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News in Brief: Application submitted to upgrade London Waterloo, over 50,000 planning permissions granted in Q1

Words: Laura Edgar

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 28 July, 2015

Planning permission submitted to upgrade London Waterloo

Network Rail has submitted a planning application for works to enable more trains to run in and out of London Waterloo station. The application is part of the multi-million pound improvement and expansion work being undertaken on the station. Network Rail has said it is working with South West Trains to bring platforms in the Waterloo International Terminal back into use to allow more trains to run, providing five new platforms for London commuter services. The first part of this project, Network Rail explained, involves strengthening three bridges on the approach to platforms 20-24 as well as changing the layout of the track and platforms. If the application is approved, work is expected to begin in October and be completed by the end of 2016.

Former Arla Foods development to go ahead

A judicial review of Hillingdon Council's decision to approve planning permission for a £100 million regeneration of the former Arla Foods site on Victoria Road, South Ruislip has been dismissed and the development can go ahead. The High Court concluded that the council’s decision-making process was sound, rejecting the grounds for a judicial review put forward by Sainsbury’s, including that planning policy had been misapplied. Initially granted planning permission in October 2014, the development includes 132 new homes, restaurants, a cinema and an Asda supermarket.

Over 50,000 planning permissions granted in Q1

More than 52,167 homes were granted planning permission in England during the first quarter of this year, according to figures released today by the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and Glenigan*. Published in HBF and Gelenigan’s latest Housing Pipeline (pdf) report, the figures shows a 19 per cent increase on permissions granted in the same period of 2014, from 43,926. Many of these permissions identified in the report though, HBF say, “still have to navigate the remainder of the planning system.” This, the federation says, is process that takes too long, delaying work starting on many of the sites. Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF, said: “Since the Help to Buy scheme was introduced in 2013 house building activity has increased strongly. Private housing starts in 2014 were up nearly 40% on their pre-Help to Buy level in 2012. However we are still only building around half the number of new homes the country needs, and far fewer than in previous decades. The headline announcements made in the Productivity Plan sound very positive. What is key is that the detail is now developed and the proposals implemented as soon as is possible.”

* Glenigan provide construction industry analysis

New supermarket secured in Leicestershire village

Developers Jelson Homes have secured a new Aldi food store in Broughton Astley, Leicestershire. The 18,650 square foot store, which is expected to create 40 jobs, forms part of Jelson’s wider development in the village. Part of the Neighbourhood Plan, planning permission was secured 2014 for the development, including 310 homes, a food store and an employment development. Bilfinger GVA helped to secure the Aldi store for the site. Terry McGreal, land and planning director of Jelson Homes, said: “The new store will complete the package of benefits that the scheme will bring to residents which also includes new indoor sports facilities, new employment opportunities and significant new public open space, all at the heart of the village and readily accessible to the community.” Construction work on the site is due to start later this year.