‘Real estate to recover before wider economy’

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Battle of Culloden sparks new war over public rights on planning appeals

first_imgHistoric defeat: rejection of housing scheme on Culloden battlefield was overturned at appeal Source: Shutterstock/ rphstockJust over six months ago, Culloden locals lost their fight with developers over permission to build 16 homes on the historic battlefield site. The local council had refused to grant the developer planning permission, but the Scottish government overturned this decision after the developer appealed.Far from ending the issue, the fallout from the Culloden Battlefield decision, and several other similar decisions, has ignited a war in the Scottish Parliament over whether or not members of the public should have the same say as developers. In other words, should any member of the public be able to appeal any planning permission decision?It is a right that the Irish, Swedes, Danes and Kiwis already enjoy and Scottish Labour and the Scottish Greens believe Scots should have as well in the wake of the Culloden Battlefield decision.Unfortunately for them, amendments to the Planning (Scotland) Bill proposed by Scottish Labour and the Scottish Greens, which would have granted the Scottish public third-party equal right of appeal (TPRA), were voted down in Holyrood earlier this month during debates on the bill.Our feeling was that some form of TPRA would carry and that was exceptionally worrying Anthony Aitken, ColliersThis is not the first time a debate over the introduction of TPRA has come up in British politics and Louise Samuel, managing associate at Linklaters, doesn’t think it will be the last. In 2015, the Welsh Assembly had a similar debate over TPRA during the introduction of its Planning (Wales) Bill.“It is one of those things that comes round from time to time, gets a bit of political momentum and then goes away,” says Samuel.Just as in Wales, the Scottish Parliament debate resulted in a decision against TPRA. Samuel expects that this is the last we will hear of the cause for a while. “My guess is that it won’t go anywhere,” she predicts.Cat among the pigeonsMonica Lennon, the Labour MSP who put forward the TPRA amendments to the bill, disagrees. She believes the recently published final draft of the Raynsford Review of Planning could set the cat among the pigeons by backing local rights to challenge development.In May, the interim Raynsford Review questioned whether British citizens were guaranteed TPRA due to their human right to participate in decisions that affect their environment. This is one of the three core human rights of the Aarhus Convention, which the UK signed up to more than 20 years ago, and Lennon imagines the final report could spark a lot of discussion about the question of a community’s right to appeal.Find out more – Planning experts voice mixed opinions at launch of Raynsford ReviewRaynsford’s query about the Aarhus Convention also echoes an anxiety from Professor Geraint Ellis’s 2004 paper on TPRA, in which he suggested that the absence of TPRA could fly in the face of the European Convention on Human Rights. “These issues have not been finally resolved,” he wrote.With so much political and legal baggage attached to the issue, Anthony Aitken, head of planning at Colliers International, is unsure whether Scottish Labour and the Scottish Greens’ defeat in Holyrood is the end of the conversation. He is a strong opponent of TPRA and claims that this latest attempt to introduce it into the British planning system had him particularly concerned.“Our feeling was that some form of TPRA would carry and that was exceptionally worrying,” he recalls. “We’re not out of the woods yet,” he adds.Indeed, Scottish Labour and the Scottish Greens will have another chance to try and introduce TPRA when the Planning (Scotland) Bill goes through its stage-three debate – the final opportunity for MSPs to propose amendments to a bill. This is expected to take place in April. Aitken believes amendments are unlikely to be passed after already being rejected at stage two – but it’s not impossible. Key vote: Scottish Labour and Scottish Greens have another chance to introduce TPRA in Scotland in AprilSource: Shutterstock/ Ulmus MediaLennon hopes TPRA could be introduced at stage three, but she says a lot depends on the Scottish Conservatives, who abstained from voting during stage two. “Labour, Green and Lib Dem votes in favour of reform won’t be enough. It hinges on the Tories and a few rebels on the SNP benches, although none are confirmed so far,” she says.If the vote does go Lennon’s way, it could well mean that TPRA becomes a reality in Scotland. For Aitken, that prospect is a daunting one and he’s hardly alone in his views.A joint statement signed by representatives from the Royal Town Planning Institute Scotland, Homes for Scotland, the RICS and several others condemned Scottish Labour and the Scottish Greens’ plans.The concern from those who oppose TPRA is that it slows down the planning system, introducing more red tape in the development process at a time when the UK government has promised to build 300,000 homes a year. “It would act as a disincentive for investment,” says Aitken.He blames a minority of people who have been affected by “balanced” planning decisions for trying to “thwart all development in the country”. “The consequences economically could be catastrophic,” he argues.In its defence, TPRA’s proponents claim that it makes the planning system fairer and more democratic. In the past, Lennon has called the amendments a chance to “level the playing field”.Support for TPRAJust as there is a joint statement opposing the introduction of TPRA in Scotland, there is also a joint statement from more than 70 community and environmental groups supporting it. This includes the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Friends of the Earth Scotland and Planning Democracy, to name a few.Clare Symonds, chair of Planning Democracy, says the assertion that TPRA stymies investment is not supported by evidence. “Countries that have forms of equal rights of appeal, like Germany, Sweden, Ireland or Australia, are not uncompetitive; countries that have weak planning systems, where developers can virtually do what they want, are the uncompetitive ones,” she contends.But Aitken doesn’t think that any part of the UK should be basing its decision to implement TPRA on its success in other countries because he argues that the UK economy is bigger and more internationally competitive than those countries.A major exception to this argument is Germany, which gives its citizens TPRA. Aitken’s riposte is that Germany’s mixed-use zoning system means developers already have a guiding principle for what they can develop and where. Consequently, he argues, third-party appeals are much less likely than in the UK, where there is no zoning system to guide developers.Countries where developers can virtually do what they want are the uncompetitive ones Clare Symonds, Planning DemocracyLinklaters’ Samuel concurs, adding that the British mentality is also part of it. “We have a history of Nimbyism in this country,” she explains.Nevertheless, she is sympathetic to those who want TPRA, admitting that the British planning system can look unfair. “But when you scratch beneath the surface, you see that it is fair,” she adds, pointing out that neighbourhood planning in England already gives many local people a much louder voice in the planning system than is the case in other countries.Scotland, however, does not have neighbourhood planning. And while Samuel believes that UK-wide TPRA would be problematic, she acknowledges it could work in Scotland. Aitken strongly opposes this idea, emphasising the similarities between the two constituent countries.Although Samuel asserts that the introduction of TPRA in Scotland would be unlikely to lead to TPRA in England, planning experts south of the border are likely to be keeping an eye on the Scottish Parliament anyway. England’s neighbour to the north might be about to embark on one of the biggest changes to its planning system since the 1940s. The Culloden protestors lost the battle but, unlike the Jacobites, they haven’t lost the war yet.last_img read more

Sainsbury’s revamp

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Murakami to step down as “K” Line chairman

first_imgEffective June 23, Murakami will serve as a special executive advisor. While a successor for Murakami has not been announced, “K” Line has made several other changes to its directors and audit and supervisory board.Yasunari Sonobe, senior managing executive officer, and Makoto Arai, managing executive officer, have been named directors. Kozue Shiga has been appointed outside director.Meanwhile, Shinsuke Kubo will join “K” Line as an outside audit and supervisory board member. He is currently a certified public accountant, outside audit, and supervisory board member at Japan Airlines.All appointments are effective June 23.www.kline.comlast_img read more

SFO under fire for ‘fundamental misunderstanding’ in Tesco trial

first_imgThe collapse of the trial of two former Tesco directors accused of false accounting will cause more embarrassment for the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and also call into question an earlier deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) between the supermarket and the fraud-busting agency, lawyers have predicted.It was revealed this morning that a judge at Southwark Crown Court had thrown out the case after hearing the SFO’s evidence. Chris Bush, Tesco’s former UK boss, and John Scouler, the former commercial food director, have been acquitted of all charges.The case related to an alleged hole in Tesco’s accounts. Both men were suspended in 2014 after it was revealed Tesco had overstated its profits by £250m.In a fiery statement Bush’s solicitor, Ross Dixon, partner at Hickman and Rose, demanded answers as to how the SFO could ‘fundamentally misunderstand the effect of its own evidence’. ’The SFO appeared determined to blame a small number of senior individuals including Bush, despite the lack of any evidence that he was told about or concealed unlawful behaviour,’ Dixon said.He added: ‘Given its status as the UK’s leading investigator of serious and complex fraud, the SFO made many basic mistakes. For example, failing to identify the correct versions of documents shown to Bush, and failing to undertake any detailed forensic analysis of the underlying accounting evidence.’The trial collapsed last week but reporting restrictions were put in place. The SFO sought to appeal the ruling but the Court of Appeal refused and restrictions were lifted this morning.The supermarket had already paid the SFO £129m as part of a DPA agreed in April last year relating to false accounting at Tesco Stores Limited, a subsidiary of the retailer, between February and September 2014.Alison Geary, counsel in the white collar defence team at international firm WilmerHale, said: ‘This throws into stark relief the very different considerations between concluding a court approved DPA with a company and prosecuting individual executives. It should not be assumed that the prosecution of individuals will inevitably follow the conclusion of a DPA.’Maria Cronin, partner at Peters & Peters, said the acquittals are likely to cause companies to ’reconsider the potential advantages of DPAs’.She added ‘It is notable, that, to date, the SFO has had little success in securing convictions against individuals following a DPA.’ ‘That the judge considered that the SFO’s case was unsupported by evidence is extremely concerning,’ Cronin said.The SFO said it is considering whether to pursue a retrial in light of the findings.Sasha Wass QC and Esther Schutzer-Weissman of 6KBW appeared for the SFO in the case.last_img read more

Bahri’s ‘NCC Amal’ Transports First Chemical Shipment from Aramco Trading Company

first_imgBahri, a global leader in logistics and transportation, announced the transportation of the first chemical shipment from Aramco Trading Company (ATC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Aramco that trades refined, liquid chemical and polymer products, via ‘NCC Amal,’ a 45,000 DWT Bahri chemical tanker which left Port of Rabigh heading to China.The shipment, which contains 25,000 metric tonnes of paraxylene (PX) and 20,000 metric tonnes of monoethylene glycol (MEG), marks the completion of Phase II of the Petro Rabigh Company (PRC) project, which was celebrated at a special ceremony in the presence of Abdullah Aldubaikhi, CEO of Bahri‎, Nasser D. Al-Mahasher, CEO of PRC, Ibrahim Q. Al-Buainain, CEO of ATC, and other representatives from the three companies.‘NCC Amal’ will transport monoethylene glycol (MEG) in addition to the first paraxylene (PX) cargo, which will be sold during its turnaround to the world’s largest PX consumers through S-OIL, a leading company in the lubricant market, established in 1976 and 63.4% of its shares is owned by Saudi Aramco.Abdullah Aldubaikhi, CEO of Bahri, said, “Bahri enjoys a long-standing relationship with Aramco Trading Company and Petro Rabigh Company, and the completion of the Phase II of the PRC project initiated by ATC, PRC, and Bahri Chemicals, represents the success of our sustained partnership with these two leading industry players. We look forward to transporting more chemicals cargo for our clients and partners, and further strengthening our position in this important sector.”S-OIL has facilities that produce lube base oil and petrochemical products, in addition to crude oil refining facilities with a capacity of 669,000 barrels a day at the Onsan Industrial Complex in Ulsan, South Korea. The company owns the Xylene Center, which is the world’s largest PX production facility, and operates the world’s largest Bunker-C Cracking Center.Sea News, April 6 Author: Priyanka Ann Sainilast_img read more

Extended hours for Roseau health centre

first_img Share 120 Views   one comment Patients at the Roseau Health centre.Health officials have put in place a new plan to address the influx of persons seeking health care at the country’s main hospital. The Ministry of Health will be piloting a three to six months extension of services at the Roseau Health Centre effective June 2nd 2014, the new hours run from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm Mondays to Fridays. Acting Director of Primary Health Care Dr. Charlotte Jeremy-Cuffy said the new hours will also reduce the amount of time persons wait to be attended to. “Instead of going up to the casualty after work with a flu, a sore throat or just want to talk to a doctor, up to 7pm the health center will be opened, there will be nurses available, a doctor will be available to attend to you,” she said. Dr. Jeremy-Cuffy believes the new extended hours will also reduce the work load on the Accident and Emergency department. In the past citizens have complained about what they deemed as poor service from nurses and doctors at the A&E department. “We know at the Princess Margret hospital the A&E department is more for emergencies and so when persons go up there with minor illnesses they would have to wait a lot up to sometimes ten hours with the chikungunya outbreak persons had to wait for up to 12 hours and then still not attended to because of the workload of the casualty department when there is an emergency,” she said. Dr. Jeremy-Cuffy noted that the entire Roseau Health District team will be involved in the initiative stretching from Soufriere to Warner. As customary, all major injuries and illness should be reported to the Accident and Emergency Department, at the Princess Margaret Hospital while patients with non-emergencies are advised to visit the Health center. If the new initiative meets its objective, it could be extended in the future. Dominica Vibes News Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img News Extended hours for Roseau health centre by: – May 29, 2014 Share Tweetlast_img read more

GSA Outlines the Global Status of 5G Deployment Using mm-Wave Spectrum

first_imgThe GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) has released its latest report underlining the global usage of spectrum above 24 GHz for 5G services. According to the report, 97 operators in 17 countries/territories hold public licenses (many of the regional) enabling operation of 5G networks using mm-Wave spectrum. 22 operators are known to have already deployed 5G networks using mmWave spectrum. The report also stated that 13 countries/territories have already announced formal plans for assigning frequencies above 24 GHz between now and end-2021.And while countries and operators have been busy in bringing the 5G to the masses, there already are 84 5G devices announced that support one or more of the 5G spectrum bands above 24 GHz (though note that details of spectrum support are patchy for pre-commercial devices), up from 59 at the end of November 2019. Twenty-seven of those devices are commercially available.5G Deployments in mmWave bandsmmWave spectrum bands are being explicitly opened up to enable the provision of 5G services. According to the report, the 24.25 – 29.5 GHz range covering the overlapping bands n257 (26.5 – 29.5 GHz), n258 (24.25 – 27.5 GHz) and n261 (27.5 – 28.35 GHz) has been the most-licensed/deployed 5G mmWave spectrum range to date. 123 operators in 42 countries/territories are investing in 5G (in the form of trials, licences, deployments or operational networks) across the 24.25 – 29.5 GHz spectrum range. 79 operators are known to have been licensed to deploy 5G in this range, while 21 operators are understood to be actively deploying 5G networks using this spectrum.GSA has also mentioned the usage of Band n260, covering 37 – 40 GHz, also being used, with 33 companies in six countries/territories investing in networks using this spectrum. Of those, 32 hold licences (with the majority of those 32 based in the USA and its territories). 3 operators in the USA have launched 5G using band n260. In addition to usage for 5G, mmWave spectrum has also historically been awarded for fixed point-to-point, point to multipoint and some FWA/MMDS usage; those historic assignments are not listed in the report.Click here to download the report.last_img read more

City confirm Pep will step down from his role as head coach

first_imgBirmingham City has confirmed that Pep Clotet will step down from his role as head coach of the Club at the end of the season.The Championship club made this known in a statement on its official website on Monday.Pep has been an influential figure since joining City in March 2018.The 43-year-old was appointed Caretaker Head Coach in June 2019 before becoming Head Coach in December.“Pep Clotet has decided to step down, and the club has agreed to allow the 43-year-old to explore other coaching opportunities,” the statement read.Reacting to the development, Birmingham City CEO, Dong Ren said: “Pep will depart with our very best wishes.“Pep came in as a colleague, but he’ll leave as a friend with our gratitude.“He has done a very good and thorough job for us and has been professional throughout, always putting the club before himself.”Also reacting, Pep told the club’s official website: “It’s been a really difficult decision to take because it is a privilege to be part of the Blues family.“I am very grateful to the club, its board and the supporters for placing their faith in me to lead the team this season.”City currently sits in the sixteenth position on the Championship table with 47 points from 37 matches.last_img read more