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News in brief: Sheffield devolution deal agreed; Fine issued over national park tree felling

Words: Laura Edgar
Sheffield / Shutterstock_438200674

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 21 January, 2020

Sheffield devolution deal agreed

Political leaders in Sheffield have agreed on the Sheffield City Region devolution deal, which will now go out for consultation.

Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield council leaders with Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis, said they are pleased that the housing secretary has confirmed that he will be working with them to progress the deal.

The original deal was struck in October 2015 proposing a directly elected mayor, but work to secure an agreement was disrupted by a rival plan for a pan-Yorkshire agreement.

Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “This is a deal for people, in particular young people across Sheffield and South Yorkshire, and it will enable us to invest in their skills and equip them to take jobs in growing sectors. It’s about investing in infrastructure, including transport links, and supporting local businesses to become good employers and provide jobs. But at the heart of all this is investment in the future for people who live, work and learn in Sheffield.”


Fine issued over national park tree felling

A South Lakeland woman has been fined £2,000 for carrying out unauthorised works to a healthy and prominent 200-year-old tree in the Dent Conservation Area.

Margaret Taylor, of High Laning caravan and campsite in Dent, had the canopy of the sycamore completely removed in March 2019. Only the stem of the tree was left.

She admitted breaching section 211 of the Town and Country Planning Act, but was absent from the court hearing at York Magistrates’ Court earlier this month. In addition to the fine, Taylor was ordered to pay the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s legal costs of £1,322.50 and a victim surcharge of £170.

The tree surgeon who carried out the unauthorised works pleaded not guilty and will appear before York Crown Court in February.

A member of the public reported the unauthorised work to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. In a witness statement to the court an authority officer said the tree would now “die slowly”, therefore the extent of the damage was “tantamount to felling”.


Midland Metro extension approved

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has approved the Birmingham Eastside Extension of the Midland Metro.

The extension to Digbeth will serve the planned HS2 station at Curzon Street.

It will separate the existing West Midands Metro line at Bull Street, with around 1.7km of twin-track set to run from here to a new terminus at High Street Deritend.

Four additional West Midlands Metro stops will serve the east of Birmingham city centre.


61 homes approved in Purfleet

Thurrock Council's planning committee has granted permission for 61 family homes close to the train station in Purfleet.  

The homes form the first phase of the £1 billion regeneration of the town centre to connect the existing Purfleet with the new development and ensure that the whole community benefits.

The project is being delivered by joint venture partners Swan Housing Association and Urban Catalyst, which together form Purfleet Centre Regeneration Limited (PCRL).

The homes will be a mix of two, three and four bedrooms, and up to 30 per cent will be available to purchase under the government’s shared ownership scheme. Work on the 61 homes is due to commence this spring/summer.

The phase will also provide a children’s play area, orchard walk and reinstate public access to Hollow Woods.


Worcestershire looking for mineral sites

Worcestershire County Council has announced that it is looking for new mineral extraction sites in the county.

This consultation and call will close on 13 March 2020.

The county council is preparing a mineral site allocations development plan document. It will allocate specific sites and preferred areas for mineral development to support the delivery of the minerals local plan and aims to provide greater certainty about where such development will take place.

Suggestions for potential mineral sites are being invited from landowners and mineral operators across the county.

The consultation will help with the allocation of specific sites and preferred areas for mineral extraction in the future.

More information can be found on the county council website.


Manchester Town Hall to be restored

Purcell and Manchester City Council have been granted planning approval to restore the grade I listed Manchester Town Hall.

The ‘Our Town Hall’ project aims to make the site more accessible to the public and adapt the building in order to secure its long-term future as a functioning, efficient town hall.

The proposals seek to take care of the site’s heritage features and cut carbon emissions.

Purcell, a firm comprising architects, masterplanners and heritage consultants, created the plans for the town hall, while public realm specialists Planit submitted an application for upgrading the building’s setting in Albert Square.

The scheme is set to be delivered by management contractor Lendlease on behalf of the council.


Brett Wharf plans approved

Gateshead Council has approved plans for Brett Wharf, a £35 million residential-led development on the south bank of the River Tyne.

Designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects on behalf of The High Street Group, the scheme forms part of a major phase in the development of the wider Gateshead Quayside. It was submitted to the council late in 2019.

The mixed-use development comprises up to 262 residential apartments for the private rented sector, as well as offices, retail, cafés and restaurants.


Retirement scheme approved in Kinross

Perth and Kinross Council’s planning committee has granted planning permission for a retirement living scheme on the site of the former Windlestrae Hotel.

Juniper Residential’s plans will see a mix of 41 houses and flats built specifically to meet the needs of the retirement market.

Eight of the 41 units will be delivered as affordable properties, with the remaining two-unit requirement covered through a commuted sum in lieu of on-site provision.

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