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News in brief: Welsh Government launches planning policy questionnaire; Khan calls in Wimbledon stadium plans

Words: Laura Edgar
Welsh Assemby

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 23 August, 2016

Welsh Government launches planning policy questionnaire

The Welsh Government is seeking opinions from those who use Planning Policy Wales on its appearance, presentation and structure.

This is part of the Welsh Government’s work on restructuring Planning Policy Wales so that it “fully considers and promotes the well-being goals set out the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

A short online questionnaire is available until Friday 30 September.

The Welsh Government said it would use the feedback to help shape future editions of Planning Policy Wales.

The English version can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Z9YR5JP

  and fersiwn Gymraeg yma: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Z7JWBT9

For further details contact the Welsh Government planning policy branch using [email protected]


Khan calls in Wimbledon stadium plans

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has overturned a decision made by former Mayor Boris Johnson and has called in application to build a new football stadium in Plough Lane, Wimbledon.

The plans include the demolition of the former Wimbledon greyhound track and replacing it with a new 20,000-seat stadium, homes and a fitness club.

The decision follows a 14-day consultation in which the public was asked to comment on the applications and the options available to the mayor. It ended on 10 August.

The application has been handed back to Merton Council to determine.

Khan said he is “confident” that the stadium and leisure facilities proposed will be of “great benefit” to Londoners and the wider community, and has therefore “decided to return the application to the local council to determine itself”.


Shop vacancy rates decline in Hemel Hempstead

Shop vacancy rates in Hemel Hempstead town centre have declined by two-thirds, according to a recent report.

The report, by Springboard, a retail intelligence provider, suggests that just 6 per cent of units were empty in July in Hemel Hempstead compared with the national average of 10.1 per cent.

In October 204, the rate stood at 16.5 per cent.

The town is currently undergoing a programme of transformation.

Graham Sutton, portfolio holder for planning and regeneration at Dacorum Borough Council, said: “Hemel Hempstead is proof that the British high street can bounce back if you create the right conditions for development. This news comes just as we're preparing our entry for the Great British High Street Awards 2016 - and confirms that our Hemel Evolution regeneration is working.

“We should all be very proud of Hemel Hempstead. The transformation of the main shopping area, the new modern bus interchange, the Jellicoe Water Gardens restoration, The Forum, our new shared services hub and not forgetting our beautifully preserved Old Town – it's all come together."

Information about the work being undertaken in Hemel Hempstead can be found here.

More information about the Springboard report can be found here.


Khan appoints deputy mayor for environment

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has appointed Shirley Rodrigues as the new deputy mayor for environment and energy.

Rodrigues is currently acting executive director for climate change at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

She also worked in a senior environmental policy role from 2005 to 2009 in City Hall, helping to implement the London Low Emission Zone and programmes to retrofit the capital’s residential and commercial buildings.

Rodrigues will oversee the delivery of Energy for Londoners, helping them to generate more low-carbon electricity and help boost London’s recycling rate and cut landfill.

Sophie Neuburg, campaigner, Friends of the Earth London, said: “With our filthy air causing nearly 10,000 early deaths each year, Rodrigues’ first task will be to bring London’s air pollution down to legal and safe levels by 2020.

“As a world capital, London must also take a leadership role in tackling climate change, starting with a transition to a resource-efficient economy powered by clean energy.”


Shakespeare’s final home rebuilt

William Shakespeare’s home for the last 19 years of his life has been resurrected as a new landmark in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The development of Shakespeare’s New Place, which cost £6 million, marks the 400th anniversary of his death.

Demolished in 1759, the heritage site has been transformed by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. The playwright purchased the building in 1597, when it was the largest dwelling in the town.