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News in brief: Affordable Loch Lomond homes approved; Retirement homes green-lit in Newcastle

Words: Laura Edgar
Balmaha, Loch Lomond / iStock-482431207

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 27 March, 2018

Affordable Loch Lomond homes approved

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority’s planning and access committee has approved 20 affordable homes in Balmaha, on the banks of Loch Lomond.

The development comprises 12 houses and eight flats. They will be a combination of homes for rent, shared equity ownership and properties specifically to be rented to local workers.

Two plots will be available for self-build homes.

The need for more affordable homes in the visitor destination of Balmaha was identified through consultation events with the community in 2013. Subsequently, this site was allocated for housing through the local development plan, which was adopted in 2017.


Retirement homes green-lit in Newcastle

Newcastle City Council has granted planning permission for plans to build a 63-home later-living development.

FaulknerBrowns Architects submitted the plans on behalf of PegasusLife.

Plans include shared communal facilities with a residents’ lounge and first-floor podium gardens.

Located in Jesmond, it will replace the unlisted and empty Newcastle High School for Girls. It is within walking distance of the city centre.


Brown responds to Holyrood committee city region report

Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work has responded to Deal or No Deal, by the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee.

The report states that the “often confused and cluttered” policy landscape at local, Scottish and UK government levels “runs the risk of reducing the impact that can be achieved from the deals”.

Keith Brown MSP said in a letter that city region deals need to be given “some time to mature before a body of credible evidence on their impact can be assembled”.

He wrote: “I would like to be clear that just as SG is committed to achievement of inclusive growth in every part of Scotland, we are similarly committed to 100 per cent coverage of Scotland with a growth deal. We want the UKG to join us in this common purpose and work to accelerate plans to ensure every area of Scotland is given the opportunity to benefit from this extra catalytic investment.”

He said he concurs with the committee that a timetable to achieve this should be agreed between both governments.

Keith Brown’s letter can be found on the Scottish Parliament website (pdf).

* SG = Scottish Government
* UKG = UK Goverment


University appoints GVA on future of its campus

Oxford Brookes University has appointed GAV as a leading consultant for the redevelopment and sale of its Wheatley Campus.

GVA has provided planning advice and is taking the campus site to market.

Situated just off the A40, the 53.4-acre site lies seven miles south-east of Oxford city centre. It comprises a number of buildings that provide student residential accommodation, learning spaces and social venues, many of which were constructed in the 1950s and are no longer deemed fit for purpose.

The university plans to relocate functions to its Headington Campus and sell the land for residential development.

GVA’s planning, development and regeneration team assisted the university in submitting a planning application for the site. It included the development of up to 500 homes, including one to four-bedroom homes and one and two-bedroom flats. Of the total, 40 per cent have been designated as affordable.


Council approves 146 Exeter homes

Exeter City Council has approved 146 homes on Topsham Road in the St Leonard’s area of Exeter.

The approval is subject to the signing of a section 106 agreement.

Plans include 146 homes comprising a 61-bed care home and 68 assisted living units. The development is on the current site of the Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education.

The scheme is by Acorn Property Group’s Bristol office. It will complete the purchase in the next few months. The academy will continue to occupy the site until its new premises are ready. Construction is expected to start in 2019.


Khan wants councils to stop using fossil fuels

The Mayor of London has called on the capital’s councils to join him in the fight against climate change by divesting their pension funds from fossil fuel companies.

Last year the London Pension Fund Authority agreed a climate change policy. This committed it to stop considering new active investments in fossil fuel companies that are directly engaged in the extraction of coal, oil and natural gas as sources of energy.

A number of London’s boroughs, including Waltham Forest, Southwark and Hammersmith & Fulham, have already made commitments to work with their pension funds on divestment and investments in clean projects. Khan now wants to see more boroughs sign up to the commitment and share best practice.


Liverpool airport launches strategic vision

Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) has launched its Strategic Vision to 2030, which considers how best to bring benefits to Liverpool City Region, the North West and North Wales.

Planning consultancy Turley supported the airport.

The strategy includes the ‘Airport Master Plan to 2050’, which features the potential future infrastructure developments required to deliver the forecast expansion of the business. It follows a 2017 public consultation of the draft Airports Master Plan, delivered by Turley Strategic Communications.

The economic contribution of the growth of passenger-related facilities at the airport could see it delivering land for strategic employment development, such as logistics, advanced manufacturing and offices.


Apartments approved in Leeds

Leeds City Council has approved the redevelopment of a former care home into apartments.

The Oakvilla care home in Chapel Allerton will be turned into two 14-bedroom apartments. They will be built by a local developer.

The approval follows two years of negotiations between the council and North Yorkshire planning consultancy DPA Planning.

Sam Dewar, owner of DPA Planning, explained the firm won “approval for the project on appeal, convincing planning committee members to grant permission for a scheme that’s attracting considerable interest from potential homeowners and investors”.