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News in brief: Hertsmere revises local plan timetable; Build-to-rent scheme approved in Gravesend

Words: Laura Edgar
Planning / iStock-166225668

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 8 September, 2020

Hertsmere revises local plan timetable

Hertsmere Borough Council has agreed that its new draft local plan will be published in spring 2021. Its publication has been delayed because of Covid-19.

Following the publication, there will be a six-week consultation period so that the public and other interested parties will be able to give their views on the plan before it is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate and the housing secretary for examination.  

The council’s new head of planning Ross Whear signed off the revised timetable in agreement with the council’s managing director, Sajida Bijle, and portfolio holder for planning Harvey Cohen.  

Whear said: “The decision to delay publication of our plan has not been taken lightly. However, it has become apparent that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the need for additional preparatory work means it would be impossible to keep to our original timetable.

“While it is regrettable, this in no way represents a loss for our residents and businesses. In fact, it means we can spend more time getting everything right and ensuring a smooth progression to the next stage of the local plan process.”


Build-to-rent scheme approved in Gravesend

Gravesend Borough Council has granted planning permission for 242 build-to-rent homes in the town centre.

The planning team at Knight Frank advised Reef Group on the scheme.

Of the 242 homes, 20 per cent will be offered at discounted market rent and the rest for private rent. The homes, which will have one, two or three bedrooms, will be arranged across three buildings. A multistorey car park comprising 186 spaces will also be built. The scheme will offer a mix of one, two and three-bedroom homes for private rental.

The development is being delivered as part of a joint venture between Reef Group and Gravesham Borough Council.

Work is expected to start on site later this year.


Plans for student accommodation submitted in East London

A planning application for a 282-bed purpose-built student accommodation scheme has been submitted to the London Legacy Development Corporation.

The development, covering 102,700 square feet, is planned for two sites. An existing 100-bed student accommodation building, known as Poland House, would be demolished and rebuilt on one of the sites. An adjacent site, which is vacant but was occupied by a petrol station, would also be redeveloped.

The development would comprise four interlocking blocks, ranging in height from eight to 12 storeys. There would be 37 shared flats in these blocks. 

Plans also include 1,720 square feet of community space intended for use by charities and organisations to serve the local people. Enhanced public realm on Stratford High Street is also proposed, including additional tree planting.

Knight Frank's planning team submitted the application on behalf of Curlew Opportunities.


Firm selected for Runcorn scheme

Regeneration specialist Vistry Partnership has been selected to build a 100-bed independent living scheme in Sandymoor, Runcorn.

Plans comprise a mix of one and two-bedroom properties. They will be built on behalf of Halton Housing, which will own and run the facility once it is complete.

The specialist apartments, located east of Village Street, will also feature a bistro and multifunction room, available to residents and the wider community.

Terms have been agreed and the contracts are set to be signed shortly. 

Vistry Partnerships’ managing director for the North West Ian Hilliker said: “The 100 specialist apartments will transform the supply of housing for older residents living in Runcorn, and it will be a huge boost for the area.”

The Sandymoor scheme forms part of wider regeneration plans for the site. Vistry Partnerships is scheduled to build 235 houses with Together Housing. The deal will see the two partners deliver two, three, and four-bed properties, which will be available for open market sale through Vistry Partnership’s housebuilding arm, Linden Homes.


Rental homes approved in Brighton & Hove

Brighton & Hove City Council's planning committee has approved 216 build-to-rent homes to be built on Ellen Street. 

Developer Watkin Jones’s proposals will kick-start the regeneration of the Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum area, including public realm improvements.

The development comprises 216 build-to-rent homes, 10 per cent of which have been designated as affordable, more than 2,000 square metres of flexible commercial space and provision for new community space.

The public realm on Ellen Street, Ethel Street and Conway Street will be improved, including the widening of pavements, street lighting, seating, new trees and planting.

Image credit | iStock