Planning roundup

Mott MacDonald is to design a new £120M quay at Port of Gdansk in Poland for Deepwater Container Terminal Gdańsk.  The upgraded terminal will be capable of handling 3M TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container units) a year.

Completion of the Barry Island Link Road has been brought forward by at least five years following a £2.1M interest free loan from the Welsh Government via the local council to developer the Housing Consortium led by Persimmon Homes. The road, which forms part of the £230M Quays’ housing development on Barry Waterfront, is now expected to open in 2015.

New borrowing powers will enable councils to build up to 10,000 affordable homes. From this week councils can bid for a share of £300M of extra borrowing, which will be made available through an increase in their housing revenue account borrowing cap, and invested in new affordable housing over two years from 2015.

Simon Ridley, a director at the Department for Communities and Local Government, to become new chief executive of the Planning Inspectorate. Ridley joined the department in 2010 as director of local government finance and previously worked at HM Treasury, working on public spending, growth and productivity. He will take over from July when Sir Michael Pitt steps down.

The Liberal Democrats are pushing for construction of three new garden cities of 15,000 homes each between Oxford and Cambridge to provide a solution to the south east’s chronic housing shortfall.

Scotland’s biggest work of art, the Kelpies, has been officially opened in Falkirk and is the centerpiece for the Helix land transformation project, a joint venture between Falkirk Council, Scottish Canals and Central Scotland Forest Trust. The almost 35m high giant horses heads created by Andy Scott had engineering support from Atkins. Find out more here