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News in Brief: Affordable house scheme approved in Flintshire; St Albans museum approved

Words: Laura Edgar

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 12 January, 2016

Affordable house scheme approved in Flintshire

Pennaf Housing Group has chosen Mold-based developer Lovell to a build a £2.4 million, 21-home affordable housing scheme in Hawarden, Flintshire, in Wales, following a tendering process. The development will consist of 20 two, three and four-bedroom homes and one bungalow. The Welsh Government transferred land, which was originally designated for road improvement, to Pennaf to enable the project.

Tender won for development in Surrey

Goldstone Homes, a residential new homes builder and independent construction company, has won a tender for a new residential development in Thames Ditton, Surrey. The work will be carried out in two phases with a potential third phase to be confirmed. Phase one will include the construction of a pair of semi-detached residential houses and a large 1,000 square foot workshop and storage facility for nearby Colets Health and Fitness.

St Albans museum approved

Communities secretary Greg Clark has authorised St Albans City and District Council to grant planning permission and listed building consent for conversion of the former town hall and courtroom into the new St Albans City Museum and Art Gallery. Construction is due to start this spring with the museum and gallery expected to open in autumn 2017. Work, which will be carried out by John McAslan + Partners, includes restoration of the town hall’s assembly room and turning it into a gallery displaying the history of St Albans City. A gallery on the lower ground floor will house touring exhibitions and contemporary art shows. Work also includes developing a café on the ground floor. The Heritage Lottery Fund has backed the project.

Labour group concerned by Paddington “Shard” proposals

Westminster Labour Group says the proposals for a “Paddington Shard” fail to deliver for local people. The group argues that the plans for the “mega-tower” on the old Royal Mail sorting site next to Paddington Station have been rushed through the planning process. The group also expressed concerns about the design of the scheme and the lack of “significant affordable housing”. The building will be West London’s tallest skyscraper and has been designed by Renzo Piano, who designed The Shard. Labour group leader Adam Hug said: “The developers need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a scheme that can really respond to residents’ concerns about the proposed design and delivers real benefits for our community. The amount of affordable housing currently proposed is absolutely unacceptable and must be dramatically improved to ensure Westminster residents can benefit.”

Scottish Labour pledges 60,000 affordable homes

Scottish Labour has pledged to deliver 60,000 affordable homes should it win the Scottish Government election in May, according to reports in the Scottish Herald. The party is also considering setting a separate target for social housing. Last week, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale set out the party’s first pledge - to give first-time buyers up to £3,000 to help them get on to the housing ladder.

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