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News in brief: Cornwall road upgrade will protect wildlife; Council completes electric charge points installation

Words: Laura Edgar
Otter / iStock-507171882

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 25 May, 2021

Cornwall road upgrade will protect wildlife

Highways England is upgrading the A30 in Cornwall to improve safety, journey reliability, and connectivity for local communities and wildlife such as otters.

The A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross improvement scheme aims to unlock one of the last main bottlenecks in the county by creating an 8.7-mile section of dual carriageway.

Highways England said the route has been designed to protect the environment;   33 multi-species crossing points are being constructed to assist the habitats and journeys of animals such as otters, badgers, bats and reptiles. The crossing points include 11 underbridges, two overbridges, five drainage culverts and two dry tunnels. There will be nine crossing tunnels specifically for otters, and a new and specially designed sett for badgers.


Council completes electric charge points installation

Oadby and Wigston Borough Council has completed the installation of charging points for electric vehicles across the area. It forms part of the council’s commitment to cut carbon emissions.

With support from the Energy Saving Trust, the council obtained 75 per cent of the cost of the £100,000 project from the government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles.

Electric Blue (EB Charging) contributed 15 per cent and undertook the installation works.

Three sites in the borough were chosen for the project – Wigston Leisure Centre, Wigston, Aylestone Lane Car Park, Wigston and East Street Car Park, Oadby –  with 15 dual charging points located across the sites. To use the points, motorists will need to download the Electric Blue Payment App to their smartphone, which is available through Google Play and the Apple App Store.


TfL appoints bus programme designer

Transport for London (TfL) has commissioned professional services and engineering firm GHD to deliver a suite of scheme designs as part of the Bus Priority Programme.

GHD will support TfL to improve bus progression and speeds along a number of corridors in the capital to help to build a more efficient public transport network.

TfL has undertaken network performance reviews through on-site and virtual investigations to review existing bus priority measures, challenges and opportunities to identify locations where enhancements could be made.

More than 90 schemes have been identified. GHD has been tasked with progressing the 25 that have been identified as being high-impact and low-cost options.

These include investigating bus priority improvements to corridors, junctions, crossings and associated signals; changes to corridor parking and loading provision; and the creation of new bus lanes.


Luxury homes approved near Ascot

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council has approved plans for a luxury courtyard development on a historic site near Ascot Racecourse.

The development, in the green belt, will be delivered by Thornbury Group at Silwood Park Nurseries.

It will comprise four single-storey family homes, with each to follow an L-shaped footprint with an open-plan internal layout. Plans also include private gardens, car parking, a communal courtyard garden and soft landscaping.

The application was submitted by urban planning consultancy Hybrid Planning & Development.


185 homes approved for Acton

Ealing Council has granted planning permission for 185 mixed-tenure homes at phase 7.2 of Acton Gardens, a £800 million regeneration of the former South Acton estate in West London. The approval was granted to Countryside Properties.

The homes, designed by GRID Architects, will be located between the recently constructed phase 7.1 and opposite Avenue Park.

Of the 185 new apartments, 50 per cent will be affordable on a habitable room basis. Forty-four will be for Active Living – independent apartments for over-55s and specifically designed to adapt to people’s changing needs over time.

An energy centre hosting a site-wide district heating system will be delivered as part of the phase to help to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality owing to reduction in gas emissions.

Public spaces also feature in the plans, including a courtyard garden with direct access for all residents.

Acton Gardens is a 52-acre redevelopment of the former South Acton estate, which will total 3,463 new mixed-tenure homes, 50 per cent of which have been designated as affordable.

The rehousing of residents is a key priority. Residents from the ‘red-brick’ area of the estate and existing sheltered accommodation will be moving into phase 7.2 once complete, which is scheduled for 2024.


Hub for training builders opens in Tamworth

The National House Building Council (NHBC) has launched a new training hub to create the next generation of housebuilders in Tamworth, West Midlands.

The hub will help to develop the next generation of skilled tradespeople starting out in housebuilding.

The NHBC Training Hub in Tamworth has been built in partnership with Redrow and Tamworth Borough Council, with input from an industry working group.

It will be able to support more than 100 apprentices annually and is a purpose-built facility that will immerse apprentices in a realistic working environment. It was officially opened on Thursday 20 May by Christopher Pincher, housing minister and MP for Tamworth.

Bricklaying has been chosen as the initial focus for the training hub because of the shortage of skilled bricklayers in the housebuilding sector, which has been compounded by the pandemic.  


Leeds flood defences approved

Councillors at Leeds City Council have approved plans that seek to reduce flood risk for communities along the River Aire.

Plans will see the construction of a flood storage area between Horsforth and Rawdon.

The scheme is being led by Leeds City Council in partnership with the Environment Agency, Bradford Council, Network Rail and Yorkshire Water.

The storage area project is part of an extensive programme of work that will cut flood risk for 1,048 homes and 474 businesses along a 14km stretch of the River Aire upstream of Leeds train station.

This upstream programme is phase two of the wider Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme. It has been split into two steps and includes natural flood management across the River Aire catchment as well as new defence walls, embankments and a flood storage area.

Work on step one, which is costing £87 million, began in January 2020. It has  involved building flood defence walls between Leeds city centre and Newlay.


Deal signed to provide care homes

Specialist bank Leumi UK has completed a £39 million deal with Hamberley Care Homes for four high-specification care homes.

They will comprise 307 beds and will be developed by sister company Hamberley Development. The homes will be in Dorking, Eastleigh, Keynsham and Bromsgrove.

Leumi UK, the London-based subsidiary of Israel’s international bank, has closed a deal with care home operator Hamberley Care Homes, backed by pan-European real estate investor Patron Capital, to finance the development costs for the care homes.


Sensory garden in Walton-on-Thames approved

Elmbridge Borough Council has granted planning permission for a sensory garden at Burview Hall in Walton-on-Thames.

Nexus Planning secured the permission on behalf of Elmbridge Mencap, a charity that works independently for the benefit of those with learning disabilities (as well as their parents/carers) in Elmbridge and the surrounding area. The garden is intended to provide a stimulating and beneficial environment for disabled people.

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