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Planning news - 5 December 2019

Published: Wednesday, 4th December 2019

Ealing regeneration project gets the go-ahead, Outline permission for Derby homes granted, Homes and employment space approved in Oxford. And more stories...

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

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Ealing Council’s planning committee has granted planning permission for a 990-home regeneration scheme in Acton.

The scheme will be delivered by joint venture partners housing association Catalyst and developer Mount Anvil.

The firms said they worked “closely” with Friary Park’s current residents to develop the proposals, “ensuring they have been at the heart of decisions”. The estate currently comprises 225 homes.

Of the 990 new homes, 45 per cent have designated as affordable housing, including 237 social rent homes and 28 London affordable rent homes. There will also be an increase in rented homes on the estate, from 225 to 265.

All existing Catalyst tenants on Friary Park estate have the option of being rehoused in the new development should they wish to take this option.

The scheme also comprises 1,459 square metres of commercial, retail and community space.

Friary Park is a short walk from the new Acton Central Crossrail station. The plans will also see a “significant” increase in the amount of green space on the estate with residents having access to private balconies and terraces, podium gardens, play trails and a “new and improved” multi-use games area and community centre, says the partnership.

Marcus Bate, investment director at Mount Anvil, said: “Securing resolution to grant planning permission for Friary Park is a huge step forward for the partnership and residents on the estate. Together we’ll be creating an outstanding place where people can thrive – better homes for the residents, much-needed new homes of all tenures for Ealing and new public green spaces and amenities for all to enjoy.”

25 November 2019
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Derby City Council has granted outline planning approval for up to 800 homes and full planning permission for 245 homes.

The homes will be located on land north of Snelsmoor Lane, Chellaston.

The outline application also comprises a sustainable drainage system, a new primary school with playing fields, and open space, including the creation of a country park.

The planning officer concluded that the development represents “an acceptable mix of residential development, country park, primary school and all related highways and drainage improvements”. It was also deemed, consequently, to comply with several core strategy policies.  

Therefore, the officer advised that the director of strategy partnerships, planning and streetpride should be authorised to negotiate a section 106 agreement and that the director of governance should be authorised to enter into such an agreement.

He also said the director of strategy partnerships, planning and streetpride should “grant permission upon the resolution of all outstanding technical issues and the conclusion of the above Section 106 Agreement”.

The section 106 requirements include 10 per cent affordable housing, split into 70 per cent affordable rent and 30 per cent shared ownership.

The planning control committee document, which includes the planning officer’s report, can be found here on the Derby City Council website.

28 November 2019
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Oxford City Council’s West Area planning committee has approved plans to deliver 480 homes and create 4,500 new jobs.

Thomas White Oxford, the development company of St John’s College, came up with the plans for Oxford North, which is located on land adjacent  to the A40 A34 and Wolvercote roundabout.

The outline application comprises:

  • Up to 87,300 square metres of employment space.
  • Up to 480 houses, of which 168 have been designated as affordable.
  • 550 square metres of community space.
  • Up to 25,00 square metres of A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5 floor space.
  • A hotel with up to 180 bedrooms.
  • Installation of an energy sharing loop.
  • Main vehicle access points from the A40 and A44.
  • A link road between A40 and A44 through the site.  
  • Car and cycle parking.
  • Open space and landscaping.

A full planning application for part of phase 1A was approved at the same meeting. It includes 15,850 square metres of employment space, installation of an energy sharing loop and access junctions from the A40 and A44.

The planning officer recommended the applications for approval subject to the completion of a section 106 legal agreement.

Thomas White Oxford said it is providing up to £100 million of investment into power, utilities, and public space, in addition to the infrastructure improvements to the A40 and A44 alongside public funding support.

Savills, Fletcher Priest Architects, Gardiner & Theobald LLP, Peter Brett Associates, Townshend Landscape Architects, Hoare Lea, EDP, AKT II, and BSG Ecology acted on behalf of Thomas White Oxford.

2 December 2019
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Government statistics show that 57,485 affordable homes were delivered in England in 2018/19, which is 22 per cent more that the number delivered a year earlier.

Of the affordable homes built, 66 per cent were for rent, such as social and intermediate rent. This figure has decreased from 78 per cent in 2014/15.

According to the statistics published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), 49 per cent of the homes delivered in 2018/19 were funded through section 106 agreements – similar to the 48 per cent funded in 2017/18.

Of the 57,485 affordable units delivered, 92 per cent were new-build homes.

In 2018/19, there were 61,056 affordable home starts on site last year, 10 per cent more than the 55,555 started a year earlier.

The document states that by tenure, affordable rent and shared ownership continue to account for the largest number of starts. The number of starts increased for both tenures. In 2018-19, these two tenures accounted for more than three-quarters of new affordable housing starts.

Affordable Housing Supply: April 2018 to March 2019 England can be found on the UK Government website (pdf).

25 November 2019
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Welsh ministers have introduced legislation that includes measures giving local authorities the powers to apply to merge voluntarily as well as facilitating regional working in areas such as planning, economic development and transport through corporate joint committees.

The Local Government and Elections (Wales) Bill would allow local authorities to request the creation of a corporate joint committee for any service they wish.

Ministers, though, will only be able to create a corporate joint committee in a limited number of functional areas set out in the bill.

These include strategic planning for the development and use of land and the function of preparing a strategic development plan, transport, and economic development.

“The aim is to reduce complexity for councils using different kinds of regional working arrangements, and to ensure that the decisions are made as close to the local people as is possible for effective and efficient democracy,” local government minister Julie James told AMs this week.

She said corporate joint committees would be “an important tool for local government to use to support collaboration, transformation and the longer-term sustainability of public services”.

“They will be bodies corporate, formed from the membership of principal councils, established in statute and able to directly employ staff, hold assets and manage funding.”

22 November 2019
Roger Milne, The Planner

A round-up of planning news.

RTPI awards two members fellowships

Two members of the RTPI have been elected as fellows of the institute – Jon Suckley and Warren Marshall.

The fellowship recognises their contribution to the planning profession.

Suckley is principal and senior director for planning, development and regeneration at Avison Young in Manchester, and Marshall is group planning director at Peel Ports Group.

The RTPI said fellowship is awarded to those planners who have “made a major personal contribution to the profession to further the science and art of planning for the benefit of the public”.


Climate response outlined by national park authority

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority has highlighted how it is responding to the challenges posed by climate change.

The authority’s members have welcomed a report that details continuing and imminent action as well as possible areas for further progress. It follows the declaration of a climate emergency by the Welsh Government and Pembrokeshire County Council earlier this year.

National park authority chairman Paul Harries said: “Members and staff agreed that the authority should outline the ways in which it is already taking action in order to identify where further reductions or impacts can be made and the areas that the authority has the most influence over.

“There is such a diverse range of work being carried out across the authority’s teams, but combining them in this way allows us to view the entire picture in order to maximise our response to the climate emergency.”

The report includes details in a wide range of areas, from planning policy and recycling to transport and procurement.

Members have agreed to develop an action plan to identify new areas of work, which will be prepared in the coming months.

The report can be found on the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority website.


Lichfield consults on local plan

Lichfield District Council has begun work on a new local plan to shape the district until 2040.

The council said the plan would provide homes, jobs, facilities and services to meet the needs of the population in a sustainable way. It would also protect and enhance the area’s environment and heritage.

The council wants local people, developers and organisations, including parish councils, to consider its draft local plan preferred options document, which sets out how the council thinks the district should be developed over the next 20 years.

The consultation will close at 5pm on Friday 24 January 2020.

More information can be found on the Lichfield District Council website.


135,000 homeless children in Britain

A report published today (3 December) has found that there are 135,000 children in Britain who are homeless and living in temporary accommodation.

According to the Shelter report, this is the highest number in 12 years.

Generation Homeless states that a child loses his or her home every eight minutes, which is equivalent to 183 children a day.

  • There are 5,683 homeless families with children currently living in emergency B&Bs and hostels.
  • In England, the areas with the highest proportion of homeless children are the London boroughs of Kensington & Chelsea, Haringey, Westminster and Newham, where one in 12 children is homeless.
  • Outside the capital, the places with the highest concentration of homeless children are Luton (one in every 22 children), Brighton & Hove (one in every 30) and Manchester (one in every 47).
  • In England’s classrooms, there is an average of five homeless children for every school in the country.

Polly Neate, chief executive at Shelter, said: “The fact 183 children become homeless every day is a scandalous figure and sharp reminder that political promises about tackling homelessness must be turned into real action.

“Day in, day out we see the devastating impact the housing emergency is having on children across the country. They are being uprooted from friends; living in cold, cramped B&Bs and going to bed at night scared by the sound of strangers outside.

“Every child has the right to a safe home and if we act now, we can help get them to a better place."

Neate urged people to donate to Shelter's Christmas appeal.


More than 250k completions supported by Help to Buy

Between 1 December 2015 and 30 June 2019, there have been 256,564 property completions supported by the Help to Buy ISA, recent statistics have suggested.

A total of 339,747 bonuses have been paid through the scheme, at an average value of £943.

Other statistics in the document released by Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government include:

  • North West and Yorkshire and The Humber – highest number of property completions supported by the scheme.
  • North East and Northern Ireland – lowest number of property completions supported by the scheme.
  • £173,573 – the mean value of a property purchased through the scheme is £173,573 compared with an average first-time buyer house price of £193,701 and a national average house price of £230,292.
  • 28 – the median age of a first-time buyer in the scheme is 28 compared with a national first-time buyer median age of 30.

Help to Buy: ISA Scheme Quarterly Statistics can be found on the UK Government website (pdf).

3 December 2019
Laura Edgar, The Planner