Transport Planning News

Grand opening of the UKs first large scale Carbon Capture and Utilisation Project

AXIS is delighted to have been invited to join TCE to celebrate the official opening of their Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) Plant in Northwich. It is the first large-scale CCU project of its kind in the UK, and represents a world first in capturing and purifying carbon dioxide from power generation plant emissions for use as a key raw material in the manufacture of pharmaceutical grade sodium bicarbonate. The plant is capable of capturing 40,000t CO2e per year, and will reduce carbon emissions at the plant by 11 per cent.  TCE exports 60 per cent of its sodium bicarbonate production in the UK to over 60 countries across the globe, and the CCU project is intended as a springboard for TCE to unlock further expansion into its export markets. 

Said David Adams, Director at AXIS, “We’re proud to have been responsible for the coordination, drafting and submission of all the EIA and planning application documents in the process of securing planning permission for the plant. We worked closely with the technical staff and proactively engaged with Cheshire West and Chester Council, and other key stakeholders in order to secure planning permission inside the statutory 16-week determination period. Post grant of planning permission, we were commissioned to ensure all schemes required by condition were submitted and discharged in a timely and efficient manner so that implementation of the project could proceed to commissioning in accordance with the clients overall project programme.”

“This is an exciting time for TCE, and the official opening of the plant represents the culmination of much hard work and dedication by the whole development team. AXIS is honoured to be part of that team, and thrilled to mark this significant milestone with all involved.”

AXIS Secures Consent for the Redevelopment of Perry Barr Household Waste Recycling Centre and Waste Transfer Station

Environmental planning consultancy AXIS has secured planning consent for the redevelopment of a major waste recycling facility in Birmingham. The site, which is located on Holford Drive, is operated by Veolia Environmental Services on behalf of Birmingham City Council.

The project will improve essential services for the public, improve the safety of the site, and significantly enhance the local community and environment in advance of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Existing Site

The site has been used for waste management purposes for more than 60 years and is one of five household waste recycling centres in Birmingham operated by Veolia on behalf of the Council.

The existing Waste Transfer Station is located within a former incinerator building which has been on site since 1970 and is approximately 30m in height. Following the closure of the incinerator, the building was retrofitted to operate as a Waste Transfer Station. Given the height of this structure, it is widely visible in the surrounding area.

The other buildings on site are in a state of disrepair and need replacing.

The Redevelopment

The redevelopment will vastly improve the appearance of the site which is currently dominated by the large concrete incinerator building. The new buildings will be modern and bespoke, designed to ensure they are fit-for-purpose and more in keeping with the surroundings.

The layout of the recycling centre has been designed to offer an enhanced recycling experience to Birmingham residents visiting the facility, with improved parking and a safer experience utilising the split level design. Improved operational efficiency offers residents more opportunity to recycle while reducing the time spent on site.

The creation of a split-level facility will remove the need for visitors to climb steps to off-load waste into containers, improving health and safety for the public. The revised layout also results in a greater capacity for vehicles queueing off the public highway. Another safety improvement is the new site entrance for the Household Waste Recycling Centre which will separate waste lorries from private vehicles.

New structures will include a new 99 metre-long waste transfer station, open-air skips for different types of waste, and a main office and welfare building with more facilities.

The development will introduce attractive planting at the site entrance and tree planting along the site boundary. The construction programme is scheduled to commence this summer and will last approximately 80 weeks.

David Adams, Director at AXIS, said, “The Perry Barr redevelopment is a great example of what we at AXIS do on a day-to-day basis. Bringing forward essential projects that improve the local environment, provide essential services to the public, and help generate inward investment for our clients and the wider community.

The improvements this development will deliver will be significant to the local community, and will enhance appearance of the area for locals and for those visiting Perry Barr for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”

David Adams

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
Perry Barr will be the home of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. As a result of this, the area has seen significant investment and redevelopment in recent years which the new development will serve once complete. The demolition of the former incinerator will also greatly improve the appearance of the local area in advance of the Commonwealth Games.

Environmental planning experts at AXIS acted as project managers and provided planning, landscape and transport support.

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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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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 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 Assist on Exciting New Plans for BeWILDerwood in Cheshire

AXIS has recently assisted BeWILDerwood with a range of transport planning services to support their exciting plans for a new £5m adventure forest park in the heart of Cheshire.

Situated within established woodland at the Cholmondeley Estate, the scheme will feature a range of ingenuously-designed treehouses and activities for children, themed around the celebrated stories of author Tom Blofeld.

When it opens in Spring 2020, it will be the second BeWILDerwood park in the country, adding to the existing site near Norwich.

The scheme was originally approved in 2017 and work is well underway, however the site access arrangements that were previously approved (designed by another consultant) were prohibitively expensive to construct and would have resulted in an onerous impact on the development budget.

AXIS were therefore asked to reconsider the access strategy from a fresh perspective earlier this year, and have subsequently helped BeWILDerwood achieve planning permission to an alternative, design-standard compliant access solution that will achieve significant cost savings as well as being more beneficial to the local residents when compared to the previous arrangements.

Lee Kendall, Technical Director at AXIS, said “It isn’t very often that we get to work on a scheme like this, which I am very keen to see open and visit with my own family next year.

It is very satisfying to be able to play a part in helping to bring the scheme forward, and the alternative site access arrangement we produced was thoroughly designed with reference to relevant site constraints, DMRB design standards, safety audit recommendations and speed survey results.

The access solution runs across the border between Cheshire East / West, and so we sought to engage both highway authorities very early in the process to constructively seek their input and in-principle approval from the outset. We now have formal approval to the application and work will start on the access immediately.

I visited BeWILDerwood’s existing site near Norwich earlier this year and had a brilliant time – the quality of the experience was exceptional. I have no doubt BeWILDerwood will easily become one of the best attractions in Cheshire when it opens.“

AXIS continue to advise on other aspects of the overall scheme including Travel Planning and on-site road specification. For anyone interested, please keep an eye on BeWILDerwood’s website, details here:

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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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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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AXIS Transport Planning Help Win Planning Appeal for Chester Housing Scheme

AXIS has helped win an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a new scheme of 13 dwellings in Upton-by-Chester, Chester.

The development, situated on a site called White Gables, is served from a 220m long single-track access road situated next to a busy high school. Cheshire West and Chester Council Planning Committee refused the original planning application for a single reason related to perceived impacts upon highway safety and capacity.

AXIS transport planning staff demonstrated through detailed written and oral evidence that the Council were incorrect to refuse permission. The Inspector noted that “…I conclude that there is no substantive evidence to suggest that the proposal would result in an increase in the occurrence of unsafe vehicle movements during the peak network hours and/or an increased risk of conflict between vehicles and pedestrians and other road users. I consider that it has been satisfactorily demonstrated that the additional traffic which would be generated by the proposal could be accommodated safely and satisfactorily within the existing highway network and that the residual cumulative impacts of the development would not be severe.”

Lee Kendall, Technical Director at AXIS, said “It is very satisfying to be able to help our client achieve this result, having worked on this site for over 2 years. Tackling the decision required a detailed technical approach to dismantle each individual element of the refusal reason. For example, a bespoke empirical method of calculating the ‘incidence of conflict’ of two cars meeting one another along the access road was included, which was key to convincing the Inspector that the impact would be immaterial. The written evidence also included a line-by-line transposition of the Planning Committee meeting to demonstrate the irrational nature of the decision-making process in this instance. The scheme was met with a significant level of local resistance, whose concerns were addressed in a methodical manner at the appeal Hearing.”

For anyone interested in the scheme, please keep an eye on Vivio Developments website where details of the scheme will be posted soon.

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