Thursday, 15 October 2015

Recycling with Fresh Start in the North West

We've been working closely with Fresh Start Waste Services in recent months as the business puts in place the physical infrastructure it needs to meet growing demand for recycling.

Fresh Start provides waste collection, management and recycling services to the trade, industrial and commercial sectors, operating throughout Greater Manchester and increasingly the wider North West region.  

Fresh Start is a great example of a proactive, agile recycling business, committed to investing in modern technology to maximise the percentage of waste that can be presented for recycling at the businesses own Materials Recovery Facilities in Swinton and Preston.

At Hilton Square in Swinton, MAZE has just secured planning permission for change of use of two adjacent industrial buildings to create significantly expanded recycling capabilities for the business. 

At MAZE we are acutely aware that having to deal with planning and other regulatory matters is often seen as a distraction by our clients, which takes them away from getting on with core business activities and creating jobs. 

Fresh Start's Managing Director, Craig Lavelle, and his management team were great ambassadors for their business and the waste industry as a whole throughout the planning application process, taking time out to ensure Salford Council had full access to information about the business and its high standards of operation.

The planning permissions will enable Fresh Start to invest confidently in operations at Swinton, continuing the company's commitment to the use of best available technology and exceptional working practices.   

Friday, 24 April 2015

Malvern retail park extension approved

Maze Planning Solutions has secured permission for two additional retail units at Malvern Retail Park, acting for the park owner, Consolidated Property Group (CPG).

The two-storey units have the benefit of unrestricted food and non-food planning permission and have attracted strong occupier interest. Construction will start shortly.

The development of additional space continues CPGs programme of expansion and improvement at Malvern, which started in earnest last year with construction of pod units for Caffe Nero and Carphone Warehouse.

CPG is shortly to reveal proposals for upgrading existing units at the retail park - a planning application is imminent.   

Need a planning consultant that's trusted by lawyers?

Manchester Incorporated Law Library Society's relocation plans stepped up a gear yesterday when Manchester City Council granted planning permission for a move to Deansgate  

Manchester Incorporated Law Library Society has been in existence for over 130 years, and for most of that time in its current home at 14 Kennedy Street in the City Centre. 

The Library provides an extensive range of legal texts, reports, journals, legislation and other reference material for those working in the legal profession on a membership basis.

The Kennedy Street building is in the process of being sold. All being well, the Library's new home will be in the City's Onward Buildings, Deansgate.

The planning application was submitted by MAZE Planning Solutions on behalf of the Law Library Society.

ePlanning Scotland take up accelerates

The ePlanning Scotland portal has seen a significant growth in popularity in the last year which has been marked by two key milestones.

Over 60% of all applications and appeals are now submitted online, in preference to paper-based applications.
In February 2015 the 100,000th application was submitted through ePlanning Scotland.
The portal currently handles about  2,200 applications and appeals a month and is being hailed as an example of the Scottish Government's continued commitment to provide a successful online service in partnership with local government. A comparable service for Building Standards is next up and should be good to go by Summer 2016.  Both businesses and public users will be able to apply for building warrants and submit completion certificates online. 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Northern Powerhouse: integrated transport body?

A £15 billion Northern Transport Plan could be at the vanguard of a coherent economic plan that will fire up the Government's Northern Powerhouse initiative, according to The Insitute for Public Policy Research. 

The leading think tank supports the idea that a new body should take responsibility for all major transport modes; rail, road, sea and air transport, directing priorities for infrastructure investment, franchising and ticketing. 

Read the BBC News article here:

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

National planning policy: change unlikely

The March 2012 National Planning Policy Framework looks set to remain largely unchanged following a Select Committee Review which proffered a number of modifications. 

The Communities and Local Government Select Committee embarked on an inquiry in April 2014 into the operation of the NPPF, reporting on its findings in December. 

The Government's response, published last week, rejects most of the suggested changes, conceding only that guidance on the need for simplicity in Local Plans and ease of accessibility to that information might benefit from greater clarity. It is likely that will be addressed through a revision of Planning Practice Guidance, rather than amendment of the NPPF itself. 

The Government's full response to the Select Committe's recommendations can be viewed at:

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Bury Retail Review


The retail market is stirring in Bury.  The town’s famous market might still the main draw for coach trippers but Scottish Widow’s recently announced sale of the Mill Gate Centre hails the prospect of fresh retail investment and lettings at a key town centre asset, which relinquished occupiers to Thornfield’s The Rock, just as the recession bit hard. 

Here’s a quick roundup of what’s happening in Manchester’s northern outpost.

The Rock
Bury is still adjusting to The Rock, which opened in summer 2010, adding 74,000 sq.m of retail space, Vue cinema, AMF bowling and the town’s first clutch of chain restaurants.  The scheme delivered large floorplate units, attracting debutants Primark, Debenhams and Superdry.  Others transferred from traditional prime areas in the Mill Gate Centre, notably M&S, but several vacancies remain following early tenant churn.  More development is promised, adding four restaurant / café units at the west end of the scheme on the Sol Viva nightclub site.  Permission was secured in 2013 and the site is ready to go.

The Mill Gate Centre
Contracts were exchanged in June for sale of The Mill Gate Centre by Scottish Widows for about £52 million.  InfraRed Capital Partners is acquiring and will hope to reduce voids caused by tenant failures and defections to The Rock.  It retains BHS as anchor, along with Boots, New Look, Specsavers and Waterstones.  There is potential for reconfiguration of the mainly covered centre.  Scottish Widows drew up a development plan after its purchase in 2005 but the recession that followed and shift of focus to The Rock meant nothing progressed.

Bolton Street
Bury Council granted planning permission in September 2013 for a 12,000 sq.m foodstore on the vacant police HQ site and leisure centre, at Bolton Street, on the western edge of town.  The Council’s partner ASK Developments, must ensure relocation of the leisure centre to nearby Knowsley Street.  Morrisons and Sainsburys were rumoured as a potential occupiers - neither is represented in the town - but local agents doubt the retailer appetite for a large store.  The permission is the subject of judicial review by rival developer Morbaine, which has aspirations for a foodstore across town at Derby Way.  Morbaine’s challenge was initially rebuffed by the courts but a subsequent hearing in March 2014 determined there were legitimate grounds for challenge.  Negotiations are ongoing between the parties; Council Officers say it might lead to cessation of the proceedings.

Derby Way
Morbaine has options on 2.4 hectares of land east of The Rock, occupied by First Bus.  Planning permission for a 10,500 sq.m foodstore was refused in September 2013, at the same committee that approved the Council’s alternative Bolton Street scheme.  Sainsbury’s was associated with the site but, like Bolton Street, sentiments seem to have changed and the retailer is unlikely to commit.
Woodfields Retail Park
A Tesco British Land JV, anchored by the eponymous retailer on the northern edge of the town centre, off Peel Way. Tesco’s superstore is dominant in the town and likely to be extended to add facilities, servicing a growing demand for multi-channel retailing.  A planning application is with the Council.  The retail park is fully let, home to Boots, Next, Sports Soccer, Currys and JD Sports.

Moorgate Retail Park
Located on the east edge of the centre, Moorgate is recovering from the failure of MFI in late 2008 and Comet in December 2012. Home Bargains mopped up the former MFI unit about 12 months ago – its third outlet in the town.  The Comet space remains available 18 months after the shutters came down, but is the only vacant retail warehouse in town.

Other Town Centre Retail Parks
Angouleme Retail Park (George Street) and Halls Retail Park (Foundry Street) complete the line‑up of town centre retail parks, fully let and neighboured by Asda and Matalan stores on the southern edge of the retail core. Key occupiers include Argos, TK Maxx, Smyths Toys and Pets at Home.

Further afield, 0.8 mile west of the town centre, Lidl is seeking consent for a store at Victoria Street.  The Council refused permission in September 2013, concerned about the site’s out-of-centre location and loss of employment land.  Lidl has appealed and awaits a decision.  In the meantime Aldi has stolen a march on its discount rival, securing space at the neighbouring Crostons Retail Park, ending a patchy period for a former Netto store, which has seen several occupiers come and go since its closure in 2010, ironically just as Netto makes a return to the UK market.

Park 66, Pilsworth
Park 66, at junction 3 of the M66, 1.5 miles south east of Bury town centre, is a mothballed leisure investment next to Asda’s established superstore.  Mutil‑screen cinema, bowling and restaurant buildings were vacated following movement of tenants to The Rock.  A standalone Pizza Hut continues to trade.  Marketing in 2010 generated interest for retailing, subject to planning, but nothing made it off the drawing board.  The site is being marketed now - offers are due in any day and likely to see industrial or warehousing emerge as the preferred use.