Crossrail 2 Consultation begins

Two alternative routes are being proposed by Transport for London and National Rail for a second cross London rail line – this time running north-south. The consultation which started this week and runs until 2 August seeks views on which should be selected.

One route runs underground from Wimbledon to Alexandra Palace taking in Clapham Common, Victoria and Euston en route and providing a direct link from Chelsea to Dalston. The other runs both overground and underground and would extend option 1 further into Hertfordshire and Surrey, linking Cheshunt with Twickenham and Epsom.

It is intended that the route will be operational by 2030 and will replace the long mooted Chelsea – Hackney line. The safeguarding directions in place for this former route will be reviewed to ensure they remain relevant to the new options.

Winners of ‘best councils to do business with’ announced

The Government has announced the winners of the contest to identify and celebrate those local authorities which take a supportive approach to small and medium size businesses in their procurements. In total, councils procure £58billion of goods and services and the contest is one of the ways in which the Government wants to stimulate them to help small businesses get off the ground.

The winners, who were hosted at a reception at Downing Street on the 15 May, are:

  • Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Bury Council
  • City of London Corporation
  • Halton Borough Council
  • Harrow Council
  • Hertfordshire County Council
  • Manchester City Council
  • Norfolk County Council
  • Sheffield City Council
  • Surrey County Council/East Sussex County Council (a joint bid)

Policy review for disposal of radioactive waste

The Government has started consulting on the process by which sites for the long term storage of radioactive waste are selected. Energy Minister Baroness Verma reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to a policy of geological disposal based on voluntarism and partnership as evidence from abroad demonstrates this approach works.

Extension to Pinewood Studios refused

South Bucks Council has refused a revised application for the 110 acre extension of Pinewood Studios because it it seen as unsustainable as it would encourage car use and impact on the surrounding green belt. Pinewood Studios indicated that they expected to lodge an appeal.

Oxford Street Shopping Centre Refurbishment Approved

Westminster City Council has approved plans for the extension of the Plaza Shopping Centre. The refurbished scheme will benefit from addition retail and office space and a gym.

Pickles releases allotments for Watford health campus

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has authorised the use of 60 allotments in Watford for the creation of a new hospital and housing development. 

Towcester Urban Extension receives local approval

Outline proposals by Persimmon Homes and Bloor Homes for the southern extension of Towcester have received approval from the local council and will now be referred to DCLG Secretary of State Eric Pickles to decide whether the plans should be called in. The scheme provides 2,750 homes; 15.4 hectares of employment land - including 22,000 sq m for office and light-industrial use; a local centre - including a convenience store, 6 unit shops, a pub diner, medical centre and community hall; together with a new relief road providing a new bypass.

Legal challenge to Forest of Dean housing allocations

The High Court has started considering a legal challenge by objectors, including Friends of the Earth, into the adoption of two planning policy documents which propose regeneration in Cinderford providing about 1,050 homes. The objectors allege that the consultation process was flawed and overlooked the potential harm to local horseshoe bat and newt populations.

Local Plan News

Sheffield City Council starts a six week consultation on a masterplan to regenerate the city centre.

Copeland Borough Council adopts supplementary planning documents for South Whitehaven.

Surrey Heath Borough Council has published an Area Action Plan for Camberley Town Centre for consultation up to 1 July.

Runnymede Borough Council has issued a call for prospective housing sites, they must be submitted by 7 June.