Transport Planning News

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: https://www.bewilderwood.co.uk/news-and-natter/bewilderwood-cheshire-opening-spring-2020/

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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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AXIS Secures Consent for Employment Units on the Edge of Worksop

On behalf of FCC Environment, AXIS has secured outline planning permission for 3,125m2 of employment floorspace (B1, B2 and B8 Use Class) at Carlton Forest Quarry on the edge of Worksop. The exact layout is to be determined at the reserved matters stage but will provide flexible employment floorspace, comprising up to 6 units approximately 520m2 each with associated car parking, servicing and landscaping.

AXIS managed the planning and design aspects of the project as well as preparing a detailed Transport Assessment.

The application was heard by Bassetlaw’s Planning Committee who unanimously approved the application.

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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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Major AXIS Client Applegreen plc Acquires Control of Welcome Break

On 31 October 2018, AXIS’ major client in the roadside services sector, Applegreen plc, confirmed its acquisition of a majority stake in the Motorway Service Area (MSA) provider Welcome Break. The Applegreen Group had 368 sites as at 30 June 2018, across the Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom and the United States. The Welcome Break deal adds 24 MSAs, two trunk road service areas and 29 hotels across 35 locations in the UK.

AXIS is Applegreen’s leading planning advisor and is managing 3 new MSA planning applications, plus a large number of other schemes.

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