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News in Brief: £30m National Trust Investment, £100m boost for small house builders

Words: Laura Edgar
Blickling Hall

A round-up of planning news: Monday 6 July, 2015

£30m National Trust investment

The National Trust has announced that it is investing £30 million into renewable energy to heat and power more of its historic places. The investment is, says the trust, a milestone towards reaching its targets to reduce fossil fuel reliance, cut energy use by 20 per cent and source 50 per cent from renewable sources on its land by 2020. Projects include a 200 kilowatt (kW) lake source heating project at Blickling Estate in Norfolk, two biomass boilers at Upton House in Warwickshire, and a 250kW hydro scheme at Hayeswater in Cumbria.

Nearly 500 new homes for Newport

The former Whitehead Steelworks site in Newport, Wales, could be transformed into a 498-home development, including a new primary school and a residential care home. The application for the brownfield site has been submitted by Colin Lewis, chief operating officer at Whiteheads Development Company, to Newport City Council. With a £7 million loan from the Welsh Government, the company hopes the development will deliver a £140 million boost to the area as well as creating up to 1,500 jobs. Half of the homes will be available at below-market rents.

Irish social housing scheme opened

Social development minister Mervyn Storey has opened a new social housing scheme in County Antrim. The Bayview Park scheme in Derrymore was given £300,000 from the Department of Social Development while Clanmil Housing Association, which developed the project, provided an addition £300,000. The scheme consists of six semi-detached homes.

£100m boost for small house builders

Housing minister Brandon Lewis has announced that small builders will get £100 million to “recognise and support their important role in keeping the country building. Lewis said: “Access to finance is one of the biggest challenges small builders face – so that’s why I’m launching this £100 million commitment which will help our smaller builders fund new projects, expand their businesses, create more jobs and build more homes.”