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News in brief: Green building approved in London; Whitehaven regeneration plans set out

Words: Laura Edgar
Approved / Shutterstock_792865963

A round-up of planning news: Wednesday 27 May, 2020

Green building approved in London

The City of London Corporation’s planning and transportation committee has approved plans for what will be the first building in the English capital to incorporate urban greening on the scale described.

The building, to be located at 50 Fenchurch Street, will incorporate "extensive" vertical urban greening that is designed to mitigate air and noise pollution, combat the 'heat island' effect, improve biodiversity and help rainwater run-off management. It will also make the area healthier and more attractive for workers, residents and visitors, the corporation said.

Bespoke metal planters will provide support for climbing plants on the building's south, north and east elevations to create an expansive green façade. At level 10, urban greening will be provided on the roof terrace.

The development includes public space on the ground floor level and a public roof garden and winter garden at 10th floor level, as well as 60,000 square metres of office space across 35 floors and 800 square metres of retail space. 
The scheme see the historial 12th century Lambe's Chapel Crypt relocated.

Plans also include 1,248 long stay cycle parking spaces, alongside showers and associated facilities, and 42 short stay cycle parking spaces within a new public square.

The development achieves an Urban Greening Factor rating (the UGF is a policy initiative through the London Plan) of 0.34.


Whitehaven regeneration plans set out

Copeland Council has set out its plans for the £25 million regeneraton of Whitehaven in Cumbria, which will see the council submit a £15 million bid to the government's Future High Streets Fundto help deliver the plans.

Plans include:

  • Conversion of the former Whittles building on Duke Street into a community digital hub.
  • Developing a cycle hub on the former Barclays Bank site, offering sales, hire, storage and repairs of bikes and e-bikes, linked with a juice bar and guided tours.
  • Creating a seafood restaurant and cycle-friendly accommodation on Marlborough Street.
  • Developing residential opportunities, focusing on the needs of young professionals and post-graduate students, with access to communal leisure and workspace.
  • Connecting the town centre and the harbour by creating new arcades between King Street and Strand Street, offering food court, artisan and small-scale leisure spaces.

In July last year, the councils found out that it had been selected to go forward to the final phase of its application to the government's £1 billion fund. Since then, the council has been developing its business case in consultation with its partners, residents and stakeholders.

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership has confirmed match-funding of £1,056,649 of the Local Growth Fund towards the scheme.

The plans can be found on the council website.


Former Odeon to be redeveloped

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council has approved plans for the £400 million development of the former Odeon site on Kensington High Street, West London.

Lodha Properties plans will see a mixed-use development delivered on the 1.26-acre site. This comprises a six-screen Picturehouse cinema (with a cafe bar / lounger and members' area); 6,200 square metres of commercial space; and 106 homes, with 35 designated as affordable social rent. 

A £1.4 million contribution will be made to affordable housing.

Planning and development consultancy Montagu Evans advised Lodha Properties, while the plans were designed by Squire & Partners.


Bioregional appointed to help Cambridgeshire with its climate emergency response

The sustainability charity Bioregional has been appointed to help Greater Cambridge develop its response to the climate emergency and provide the region's local authorities with a route map towards net zero carbon.

Bioregional will work with sustainability engineers Etude as part of the contract for the Greater Cambridge Local Plan Net Zero Carbon Evidence Base.

The contract was awarded by Greater Cambridge Shared Planning, a strategic partnership between Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District councils. Both local authorities declared a climate emergency in 2019, and have committed to to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Bioregional and Etude will be supporting the shared planning service to adapt its local plan to achieve its net zero carbon 2050 goal. Bioregional said this will be achieved by preparing an evidence base to determine how the target should be defined and accounted for, what measures will be necessary in key sectors, including costings and feasibility, and the potential role (if any) of offsetting.


Brent approved Kilburn regeneration scheme

Brent Council's first virtual planning committee meeting saw approval given to plans for Peel Place, the civic quarter of the South Kilburn Masterplan Regeration Programme,

Developer Countryside and housing association Home Group will, alongside the council, deliver 308 new tenure-blind homes of which 41 per cent of which will be affordable, including shared ownership and social rented homes.

As part of the civic quarter, residents will have access to a new health centre, community hub, gym, workspace, other retail and commercial uses, a market square, public real, and future connection to the emerging district heating network.

The planned amenities are designed to benefit both the existing community and those new to the area.


Leicestershire council to sell land to fund leisure centre

North West Leicestershire District Council has announced that it will sell land in Greenhill to secure funds for the new Coalville Leisure Centre and provide housing.

A planning application has been submitted for homes – 20 per cent to be classified affordable – on a parcel of land off Waterworks Road in Greenhill.

If approved, the council intends to sell the land to a developer with the funds raised being diverted directly into the Coalville Leisure Centre project, which already has planning permission with construction due to start imminently.

Plans for the Greenhill site would not impact the football pitches, recreation area and BMX track that sit adjacent to it, the council confirmed. It plans to consult with the residents on how these facilities can be improved.


Shapps announces schemes to open railway lines

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced 10 schemes that will benefit from government plans to reverse the rail cuts made in the 1960s as part of the now infamous Beeching report.

In January this year, the government announced plans to reverse some of the cuts made following the report, when one-third of Great Britain's rail network was closed.

Speaking during a coronavirus (Covid-19) briefing at the weekend (23 May), Shapps said: "The process has already started in Blyth in the North East and Fleetwood in the North West... I visited in January, and also took the opportunity to visit Horden Peter Lee to see the building work. There used to be a train station 200 yards away, but it was closed, and the town cut off by the Beeching axe. This new station will connect a community of over 50,000 people, improving their quality of life."

He then announced the next 10 schemes to benefit. "Amongst the many schemes is the reinstatement of the Ivanhoe line in the East Midlands, from Leicester to Burton, via Coalville and Ashby." There will also be branch lines on the Isle of Wight, and a new station at Wellington in Somerset.

The schemes are: 

  • reopening of the Meir Railway Station between Stoke-On-Trent and North Staffordshire.
  • passenger services on the Barrow Hill line between Sheffield and Chesterfield.
  • passenger services on the Leicester to Burton (Ivanhoe) line.
  • reinstatement of branch lines on the Isle of Wight.
  • reinstatement of passing loop between St Albans Abbey and Watford Junction (Abbey Line).
  • reopening of Wellington and Cullompton stations.
  • passengers services on the Bury-Heywood-Rochdale lines.
  • regular passenger services on the Clitheroe to Hellifield railway line.
  • reinstatement of rail access to Devizes via a new station at Lydeway.
  • passenger services on the Totton-Fawley (Waterside) line.

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