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News in brief: Temporary measures for marquees to become permanent; NIC site announced for Leeds

Marquee in a pub garden / iStock-180837202

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 21 December, 2021

Temporary measures for marquees to become permanent 

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has announced that businesses and hospitality venues will be able to hold markets more often and marquees will be able to be erected without planning permission.

These changes to permitted development rights were first made in 2020 to aid businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. They are being made permanent following a public consultation.

Councils will be able to hold street markets as required without the need for a planning application, which the government said will attract more people to high streets and town centres.

Housing minister Christopher Pincher said: “The changes we introduced last year supported our town centres and high streets during national restrictions, making sure businesses could stay open and helping to instil a sense of community in our local areas.

“Making these measures permanent will help business and communities to build back better from the pandemic and are just one part of our vision to transform towns and cities across England into thriving places to work, visit and live.”


London’s deputy transport major steps down

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, is going to step down from her role.

She had planned to step down at the end of Khan’s first term but stayed on to help Transport for London (TfL) secure its latest funding from the government.

Khan has thanked her for her service to Londoners since she joined his team in 2018, and particularly for helping to lead TfL through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Seb Dance will take up the role of deputy mayor. He served as a member of the European Parliament for London from 2014 to 2020, during which time he was vice-chair of the environment committee. 


NIC site announced for Leeds

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) is opening an office in Leeds. It should be ready for occupation by the end of 2023.

This is part of the government’s plans to level up across the UK. The NIC will retain its presence in London.

There are currently about 50 staff working for the NIC, and it is intended that opening an office in Leeds will make sure that those advising on future infrastructure are more representative of the public they serve.

It also seeks to help bolster the NIC’s role in addressing regional differences in infrastructure needs and is part of the government’s commitment to move 22,000 civil service positions out of London and the South East by 2030, through the Places for Growth programme.

The NIC joins the UK Infrastructure Bank, which opened its headquarters in Leeds in June. 


Two local authorities join Local Land Charges Register

North Kesteven District Council and Haringey Council have joined the Local Land Charges (LLC) Register.

Allison Bradbury, head of local land charges implementation at HM Land Registry, said: “These latest migrations demonstrate how our LLC programme is gathering pace. I am delighted that people buying property in North Kesteven and Haringey will now have access to instant LLC search results. It is our ambition to migrate all local authorities in England and Wales to our LLC Register by 2025.”

Those requiring LLC searches in these areas will need to get them from HM Land Registry rather than going directly to the council.


Oldham approves diagnostics centre plans

Oldham Council has approved plans to build a community diagnostics centre in partnership with Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust on vacant land at Salmon Fields, Royton.

The council’s cabinet also approved the granting of a 50-year lease for NCA to use the council-owned land so that the development can begin.

Around 30,000 patients will use the Oldham centre annually, which is due to open in spring 2022. 

Barney Schofield, director of planning and delivery for Northern Care Alliance, said: “The Oldham Community Diagnostic Centre will be one of the first, and best, in the country and will bring advanced diagnostic imaging technology into the heart of the community. It is a great example of what can be achieved by the NHS working in close partnership with the local authority to deliver a shared vision. Ultimately, our ambition is to diagnose disease at an earlier stage of progression, where chances of successful treatment are improved.”


Wates and Turner appointed to gigafactory in North East 

Envision AESC has appointed Wates Group and Turner & Townsend to design and manage its car battery gigafactory at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) in South Tyneside and Sunderland.

Wates will develop a design for the £450 million gigafactory, which will provide the infrastructure to support battery production by 2024. Turner & Townsend will act as the project and cost manager.

A £1 billion partnership with Nissan UK and Sunderland City Council will create an electric vehicle (EV) hub to deliver electric vehicle production at IAMP, which will help to decarbonise UK manufacturing and transport.

The gigafactory secured planning permission in October for an initial 9GWh plant with potential future-phase investment by Envision AESC of £1.8 billion. 

It will generate up to 25GWh and create 4,500 new jobs in the region by 2030, with potential on site for up to 35GWh. 

Daniel Granger, head of industrial and logistics EMEA for Turner & Townsend, said: “Battery technology and advanced manufacturing are driving the modernisation of the automotive industry and our acceleration to a net-zero society. The race to supply the net-zero economy is well and truly under way and companies will need to scale up quickly to keep pace with the growing demand for clean mobility.” 


Greenwich launches Kidbrooke consultation

An online planning exhibition has been launched for residents by the Royal Borough of Greenwich for their views on plans to build 322 new low-carbon council homes at Kidbrooke Park Road South.  

The plans are part of the Greenwich Builds programme and will offer “affordable” housing to residents on waiting lists. They will range from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom family maisonettes and 33 will be made specifically for wheelchair users.

The scheme includes a commercial space, play spaces for children, communal courtyards and a new community garden with space to grow plants and vegetables.

The homes willf feature green roofs, rain gardens, meadows, and native hedges as well as the planting of 100 new trees and a hedgerow along the boundary with Old Post Office Lane.

It will be located close to Kidbrooke train station, and is proposed to be car-free with the exception of 10 disabled parking spaces, which will provide electric vehicle charging capabilities for all spaces. More than 600 secure and sheltered cycle parking spaces have also been proposed. 

The plans and feedback can be shared by residents here.

Image credit | iStock