Projects / Town Centres, Mixed Use and Retail

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Basing View, Basingstoke

Client: Muse Developments Ltd
Scheme: Regeneration of 2.0 hectare business park

Nexus Planning is the retained planning consultant to Muse Developments Limited in relation to its joint venture partnership with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, which is aimed at transforming Basing View into a 21st Century business park and the premier office location for Basingstoke and the M3 corridor.

Basing View is a 2.0 hectare business park which was established in the 1970’s to coincide with the planned major expansion of Basingstoke. It currently provides 90,000sqm of commercial office floorspace. Occupiers include the national HQ of the Automobile Association, ENI and Thales UK.

However, in spite of its excellent transport accessibility, proximity to Basingstoke town centre and prestigious range of occupiers, the aging building stock, competition, lack of investment in the public realm and the economic recession have resulted in a decline in occupancy and employment levels, a tired appearance and lack of market appeal, which the JV partnership is aimed to address.

Our role in assisting the long term regeneration of Basing View is a varied one. Since the JV partnership was established in 2013, we have submitted to the Council for approval a revised masterplan framework and have secured planning permission for a £3million package of public realm improvements as well as taking an overview on behalf of the JV partners of a detailed application for a 7,000 sq m combined John Lewis and Waitrose store, which was granted permission. Future work will include the preparation of a Basing View supplementary planning document and project managing individual planning applications for a wide range of development projects, including mixed use, commercial office, residential, retail and leisure.

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Chatham Place, Reading

Client: Muse Developments
Scheme: Town planning and project management of a £250m mixed use scheme that forms part of Reading’s ‘2020 Vision’

The project forms a key element of Reading’s ‘2020 Vision’ for the town centre, providing a deck over the Inner Distribution Road to link the site into the existing core of the town thus extending the town centre as a catalyst for regeneration of the wider area. Detailed approval for phase 1 and outline permission for future  phases providing in excess of one million square feet was achieved within the 16 week determination period. This was achieved as a consequence of excellent stakeholder and public engagement throughout the pre-application process to mitigate concerns. The completed development, as a whole, will comprise residential, community facilities, retail, leisure and multi-storey car park focused upon new public spaces and streets. The first phase of this project was completed in 2012.

We were subsequently retained by MUSE as planning consultants on Phase 2, comprising two residential tower blocks (at 19 storeys, the tallest in Reading), ground floor retail and a new public square. Construction on Phase 2 commenced in March 2013.


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Boundary Mill Stores, Colne

Client: RB Business Park Ltd
Scheme: 9,000 sq m out of centre retail

Nexus Planning was appointed to manage an outline planning application for a 9,000 sq m retail development comprising garden centre, outdoor clothing sales and farm shop on an out of centre site at Junction 14 on the M65 in Colne, Lancashire. The development includes a major new roundabout on the A6068 and works to the Junction 14, M65. The greenfield site is adjacent to the M65 as well as a local nature reserve and contains a number of trees which are subject to TPOs.

Nexus Planning managed the application; prepared the retail assessment; design and access statement; and planning statement and negotiated heads of terms for both the s106 and s278. Nexus also negotiated favourable planning conditions to facilitate an early start to development and to define the nature of goods to be sold. Nexus Planning was supported by architectural practice, Campbell Driver Partnership.

Nexus Planning demonstrated that the development would not have an adverse impact on the vitality of local centre and presented a strong economic development case in favour of the proposals. The application was referred to the Secretary of State as a departure due to it scale and out of centre location, but was not called in.

The development will be operated by Boundary Mill, the UK’s largest mill store retailer, and the planning decision marks a major addition to Boundary Mill’s flagship retail outlet at Colne.

Image courtesy of Campbell Driver Partnership.



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Addlestone Town Centre Redevelopment

Client: Bouygues Development
Scheme: 213 dwellings, 7,000 sq m of retail, cinema and hotel

Nexus planning has prepared and submitted a detailed planning application for the comprehensive mixed use redevelopment, spread over two phases, of a large site in Addlestone town centre. The site is predominantly owned by Runnymede Borough Council and the applicant (Bouygues Development) has entered into a development agreement with the Council to bring forward this ambitious scheme.

Nexus has worked very closely with the applicant to co-ordinate a consistent approach on a wide range of planning issues. These include the interrelated matters of air quality, transport and noise, in a constrained urban area. This has been against the background of a tight timetable for the client to start construction to meet their corporate objectives.

The planning application is supported by an environmental statement, which has been prepared by Nexus Planning, which covers socioeconomic, transport and air quality impacts.

The development will deliver many significant regeneration benefits to Addlestone and will invigorate and revitalise the town centre. These will include enhancing retail and leisure provision, increasing spending by new residents and hotel guests, delivering much needed housing, and providing a high quality public realm with a new permeable street network.

Construction work is due to start in early 2015.

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Landmark office building in Northampton

Client: Northamptonshire County Council
Scheme: Office building including new public square and café

Nexus Planning, in collaboration with BDP, has obtained a resolution to grant planning permission from Northampton Borough Council for a detailed application to construct a new landmark office building (circa 21,500 sq m) including a new public square, café and other commercial uses, on behalf of Northamptonshire County Council.

The scheme is part of the Northampton Alive regeneration programme and will bring some 2,000 professional workers and £12 million additional spend to Northampton’s town centre economy. The historic town centre location required a careful design solution. The new building will be a significant landmark on a currently underused site. The development will provide the anchor to a wider strategic vision for both the town centre and the operation of Northamptonshire County Council’s business.

The resolution to grant was achieved within only 10 weeks of submitting the application and followed an extensive pre-application programme. This involved engagement with local stakeholders, statutory bodies and the general public. Also, a public exhibition, neighbourhood consultation event and regular meetings with officers and members at Northampton Borough Council. It is an excellent example of how frontloading engagement with all parties can deliver planning permission for a major development in a short period of time.

Image courtesy of BDP.

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Anytime Fitness

Client: Anytime Fitness
Scheme: Change of use applications

Nexus Planning is preferred planning consultant to Anytime Fitness, a gym operator which has the largest fitness franchise in the world and over 2,300 clubs globally.

We have assisted Anytime Fitness on more than 25 sites across all parts of England, obtaining the necessary planning and advertisement approvals in every instance. Nexus Planning’s ability to develop an efficient, streamlined and cost effective process to deliver planning consent has enabled us to support Anytime Fitness in their ambitious rollout plans for the UK over the last two years.

Image: Anytime Fitness, Winchester.



Walthamstow, London

Client: Solum
Scheme: Major mixed use development

Appointed by Solum Regeneration, a joint venture between Kier Land and Network Rail, to secure the redevelopment of under-used land adjacent to Walthamstow Central Station. Planning permission for the first phase of work, which included 69 flats, 472 sqm of retail, a hotel and a range of station and public realm improvements was secured in 2011 and is nearly complete.
Proposals for a second phase of work are currently being worked up.


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Barons Quay Northwich

Client: Cheshire West and Chester Council
Scheme: Major town centre, riverside, mixed use retail scheme

The Nexus Planning team, with Broadway Malyan as designers, was appointed to co-ordinate and submit the planning application for this £80 million scheme.  Northwich has been at the centre of Britain’s salt industry since Roman times but the legacy of unstable mines beneath the town centre prevented any significant growth over the past 30 years.

A £32 million land stabilization programme, completed in 2007, cleared the way for development.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Strategic Planning Committee unanimously approved the scheme in spring 2013. Work is due to begin on site by autumn 2014 and be completed by the end of 2016.  Nexus Planning provided planning consultancy and managed the environmental statement.