Log in | Register

News in brief: £7.8m tree-planting fund opens; Plans revealed for 98 affordable homes in East London

Tree planting / Shutterstock_191276147

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 21 June, 2022

£7.8m tree-planting fund opens

A £7.8 million Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund has been launched to support local authorities with new staff and expertise needed to kick-start woodland creation and tree planting.

It will be delivered by the Forestry Commission in partnership with Defra as part of the £750 million Nature for Climate Fund. The successful applicants to the fund will be awarded up to £150,000 each.

Financial support will be provided to at least 50 local authorities in England to bring on board the professional expertise they need to drive tree planting and woodland creation commitments.

The staff, which could include project managers, woodland creation officers and specialist advisers, will focus together on developing planting plans and applications for capital funding in 2023/2024 and 2024/2025, speeding up the delivery of new woodlands.

Applications close at 5pm on Friday 8 July 2022 and more information about how to apply can be found on the UK Government website.


Tower Hamlets wins ‘Tree Cities of the World’ award

Tower Hamlets has won ‘Tree Cities of the World’ status for its dedication to urban and community forestry, tree planting, and biodiversity.

Around 7,800 trees have been planted in the past five years by Tower Hamlets Council in its streets and parks.

Furze Green won the Community Tree Award at the London Tree and Woodland Awards for its community involvement with the project and dedication to tree-planting. Its project was a partnership between Tower Hamlets Council and Trees for Cities, designed to enhance green space for the local community.

More information about tree planting in Tower Hamlets can be found here.


Plans revealed for 90 affordable homes in East London

Transport for London (TfL), working with regeneration specialist Vistry Partnerships and housing association Peabody, is working on proposals for 98 affordable homes in Barkingside.

The homes would be a range of one, two and three-bedroom homes delivered across three buildings. They would be a mix of shared ownership and London Affordable Rent units.

The site proposed covers the area used as a builders’ yard next to Barkingside Tube station.

The proposals have been designed by Sheppard Robson architects.


Survey suggests people in Scotland want more good-quality, low-cost housing for rent

A survey has found that 66 per cent of people in Scotland do not believe that there is enough good-quality, low-cost housing available for rent in their local area.

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) commissioned YouGov to conduct the survey.

SFHA said that as the cost-of-living crisis takes hold it is “critically important” that housing associations and cooperatives can continue to tackle housing need and help the Scottish Government to deliver its target of delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032.

It has called on the Scottish Government to continue its commitment to social housing by increasing investment year on year.


Telford agrees on housing deal with Greenstone

Telford Homes has completed a deal with Greenstone to provide 155 new affordable homes in Brent in north-west London.

Greenstone will acquire the affordable element of the Alperton Bus Garage scheme comprising 155 homes. Telford Homes acquired the site in November 2021, having received planning approval from Brent Council to transform the current bus depot into a residential and commercial development.

When complete, it will deliver 461 new homes, including a mix of build-to-rent and affordable units, alongside new retail and community offerings and enhancements to the public realm.

The development will deliver 2,550 square metres of light industrial space, known as Alperton Yard, with the aim of supporting small businesses and those in the creative industries.

It will also create 150 employment opportunities for local people.


DLA completes Waterhouse scheme in Salford

A new residential development named ‘The Waterhouse’ has been completed by DLA Architecture for its client Forshaw Land & Property Group in Salford.

It is located on the banks of the River Irwell and will provide 86 waterside homes in a range of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, with two-bedroom duplexes and two and three-bedroom penthouses.

On-site amenities include a gymnasium, residents’ lounge, a large roof terrace, parking, and cycle storage.

It forms part of the wider regeneration of Ordsall Riverside with a development that responds well to its urban context with good access to the river and surrounding amenity.


WMCA announces historic buildings plans

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has agreed in principle to regenerate the Victorian-built Globe House in Walsall and the derelict former Erdington Baths in Birmingham.

Funding for both historic buildings comes from the brownfield regeneration and housing delivery programme, using funds secured in the 2018.  

The Erdington scheme will see the ‘landmark’ former swimming baths in Mason Road transformed into an enterprise and community hub with community facilities including a restaurant and café.

In Walsall, the ornate Globe House, a grade II listed building in Bradford Place, will be converted from offices into 35 apartments. At least 20 per cent of the apartments will be affordable under the WMCA’s definition.

The authority says it will hold detailed negotiations with developers to finalise the investment and work in partnership with Birmingham City Council to deliver both plans.


TopHat to open Northampton facility in 2023

Modular house developer TopHat has announced that it will open a new 650,000-square-foot facility in Corby, Northamptonshire, in 2023.

The new facility will bring together the latest robotics and TopHat’s proprietary technology to manufacture and distribute up to 4,000 homes a year. TopHat’s existing site in Derby currently produces up to 800 homes a year.  

It will create 1,000 new jobs offering a wide range of roles, and will establish a training academy in partnership with local colleges.


Photography exhibition approved

The Photographers’ Gallery’s installation will open free to the public in the streets and alleyways off London's Oxford Street.

The project comprises a collection of curated photographic exhibitions involving cross-street banners and the projection of films in the public realm. They will be changed twice a year within the scope of a permanent art installation.

Planning consultancy Lichfields devised the strategy to enable the project to go ahead. The initiative is part of wider plans by Westminster City Council to generate an ambitious experiential-led renaissance for Oxford Street and nearby streets. Repurposing the area with art projects is designed to encourage increased visitor numbers, with people spending more time and money in shops and restaurants, to increase the footfall after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lichfields senior director Michael Lowndes said: “This is an important project that punches well above its weight, leading to an enhancement of place and delivering significant benefits for all to enjoy. We are seeing more and more experiential and innovative planning applications in the public realm, as high streets look to repurpose and attract visitors who then dwell in spaces and spend on local services."

Image credit | Shutterstock