Design News

AXIS Involved in Major Mixed-Use Scheme

AXIS Transport formed a key part of the consultant team supporting Russell Homes in the preparation of a hybrid planning application to Rochdale Council for a 320-acre site in South Heywood. It is envisaged that the site will be developed over a 20 year timeframe, with the masterplan including for the delivery of a 2.2km new link road connecting to M62 J19 (detailed planning application) and a mixed-use development area consisting of 1.45m sqft of employment floor space and up to 1,000 residential dwellings with ancillary retail and community uses, including a potential new primary school.

The new link road represents a recognised infrastructure priority for both Rochdale Council and Transport for Greater Manchester and would provide a new strategic eastbound connection to the national motorway network from the major employment areas at South Heywood. The new link road would be part-funded by grants from TfGM and Highways England, with the funding shortfall met by Russell Homes through the revenue generated by the proposed housing areas.

AXIS were commissioned by Russell Homes to prepare a comprehensive Transport Assessment for the combined link road / outline development proposals, including information drawn from a bespoke SATURN model for the South Heywood area, prepared in liaison with Rochdale Council & Highways England. AXIS also prepared a range of additional input including a Framework Travel Plan and relevant sections of the formal Environmental Statement. A decision on the proposals is anticipated within the next 12 months, allowing work on the link road to begin by 2019.

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AXIS Secures 67MW of Gas Fired Generation for the Capacity Market Auctions

AXIS has secured planning consent for 67MW of gas fired electricity generation capacity at a number of sites across the UK. The Capacity Market Auctions at the end of 2016 require all sites to have a valid planning permission by the 4th November 2016 to qualify for the auction. AXIS was commissioned by a number of clients on sites across the UK to secure planning consent for a series of gas engines (5MW to 20MW installations) to provide energy security and stability to the National Grid. AXIS co-ordinated the planning applications, noise and air quality assessments and flood risk assessments where required, successfully securing consent for 67MW of capacity prior to the auction deadline, despite challenging timescales.

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Salford’s second Flood Storage basin approved and under construction

On behalf of the Environment Agency, AXIS submitted the planning application and ES on 11th October and Salford City Council granted planning permission on 19th December, just 9 weeks later for Salford’s second flood storage basin. AXIS, working with Jacobs, has since been involved in discharging conditions, overseeing tree removal and providing design support to the EA’s JV contractor Galliford Try. Work is due to be completed by late 2015/early 2016 providing enhanced protection for 1400 homes and 500 businesses in Lower Broughton and Lower Kersal, Salford.

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A477 St Clears to Red Roses Now Open

A new 9km stretch of the A477 in Carmarthenshire was opened to traffic during 2014. AXIS was responsible for the landscape and visual impact assessment of the proposals, and AXIS staff successfully provided expert witness evidence at public inquiry. AXIS has also developed the detailed landscape design for the scheme and has overseen the implementation of planting works. AXIS continues to have an involvement in post construction landscape monitoring and maintenance on behalf of Ramboll and Sisk Roadbridge.

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AXIS secure planning consent for 38MW Ravensthorpe Solar Farm in North Lincolnshire

AXIS co-ordinated the EIA and planning process for Kinetica Energy in respect of their 38MW Solar Farm at Ravensthorpe, North Lincolnshire. Consent was granted in November 2014 following extensive negotiations with North Lincolnshire Council in respect of Cultural Heritage aspects of the project. Having successfully resolved all issues; to allow the consent to be issued, AXIS has been retained to discharge planning conditions to enable development to commence.

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AXIS submit 83MW Loch Urr Wind Farm application to the Scottish Government Energy Consents Unit

AXIS has recently submitted an application to the Scottish Government Energy Consents Unit for an 83MW Wind Farm, near Loch Urr in Dumfries and Galloway on behalf of E.ON Climate and Renewables UK Developments Limited (E.ON). AXIS co-ordinated the application and EIA process in conjunction with E.ON project managers, including public consultation, design iterations and specialist environmental studies.

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Application submitted for Salford second flood storage basin

Environment Agency is delighted that, following extensive consultation with Salford City Council and other stakeholders, its consultant team of Jacobs and AXIS has submitted the detailed planning application for Salford’s second flood storage basin.

Since Government allocated extra Growth Fund moneys in 2013 to allow the second storage basin to be built, EA together with AXIS and Jacobs, have been developing proposals for the storage basin on the land north of the University of Salford Student Village. The 33ha site, historically used as the Manchester Racecourse, is currently used to the south as playing fields and to the north for informal recreation.

AXIS staff worked on the original NRA flood defence scheme for Salford in the early 1990s with a storage basin at Littleton Road (now Salford Sports Village) and channel raising between Lower Kersal and Manchester City Centre. The original scheme included a second flood storage basin at Castle Irwell but this was not built due to funding restrictions prevailing at the time.

The flood storage basin will be constructed by reducing the level of ground internally and using this material to form a new flood embankment. At times of high river flow, water will spill into the basin over a new weir, filling the basin for up to 36 hours before releasing the water back into the river. A new knoll will be constructed from surplus material excavated.

AXIS has managed a team of environmental specialists to carry out detailed surveys of ecology, archaeology, landscape, transportation, ground contamination, trees, invasive weeds and report on the impacts on these through the ES. Mitigation measures include the provision of alternative pitches during the construction period, permanent high quality replacement pitches on the basin floor and a new 6ha sustainable habitat area (which it is hoped will be managed by the local community). Measures also include the retention of the Irwell Way, retention of trees around the site periphery as well as significant areas of new tree planting.

Subject to receiving planning consent, tree removal and construction works will commence in early 2015 and be completed during 2015 with pitches available for play in late 2016/early 2017.

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Volkers awarded the next phase of Warrington Flood Defence Scheme

Environment Agency has awarded the Phase 3A contract to Volker Stevin JV; due to commence construction in October 2014 and be complete by June 2015.

Working alongside Jacobs and CH2M Hill as engineering designers, AXIS has secured planning consent for the works at Kingsway, Paddington Bank, and along Spittle Brook at Cinnamon Brow. Works affect the Twiggeries where new defences are proposed, Padgate Brook is to be realigned and new reedbeds and other wildlife habitats are to be created.

AXIS has helped the EA to deliver significant enhancements through the scheme to date making dramatic changes to public realm through innovative design of flood walls and enhancing connectivity along the river corridor through new riverside walkways.

AXIS will now prepare the planning documentation for the final phase of the scheme at Woolston Weir, Orford Road and Latchford East, due to be completed by 2016, providing lower lying parts of Warrington with an improved 1:100 standard of protection.

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Warrington flood protection scheme progress update

AXIS, working alongside engineering consultants Jacobs and CH2M Hill have secured consent for Phase 2 of the Mersey Warrington scheme comprising the raised defences between Kingsway Bridge and Wharf Street including Scottish Power substation. Construction commenced in January and is due for completion Autumn 2014. AXIS has submitted details for the next phase of works at Paddington Bank, Kingsway North and the Twiggeries, which subject to planning will be due to commence on site in October 2014.

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Approval Obtained for Major Residential-Led Redevelopment in West Midlands

Axis has secured planning approval on behalf of Lotra Limited for the comprehensive redevelopment of a c. 5.3 ha site in Rowley Regis in the West Midlands, which will create up to 218 new homes and a 4,650ft² Class A1 retail unit.

The site is allocated for employment purposes in the statutory development plan. However, the Local Planning Authority was satisfied that the loss of employment land was acceptable, in view of the significant regeneration benefits of the scheme and the wide mix of new residential units that will be delivered.

Sandwell Council resolved unanimously to grant outline planning permission on the 4th March 2014, subject to a Section 106 being agreed.

Axis coordinated the preparation and submission of the planning application and also provided technical advice in relation to drainage and flood risk, landscape design, transport and retail planning matters.

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