Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Forthcoming Changes to the Planning Regime in Stockport

In common with many other Local Authorities, Stockport MBC is currently endeavouring to square the circle and continue to provide necessary services with a decreasing budget.  This means changes to the way they operate and an increase in the number of services that have to be paid for.  As part of the Stockport Developer’s Forum we were recently made aware of forthcoming changes that are likely to be implemented in the first half of 2013.  Unfortunately these are likely to make the planning process more difficult to negotiate.

  1. Firstly, planners will no longer be directly contactable by phone.  Rather a call centre will be the first port of call.  The idea is that this will filter out general enquiries, however it will inevitably slow down the planning process as well.  To ensure that this delay doesn’t have too great an impact on design development we feel it is essential that the response period is kept to a minimum.  Other authorities work on the basis of a reply within two working days which seems to work reasonably well.
  2. Another change is that fees are to be introduced for pre-application consultations.  Again this seems to be rapidly becoming the industry standard, therefore while it is regrettable it is perhaps hardly a surprise.  Obviously it will be a temptation for developers to forgo pre-consultation and just try their luck with an application, however this may prove to be a false economy given the third change to the system under discussion.
  3. The government is keen to force Local Authorities to keep to the 8 and 13 week periods for the determination of planning applications.  To ensure they meet these targets planners will be obliged to refuse an unsuitable scheme that might otherwise have been discussed with the developer and revised over an extended period of time, ultimately leading to an approval.  Thus getting a scheme right prior to application is going to become increasingly important – and often this will mean paying for pre-consultation advice.

These changes are still under discussion and we know that the Local Authority is keen to get as many views as possible on the proposals.  You can have your say by contacting Emma Curle at the planning department, on 0161 474 3542.  However some form of change seems to be inevitable, and when this comes it will be more important than ever to work with architects such as TADW who have an in depth knowledge of the planning system and a good working relationship with the planners who implement it.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Planning Approvals in Cheshire East

TADW have obtained planning approval for 4 sites on behalf of Weaver Vale Housing Trust.
The sites comprise a mix of apartments, bungalows and 3/4 bedroom houses, which provide much needed affordable accommodation in their respective neighbourhoods.
The schemes have a projected start on site date of January 2012.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Manley Park Methodist Church

TADW Architects have recently completed works at Manley Park Methodist Church in Whalley Range. The brief was to provide full DDA compliant accessible and more welcoming entrance to the church.

Works included a new accessible ramp and steps, with integrated lighting and planting, refurbishment of front elevation, a new accessible WC and formation of new entrance lobby / screen to the church which included a local artists design to the glass.

TADW were project managers, architects and cost consultants on the project, and involved the church community in every step of the project, which included picking all the finishes and design options.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Cherry Tree Pub Site Update

Construction work at the Former Cherry Tree Pub Site in Romiley has begun. The project is being delivered by the Contractor, Albert Holliday and Son, for Equity Housing Group. The scheme comprises 6 houses for open market sale, 2 houses available for shared ownership, and 8 flats for people with special needs which will be managed by Stockport Learning Disability Partnership.

Records show that historically on the site there were some farm buildings built in the Georgian era. An archaeological dig is currently underway but up to now, Time Team has not had to be called in!

The scheme is expected to be completed in July 2013. Watch this space for further updates.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Royal Oak Update

The renovation of the Royal Oak Brewery building in Stockport has been one of TADW's main projects over the last couple of years.  Now, this landmark building for Stockport has been completed and provides affordable accommodation of 51 apartments.  

With residents moving in during July 2012 and making the brewery their home, we understand that nearly all of the 51 apartments are already occupied. 

Check out our website later this year for a full write up on the project!

Monday, 9 July 2012