Fisherman's Friend, Lofthouse, p Planning docs

Lofthouse is planning to build a new factory to make lozenges. Credit: via planning documents


SOMETHING FISHY… Plans for a new manufacturing facility for Fisherman’s Friend in Fleetwood have prompted a strange request from an animal rights organisation. PETA vice president of vegan projects Dawn Carr has asked the Lofthouse family, which owns the lozenge maker, to consider changing the name of the company, which was founded in 1865. 

“In place of a product intended to soothe the craggy throats aboard trawlers that suck the oceans clean of life, we propose renaming the lozenge to Fishes Are Friends,” she said. 

The name change, Carr added, could prompt a shift in perceptions. Going forward, Fleetwood’s most famous export could be viewed as “the perfect solution for succouring the throats and hearts of those who love the oceans…from conservationists braving squalls to clean up discarded fishing gear to compassionate consumers protecting gentle fish by not eating them.” 

If it did happen – and it is a big if – it would surely be the most famous rebrand since Sandy Olsson ditched the cardigans and took up smoking.

Skof, Skof Tom Barnes, c Cristian Barnett

Skof is open for business. Credit: Cristian Barnett

SKOF… Have you heard? Manchester’s newest fine dining restaurant is now open. There was much excitement among the city’s foodie contingent when acclaimed chef Tom Barnes announced he would be opening Skof in the city’s NOMA district last year. The restaurant is now up and running, offering a range of tasting menus, the most expensive coming in at £165. For that, you will get 15 courses, each more exotic than the last. Kohlrabi cooked over embers anyone? A more affordable and express lunchtime offering – £50 for four courses – is also available.

Parcels c Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

Coming to a lobby near you. Credit: Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

PESKY PARCELS... The rise in online shopping has long caused headaches for build-to-rent operators whose lobbies often look as if a giant game of Jenga has just reached its crescendo, such is the number of parcels delivered every day.  

New data from Parcel SafePlace, a parcel logistics service, claims that Covid sent the issue into overdrive. The company’s research indicates a 100% increase in deliveries compared to pre-pandemic levels, meaning a typical 400-unit building these days is having to deal with almost 13,000 more parcels annually than four years ago.  

At the same time, we have seen a drastic increase in takeaway deliveries with the likes of Just Eat, Deliveroo, and Uber Eats all on the charge. The two issues combined amount to a recipe for disaster – the chances of tripping over boxes filled with your latest fast-fashion haul and spilling your vindaloo all over the beleaguered concierge are higher than ever. 

Viadux , Salboy, p planning

Historic England is not a fan of the scheme. Credit: via planning documents

HISTRIONICS… Historic England has felt the wrath of Manchester’s skyscraper fanboys in the Place North West comment section this week. Having slammed Salboy’s proposals for a 76-storey skyscraper close to the venue formally known as GMEX, Historic England has itself been on the end of a few barbed comments, mainly from anonymous contributors. The conservation body’s objections came as a surprise to absolutely nobody but still managed to ruffle feathers, which, given the toothlessness of the organisation, is about the best it could hope for.  

Balmayna interior , Amir Khan, c Michael Wilde, GuestHouse Media

Yes, that is a river. Credit: Michael-Wilde GuestHouse Media

KHAN YOU BELIEVE IT… Amir Khan’s new Bolton wedding venue is frankly ludicrous – in the best possible way. Just look at it, it should come with a health warning and free paracetamol on arrival. As a boxer, Khan was known for his entertaining, all-action style, which sometimes left him sprawled on the canvas. It is great to see he has brought the same kind of energy to his property development career, delivering a knock-out blow with this fever dream of a wedding venue. 

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While some of us many not always agree with Historic England, I’m not sure calling them toothless is correct given that if they are a statutory consultee to an application and maintain an objection then the Local Planning Authority if recommending approval then has to refer the application to the SoS.

By JohnMac

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