Log in | Register

News in brief: Worcestershire seeks views on minerals; Digital art school approved in Manchester

Words: Laura Edgar
Aggregates / Shutterstock_654718486

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 18 December, 2018

Worcestershire seeks views on minerals

Worcestershire County Council has published a consultation on its Minerals Local Plan.

Sand, gravel and brick clay are the most common minerals in Worcestershire. The Minerals Local Plan will be used to guide where and how mineral extraction will take place in the county for the next 15 years or so. The plan aims to make sure that there are enough raw materials available to build homes, schools, and hospitals.

It will also set out how mineral development can provide green infrastructure benefits for the environment, economy and communities.

The consultation can be found on the county council website.


Digital art school approved in Manchester

Manchester City Council has approved plans for a £35 million School of Digital Arts (SODA) at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The 5,600 square metre building will be located on Higher Chatham Street.

The project, supported by grant funding from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Industry Advisory Board, includes a digital innovation lab, open workspaces, green screens, edit suites, and sound, music and production studios.

Proposals also features new public realm between the Benzie Building and the new SODA facility, close to the Students’ Union, for students and staff to enjoy.


Policy consultations launched in Lichfield

Lichfield District Council is holding three consultations this winter on local plan policies.

A consultation running from 19 December to 6 February seeks views on the main modifications recommended by a planning inspector for the local plan allocations document in order to make it sound.

The second consultation is on an updated version of the Statement of Community Involvement; it will run from 2 January to 1 February 2019.

The third consultation is on changes to the Sustainable Design Supplementary Planning Document, which also run from 2 January to 1 February 2019.

The consultation will be available to view here on the council website once they have launched.


2GW of offshore wind installed in 2018

More than 2 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity was installed in 2018.

RenewableUK said this is enough to power 2.3 million homes all year round.

Eight new offshore wind farms were opened, which equates to 2.121GW and is double the previous record of 1.154GW.  

New projects opened this year included the world’s largest operational offshore wind farm, Walney Extension (659MW), and the world’s second floating offshore wind farm, Kincardine, in Scottish waters.

RenewableUK’s executive director Emma Pinchbeck said: “This is just the beginning of the great shift to renewables. By 2030, offshore wind could be generating more than a third of the UK’s entire electricity needs, with 30GW up and running.

“Offshore wind has brought the UK jobs, lower bills and renewable energy. It’s offering even more to the UK in the anticipated Offshore Wind Sector Deal, which the government has said it wants to finalise by Christmas.”


Mayor’s policies safeguard nightclub

The Mayor of London’s planning policies have been used for the first time to protect Wells House on Oxford Street, London.

The club occupies the basement, but original plans for the building would have seen it demolished and redeveloped.

Instead, the space will be an integral part of the new office and retail development.

The mayor’s draft London Plan includes a requirement for developers to ensure that existing venues, clubs and bars still have a home in new developments. It includes the agent of change principle, which helps to protect venues by putting the onus on developers to meet the cost of soundproofing and noise-reduction measures.


Local engineering firm to expand

Multimillion-pound plans to expand a family-run engineering firm in Towcester have been granted planning permission.

In 1997 Colin McGrory founded Sandwell UK Ltd in a stable block on the Easton Neston Estate after he decided he could improve the quality of products he received as an employee of the Stewart Grand Prix F1 team, now Red Bull.

The planning committee at South Northamptonshire Council approved plans to construct a new unit off Foundry Place in Towcester to house new equipment and research facilities.

McGrory said the development would “add another six full-time positions and two part-time in order for Sandwell to develop into new markets and build on its established links with F1 teams and high-end engineering companies”.


Building starts in Wintringham

Construction has begun on 3,000 new homes in St Neots, Cambridgeshire.

The new development sees Homes England, Urban&Civic and Nuffield Trusts at Oxford University collaborating.

The first phase of the site comprises 1,000 new homes including affordable housing, delivery of the first primary school, community and retail facilities and healthcare provision. Local contractor J Breheny Engineering is currently on site, installing the initial roads, utilities and drainage systems across the first phase.

Homes England has supported the development through a 10-year, £26 million Home Building Fund infrastructure loan.

Image credit | Shutterstock