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News in brief: Budget to be held in March; Funding available for active travel in Scotland

Words: Laura Edgar
Sajid Javid / Shutterstock: 691076920

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 7 January, 2020

Budget to be held in March

Chancellor Sajid Javid has announced that the Budget will take place on Wednesday 11 March.

During a visit to Manchester today, Javid set out plans to use the government’s first Budget to deliver change.

He said: “People across the country have told us that they want change. We’ve listened and will now deliver.

“With this Budget we will unleash Britain’s potential – uniting our great country, opening a new chapter for our economy and ushering in a decade of renewal.”

He said the Budget will be aimed at spreading opportunity by investing billions of pounds across the nation, and would prioritise the environment.


Funding available for active travel in Scotland

Cycling Scotland has confirmed that a further £350,000 of Scottish Government funding is now available for registered social landlords to help to make walking and cycling easier and more accessible for people as part of their everyday journeys.

Housing associations can apply for grants of up to £25,000 for a range of infrastructure proposals. This could be for cycle parking shelters, benches and other seating, litter bins, planters, and improvements to access points and lighting.

The Social Housing Partnership Fund for Improved Cycling & Walking Facilities, which is delivered by Cycling Scotland, aims to support housing associations and tenement residential properties across Scotland to encourage active travel. It prioritises areas of high deprivation.

Cycling Scotland is working in partnership with the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), Living Streets Scotland and Sustrans Scotland to deliver the initiative.

Kath Brough, head of behaviour change at Cycling Scotland, said: “More funding will make it possible for even more people living and working in social housing across the country to walk and cycle. Secure cycle parking, seating and street furniture will make it easier, more accessible and more enjoyable for residents and staff to get active, enjoy the outside space and connect with others."

More information can be found on the Cycling Scotland website.


Regeneration of Birmingham building approved

Birmingham City Council has granted planning approval for the redevelopment of the former Rackhams building in the city centre.

The refurbishment will retain many of the original features and the character of the buildings while responding to the changing demands in retailing and office accommodation.

The property will provide space for retailers, bars, restaurants and other leisure uses on the ground and lower ground floors, while nine floors above will be converted for office use.

A contemporary ‘boutique’ hotel will be built on the corner of Temple Row and Cherry Street.

Owner Legal & General appointed the original architects, tp bennett, to design the refurbishment, which is currently occupied by House of Fraser. The retailer has occupied the building on a temporary basis, having entered into a company voluntary arrangement in 2018. Turley is the planning consultant for the scheme.


Co-living development proposed for Stratford approved

The London Legacy Development Corporation has granted planning permission for a 22-storey scheme that will feature short-stay co-living rooms.

The development will be built on an unused commercial site on Stratford High Street.

Designed by London-based firm PLP Architecture, The Collective Stratford will comprise:

  • 287 short-stay co-living rooms with a shared cinema, restaurant, gym and outdoor terraces;
  • 7,700 square feet of workspace including 3,450 square feet of co-working space which will be let at 50 per cent affordable rent;
  • community space for local residents, businesses and charities;
  • a community investment programme for local partners to use the events and employment facilities free of charge; and
  • creation of 155 jobs through the new hotel and employment space.

The collective will contribute £650,000 towards the surrounding public realm, including improvements to Stratford Station and local biodiversity with the clearing and landscaping of nearby Channelsea River.


Little Aston man fined for tree felling

Cannock Magistrates’ Court has fined a Little Aston man £1,750 and ordered him to pay £3,000 in court costs for felling three protected trees.

In December, Scott Francis pleaded guilty to felling the protected trees, which were in his garden.

The trees, an English oak, a mature Scots pine and a young Scots pine, were all within the Little Aston conservation area.

Francis must also pay a victim surcharge of £175.


Pub approved for Ebbsfleet

Ebbsfleet Development Corporation’s planning committee has given the go-ahead to plans for the garden city’s second pub and hotel.

The pub will be at the heart of the community and located on a new fast-track bus route. It will be called The Chalk Yard, a name based on the area’s mining history.

Plans were put forward by brewer Shepherd Neame.

There will be 17 individually designed rooms as well as a function room for community or private events and up to 25 full-time jobs are expected to be created.   

Ebbsfleet Development Corporation’s chief planning officer Mark Pullin said: “We’re very pleased that so much consideration has been given to the look and appearance and that it is so strongly based on the area’s history in what will be a high-quality building.”   

The first pub and hotel opened in 2017 in Ebbsfleet Garden City, which now has more than 1,900 homes and almost 5,000 residents.

Planner becomes fellow of Royal Aeronautical Society

In an ‘industry first’, Tabitha Knowles has been recognised as a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).

An associate director with consultancy Lichfields, Knowles has professional qualifications in airport planning and town planning. She has experience in airport growth strategy, planning and design, which has seen her appointed to the Department for Transport’s Aviation Strategy Expert Panel.

Knowles wrote to the RAeS to see if she could become a member, but instead it responded to say she could be a fellow. “It is a great honour and humbling to be recognised by the RAeS in this capacity, along with the acknowledgment of the valuable role planning has to play to support a thriving, yet evolving, aviation sector that must grow in a safe, secure and sustainable way."

Image credit | Shutterstock