News

Perry Beeches Academy Trust secures consent for 700 place Primary School in Birmingham

PJA is delighted to announce that planning consent has now been granted for a 700 place primary school in Birmingham

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PJA is delighted to announce that planning consent has now been granted for a 700 place primary school in Birmingham. PJA was appointed to provide all transport and highways advice and despite achieving a recommendation for approval on highways, planning permission was refused at committee, in part on the grounds of highway safety. The applicant decided to appeal the decision and subsequently PJA supported the client at the appeal hearing in March 2016. The Inspector recommended that the appeal be allowed citing the evidence provided in the PJA documentation submitted with the application. The Secretary of State subsequently recovered the appeal for his own determination and agreed with the Inspector's conclusions and has now allowed the appeal.

Another Appeal Win for PJA

PJA has achieved another successful appeal outcome, this time for a St. Modwen employment site adjacent to the M42 Junction 10, North Warwickshire. The proposals include up to 80,000sqm of B2/B8 employment uses, adjacent to Birch Coppice Business Park, and will provide up to 1,550 jobs for the local area. 

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PJA produced the Transport Assessment and Travel Plan for the scheme, including the vehicular access design, improvements to pedestrian and cycle infrastructure and a public transport strategy – all of which were agreed with WCC and Highways England in advance of the Planning Inquiry.  

Whilst the key issues at Inquiry were planning and landscape, highways was identified by the Inspector as a material consideration. As part of the submitted documents, PJA provided a Statement of Common Ground, access plans and a number of supplementary technical notes supporting the planning case.

At appeal, the Inspector considered the impact of the proposals on the surrounding local and strategic highway network, the suitability of access and the package of transport measures proposed to facilitate development. The Inspector concluded, “In summary therefore, I find no conflict with the Framework which advocates that development should only be refused on transport grounds where the residual cumulative impacts are severe.”

 

PJA included in NCE Top 100 Civil Engineering Firms

PJA is delighted to announce that it has been included in the NCE 100 - a new initiative launched this year to showcase the best companies in civil engineering.

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Everyone at PJA is very proud of this achievement as it signifies yet another step forward in the growth of the business, and is a recognition of our growing status in the industry.

BPAA Cycle Sportive

PJA team members Matt McFeat and Nick Woolley donned their lycra and took part in the 2016 Bristol Property Agents Association (BPAA) Cycle Sportive on Wednesday 7th September, choosing to cycle 100km (60 miles) through North East Somerset and the Mendips with around 150 other property professionals

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The route, which somehow appeared to be entirely uphill, offered impressive views across the Somerset Levels and Chew Valley from the top of the Mendip Hills, and included over 4,000ft of climbing including a trip up Cheddar Gorge.

 

Nick recorded the eighth fastest time at the event, completing the course in 03h 57 minutes, while Matt spent a little more time admiring the scenery, arriving back after 05h 18 minutes.

 

The annual charity event this year raised funds for the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity and St Peter's Hospice.   

Bloor Homes secure consent for strategic allocation in Hereford

PJA is delighted to announce that planning consent has now been granted for the Holmer West strategic allocation in Hereford, after reaching agreement on all transport and highway matters with Highways England and Herefordshire Council.

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PJA was appointed by Bloor Homes to provide all transport and highways advice relating to their promotion of this strategic allocation in north Hereford.  Central to the strategy proposed by PJA was a principal street through the site connecting the A49 with Roman Road, providing traffic relief to the heavily congested Starting Gate roundabout.

Detailed proposals for improved cycle access to the site were also put forward, together with proposals for improvements to the A49 immediately north of the River Wye.

PJA reappointed to Hertfordshire Framework

We are delighted that PJA has been reappointed by Hertfordshire County Council to provide transport advice relating to the proposed expansion of Secondary Schools in the County.

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PJA will provide advice to HCC over the next six months on the likely transport implications of their proposed programme of expansion at various Secondary School sites across the County.

Our work will include detailed site observations, interviews with school management, identification of exiting issues associated with traffic around each school site, and proposals for mitigation required in order to accommodate additional forms of entry at each site.

Another appeal win for PJA

PJA recently achieved success at planning appeal for a retrospective application for a small residential scheme in Northampton, following expiration of a previous planning consent.

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Much like the surrounding pattern of rows of terraced streets, the proposed development of six flats and two houses did not provide any off-street parking.  The planning application was refused at the recommendation of the highway authority on the basis that the existing on-street parking is over-subscribed and as such the development would have a detrimental impact on highway safety and residential amenity.

At appeal, PJA presented evidence in the form of car ownership Census data, which when compared with parking surveys demonstrated that although the surrounding streets are close to full occupancy there exists a small surplus of spaces to accommodate additional residents. Whilst the proposals would lead to increased demand for parking spaces where there is limited spare capacity, crucially the Inspector noted that “the effect is likely to be only marginal and certainly not  severe, the test set by current national planning policy for preventing development on transport grounds.”

Further to this, the Inspector found that a s106 contribution required as part of the previous planning consent would no longer be required, providing the developer with a cost saving compared to the previous scheme.

London’s first cycling Quietway is now open

The first of London's cycling “Quietways” has been officially launched by Transport for London. PJA is part of a team of consultants assembled by Sustrans to assist them in their role as delivery agent for the Quietways programme on behalf of TfL. 

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The first route, linking bustling Waterloo to historic Greenwich over a distance of 9km, guides cyclists along quiet streets and traffic-free paths and also connects to TfL's flagship Cycle Superhighway network at Blackfriars Road.  PJA provided staff on secondment to Sustrans to handle the design development, traffic order planning, and highway authority liaison within the borough of Lewisham.

The Quietway concept is designed to provide a network of quiet and traffic-free cycling routes away from busy roads which enable people to cycle short journeys instead of driving, and provide an alternative to crowded buses and trains for longer commuting trips.

Quietways complement TfL's other cycling infrastructure investment programme of high-quality segregated Cycle Superhighways on busy radial corridors, and local area improvements in the shape of “Mini-Hollands”.  With an increasing demand for travel in London as a result of a growing economy and population, investment in cycling infrastructure is both cheaper and quicker to implement, which is especially relevant in the current climate of constrained public spending.  The high quality of infrastructure delivered by TfL is already yielding a strong growth in patronage, taking the strain of the public transport network and improving the health of those people who have chosen to switch to cycling.

Read more from TfL and Sustrans.

 

Life after Brexit?

After the historic vote to leave the European Union on 23 June, politicians, businesses, employees and employers have been asking: 'what does this mean for me?'

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At Phil Jones Associates we were no different. However, unlike the markets, calmer heads prevailed and we are happy to report that it will be business as usual for our team. 

Although housebuilders were one of the more high profile casualties in the immediate aftermath of the vote, the Government and the Bank of England have taken action to safeguard credit and restore confidence in Sterling. The planning system remains broadly unaffected for now so the way we undertake our work, on behalf of our clients, won't be changing.

We have even seen more new projects come through our doors since the vote proving that confidence in the market still remains strong. So, as a result, we will be keeping a watchful eye on proceedings in Westminster and Brussels but will continue to push forward with our ambitious growth plans in the months ahead.

Regional offices witness rapid expansion

PJA is enjoying growth across the regions

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Reading: Having only opened an office in Reading in the summer of 2014 with a team of four, PJA has now moved to larger premises at The Aquarium on King Street, to accommodate up to eight members of staff. Lucy Smith, a new Graduate Consultant, will join the team in September.

Bristol: New starters Matt McFeat (Associate) and Ivy Plato (Technician) have joined Jon Tricker at our office in the Boxworks, adjacent to Temple Meads Station. Graduate, Amber Kenyon, will also be joining in September.

Exeter: We have opened a new office in Exeter, led by Associate Director Hannah Shrimpton. The new office will serve the South West market and the team will work closely with the established office in Bristol.

London: Allan Trulock has been appointed to the London office, as PJA expands its presence in the Capital.

With 13 years' experience in development planning, working on projects as varied as Hinkley Point C and the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade project, Allan is exceptionally well placed to support the growth of the office.