Mark Slocombe Panel

Credit: via Mark Slocombe


SKETCHY… This week saw Place North West hold its Greater Manchester Development Update. A wide-ranging debate ensued, covering everything from levelling up to Liz Truss. You can read more about the event next week and in the meantime, this fantastic sketch by Mark Slocombe, architect and studio leader at Atkins, will provide you with a feel for the day’s hot topics.

King Charles Tower Chester p.marketingprojects

Credit: via Marketing PRrojects

TOWER TOURS… Fancy getting a closer look at a piece of Chester history? The grade one-listed King Charles’ Tower, which stands on the north-east corner of the city walls overlooking the canal, is being opened to the public. Tours will take place over the next two weekends almost 377 years to the day since King Charles stood on the tower and watched his army, defeated in the battle of Rowton Moor earlier in the day, return towards the city. 

Swifts golf course Carlisle p.Carlisle City Council

Credit: via Carlisle City Council

THE BIRDS AND THE BEES… Work has completed on a new 42-acre wildlife haven for birds, bees and butterflies in Carlisle. The Swifts golf course and driving range in Carlisle city centre has become one of the very first urban bee and butterfly oases in the North West. The Swifts site has been transformed into an urban nature reserve thanks to £80,000 funding from Cumbria Waste Management Environment Trust and £8,000 from the Environment Agency. The funding has breathed new life into the site, transforming once manicured greens and fairways into wildflower meadows, species-rich wetland and native woodland, helping to boost populations of bees and butterflies. The site is owned by Carlisle City Council, which worked collaboratively with Cumbria Wildlife Trust on the project.  

Pete Swift Planit IE p.Planit IE

Credit: via Planit-IE

NORWAY BY THE HIGHWAY… While the Swifts golf course has been turned into a haven of biodiversity, another Swift – Planit-IE’s founding director Pete – is bidding to transform himself into puddle of sweat as he takes on a 1,000-mile bike ride from Liverpool to Norway. Swift is making the journey from Merseyside to reach the opening event of Vestre’s ThePlus, billed as the world’s most sustainable furniture factory, in Magnor. The ride will begin from Peel L&P’s Liverpool Waters, where Planit-IE has installed Vestre furniture, before taking in Hull, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Swift was always planning to attend the event, and, in line with Planit’s sustainability goals, he opted to travel by two wheels instead of by plane. Go well!

Tower Grounds New Brighton p.Google Earth snapshot

Credit: Google Earth

ODD OBJECTIONS… More than 400 Wirral residents have signed a petition lobbying against a New Brighton housing development that doesn’t exist. First reported by the Liverpool Echo, the petition was started in opposition to proposals to build houses on the Tower Grounds, where a 567ft tower once stood. Wirral Council said it had received no plans for houses on the site. Imagine how stretched planning departments would be if they had to consider fictitious applications as well as real ones…

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You joke about “how stretched planning departments would be if they had to consider fictitious applications as well as real ones…” but yet this is an all too common occurrence.

Local rumour mills (Facebook usually) talks about some much loved place being covertly sold by the council, brown paper bags ahoy (when we all know direct bank transfers are more sustainable) and then departments are barraged with concerned citizens, councillors, parish councils, press etc. And all for something that doesn’t exist.

Or when an application has been submitted for something, a person will tell their friends/post on Facebook that it is a trojan horse for something else e.g. a large detached house in an affluent area is going to be a drug rehabilitation facility and so all the comments, petitions etc begin over that. Even when corrected, this will not quell their conspiracy theories (when did guesses turn into ‘theories’?) and the whole rigmarole will continue afresh.

If it wasn’t so time consuming it would be laughable.

By JohnMac

Love the sketch. All credit Mark! Great summary for your ‘do’s PNW.

By Jane Harrad-Roberts

    I agree, Jane! Mark absolutely crushed it.

    By Julia Hatmaker

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