Axis news

Planning Application Successful for Essential NHS Key Worker Accommodation in Truro

The Development
On 14 January 2021, AXIS prepared and submitted a planning application to Cornwall Council for the development for NHS key workers and medical student accommodation.

The proposed development is on land off the A390 Tresawls Road in the Gloweth area of Truro. It is within a 5 minute walk of the Royal Cornwall Hospital and the associated medical and dental student education facility known as the Knowledge SPA.

The development would provide accommodation for 89 NHS key workers and medical students, which would be provided across three separate blocks of accommodation.

Visualisation of key worker accommodation. Source: CAD Architects

Essential Accommodation Needed
The development would meet an identified need for this type of accommodation. The student accommodation at the Royal Cornwall Hospital is oversubscribed each year and has a waiting list. There is not enough staff accommodation and the hospital is planning significant expansion, which will not include more accommodation.

In fact, the need for new accommodation is so great that the Royal Cornwall Hospital prepared a letter in support of the application detailing how the lack of staff accommodation, coupled with rising house prices and rental rates in Cornwall, is leading to issues with staff retention and the ability to attract staff from overseas. This lack of accommodation has the potential to significantly undermine the operation of the hospital.

Sustainability Features
Cornwall Council has declared a climate change emergency with an aim to become carbon neutral by 2030. The development was designed by AXIS and CAD Architects with this in mind:

  • The development is largely car-free with car parking provision only available for visitors and disabled residents
  • It is situated in a highly sustainable location near to services and amenities, with a regular bus service, and in walking distance from the hospital
  • The site would include a range of other sustainable transport measures including a travel plan, and a car and e-bikes club which would facilitate hourly hire of cars and e-bikes
  • The development would include a range of biodiversity and ecological enhancement measures that would lead to a 10% increase in biodiversity on the site
  • There would be around 70 cycle stands and e-bike parking spaces which equates to almost 1 space per room
  • The building design is also sustainable and would include solar panels, ground source heat pumps, green roofs and the use of recycled, reclaimed, and energy efficient building materials
Visualisation of key worker accommodation. Source: CAD Architects

Planning Permission Successful

Martin Pollard – AXIS Technical Director

On 2 August 2021 Cornwall Council’s Central Area Planning Committee resolved in favour of granting planning permission for the development.

Said Martin Pollard, Technical Director at AXIS, “We’re delighted to have secured planning consent for this essential, high-quality development that directly supports Cornwall Council’s carbon neutral targets and climate change emergency, whilst providing considerable benefit to NHS key workers and medical students at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.”

The formal grant of planning consent will be confirmed following the completion of a S106 Legal Agreement – AXIS is currently assisting in its preparation.

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AXIS Secures Consent for Executive Homes in Kenwyn

Planning Application
AXIS prepared and submitted a planning application for the development of six executive homes on land within the Kenwyn area of Truro in February 2020. The planning application was supported by Cornwall Council’s Planning Officer who recommended that the Council’s planning committee grant planning consent.

Visualisation of homes. Source: CAD Architects

The planning committee subsequently resolved to refuse planning consent against the advice of their planning officers. The refusal of planning consent was on the basis that, in the view of the committee, the scheme did not comprise rounding-off of the settlement and would result in encroachment into the countryside, harming the character of the area.

AXIS and CAD Architects advised the client that there were strong planning arguments in favour of the proposed development and that they should Appeal against the Councils decision.

AXIS were, subsequently, responsible for the preparation of an Appeal to the Planning Inspectorate which was lodged in November 2020.

The Appeal
At appeal, AXIS referred to planning consents for similar developments in the immediate area and were able to demonstrate that the appeal site was more physically contained, benefited from more clearly defined and logical perimeter boundaries than the sites, which have previously been deemed to comply with the same planning policies.

AXIS demonstrated that the proposed development was clearly compliant with the Council’s own policy and guidance on the rounding-off of settlements – the planning officers had also drawn this conclusion.

AXIS also referenced the conclusions of the landscape and visual assessment on the character and visual impact of the development. The conclusion was that whilst the proposal would have some very minor visual impact, it would be contained within logical boundaries (established mature hedgerows) that separate it from the countryside. It would also strengthen and reinforce the settlement boundary and the delineation between the countryside and urban area. The Planning Officer had drawn similar conclusions in their report to the planning committee.

Appeal Allowed
The Planning Inspectorate considered the Appeal documentation and the arguments put forward by AXIS in favour of the proposed development. They agreed with those arguments and allowed the appeal and the grant of planning consent on 30 April 2021.

Martin Pollard – AXIS Technical Director

Martin Pollard, Technical Director at AXIS, said “We are delighted that the Planning Inspectorate has allowed the appeal and granted planning consent for the proposed development. The introduction of these high quality, sustainable, architect designed, executive properties will make a very positive contribution to the housing stock in Kenwyn.”

The Development
The development would involve the construction of six three-storey, detached executive dwellings, each with associated private amenity space and car parking. The properties would vary in size, with the smallest providing 335sqm of living accommodation and the largest providing 439 sqm. The homes would market well over £1 million.

Visualisation of homes. Source: CAD Architects

Sustainability Features:

  • The properties would have a natural stone finish with natural slate roofs. They would include elements of zinc cladding and plain render;
  • Each of the properties would include Solar PV and some parts of the roof would be sedum (green roof);
  • Energy efficiency in the homes would be maximised by minimising air loss, using low energy glazing systems, and include a package of energy efficient measures including insulation, heating and ventilation;
  • The construction would use less energy by utilising materials with low-embodied energy, minimising assembly, construction and maintenance, the use of renewable materials, as well as recycled and reclaimed materials;
  • Water would be conserved by reducing demand and employing rainwater harvesting systems;
  • Renewable energy sources and sustainable systems to be incorporated into the development including Solar PV and renewable communal heating in the form of ground source heat pumps.

The development would also include a landscape scheme that would deliver achievable biodiversity benefit including the protection of all existing trees and hedgerows, the introduction of small orchard areas, retention and enhancement of existing scrub, and the introduction of new hedgerows.

Visualisation of homes. Source: CAD Architects

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AXIS Professional Planning Due Diligence helps Urbaser in their Acquisition of Local Recycling Firm

As a trusted planning advisor to Urbaser Ltd, a leading integrated waste and resource management company, AXIS was delighted to be commissioned to undertake planning due diligence in respect of a number of waste recycling sites within the North East of England, owned and operated by J&B Recycling.

The due diligence work required AXIS to review and assess the planning status of four integrated waste recycling and processing facilities, and to identify potential planning risks, prior to Urbaser proceeding with any acquisition. In August 2021, Urbaser confirmed the acquisition of J& B Recycling, which represents a significant step in their ambition for growth within the UK marketplace, whilst helping them broaden the range of sustainable waste management services they offer.

David Adams, Director: “It is always a pleasure to assist a valued client in achieving their goals, and helping them continue to deliver exemplary levels of service to their commercial and industrial customers. AXIS is able to offer a range of professional services central to which is an educated and informed knowledge of the planning system”.

Our planning experts at AXIS look forward to assisting Urbaser in building on this success in the future. 

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AXIS Secures Planning Consent for Zenobē’s World First 100MW Reactive Power Battery Project in Capenhurst

The project will be the world’s first battery to absorb reactive power directly from the grid, helping stabilise the system and enable further adoption of renewable power sources.

  • The 100MW battery will be the first contracted project in the world to absorb reactive power directly from a transmission network;
  • The largest battery in Europe when commissioned to connect on a transmission network at 275,000 volts;
  • The project is the first in England to receive planning permission under the revised planning regime allowing battery projects over 50MW to be approved locally;
  • Zenobē’s site will address power supply issues in the Mersey region with a reliable reactive power service, delivering clean and secure energy at a substantially lower cost to consumers;
  • Over the next 15 years, the project is forecast to remove 1,000,000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to 20,000 acres of mature forest (1,000,000 trees) or taking 216,044 diesel and petrol cars off the road;
  • The battery is due to be operational in April 2022 and accelerate the UK’s uptake of renewable energy.
Smaller Example of Battery Storage Site

Setting a precedent for future projects globally, this is a huge step for the UK as it focuses on building back greener and drives towards its net-zero by 2050 pledge. As the UK continues to adopt renewable power generation, managing voltage levels and ensuring reactive power management is vital. Over the next 15 years, the project is forecast to remove 1,000,000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to 20,000 acres of mature forest (1,000,000 trees) or taking 216,044 diesel and petrol cars off the road.

The Capenhurst project was commissioned as a direct response to the National Grid’s pathfinder programme, seeking to solve the challenge of reactive energy management through the use of innovative technology.

The project is also the first of its kind to be approved under the new revised planning regime. Designed to help bring sustainable solutions onto the grid, the change allows batteries larger than 50MW to be granted planning permission locally rather than by the national approval body.

Phillip Roden, Director at AXIS, said:

“This is a huge milestone not just for AXIS, but for the UK and its ambitions in the race to NetZero. Battery storage will play a major role in moving the UK from carbon intensive to emission free power. This is the reason why the UK government has identified energy  storage as one of the UK’s ‘Eight Great Technologies’.”

“AXIS specialists supplied a range of services to Zenobē from facilitating the planning application, to ensuring the design mitigates environmental effects, coordinating specialist environmental studies, and liaising with Zenobē and Cheshire West and Cheshire Council during determination. It’s fantastic this pioneering work has come to fruition and the North West is yet again leading the way to a more sustainable future.”

James Basden, Co-Founder and Director at Zenobē Energy, said:

“The Capenhurst project is a great example of the pioneering solutions businesses like ours can bring to the table when industry innovation is encouraged by up-to-date legislation.

“As we move to a cleaner energy system, batteries like this one will play a vital role in stabilising the grid and ultimately enabling a greener, more sustainable, Britain. We will look to replicate this solution nationwide, working with government and industry to stabilise the UK energy system, push energy prices down and ensure an emission-free future”.

Smaller Example of Battery Storage Site

Zenobē’s project will optimise the absorption of reactive power as well as operating the active power services concurrently. The design of the Capenhurst site has been specially crafted to ensure there is limited disruption to the local community. As part of the development, several habitat enhancement areas will also be built.

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Plans Announced for 702-Bed Student Accommodation at the Island Quarter

Plans submitted by AXIS for the latest stage of The Island Quarter development will feature accommodation for Nottingham’s growing student population, with the developer behind the scheme submitting plans to Nottingham City Council on 4 May.

The Island Quarter Student Accommodation

The designs show a 702-bed purpose-built student development, featuring a range of accommodation types including studios and cluster living.

Amenities for the students in this latest phase of The Island Quarter – which is set to be available from September 2023 – include high-level sky lounges that offer projected views across the city and a pavilion with views onto a private courtyard space that will provide the opportunity for working, socialising, dining and exercising.

The Island Quarter Student Accommodation

The student accommodation will support The Island Quarter’s plans for intergenerational living across the site, with rental apartments forming part of phase 1B – which is currently in for planning – and future plans for family housing.

AXIS has been heavily involved in the scheme from the beginning, responsible for all town planning, external works design and transportation planning services, and has developed placemaking and landscaping content for the wider development masterplan.

David Jones, AXIS

David Jones, Director at AXIS, said: “It’s great to see this significant development reach another milestone. This high-end student accommodation and supporting amenities will provide young people with a fantastic environment to support their education, health and their wellbeing.”

Jon Mason, AXIS

Jon Mason, Landscape Technical Director at AXIS said: “Placemaking has been central to AXIS’ work on this phase of the development. We’re extremely proud our work is supporting the local economy and universities by providing an exemplary standard of residential living to students.”

Christopher Ware, property director at Conygar, said: “The plans submitted today are an exciting step for The Island Quarter development. Nottingham has a fantastic reputation as a university city, and the growth of the student population over the last few years reflects that. Purpose built student accommodation means more choice for students and less on them to live in traditional houses in residential areas of the city.

Our aim for The Island Quarter is true intergenerational living, with housing and accommodation that works for all. One of the biggest impacts of the pandemic has been that people of all ages are reassessing their relationship with where they live, and we want to create places and spaces where people can live, work and thrive.”

The Island Quarter masterplan, which received outline planning approval in April 2019, has been designed with a full lifecycle of uses, including hotels and hospitality, office space and community living. It will introduce a network of public realm and access routes for pedestrians and cyclists, with green spaces at the heart of the plans.

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AXIS Leads Successful Planning Permission for First Enviroo Plant

Specialist PET (polyethylene terephthalate) recycler, Enviroo has had its planning application approved for its first plastic recycling facility in the UK. The facility will be able to re-use 100% of the PET it takes in and help recycle some of the 4.9 million tonnes of plastic waste created in the UK annually. 

Protos Enviroo Factory

The successful application, led and submitted by leading North West planning and environmental consultancy AXIS, means the plastic recycling facility will be operational in Summer 2022 at Peel NRE’s – part of Peel L&P – 54-hectare strategic energy and resource hub, Protos, near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

The facility will take PET – the main material used for food and drinks packaging such as plastic bottles and certain food packaging – and convert it into the raw material for new food-grade packaging. It will see an investment of around £20 million into the local economy and create 50 new, permanent jobs.

Enviroo will use proven technology to sort and wash the waste, before creating r-PET (recycled -PET) pellets that can be used by packaging manufacturers to create new packaging products. This technology is able to re-use 100% of the PET it takes in. 

This will become increasingly important from this time next year, when a new law will see any packaging that contains less than 30% recycled PET taxed. Some manufacturers have gone further, pledging to include up to 50% recycled material in their packaging under the UK Plastics Pact. The facility will therefore help to meet growing UK demand for recycled PET.

Andrew Russell, AXIS

Andrew Russell, Director at AXIS said: “We’re delighted to have secured the planning consent for this groundbreaking development, which will help reduce the levels of plastic waste generated in the UK each year. The North West is really leading the way in enabling the UK to meet our climate change obligations as part of achieving NetZero by 2050.”

Ahmed Detta, CEO & Founder of Enviroo, said: “We are delighted to have our planning application approved. After a positive consultation with the community, we now look forward to being able to get down to business and deal with plastic waste here on our shores and importantly help to create a greener North West. Our first facility will hopefully be one of many as Enviroo look to provide a solution for packaging manufacturers who are preparing for the upcoming plastic tax legislation. Our facilities will provide the recycled PET manufacturers need in their products, while reducing the amount of virgin plastic.”

Enviroo’s first facility is at the £165m Plastic Park at Protos, which will cluster together plastic recycling and recovery technologies to create value from plastic waste, helping to avoid it ending up in landfill, exported overseas or in our oceans.

Jayne Hennessy, Development Manager at Peel NRE, part of Peel L&P said: “Less than one third of all plastic waste in the UK is recycled. We are creating the UK’s first Plastic Park at Protos which will increase recycling rates, reducing landfill and the export of waste. This will be done by clustering together different technologies, including Enviroo’s PET recycling facility and the plastic to hydrogen facility also consented at Protos. We will be able to use technology and improved infrastructure to process many types of plastics collected by local authorities. Hopefully giving them the confidence to collect a wider range of plastic in the future”.

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AXIS puts Place-Making at Core of Multi-Million Pound Regeneration Scheme

Phase 1B will sit alongside Canal Turn, which started on site this year

AXIS is playing a lead role in the design and delivery of Nottingham’s biggest regeneration scheme in decades, The Island Quarter.

The original Boots factory site, which has been derelict for many years, will be transformed into a dynamic new Nottingham neighbourhood by a mixed-use commercial and residential scheme. The first phase of this 40-acre development, known as Canal Turn, will revitalise land adjacent to the Nottingham Canal. 

The site includes the creation of a new area of canal-side public realm, which will be the setting for a landmark waterfront building and a contemporary bandstand.  Canal Turn will be a new focal point of the Nottingham entertainment scene, hosting concerts and events all year round. The three-storey 2,000 sqm building features two restaurants, event space with panoramic views and a large rooftop terrace.

AXIS has been heavily involved in the scheme from the beginning, responsible for all town planning, external works design and transportation planning services.

Jon Mason, AXIS Technical Director

Jon Mason, Landscape Technical Director at AXIS said, “Placemaking has been central to AXIS’ work on the new public realm areas in Canal Turn. This development will be the first step in providing a setting for a wide range of community activities. The focus is very much on the ‘customer experience’. We’re making sure we create an external environment where people feel comfortable, want to spend time, and want to return to.”

The Island Quarter, when fully delivered, will be a transformation with new homes, grade A offices, a co-working and creative space, lifestyle hotels, student accommodation and a wide range of food and beverage outlets. 

The new development will be set within new, high-quality public realm.  A ‘green ribbon’ of open spaces will provide active travel connectivity through the site and spaces for the new community and its visitors to relax, exercise and have access to plentiful fresh air.  The development will create thousands of jobs, bolster the local economy, and enhance existing on and off-site pedestrian and cyclist connections to help strengthen links with adjoining areas.

Jon adds, “Our aim is to create a cultural and entertainment destination that is accessible to and engaging for all types of people; a place that’s well known both for the major events throughout the year and special one-off concerts, but also is an attractive, comfortable place to spend time with friends and family at any time of the day, any day of the week.

Given the close proximity of the city centre and great public transport links, we are keen to make accessing the site on foot and by bicycle extremely easy.”

David Jones, AXIS Director

David Jones, Director at AXIS, adds “Working on The Island Quarter scheme with Conygar has been a great experience for the AXIS team, and it’s fantastic to see the proposals taking shape onsite at Canal Turn.

This initial first phase will set the tone of what is to come in the wider development  and represents an exciting new dawn for this forgotten part of the city. Its focus on placemaking will ensure it is a sustainable destination, in every sense, for future generations.”

Christopher Ware, Director at Conygar, the developer behind the scheme, elaborates on their relationship with the council and AXIS: “We’ve worked very closely with the City Council and the design team to put together a development that will transform this part of the city centre and become a new destination and community for the future of Nottingham.

Key to its success will be a public realm that has variety, distinctiveness but, most of all, delivers an environment that is responsive to the buildings and activities within it. The team at AXIS have brought their planning and placemaking expertise to the table, and have made a significant contribution to the scheme’s progress so far. We are all very excited to see the development come to life over the next few years.”

Details of the second part of the first phase of The Island Quarter, Phase 1B, were submitted as a detailed planning application just after the Christmas break. The development includes buildings that will punctuate the Nottingham skyline, and comprises a 223-bed hotel, more than 240 build-to-rent apartments, co-working space, and an extensive food and beverage area.

The building features a 100m-long forum with food and drink outlets

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Continued Growth Sees AXIS Appoint Two New Roles

Following a successful year of continued growth, AXIS has increased its Transport Planning capability with the appointment of two new highly experienced members of staff. Catherine Zoeftig and Duncan Carter, both formerly employed at AECOM, join as Associate Director and Senior Transport Planner respectively.

With a combined 35 years’ experience, Catherine and Duncan will bolster the existing team headed by Lee Kendall, Technical Director, growing numbers to five.

The AXIS Transport Planning team forms part of the wider business of 33 total staff which provide Planning, Environment and Landscape Design services.

Catherine Zoeftig, Associate Director, said: “I am delighted to be joining AXIS at such an exciting time in the growth of the Transport Planning business. Despite current challenges, there are huge opportunities in this area and I am confident my experience and skills will bring positive outcomes both for the team and business as a whole. Being given the chance to work with a team already providing high quality and competitively priced work, within a modern forward thinking and efficient business, provides an excellent opportunity for me to help grow the future Transport Planning workload for AXIS”.

Duncan Carter, Senior Transport Planner, said “I am happy to have been invited to join the team at AXIS for the next stage of my career. I look forward to getting involved in the wide range of exciting projects that AXIS is currently delivering and supporting Lee and Catherine in the ongoing development of the Transport Planning team”.

Commenting on the new appointments, Lee Kendall added: “It’s a genuinely exciting time for the whole company, and Catherine and Duncan will play a big part of that going forward. We are bucking the trend insofar as we have just experienced the busiest quarter in the company’s 20+ year history. Our staff’s commitment, professionalism and work ethic through the pandemic has been unparalleled and we are now very well positioned to adapt to emerging planning and transport policy changes. We are seeing growth in all sectors, and not just from our traditional energy, waste and residential developer clients”.

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AXIS makes new Transport Planning Appointments

AXIS has significantly bolstered its Transport Planning capability with the appointment of three new staff members, including Lee Kendall, formerly with Curtins, who will now lead the overall Transport team. Lee is joined by Stephen Flacke from WYG and Balal Ahmed from SCP.

Based in Wilmslow, Lee Kendall, Technical Director, said: “AXIS has been providing Transport Planning advice for over 12 years. The new appointments reflect the company’s commitment to growth in this sector and we’re confident we know how to provide clients with what they actually want in a professional, expert and approachable manner. It’s not rocket science by any means – we simply aim to give high quality advice, on time, and at a competitive price. Our clients have come to appreciate us for this, which is reflected in the level of repeat business we’ve enjoyed in our previous positions and the growing future workload here at AXIS. We are all excited to join the company because of the modern, welcoming working environment here, and the huge opportunity for growth.”

Commenting on the new appointments, AXIS Director David Jones said: “The Directors of AXIS are delighted to welcome Lee, Stephen and Balal to the company. Each of them has already demonstrated their professionalism and enthusiasm and has embraced the company ethos of providing first-class advice, with a smile on your face. We have absolute confidence in their capabilities and are convinced they have the credentials to further enhance the Company’s reputation in this sector.”

AXIS operate from two offices in Chester and Wilmslow, servicing projects in all sectors across the UK.

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AXIS is pleased to welcome two new members of staff to its expanding Landscape Team

Graeme Rosser is a Chartered Landscape Architect and has over 25 years’ experience in the masterplanning, designing, implementing and assessment of landscape schemes. The range of projects he has worked on include infrastructure schemes, residential developments, care homes, gasification plants and many others. Graeme will be expanding his repertoire by working on delivery of Environment Agency flood defence schemes in the north west and will also be seconded to Environment Agency part-time as part of its National Environmental Assessment Service.

Amy Furness is a post graduate Landscape Architect, who also has ecology and environmental management strings to her bow. Amy has worked on a variety of landscape design schemes and will support her AXIS colleagues across all disciplines. With the wide range of projects in which AXIS is involved she is certain to rapidly acquire good experience to support her progress to professional qualification.

AXIS is also pleased to announce the appointment of two members of staff to its Chester Planning team:

Siân Hayle was appointed in December 2017 as a Senior Planning Consultant. Siân is a Chartered Town Planner with over five years’ experience in the private sector. She has filled a role as both Project Manager on a number of significant planning proposals as well as acting as assistant to AXIS Senior Management on major EIA infrastructure projects. Siân will be widening her experience working on a variety of minerals, waste, residential and industrial development projects over the next twelve months.

Laura Mackey was appointed in December 2016 as a Planning Consultant. During her period of employment with AXIS, Laura has already developed experience assisting and leading on a variety of complex planning projects including, amongst other things; wind farm development, flood defence schemes, gas peaking plants, residential development, manufacturing and pipeline development projects. Laura is working towards her RTPI Membership and has already proven herself to be an integral part of the Planning Team.

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