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News in Brief: Scottish geothermal research fund, Southall Arches development

Words: Laura Edgar

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 10 March, 2015

Improvements to Hinckley transport to be considered

Proposals to improve Hinckley, Barwell and Earl Shilton’s transport network are to be discussed by Leicestershire County Council, including feedback from a consultation on the £1.54 million plans. The measures being considered include creating new one-way systems, installing shared-use footways/cycleways on existing footways and introducing calming measures. Results of the consultation mean there will be trials for the one-way system in Barwell while additional consultation will take place on revised proposals for the Hinckley Road/Belle Vue Road junction. The county council and the Leicester & Leicestershire Economic Partnership will fund the project. 

New lease of life given to Southall Arches

A new neighbourhood will be created in Southall, London, after Barton Willmore secured a resolution to grant planning permission on behalf of real estate investment trust Workspace Group and an additional landowner for a gateway development. A business centre with more than 2,000 square metres of commercial space, 176 homes and communal space, including allotments, will be created. The scheme is part of the wider Southall regeneration area. Barton Willmore said the development “will deliver many planning benefits”, with the development itself benefiting from future Crossrail services. Paul Joslin, architectural director in Barton Willmore’s London office, said: “This development respects the local heritage, which has been used in the architectural design, while allowing us to create a new public frontage and green space. Alongside the principle material of brickwork, the arches themselves have influenced the design, with their rhythm repeated across the layers of the buildings.”

M4 judicial review begins

A judicial review of the Welsh Government’s plans to build a new 14-mile stretch of motorway south of Newport is due to get underway. Friends of the Earth Cymru want the ministers’ decision on the £1 billion relief-road to be scrutinised, saying that insufficient consideration was given to alternatives.

Minister launches geothermal research fund

Energy minister Fergus Ewing has launched a £250,000 research fund to explore Scotland’s geothermal capacity. The Challenge Fund is open to organisations working together to benefit local communities and achieve carbon reductions that are sustainable in the long-term. Ewing said: “Heat is estimated to account for over half of Scotland’s total energy use, with an estimated £2.6 billion a year spent on heating by householders and the non-domestic sector. Over the last few years we have developed a better understanding and appreciation of the geothermal resource under our feet. Scotland already has two successful small-scale housing projects in Glenalmond Street, Shettleston, and Lumphinnans, Fife, which use water from disused mines to provide the heat for members of the local community. Now is the time to take the experience of the housing projects in Shettleston and Fife and take the first steps towards the development of a delivery model that reduces carbon emissions, is self-sustaining and is economically viable.”