Eden’s 12 days of Advent
As 2022 draws to a close, we have been reflecting on our journey over the last 12 months. We’re taking the opportunity to celebrate a few highlights – when life flies by this fast it’s too easily forgotten!
Eden is a people-focused business. Focused on the people we work with and the people we work for. Looking back over the last year brings a sense of huge gratitude for so many things: the trust our clients place in us to help them reach their goals, our amazing network of consultants we work alongside, the officers that work proactively and positively to drive schemes forward and to each and every member of the Eden team, for the skills and talents they bring to the planning game each day!
So, we’re marking the end of 2022 by looking in the rear-view mirror over 12 of Eden’s achievements. Each highlighted project is a celebration of collaboration and creative thinking to get the best results for our clients and for the places we’re impacting.
Big doesn’t always mean big in scale, but big when it comes to aligning with our values of challenging expectations, bringing people together and creating momentum to deliver results.
Pennington Flash visitor centre
Pennington Flash is a regionally-important nature reserve that is home to a vast array of wildlife.
It draws in huge numbers of visitors annually, and 2022 was no different. In a year where football has been a real focus, and with the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 taking place in Wigan and Leigh, we supported Wigan Council on improvements to its 200-hectare country park’s visitor facilities.
The proposals will widen the site’s leisure offer which will provide an important supporting role for Leigh Sports Village, providing car parking for football supporters. The scheme is modular in design and meets the highest sustainability credentials.
It was a good start to 2022: planning permission was granted in January. Work is now well underway on the new modular building which will house a café and dining area, an information point, office space and external decking for outdoor seating.
Elan laser clinics
From large-scale health infrastructure to the finer details, we’ve worked on it all this year.
We’ve been busily advising on sites for Elan, principally securing certificates of lawful development for works to their new laser clinics across the country.
Ongoing asset management input like this might seem small and inconsequential to the outsider, but when it’s the difference between having an operational clinic or a stalled project, it’s vital work and we’re looking forward to continuing to build our relationship with the brand in 2023.
In the spring we sought certificates for schemes in the northwest and London, which were both confirmed in the summer.
Millers Quay, Wirral Waters
In the spring, we worked with Peel L&P in moving the regeneration of Wirral Waters a step further forward. We supported their bid to secure a £130m investment from Pension Insurance Corporation plc (“PIC”) to enable Graham Construction to begin on site at Miller’s Quay.
The build-to-rent scheme comprises 500 one and two-bedroom apartments, with an affordable housing component of 100 homes, delivering significant social impact.
All buildings across Wirral Waters have high sustainability credentials, and Millers Quay will use a range of energy efficiency and low carbon technologies to reduce carbon emissions including solar power systems, air source heat pumps and electric vehicle charging points.
Working closely alongside Glen Howells and collaborating with officers at Wirral Council we have submitted a number of planning applications throughout 2022 to enable works to lawfully commence on site and it’s coming together nicely.
We can’t wait to see the finished result!
Lady Grey wedding barn, Mobberley
This one was a tale for the ages. Worlds apart from the major commercial and residential projects we’re known for, it was refreshing to step into the Cheshire Green Belt to help the owners of Owen House Farm realise their development aspirations.
Building on their existing, successful wedding business, their goal was to convert an agricultural barn into a permanent wedding barn to help meet pent-up demand for wedding venues that had developed as a result of Covid-19 restrictions.
The application was refused by the council a year ago almost to the date. Despite a positive recommendation from officers, the application met an impasse with councillors being equally split in favour and against, with the chair casting the final vote for refusal based on a perceived impact on the living conditions of neighbours and encroachment into the Green Belt.
Earlier this year we appealed the decision. In June the inspector agreed with us that the proposed development did not constitute inappropriate development, confirming Green Belts are not designated based on their quietness! Just in the nick of time for the 2022 wedding season.
The Maritime Knowledge Hub
Eden has been supporting Peel L&P across the nationally significant Wirral Waters regeneration area for five years.
There’s plenty happening at the regeneration site, from new homes, commercial space and leisure hubs too. But the Maritime Knowledge Hub is something special.
The landmark building is a Grade II listed hydraulic generating station and it’s set to become a specialist maritime research and training centre, with extra space set aside for a café and event space. The big plus is that the works will secure the fabric of the listed asset and enable its continued contribution and connection with the maritime industry.
After detailed pre-application negotiations with Wirral Council, we submitted the application in May and expect to secure consent at the beginning of 2023.
Monkeying around at Aqua Chimp
In the summer, not afraid of a challenge, we tested our team spirit at Aqua Chimp in Delamere Forest. Think high ropes course but with no safety ropes, just water below to soften your fall.
Flying the Eden flag (or towel) high, we let our hair down on the floating ropes course and took the leap into the waters of Delamere Lake.
Definitely worth a go, if you’re looking for something a little different for your next team building event!
Arrowe Park Hospital
Working with Wirral University Teaching Hospital and Wirral Community Health and Care Trust, we secured consent for the £28m transformation of the Urgent Emergency Care Department in the summer.
We engaged with the local community as the plans were developed and secured unanimous support from committee members. Submitted in May, we were thrilled when the proposals were approved by August, just three months later. It just shows the huge value of proactive stakeholder engagement.
All pre-commencement conditions are discharged and works are underway on site.
Drury Lane, Flintshire
When we were approached by Flintshire County Council to help them defend their refusal of a housing scheme, we found there was a strong case to be made.
The scheme at appeal would have resulted in extensions to the existing built form and raised serious questions about quality placemaking.
We represented the LPA at the public inquiry and the appellant withdrew its appeal entirely after hearing our evidence.
‘Success at Appeals’ training event
In September, Eden was invited to speak at the ever-popular Women In Planning event ‘Success at Appeals’ which was packed full of practical advice on how to prepare for and put forward the best case at appeal.
Nicole Roe joined Trafford’s Head of Planning, Rebecca Coley, in putting forward perspectives on the process from both the public and private sector alongside planning barrister Sarah Reid KC, professional coach Cath Brown and senior planning inspectors Helen Heward and Siobhan Watson.
All-important post event drinks completed the day!
Supporting five sites for The Store Room
This year we clocked up our fifth application for The Store Room.
Covid-19 had a big impact on working patterns, with many more people working from home or setting up new businesses – both of which impacted on people’s requirement for additional storage.
The Store Room is rapidly expanding and we’ve secured planning permission for them in five sites this year; in Darlington, Solihull, Bradford, and, as of last week, Rotherham too!
We are looking forward to seeing where they move to in 2023.
Lydiate Lane, Thornton
Earlier this year we submitted a reserved matters application for 268 homes in Thornton, for Barratt and David Wilson Homes North West.
The detailed design was worked up from the earlier outline consent and has been informed by detailed pre-application advice and public and stakeholder consultation.
We worked hard to demonstrate that the reserved matters conformed with the approved parameters masterplan, and we are currently working proactively with officers at Sefton to clear the last few remaining hurdles.
We are looking forward to getting this one over the finishing line early in 2023!
Eden has expanded!
Throughout 2022 the Eden team has grown from eight to 13.
As the year closes, we’re excited to be starting 2023 by moving into our new home back in our beloved Altrincham over the Christmas period.
Our new address from January will be 1 Market Street, Altrincham WA14 2QB
Do pop by if you’re in the neighbourhood and we’d love to show you around.
Eden is a people-focused business. Focused on the people we work with and the people we work for. Thank you to all our clients for giving Eden the opportunity to guide your planning journey over the last twelve months.
We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very happy new year. See you in 2023! #edenwrappedup