SolarBotanic Tree p.SolarBotanic

The trees would blend seamlessly into the landscape. Credit: via Influence Mobility


CHRISTMAS TREE… While there is one type of tree that selfishly dominates the narrative at this time of year, others are still available for our enjoyment. This futuristic offering from SolarBotanic Trees is designed to harness energy from the sun in a more attractive way than traditional PV panels. A prototype is currently being worked up at Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. If successful, you could soon find trees like this on a street near you, powering your house or charging up your car. Maybe this is what the government means when it talks about encouraging the creation of beautiful tree-lined streets. 

BEETHAM BAKED… JM Architects’ four UK offices battled it out this week in a festive baking competition. Each office was set the challenge of creating a gingerbread version of an iconic building from its respective city. The Manchester office ran out winners for its reproduction of Beetham Tower, while the London office’s gingerbread Battersea Power Station, complete with rice-crispy chimneys, came second.  

Michael Gove was sacked by former PM Boris Johnson in August. Credit:

Michael Gove has given planning professionals an early Christmas present. Credit: House of Commons, CC BY 3.0

NPPF-OFF… Planning professionals hoping to have a relaxing Christmas break have been dealt a blow. The government’s consultation over proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework opened just as everyone was setting their out-of-office notifications and looking forward to a mince pie or five. Of course, planning consultants and officers could just ignore the consultation until the new year and concentrate on the festivities but for those who simply cannot resist, you can check out Michael Gove’s 14-chapter early Christmas present here.

WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE… Located at the end of Rowland Street in Salford, a new roundabout for cyclists is causing quite a stir on social media. It is clearly a well-meaning piece of infrastructure, aimed at making the roads a better place for those on bikes. However, the idea behind the roundabout has been let down somewhat by its execution. In the view of some commentators, the end product is chaotic and over-engineered, a microcosm of UK cycling infrastructure and a long way from what you might find in places like Amsterdam.

Tower Of Hope, Southport, P.Clayton Architecture

Clayton Architecture is working with the developer on the plans. Credit: Clayton Architecture via Andrew Brown

HERE’S HOPING… The festive period is as good a time as any to look back and reflect on the year. During 2022, the North West property industry has thrown up some exciting stories but few raised eyebrows as much as news of proposals for a 48-storey skyscraper in Southport. In January, Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group announced it was working on designs for a scheme dubbed the Tower of Hope, which would be one of the tallest buildings outside London. It seems like a lifetime ago, and no updates have been provided since. Could 2023 be the year Southport’s answer to the Empire State Building emerges?

Your Comments

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Salford’s bike roundabout isn’t a good idea let down by execution – it’s a complete waste of space and effort as well as an eyesore. This is what happens when the people designing infrastructure are habitual drivers who’ve not ridden a bike since they were kids…

By W

So the tallest building on Merseyside would be in Southport? I didn’t think it was April yet.

By Anonymous

Isn’t time to banish the term Merseyside and just use Liverpool City region or greater Liverpool?

By BuildItNow

Would love the Southport mega tower to go ahead, imagine the views across Liverpool Bay and the Irish Sea, hopefully when it`s finished Steve Rotheram`s new trains will be running.

By Anonymous

It’s Liverpool City Region

By Anonymous

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