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Planning News - 21 August 2019

Published: Wednesday, 21st August 2019

Housing association to build plastic-free homes, Caerphilly councillors vote to block 618-home scheme, New guide offers tips to improve sports provision and more stories...

This weeks planning news in association with ThePlanner, the official magazine of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

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Accord Housing Association has committed to building ‘virtually plastic-free’ housing as it attempts to reduce the amount of plastic used during construction.

The West Midlands organisation plans to build 12 homes using alternatives to fit kitchens, bathrooms and windows, as well as reducing the amount of plastic used in building materials.

It notes that the building sector is responsible for more than 60 per cent of resource use in Europe and that more than 30-50 per cent of material use is taking place in the housing construction section.

Accord believes that its project is the first of its kind in the UK. It is part of the CHARM partnership (Circular Housing Asset Renovation & Management) funded by Interreg European Funding.

CHARM is part of a partnership that is made up of representatives from four nations – Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the UK. Each country has been given a different project to lead on, the aim being to promote a circular economy in the housing construction sector.

Carl Taylor, assistant director of new businesses at Accord, said: “We particularly want to remove the plastic from the kitchens and the bathrooms, because even though a house can last for a hundred years or more, the average kitchen and bathroom is changed every few years and we are keen to avoid generating plastic waste. This trans-European project will enable us to work with our European partners to identify plastic-free building products. We haven’t yet got a plastic-free solution to the electrics, for instance, but we will be challenging people in the building products manufacturing industry to help us find solutions.”

The homes will be built by the housing association’s offsite manufacturing facility LoCal Homes, using the latest modern methods of construction.

Alan Yates, deputy chief executive at Accord, added that the organisation has started design work, which it aims to finish in January 2020. “Our closed timber framed houses have allowed us to build on low-carbon housing development and we have developed technology to build low-carbon houses – now it is about taking that technology a step forward to reduce the use of materials that are not good for the environment both during manufacture and construction and for years to come. This project will change how we manufacture our homes forever,” he said.

15 August 2019
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Members of Caerphilly County Borough Council’s planning committee have voted against proposals for a development of up to 618 new homes, 40 per cent of which would be affordable. Their unanimous stance went against the advice of officials.

Developers PMG Ltd and Persimmon Homes are expected to appeal once the committee has met again to formalise refusal and the reasons for rejection.

The greenfield site earmarked for the scheme, at Gwern y Domen, is mainly pastureland on the edge of the town, south-west of Lansbury Park and Mornington Meadows.

The project is highly controversial and has sparked thousands of objections. Only last weekend there was a well-attended demonstration by horse riders and cyclists who use the area’s bridleways and footpaths.

Campaigners against the scheme are worried about the loss of green space, traffic issues and the impact on a nearby area of special landscape.

In their report to the committee, officers said the proposals were in line with national policy and the site met council criteria for development.

Noted the officials: “In the absence of any firm timescale for progressing a local development plan review, or a strategic development plan, the development by a major housebuilder would ensure that a significant contribution to meeting the five-year housing land supply shortfall which currently exists, would be provided, and that a large proportion of affordable units would also be delivered.

“It can therefore be concluded that a significant need exists for the development on the above basis.”

As well as the housing, the developers’ outline application included plans for a sports pavilion, open space as well as formal and informal play areas linked by pedestrian and cycle routes. Significant aboricultural and ecological mitigation measures were also promised.

16 August 2019
Roger Milne, The Planner

Planning guidance that aims to make it simpler and easier for local authorities to provide facilities that enable people to get active has been published.

Sport England’s advice focuses on 12 principles.

The organisation hopes that these principles will assist those involved with and looking to engage with the planning system, including local planning officers, councillors, planning inspectors, developers, neighbourhood forums, public health needs and sports clubs.

The 12 propositions are broken down into four categories – overarching, protect, enhance, and provide. They include:

  • Overarching

- Undertake, maintain and apply robust and up-to-date assessments of need and strategies for sport and physical activity provision, and base policies, decisions and guidance upon them.

- Plan, design and maintain buildings, developments, facilities, land and environments that enable people to lead active lifestyles.

  • Protect

- Protect and promote existing sport and physical activity provisions and ensure that new development does not prejudice it.

  • Enhance

- Encourage and secure wider community use of existing and new sport and physical activity facilities.

  • Provide

- Support new provisions, including allocating new sites, for sport and physical activity that meets identified need.

- Plan positively for sport and physical activity in designated landscapes and the green belt.

Charles Johnston, executive director of property at Sport England, said: “The planning system provides huge opportunities for communities to lead healthy and active lifestyles, whether that’s providing access to sports facilities and spaces for informal exercise or making it safe and convenient to walk and cycle to everyday destinations,” he said.

“Our new guidance has been designed to help the planning system take an increasingly proactive role in providing such opportunities and creating ‘active environments’ so more people can reap the benefits of improved physical and mental wellbeing.”

The Planning for Sport Guidance replaces and brings together Sport England’s four 2014 planning for sport guides; Planning Aims and Objectives Guide, Forward Planning Guide, Development Management Guide and Supporting Advice Guide.

Planning for Sport Guidance was produced in partnership with planning consultancy David Lock Associates.

The guide can be found on the Sport England website (pdf).

12 August 2019
Laura Edgar 

South Tyneside Council’s cabinet has approved the pre-publication draft of the area’s local plan, which should facilitate the delivery of 7,000 homes by 2036.

It now goes out for consultation by the public.

To ensure that the borough’s housing requirement is met, provision is made for 950 new homes within the East Boldon Neighbourhood Forum Area and 397 new homes in the Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum Area.

Of the target, 1,102 homes have been completed and 904 have planning permission.

The Chronicle Live reports leader of the council Iain Malcolm as saying at the cabinet meeting: "Nothing is set in stone. This is not just about housing, this is about employment, leisure, transport and where we see the borough's development going over the next 15 years.”

The new local plan will replace several development documents, including the Core Strategy Development Plan Document (June 2007), a number of action plans, Development Management Policies (December 2011), and Site-Specific Allocations (April 2012).

The local plan is aimed at providing a comprehensive approach to social, physical and economic regeneration. The most deprived parts of the borough will be regenerated through a combination of new homes, employment opportunities, shops and leisure provision. Wherever possible, the borough plans to optimise the effective reuse of brownfield land that is not of high environmental or heritage value, and to encourage the remediation and reuse of contaminated land.

Specifically, land for new homes will be focused on a “dispersed pattern” in the urban area of South Shields, Hebburn and Jarrow. Development will be located on sites that allow the plan-led development of the villages of Whitburn, Cleadon, East Boldon and West Boldon.

The plan outlines that land for new employment development will “continue to focus on those existing viable and marketable employment areas that are accessible by a range of transport modes and take advantage of the road, rail and River Tyne networks”.

The document notes that the Stage One Green Belt Review: Exceptional Circumstances (2019) concludes that there are exceptional circumstances that justify the need to amend the green belt boundary in some areas in order to facilitate the development that is needed to promote sustainable patterns of

In allocating land to meet these needs, the council said it has considered the recommendations of the Stage Two Green Belt Review (2019). It has proposed to redefine the extent of the green belt in the Hebburn, Hedworth and Fellgate, South Shields, Whitburn, Cleadon, East Boldon and West Boldon

15 August 2019
Laura Edgar, The Planner 

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council has approved the action plan required after failing to deliver at least 95 per cent of the housing it needs under the Housing Delivery Test.

As part of the work to develop the action plan, the council estimates that the Housing Delivery Test for 2019 will be about 72 per cent, based on initial housing completions for April 2018 to March 2019.

It is likely to deliver 1,454 completed homes against a need of 2,033 homes.

The action plan states: “This indicates that the council will have to prepare another action plan by August 2020 and apply a 20 per cent buffer to our five-year housing land supply."

The results of the government's first Housing Delivery Test were published in March 2019 but, according to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), should have been published in November 2018. It is calculated by dividing the total number of net homes delivered over a three-year period by the total number of homes required over a three-year period. The 2018 test considers 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18.

The council does not have a recently adopted plan – it is currently at the public examination stage. The government’s local housing need figures were instead used in the Housing Delivery Test.

The council has identified the following key actions to improve housing delivery:

  • Continue to determine planning applications for housing schemes as fast as reasonably possible.
  • Continue to consider the necessity of planning conditions for housing permissions.
  • Progress the adoption of the local plan.
  • Creating a housing company that will be better able to delivery other forms of social rent that are desirable and affordable for local residents.

More information on the action plan can be found on the council website. The decision can be viewed here.

12 August 2019
Laura Edgar 

A round-up of planning news

Housebuilder buys Nottinghamshire land
Barratt David Wilson will build 235 homes after purchasing land in East Leake.

Fisher German sold the 30.9-acre site on Rempstone Road, which already has planning permission for the homes.

Of the 235 homes, 47 will be affordable. The scheme also comprises a primary school and over £1 million in contributions to education.

Barratt David Wilson expects to start work on the site in February 2020.
Apartment complex submitted to planners in Newcastle
Regeneration plans for a site overlooking the River Tyne in Ouseburn have been submitted to Newcastle City Council.

Proposals drawn up by McLundie Geddes Architects comprise a mix of 50 one, two, three and four-bedroomed apartments with on-site undercroft parking. The building will be located on derelict land off St Lawrence Road.

It is estimated that about 50 construction jobs could be created if the plans are approved, as well as helping to stimulate new jobs in support and associated supply chain sectors.

Hedley Planning Services worked with the city council on the scheme.
Central London development approved
Piercy&Company will deliver a new 146-room boutique hotel and a new affordable housing block in Clerkenwell’s Hatton Garden Conservation Area after receiving planning permission from Camden Council.

The firm’s Vine Hill scheme also includes the restoration and extension of the Victorian Ragged School Building to create 25,000 square feet of flexible workspace.

The design was developed in close consultation with the council through a series of rendered street views taken from key locations within the conservation area.
Khan plans homes for rough sleepers and domestic abuse victims
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced his plans for up to 200 homes to help former rough sleepers and victims of domestic abuse to leave hostels and refuges and move on with their lives.

Khan’s ‘move-on’ homes programme aims to build on City Hall’s wider work to help rough sleepers and to support women and girls who are victims of violence.

People will typically move from hostels and refuges into the new homes, where they will be supported as they start to live more independently, ahead of moving into permanent private rented or social housing.

The first two contracts totalling up to £25 million have now been awarded to providers One Housing Group and Resonance Real Lettings Property Fund, who will deliver 115 homes and up to 75 homes respectively.

The first homes are expected to be ready in early autumn and the remainder started by March 2021.

City Hall explained that residents would be provided with support for mental health issues, financial management, and help to find employment, education and training opportunities.
Putney infill development gets the go-ahead
Wandsworth Council has been granted planning approval for an infill development on the Kersfield Estate in Putney.

It comprises 41 homes and forms part of a council homes programme that aims to deliver 1,000 mixed-tenure homes on infill sites by 2025.

The approval will see a mix of one, two and three-bed apartments built, replacing garage buildings, “poor-quality” areas of open space and an electricity substation. All homes will be prioritised for Wandsworth residents and workers to either rent or own.

Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design advised the council. The architects on the scheme are Mæ and the landscape architects are Camlins.

13 August 2019
Laura Edgar