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Automatic planning permission for brown field sites

Leeds City Council has revealed there are currently planning approvals in place to build more than 17,000 homes, but more could be on the cards, built at a faster rate, if the Government's shake up of national planning guidelines gets the go ahead.

Houses being built Credit: ITV

The 'Fixing the Foundations’ package of national proposals aims to encourage more new homes by allowing developers automatic planning permission to build on suitable disused industrial ‘brownfield’ sites; they'll be enhanced compulsory purchase powers to allow more brownfield land to be made available for development; and the possibility of major housing projects to be fast-tracked.

But concerns have been raised by Leeds City Council, who need to provide permission for 70,000 new homes by 2028. They say they need to be sure a system's in place to prevent badly designed, unplanned environments, which are devoid of affordable accommodation.

It’s not just about saying which sites are suitable for housing, but getting other factors such as highways, design and affordable housing right before development takes place. There is a risk with the government’s proposals for ‘streamlining’ planning that you lose some of the detail that matters most to people.

– Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council

Peregrine to solve penguins' pigeon problem

Two birds of prey are being drafted in to help the penguins at the Deep, in Hull with a bird problem.

The penguins at the Deep have been struggling with a pigeon problem Credit: Press Association

Flocks of pigeons have taken a liking to the penguins' outside balcony and are unsettling them, meaning they can no longer go outside.

Staff hope that Barry, a 5-year-old Peregrine Falcon, and Rik, an 18-month-old Harris Hawk will keep the nuisance birds away.

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Spurn Point visitor centre causes controversy

People living close to Spurn Point have been shown the latest plans for a controversial new visitor centre.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust wants to build a new two storey building in the village of Kilnsea with a car park for visitors. They say it will help them to educate the public about the unique landscape as well as providing toilets and refreshments. However, some people nearby are opposing the development which they think is unnecessary and spoils the landscape.

Jan Crowther is a local resident:

Grimsby MP calls for more support for coastal flood protection

The MP for Great Grimsby is calling for more support for coastal communities to protect them from flooding, Melanie Onn has today spoken in parliament , saying that a funding shortfall could put homes and people at risk.

She says more financial relief, improved warning systems and better drainage is needed. But DEFRA, which oversees government funding for flooding projects, says it is spending more than £2 billion over the next six years.

Duncan Wood spoke to Ms Onn and began by asking what her biggest concerns for coastal communities are:

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80% rise in potash mine company shares

Investors in a potash mine, including thousands of local people from the Whitby area look set to benefit on paper this morning after shares of Sirius Minerals rocketed up in price - with a rise of more than 80%.

It follows a controversial vote yesterday evening in which the North York Moors National Park approved the plans.

The company is listed on the alternative stock market.

Why Spurn Point visitor centre is needed

Spurn Point

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust says the future is bleak for Spurn Point in East Yorkshire, if its plans for a visitor centre fail. The trust has written to residents, some of whom say a large, mordern building is out of keeping with the wild landscape, saying many modifications have been made to the plans along the way to try and accommodate as many people’s comments as possible. This has meant its planning submission date has been delayed by almost a year.

In its newsletter, the trust says a visitor centre is essential in order to ensure the protection of Spurn’s wildlife and the safety of Spurn’s visitors - and that if the project fails, the future is bleak for Spurn.

The Trust will still shoulder the responsibility for protecting Spurn’s wildlife but will also need to think carefully about how to ensure the safety of visitors without adequate facilities, at what is an increasingly hazardous site.

– Spokesperson, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Potash plans approved in narrow vote

A controversial plan to sink a huge potash mine in the North York Moors National Park has been approved by park authority members tonight.

It is said the project will create more than a thousand jobs - and many more when it's under construction. But there have been fears it could damage the environment. Chris Kiddey reports from Sneaton Castle near Whitby.

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