. The existing second and third floors will be renovated, with two floors added. A former BHS store will be split into several retail units.
  • Pembroke House on Frimley Road, will be demolished and rebuilt as a four-storey building with commercial space for the town’s businesses and 25 one and two-bedroom flats with communal areas. All flats will be affordable.

Moira Gibson, leader of the council, said: “We are pleased to be driving forward these crucial regeneration projects, making progress on our key priority of regenerating Camberley Town Centre and the surrounding areas.”


Plans for former Broomhill Hospital site submitted

CALA Homes (West) and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have submitted a joint planning application for a proposed housing development at the former Broomhill Hospital in Kirkintilloch.

The plans include 162 private and affordable homes, with the site allocated in the adopted East Dunbartonshire Local Development Plan 2, 2017.

The residential units will comprise apartments, cottage flats, townhouses, terraced and detached properties.

Of the 162 units, 40 will be affordable, ranging from cottage flats and terraced houses. CALA is expected to deliver the units for Link Housing Association.


Khan refuses estate regeneration scheme

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has refused planning permission for an estate regeneration project in Barnet, which would have resulted in the net loss of 257 affordable homes.

The application was for the redevelopment of Grahame Park estate in Colindale, including the demolition of 692 homes currently available at social rent and replace them with 435 homes.

Khan withheld his support for the scheme and told Barnet Council, which approved the application in November, that it must continue working with City Hall planners and the developer to redesign the scheme to replace the lost affordable homes.


£200m for England’s roads

Transport minister Jesse Norman has announced £200 million of funding that aims to help improve the condition of local roads across England.

It will go towards helping to repair one million potholes, highways maintenance, developing new technologies to improve highways resilience and cycle parks.

Norman said: “We’re investing record amounts at present to improve the condition of our roads, so drivers and cyclists don’t have to dodge potholes to travel safely.

“We’re also looking at how new innovations can help councils keep their roads in the best condition, saving money and planning their maintenance better.”


Consultation on remote island wind projects launched

The government has launched a consultation that includes proposals to enable remote island wind projects to apply for a Contract for Difference (CfD) in the next competitive auction for less established renewable technologies.

UK Government minister for Scotland Lord Duncan said: “Wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland have the potential to generate substantial amounts of electricity and cut emissions, supporting economic growth and delivering lasting benefits for communities.

“Enabling these projects to compete in future auctions will reinforce the UK’s position as a world leader in renewable generation, as well as providing Scottish jobs in any projects supported.

“I urge local communities, developers and other stakeholders to work together to ensure that such projects deliver lasting benefits to the islands.”

The consultation can be found on the UK Government website.