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News in brief: Ealing approves next phases of Acton Gardens; EnerPHit Plus secured for house in conservation area

Approved / iStock-517220321

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 11 January, 2022

Ealing approves next phases of Acton Gardens

Ealing Council has approved plans submitted by mixed-tenure developer Countryside and housing association L&Q for phases 9.3, 9.5 and 9.6 of Acton Gardens.

The £800 million scheme will deliver a total of 3,463 new homes on the former south Acton estate.

The 52-acre Acton Gardens site is located next to recently constructed phase 9.2 and opposite West Park. It will provide another 215 mixed-tenure homes, 50 per cent of which will be “affordable”.

It will also include new public spaces, a courtyard garden at both phases 9.5 and 9.6, alongside private gardens at all new houses in phase 9.3. This will see the completion of the western quarter of Acton Gardens.  

The site forms the remainder of phase 9 of the masterplan and will complete the Enfield Road Character Area, which serves as a gateway to Acton Gardens from Acton Town station and Bollo Lane.

Work is set to begin in late summer 2022 with the first completions due in 2024.


Royal borough approves Maidenhead regeneration plans

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s planning committee has approved plans submitted by mixed-tenure developer Countryside for the regeneration of Maidenhead town centre.

The royal borough and Countryside formed the Royal Borough Development Partnership in 2017 to deliver residential-led regeneration of four town centre sites in Maidenhead York Road, Saint Cloud Way, West Street and Reform Road. The York Road regeneration scheme now known as Watermark has started.  

The Saint Cloud Way development is located on a former Magnet Leisure Centre site and will deliver 434 homes in a mix of houses, apartments and maisonettes, including 33 affordable rent and 54 shared-ownership homes. It is the second-largest placemaking opportunity and construction is expected to begin by mid-2022.

Connectivity will be improved across the site through the delivery of the new ‘missing links’ cycle route, a new pedestrian crossing and improvements to the existing subway that will provide safe and inclusive access into the town centre.

There will be 346 on-site parking spaces with 20 per cent of these incorporating active electric vehicle charging points and the remaining 80 per cent incorporating future electric car-charging capability. Secure parking spaces for 455 bicycles will also be delivered.


EnerPHit Plus secured for house in conservation area

An architect has secured EnerPHit Plus certification for a retrofit renovation project within the Harpenden Conservation area.

Local architect Heather McNeill, of A D Practice Ltd in Wheathampstead, secured the certification, which is the first in the South East and the third in the UK.

Enerphit Plus is a high standard for adapting existing properties to low-energy use and thermal efficiency. Such adaptations see properties generate more energy than it uses over an annual cycle.

Sustainable materials were used where possible to minimise the use of high embodied energy materials such as concrete and steel. Timber was used instead where appropriate, while a cellulose insulation was installed rather than a petrochemical-based PIR foam.


New president announced for BPF

The British Property Federation (BPF) has announced that Guy Grainger, global head of sustainability services & ESG at JLL, has become its president.

He succeeds David Partridge, chairman of Argent Related, who served as president from July 2020.

Grainger will work closely with chief executive Melanie Leech to “champion the role of real estate in delivering stronger, more resilient and productive communities across the country whilst meeting ambitious carbon reduction targets”.


Omagh flood risk study to be reviewed

Northern Ireland’s infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon has announced the intention to review a flood-risk study for Omagh town to determine if there are any viable options to reduce flood risk in the area.

It is anticipated that the study will commence early in this and that it will take 12 to 18 months to complete.

Mallon said: “The department previously carried out a flood study in 2016 to assess the level of risk to properties within Omagh and determine if a viable flood alleviation scheme could be taken forward to enhance the existing flood protection to the town. Unfortunately, at that time no feasible option was identified which provided the necessary standard of protection.

“This is why I have asked that officials review this feasibility study taking account of revised climate change guidance and considering opportunities for natural flood risk management to determine if any viable options can now be identified to reduce flood risk and achieve the design standard of protection.”


RVG set to acquire ABC Cinema site in Tunbridge Wells

Retirement Villages Group (RVG) has agreed to acquire a 1.5-acre site on a former ABC Cinema in the centre of Tunbridge Wells.

RVG proposes to develop a new integrated retirement community located on Mount Pleasant Road and Church Road in Tunbridge Wells. It intends to develop 150-180 apartments with a café, restaurant, several retail units and a wellness facility. This will be available for use by the public.

It will deliver the scheme as ‘whole-life net-zero carbon’, which is a standard of sustainable development for carbon created in the operation of the building and during the construction process.

The developer says its 10-year plan is to acquire, develop and operate 5,000 homes across 30 to 40 new developments in urban locations across the UK.


Crest buys land for 2,220 homes

Housebuilder Crest Nicholson has acquired more than 2,200 plots with a Gross Development Value in excess of £725 million.

The company says it aims to deliver more than 3,000 homes annually by 2024. These will include one-bed apartments, five-bedroom houses across private sale, affordable and private rent, and shared ownership.

Its five acquisitions are located in Northwest Bicester (Oxfordshire), Daventry (Northamptonshire), Perrybrook in Brockworth (Gloucestershire), Harry Stoke (Bristol) and Ringwood (Hampshire).

In Northwest Bicester there will be a net-zero development, incorporating a combination of sustainable measures including enhanced building insulation, air source heat pumps, solar panels on roofs and electric vehicle charging points.

The housebuilder says placemaking will form an “important” aspect of the planned sites, with a particular emphasis in creating public open spaces, infrastructure, schools, community buildings, retail units and amenities.

Tom Nicholson, chief operating officer at Crest Nicholson, said: “With a volume of over 2,200 units, these are significant acquisitions in areas that have been identified by our land teams as key growth towns. Collectively, these form part of our ambitious strategy to continue to deliver growth on both our operating margin and volumes, securing high-quality land and expanding our already strong portfolio of sites across these regions.”

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