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News in brief: Ebbsfleet custom-build community wins approval; Nottingham moves towards homes scheme at Bestwood

Words: Huw Morris
Ebbsfleet Garden City in development

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 27 July, 2021

Ebbsfleet custom-build community wins approval

Ebbsfleet Development Corporation’s planning committee has granted permission for a custom-build community.

Alkerden Gateway, which will be located in Ebbsfleet Garden City, will comprise 67 homes, 17 of them affordable. Westerhill Homes, which is behind the scheme, said the project “seeks to create a characterful, bespoke neighbourhood and a vibrant place to live, that allows residents to help design as well as choose their dream home”.

Alkerden Gateway is the first key development parcel in the transition from Castle Hill to Alkerden village. It is bordered by a strategic area of green parkland to the east, an education campus to the west and other residential developments to the north and south. 

The decision follows the submission of a reserved matters planning application in March.


Nottingham moves towards major homes scheme at Bestwood

Hundreds of homes could be built on the site of a former school and playing field in the Bestwood area of Nottingham.

Nottingham City Council has appointed Countryside to build more than 350 homes, 108 of which will be council homes for affordable rent, subject to planning permission on the site of the former Padstow School and Ridgeway playing field. The remaining new homes – around 250 – will be retained by Countryside for private sale. Most of the homes will be family housing.

A significant amount of open space will be preserved, including the landmark poplar trees at the centre of the former Padstow school site, where a new play area will be made. New footpaths and cycle routes will provide access to local amenities, including a nature reserve at Sunrise Hill.  

“There has been a long-standing ambition to create new homes on these sites at Padstow and Ridgeway,” said Nottingham’s portfolio holder for planning and housing Linda Woodings.

“By providing new, good quality homes to rent and buy, this development will help towards Nottingham’s housing shortage, and the council’s commitment to build or buy 1,000 new council or social homes for rent."

Residents will now have an opportunity to comment on the development, with Countryside aiming to submit a planning application in the autumn. If the application is approved, Countryside aims to begin work early in 2022.


Regal London acquires latest Hackney plot for mixed-use scheme

Regal London has completed its acquisition of the Laundry Building site near London Fields in the London Borough of Hackney.

The developer, which recently announced its purchase of land near Wembley Stadium for a £270 million scheme, has continued its acquisition campaign with its seventh site in Hackney, which follows the recently completed Shoreditch Exchange development nearby.

Regal London has acquired the plot with planning permission already granted for 59 homes and 2,462 square metres of floorspace for commercial use. Work is due to commence on site in the third quarter of this year with completion targeted in 2024.

The developer is planning a £65 million scheme on the site with the homes configured around a central internal courtyard that allows natural light for residents. Each flat and communal space will also benefit from large private balconies and secure cycle parking spaces.

Commercial units in the scheme will achieve BREEAM Excellent standard, with the developer aiming to offer 10 per cent of the commercial floorspace as affordable to help local entrepreneurs. Community infrastructure levy contributions for the scheme total more than £1.25 million.


Government agrees to pay millions towards Long Stratton bypass

Norfolk County Council’s plans to build a £37.4 million bypass around the town of Long Stratton have taken a major step forward after the government confirmed funding for the project.

The Department for Transport has approved the council’s outline business case, submitted earlier this year and agreed to pay £26.2 million towards the scheme. The remaining funding is expected to come primarily from local developer contributions and community infrastructure levy.

Norfolk County Council is working with developer Norfolk Homes/Norfolk Land to bring forward proposals for the bypass, which will feed into a revised planning application. This will be submitted to South Norfolk Council.

The A140 cuts right through the middle of the town, which is 12 miles south of Norwich. The 2.5-mile easterly bypass is expected to reduce congestion in the town centre while also supporting plans for 1,800 homes and the development of employment land.

Work is targeted to start on the scheme’s construction in the middle of 2023 with the bypass opening before the end of 2024.


Application submitted for performance venue in Derby

St James Securities has submitted a full planning application to Derby City Council for a new 3,500 capacity entertainment and events venue at Becketwell.

If approved, the venue will be on the site of the former Pink Coconut nightclub and Laurie House offices at the heart of the wider mixed-use Becketwell development. It will be capable of staging concerts, stand-up comedy, family shows, musical theatre, conferences, and exhibitions.

The venue, which will be owned by Derby City Council and run by ASM Global, is expected to host around 200 cultural and commercial events each year and attract an additional 250,000 visitors to the city. It is also expected to create more than 200 jobs and generate more than £10 million a year for the area.

A virtual public consultation held last month revealed huge support for the proposal with 93 per cent of respondents saying Derby needs a new concert and entertainment centre and 91 per cent agreeing it will benefit other city centre businesses.

The council is expected to consider the application at a planning committee meeting in October.


Approval for £260 million Digbeth mixed-use scheme

Birmingham City Council has approved plans for Cole Waterhouse’s £260m Upper Trinity Street (UTS) scheme in Digbeth.

The two-hectare development will see industrial land transformed into a cultural, commercial and residential scheme, including a public park called Pump House Park.

UTS will include 943 homes, some with live-work space and roof gardens, a 133-bedroom hotel, 5,574 square metres of flexible commercial space, car parking and new public realm across a network of landscaped yards, squares and hidden spaces.

The development is expected to create 600 jobs during the construction phase, deliver £229.5 million to the local economy and up to 313 other jobs once built. Work is expected to start in summer 2022, with the first phases of the scheme completed in 2025.

“This will be a golden decade of inclusive growth, job creation and regeneration in Birmingham and Digbeth is identified as one of our primary growth quarters,” said council leader Ian Ward.

St Helens regeneration scheme complete section 106 agreement

Plans to regenerate redundant land at the Cowley Hill Works in St Helens into a residential-led neighbourhood will now go ahead after the securing of a section 106 agreement.

The site is the largest brownfield land allocation within St Helens Borough Council’s’ emerging local plan, with the redevelopment expected to generate capital expenditure of £200 million, with a further £15 million expected to be spent on goods and services each year by residents and £1.5 million of annual council tax receipts.

The scheme, a joint venture between land specialists BXB and developer Promenade Estates, will deliver up to 1,100 homes, a hotel and commercial space off College Street, north of the town centre.

Promenade Estates managing director Daniel Hynd said the scheme is a key part of the company’s “brownfield first” strategy and it is looking for similar sites.

“The opportunity to work with local authorities to help them meet their housing needs from within the existing built environment will be vital if we are to protect our green belt from undue erosion,” he added.

Image credit | Flyby Photography, Shutterstock