Planning News

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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AXIS Secure Planning Permission for 50MW Solar Farm in East Cambridgeshire

In August 2020, on behalf of AGR & Fenland Farming Ltd, AXIS secured planning permission for a large-scale solar farm adjacent to National Grid’s Burwell substation, East Cambridgeshire.

AXIS co-ordinated the Environmental Impact Assessment and planning submission for this sensitive site on the edge of Cambridgeshire’s Fenland landscape.  Landscape integration and screening will be provided through the construction of extensive reedbeds around the perimeter of the solar farm.  The proposed reedbeds combined with species rich grassland and removal of land from intensive agricultural use would result in substantial net biodiversity gains within the site.  In the long term the reedbeds will support National Trust’s Wicken Fen Vision, which seeks to re-wild large areas of the Fenland landscape between Wicken and Cambridge.

The application was approved unanimously by the East Cambridgeshire planning committee following officer recommendation for approval.   The sensitive landscape mitigation provided by the reedbeds and the acknowledged need for increased renewable energy to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions were key considerations in the planning balance.

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AXIS Places Development Consent Order (DCO) Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) for Extension to Allington IWMF on Public Deposit

AXIS has placed on public deposit a PEIR on behalf of FCC Environment (UK) Ltd in respect of an extension to the existing Allington Integrated Waste Management Facility located near Maidstone in Kent.  The proposed scheme would add a new waste treatment line to complement an existing three-line EfW facility.  This would enable FCC to generate up to an additional 32MW of energy through the treatment of approximately 350,000 tonnes of residual waste each year.  The result of the proposed extension is an extended station with a generating capacity of more than 50MW.  The scheme is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) under the Planning Act 2008, thereby requiring a DCO to operate.  The PEIR has been placed on public deposit for a period of 8 weeks up to the 14th September 2020. 

Following completion of the statutory consultation process, AXIS will consider all feedback received and continue to develop the DCO proposal in advance of completing the Environmental Statement.  The DCO application will then be submitted to PINS later this year, ahead of public examination and ultimately determination by the Secretary of State.

Integrated Waste Management Facility Aerial 3D Image

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AXIS Double Success at Salford Planning Committee!

AXIS helps secure two planning consents at the same planning committee session.  The two unrelated consents demonstrate the breadth of AXIS’ skills and the value of the company’s long experience in navigating potentially contentious major developments through the planning process.

Development at City Airport & Heliport (Barton Aerodrome)

AXIS has secured planning consent, on behalf of City Airport Ltd and Peel Land & Property Ltd, for an airfield safety scheme comprising import of inert materials to regrade land, divert a watercourse, partially infill a Site of Biological Importance and create compensatory habitat. AXIS assisted in the design of the scheme, including provision of detailed phasing proposals and specialist ‘instant’ landscape restoration, as a critical aspect of the proposal is to ensure that the Airport and Heliport remains operational while infilling progresses. Isopachyte information was produced, to control the height of moving plant in zones adjacent to the runways. As the Airport is a CAA-licensed facility, the AXIS team also had to ensure that proposals met their strict safety criteria.

AXIS also negotiated with Greater Manchester Ecology Unit to agree acceptable compensatory habitat for that lost to the scheme, prepared a whole-Airport Landscape & Ecological Management Plan for the long-term management of the site, assisted the Principal Designer in discharging his duties and contributed to the Site Works Information for tender.

AXIS continues to assist City Airport and Peel Land & Property in delivering the scheme, focussing on planning, landscape design and ecology.

Anchorage Quay, Salford Quays

AXIS assisted Cole Waterhouse to secure outline planning permission for a new residential apartment scheme of up to 290 units on the site of the former Barclays Bank office building at Anchorage Quay, Salford.

AXIS assisted with preparing the Transport Assessment / Travel Plan and in negotiating the scale and nature of highway-related S106 planning obligations.

AXIS’s Transport Planning team were able to demonstrate, through a combination of technical analysis and pro-active negotiations with Urban Vision that the 38 car parking spaces proposed (12.7%) would be acceptable to serve the scheme.

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AXIS Secures Planning Consent for another 49.5MWe Gas Peaking Plant

AXIS has secured planning consent, on behalf of Harbour Energy Ltd, for a 49.5MWe Gas Peaking Plant in the Green Belt to the west of National Grid’s Supergrid Substation, Capenhurst, Cheshire West and Chester.

Working closely with Harbour Energy, AXIS co-ordinated the planning application, green belt assessment, site search, noise, air quality, ecological and Landscape and Visual assessments. AXIS addressed consultation responses and managed the process during determination.

AXIS has secured planning consent for over 200MW of Gas Peaking Plants across the UK.

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AXIS Secures Planning Consent for 49.5MWe Gas Peaking Plant

AXIS has secured planning consent, on behalf of Harbour Energy Ltd, for a 49.5MWe Gas Peaking Plant on land adjacent to National Grid’s Supergrid Substation to the east of Kirkby, Knowsley.

Working closely with Harbour Energy and local technology provider Clarke Energy, AXIS co-ordinated the planning application, noise, air quality, ecological and Landscape and Visual assessments. AXIS addressed consultation responses and managed the process during determination. The application was approved under delegated powers.

AXIS are working on a number of other Gas Peaking Plants across the UK.

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AXIS Secures Consent at Appeal for 42 Dwellings in Bolton

On behalf of W. Maher and Sons Ltd, AXIS has secured outline planning permission for up to 42 dwellings in Kearsley.

The proposals included the creation of a development platform as well as 35% affordable housing, public open space and contributions to education.

AXIS appealed the Council’s decision following a refusal against officers’ recommendation at Planning Committee in February 2019.

The Inspector upheld the Appeal and allowed a full award of costs against the Council. AXIS acted as project manager and provided planning, design and transport support.

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AXIS secures planning consent for Tata Chemicals Europe for the UK’s first “groundbreaking” industrial-scale Carbon Capture and Utilisation Demonstration Plant

AXIS is delighted to have successfully secured, in just 13 weeks, detailed planning permission from Cheshire West and Chester Council, on behalf of Tata Chemicals Europe Limited (TCE), for the development of a ground breaking Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) Demonstration Plant. The plant will reduce carbon emissions, whilst ensuring a secure, sustainable supply of carbon dioxide – a raw material critical to the TATA Chemicals Europe’s international growth.

The CCU will support the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, the £16.7m project will be funded by TCE with the support of a £4.2m grant from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through the Carbon Capture and Utilisation Demonstration Programme. The approved development is the first large-scale CCU project of its kind in the UK. The project also marks a world first in capturing and purifying carbon dioxide from power generation plant emission gases to use as a key raw material to manufacture high purity sodium bicarbonate.

Commenting on the work with AXIS, Director of Projects for TCE, Ladan Iravanian, said,

“We worked closely with AXIS on this groundbreaking project and their support in the planning process has been invaluable.  The AXIS team brings experience, energy and insights that helped shape our planning application.  It was great to have their support and that of Chester and Cheshire West Council for this carbon capture and use demonstration project.”

The plant will capture CO2 emitted from the existing, highly efficient, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Energy Plant at TCE’s Winnington Works Site in Northwich. The Winnington Works is the UKs largest single site user of liquid CO2, which is used in the manufacture of high-grade sodium bicarbonate which is primarily used in the pharmaceutical and haemodialysis sectors. TCE already exports 60% of its sodium bicarbonate to over 60 countries across the globe. The CCU project will be a springboard for TCE to unlock further growth into its export markets.

The facility will be the first of its kind in the UK and would provide a wholly sustainable solution by capturing CO2 from the exhaust gases of the existing CHP energy plant, by utilising it within the on-site production of sodium bicarbonate. The CCU plant will be capable of capturing and producing up to 40,000 tons per year of carbon dioxide and will reduce TCE’s carbon emissions at the CHP plant by 11%.

AXIS was responsible for the preparation and submission of the detailed planning application, supporting documentation, undertaking the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and production of the Environmental Statement (ES). AXIS worked closely with TCE technical staff and proactively with the Council to secure planning permission for this unique and exciting project, within the 16-week determination period.

Commenting on the project, TCE MD, Martin Ashcroft, said,

“The CCU demonstration plant will enable us to reduce our carbon emissions, whilst securing supplies of a critical raw material, helping to grow the export of our products across the world. Implementing this industry leading project, with such strong environmental and operational benefits is hugely exciting, and we’re pleased to be working closely with BEIS to deliver the demonstration plant.

We hope that this project will demonstrate the viability of CCU and pave the way for further applications of the technology to support the decarbonisation of industrial activity. Our parent company, Tata Chemicals Ltd, has supported this innovative project, enabling our UK operations to continue to reduce its carbon emissions. This project is a great example of business and Government working together to rise to the challenge of decarbonising industrial production.”

In April 2018 the publication the Government’s ‘Clean Growth Strategy’ set a framework for growing national income, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions.  To help enable this goal, the Government committed to spend up to £100 million from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Energy Innovation Programme to support Industry and Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) innovation.  With the objective of improving business and industry efficiency, and further reducing the cost of deploying CCUS, the Carbon Capture & Utilisation Demonstration (CCUD) Programme – announced in the Clean Growth Strategy – provides grant funding to innovation projects that significantly reduce the cost of capturing and utilisation of CO2.

Commenting on the project, Chris Skidmore, Energy & Clean Growth Minister said,

“Cutting edge technology to capture carbon will cut emissions as we work towards a net zero economy, while creating new jobs – a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.

This innovative project from Tata Chemicals Europe represents a major milestone in efforts to rollout carbon capture at scale by the 2030s.”

Further details about the project can be found at the following external links:

For further information about this project and on Tata Chemicals Europe, please contact Conker Communications. |  | 0161 445 9837

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Completion of the Millerhill Recycling & Energy Recovery Centre (RERC)

In 2015 AXIS was instructed by FCC Environment to prepare and submit a planning application and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the development of the Millerhill Recycling & Energy Recovery Centre (RERC). The facility was to comprise a new 195,000 tpa energy from waste (EfW) facility located on the edge of Edinburgh, designed to serve the 25-year Edinburgh and Midlothian Municipal Waste Management Contract. 

AXIS secured conditional planning consent for the proposed development in late 2015, followed by a series of non-material variations.

Construction of the Millerhill RERC commenced in late 2016 and AXIS has continued to advise FCC on the discharge of planning conditions and the planning amendments that have been necessary throughout the 30-month construction process.

In April 2019, the facility was officially opened, marking the commencement of the FCC’s contract with Edinburgh Council and Midlothian Council.

AXIS are delighted to have played an important role in the success of this project.

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Plans Approved for Eco-Homes in the Cheshire Green Belt

AXIS has obtained a resolution to grant detailed planning permission from Cheshire East Council for 14 eco-homes in the Cheshire Green Belt as part of a development allowing an ancient peat bog to be restored to wetland.

Plans for the 14 bespoke family homes, adjacent to the Lindow Moss peat extraction site near Wilmslow, were approved by Cheshire East Council’s planning committee on December 20, 2018.

The scheme, which has the support of a number of environmental organisations, will see the peat bog restored as a wetland for birds and a variety of protected species.

The homes are to be built on a 1.76-hectare parcel of land to the south of the peat bog and currently used as a peat storage and processing facility.

The sustainable homes range from four to five bedroom properties, each with garages and gardens, and are situated around landscaped courtyards and communal space.

Arranged in clusters, the scheme is designed to limit the effect on the openness of the Green Belt through small groups of housing and clear spaces. Existing landscaping and mature trees around the site will be retained to reduce its visual impact on the surroundings.

AXIS worked with award winning Manchester-based Architects Calder Peel on the project.  Each of the homes will benefit from high levels of thermal insulation, far surpassing those required by current building regulations.  They will use solar photovoltaic panels for heat, while ‘solar chimneys’, integrated as part of greenhouse areas for home-grown, sustainable food, will encourage natural ventilation through passive solar energy.

The orientation of the homes, coupled with large glazed openings on the south elevations, will allow them to maximise solar heat gain during the winter months.

Meanwhile, timber solar shading will protect the homes from unwanted additional heat gain from the high position of the sun in the summer months. Smaller areas of glazing on the north elevations will guard against unwanted heat loss.   

The site, owned by Messrs Bond and Rowland, has been used for peat extraction since the 1950s. It became famous in 1984 when the remains of an Iron Age man, nicknamed Lindow Man, were found perfectly preserved in the peat. The 2,000-year-old body was later transferred to the British Museum.

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