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News in brief: Double housing success for Pro Vision; Nottingham council housing approved at former care home

Words: Matt Moody
Housebuilding / iStock

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 11 August, 2020

Double housing success for Pro Vision 

Planning consultancy Pro Vision has secured permission for two small-scale housing schemes, one of which will be in an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

The consultancy won consent on behalf of a private client to build eight new homes on greenfield land on the edge of Maisemore, a village near Gloucester.

The scheme will include 580 square metres of species-rich grassland and three affordable rent/shared ownership homes. 

Planning officers for Tewkesbury Borough Council said that although the scheme was outside the defined village boundary, it had been designed to “integrate successfully” with the built-up area.

Councillors granted permission at a virtual planning meeting subject to a legal agreement to secure affordable housing, after agreeing that the delivery of housing would provide an “important social benefit”.

Pro Vision also won permission to build five new homes on a former farm in the North Wessex AONB.

Landowner Berkshire Pallets had already obtained outline permission to build on the site, and was seeking approval of reserved matters including layout, design and landscaping.

The proposed homes, designed by Pro Vision architects, will have traditional features including oak frames, timber-clad walls and clay tile roofs.

The scheme was approved by planning officers at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, who praised the scheme’s “sympathetic” design and use of building materials.


New Nottingham council housing approved at former care home

Nottingham City Homes (NCH) has won permission for 48 new council flats in the St Ann’s area of the city. 

The housing association, which is owned by Nottingham City Council, will let the flats to single people and couples on the authority’s council housing waiting list. 

The scheme, which will contribute towards the council’s commitment to build or buy 1,000 council and social homes for rent by 2023, is expected to be completed next summer.

Nick Murphy, chief executive of NCH, said: “There is a real demand for affordable flats, and we have many single people and couples who are waiting on the council social housing register for homes just like these.”

“These flats will also help people living in council houses, who are currently affected by the bedroom tax, to move somewhere more suitable while freeing up houses for another family on the waiting list.”


Contractor appointed for £9m Nottingham Island Quarter build

Civil engineering company Sir Robert McAlpine has been appointed as the main contractor for the first phase of the £650 million redevelopment of Nottingham’s Island Quarter.

The Island Quarter is a 40-acre mixed-use development central to the regeneration of the Southside area of Nottingham.

The first phase of the project, known as Canal Turn, will include a three-storey 2,000-square-metre waterfront pavilion, featuring two restaurants, 500sq m of events space and a rooftop terrace. 

The £9 million scheme is expected to create 100 permanent new jobs. McAlpine is aiming to take on seven trainees over the one-year course of the build, and 40 per cent of the project spend will be within 20 miles of the city.

The plans were submitted in July and are expected to receive full approval in October, with completion of the first phase expected in November 2021.


Housing plan to preserve 19th century villa submitted

Plans to restore and preserve Ashfield Towers, a “magnificent” Victorian villa in Gosforth, have been submitted to Newcastle City Council.

The application, designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects on behalf of Union Property, envisages a mix of residential typologies.

The villa itself will be converted into seven apartments, its coach house will become a single home, and three homes will be built nearby.

The villa can be returned to its original residential use after Westfield School for Girls, its most recent tenant, sold it to Union Property to consolidate its estate onto a single site.

Jane Redmond, an associate at FaulknerBrowns, said: “The rich context of the conservation area continues through to the proposed shared gardens while the new architectural elements are inspired by the language of their Victorian neighbour, but with a restrained form and simple material palette that brings forward a varied mix of elegant new homes.”


Approval for tourism scheme at Boston golf course 

Planning consultant Pegasus Group has won approval from Boston Borough Council for a hybrid application to create a tourism hub at Boston West Golf Course in Lincolnshire.

As well as an 18-hole golf course, Boston West has a 20-bay driving range and six-hole academy course, as well as a 24-room hotel and clubhouse with bar and restaurant. However, its membership has declined in recent years.

The scheme will involve siting 300 caravans at the course, along with a hub building offering a spa, shop, food and drink facilities and an activity centre, alongside a “reinvigorated” nine-hole golf course. Sport England agreed that the smaller course would be “more viable and attractive”.

Planning officers recommended the scheme for approval, pointing out the “significant” contribution to the local economy and tourist sector it would deliver.


New home for MK gymnastics centre proposed

Plans for a state-of-the-art sports facility and 33 new wheelchair-accessible homes in Milton Keynes will be submitted to Milton Keynes Council later this month.

The proposals were brought forward by housing association Thrive Homes, Milton Keynes Gymnastics and the Milton Keynes Community Foundation.

They involve moving the existing gymnastics centre to a new location to facilitate its continued growth, providing a purpose-built gymnasium, dedicated space for the city’s table tennis club, a café and a community centre.

Thirty-three homes will also be built, all of which will be wheelchair-adaptable, and 10 will be affordable.

If the scheme is approved, construction will begin in 2021, with plans to open the facility in 2022.

Ian Revell, chief executive at MK Community Foundation, said: “This development fulfils our long-term ambition to build top-class community facilities in all areas of the borough.”


Collocation scheme near Ealing Crossrail stop approved

Plans have been approved for a regeneration project in Hanwell, Ealing, which will provide 205 new apartments and eight townhouses close to a Crossrail stop.

Developer MHA London won permission from Ealing Council for Elthorne Works, a collocation project designed by Patel Taylor Architects. Residential and commercial/industrial uses will be delivered on a single site, offering “a unique sense of community”, according to the developer.

The scheme was designed to reflect the site’s industrial heritage and to embrace the green space of the adjacent Elthorne Park.

When Hanwell’s Crossrail station opens, journey times between the town and Bond Street will be cut from 32 minutes to 17, making the site attractive for those working in the city.

Andrew White, head of residential at Colliers International, which represented MHA for this project, said: “In London, where land space is a premium, mixed-use developments like this one are essential in providing a range of property uses which can fit local need.”


Modular regeneration plans for Barnet estate

Council-owned housing provider Barnet Homes has submitted plans for a 100 per cent affordable modular estate regeneration project, designed for future expansion if required.

The scheme, designed by architecture practice RCKa, will deliver 47 new council homes by removing disused garages at the Broadfield Estate in north Barnet.

It will use RCKa’s “systematised approach to delivering affordable housing”, known as Common Home, which uses modular construction methods to minimise cost and wastage and utilise local supply chains.

The homes will feature a heat recovery system, solar panels, thermal water heating and “Passivhaus-level air tightness” to keep energy bills low.

Russell Curtis of RCKa said, “This is exactly the kind of project that we should be building on suburban sites to increase density and intensify existing estates. 

“Barnet Homes has shown that it cares about its existing communities and wants to use this project to improve the areas in which they live, using contemporary design and construction methods to build homes quickly and efficiently.”


Countryside chosen for £124m Bracknell town centre regeneration

Developer Countryside has been selected to partner Bracknell Forest Council for the next phase of its regeneration of Bracknell town centre.

The new partnership will initially focus on the redevelopment of three council-owned sites in the town centre, which have the potential to deliver 400 new homes, as well as a health centre, restaurant, gym, office space, community space and public art. Construction is planned to begin in late 2021.

Countryside will also support the council in masterplanning more future town centre development. 

Marc Brunel-Walker, executive member for economic development and regeneration at Bracknell Forest Council, said: “Bracknell Forest Council is delighted to welcome Countryside as joint-venture partner for the next phase in Bracknell town centre’s overall regeneration.

“The council has a strong track record of working closely with developers to regenerate the town centre, which is taking place in phases. The first two phases were hugely successful with the award-winning The Lexicon being delivered to provide the borough’s social and cultural heart.”

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