Moss Naylor Young have just completed a report on the re-use of the former prison as student and private residential accommodation. The proposals protected the listed buildings and perimeter wall, which in turn will help protect the character of the surrounding area which is an existing quiet edge of town centre residential suburb. The prison buildings to be preserved date back to 1793 and their retention is a requirement of the development of the area. Moss Naylor Young also prepared a travel plan promoting non-car access and taking advantage of the sites location adjacent to the town centre and the main railway station.
Frome Town Football Club play in the Southern League and have to maintain and improve their ground to continue playing at this level and to be eligible for promotion to the Football Conference. The club arrived at an innovative scheme with Freco, a local green energy cooperative, to provide a canopy over part of the standing spectator area, funded by solar panels on top of the canopy – thus the same structure could harvest the sun and protect spectators from the rain!
Moss Naylor Young handled the planning application – a good example of simplifying an application that could easily have been complicated. By focusing on precisely the elements that needed permission (the presence of the canopy) and removing any suggestion that the capacity of the ground was increased not only was the application straightforward but Moss Naylor Young were able to agree with Mendip that the application did not create floorspace and thus attracted a fraction of the normal application fee saving the football club thousands of pounds.
Moss Naylor Young have just been commissioned to promote a scheme for restoring the Stockport Branch of the Ashton Canal. The former canal was approximately six miles long and became disused in the first half of the 20th century. Lying in Manchester City Council and Stockport Borough Council areas, the canal passes through some of the most deprived areas of Greater Manchester. Moss Naylor Young are identifying a vision for phased restoration starting with connecting Gorton Reservoir, a former drinking water supply, to the canal system and creating a destination around the lake.
Three separate studies of the Swansea Canal have been undertaken by Moss Naylor Young, each related to different lengths and with different purposes. All were to enlarge on the findings of an earlier report for which Patrick Moss was the project director.
The Feasibility report into restoring the canal from Clydach to Trebanos looked at engineering and planning aspects of creating a navigable canal through a council depot that blocked the route, and utilising the clear watercourse (including three locks) either side of this obstacle. The proposals were costed and future potential use of the waterway outlined.
The report on the line of the canal from Trebanos to Pontadawe Town Centre sought to include the route in the emerging Neath Port Talbot Local Plan. This length of canal had been infilled and is obstructed by a new road although there is sufficient height for a bridge to be constructed. The report highlighted the benefits of protecting the line for future reinstatement and made the relevant policy arguments for this. Once completed the length will connect the Clydach-Trebanos stretch identified above with another existing stretch of the Swansea canal.
The third report identified an entirely new line for the Swansea Canal from Clydach to Swansea City Centre, reconnecting the canal with the historic docks and allowing a through route to the Neath and Tennant Canal to be created: this in turn would create a single cruising waterway some 30 miles long connecting the Neath, Swansea and their respective valleys with potentially large tourism and regeneration benefits. This new line is for inclusion in the emerging City of Swansea Local Plan.
The work with the Swansea Canal Society is also an example of Moss Naylor Young’s innovative “Pay As You Go” approach available to clients, whereby rather than commissioning a single expensive piece of work the society is purchasing Moss Naylor Young’s services on an as-and-when basis as need arises.
Under the Localism Bill parish councils can promote their own development aspirations with Design Statements and more recently Neighbourhood Plans. Design Statements are easier to prepare although they carry less weight: the parish of Chilcompton had undertaken the basic background work for their Village Design Statement but were struggling to get the document to a stage where it could become supplementary planning guidance and thus sought assistance from Moss Naylor Young. We took the information gathered and developed the statement in accordance with the requirements for such documents whilst maintaining the integrity of the parish council’s aspirations for the document. In this way Moss Naylor Young added the resource the council needed whilst maintaining parish ownership of the document and minimising the fees incurred. This approach is common to the Moss Naylor Young ethos of helping community groups.
The Lapal Canal (originally the Dudley no.2 Canal Selly Oak extension) is extant but dry through Selly Oak Park. Development of the adjacent Battery Park site means it will soon be possible to reconnect the length through the park to the Worcester and Birmingham Canal and thus the main canal network. The Lapal Canal Trust appointed Moss Naylor Young to dispose of planning conditions related to flood risk assessment and drainage issues when the canal is restored and rewatered.