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News in brief: First-time buyers open one million ISAs; Housebuilder buys Congleton site with permission for 170 homes

Words: Laura Edgar
New homes / Shutterstock_84968503

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 22 August, 2017

Help to Buy: ISAs opened reached one million

More than one million Help to Buy ISAs have been opened, helping first-time buyers across the UK save for a home.

The government said first-time buyers have saved over £1.8 billion in their ISAs.

Economic secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay, said: “Our Help to Buy schemes continue to prove hugely popular across the country, as we support people to get on in life and achieve their dream of climbing the housing ladder.”

The government’s Help to Buy ISA scheme was launched on 1 December 2015 to provide first-time buyers with the opportunity to save up to £200 a month with the government topping up their contributions by 25 per cent, up to a maximum of £3,000.


Housebuilder buys Congleton site with permission for 170 homes

David Wilson Homes has bought a 25-acre development site in Cheshire from strategic land company Richborough Estates.

The site, known as Black Firs Park, is on the western edge of market town Congleton. It has been bought for more than £10 million.

Before selling, Richborough Estates secured planning permission for 170 homes, comprising one to five-bedroom homes.

Green space also features in the plans, as well as a commitment to retain existing boundary tress and hedgerows around the site.


Acorn buys Bristol site

Developer Acorn Bristol has purchased Brandon Yard, a 58-unit harbourside scheme in the centre of Bristol.

The development, which already has planning permission, will be led by Acorn, in partnership with Galliard Homes.

It comprises a mix of new-build homes and the conversion of two grade II listed buildings. The apartments will have one, two or three bedrooms.

The development is expected to be completed in spring 2019.

The developer's, Acorn South division has purchased a 16-bedroom scheme in central Salisbury. The site has full planning permission and work will begin in October 2017.


SNH launches coastal guidance

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has published guidance aimed at helping professionals assess the potential impacts of future development on Scotland’s coastal landscapes.

The guidance sets out how to undertake a coastal character assessment, which SNH said is central to the planning and development process as it provides the baseline information against which landscape and visual impacts are assessed.

Roseanna Cunningham, environment secretary for the Scottish Government, said: “The coastal characterisation assessment guidance will help us ensure that our coasts are taken into account when considering specific changes or looking at the broader scale of new spatial plans and development.”

Mike Cantlay, chair at SNH, said: “Coastal character assessment is the cousin of terrestrial landscape assessment in Scotland. It additionally considers the specific characteristics associated with the coast, such as maritime influences and the nature of the coastal edge.

“We’ve produced the guidance published today to help Marine Planning Partnerships, Marine Scotland, local authorities and landscape practitioners, as well as our own staff here at SNH. It will be referred to in our future advice on renewables projects and will be helpful for new aquaculture projects, as well as used to support marine planning.”


Lake Lothing Third Crossing designs on show

Suffolk County Council has published the proposed design for Lowestoft’s £90 million Lake Lothing Third Crossing.

The Department for transport granted funding for the bridge in March 2016.

The bridge will be required to open to maintain the Port of Lowestoft’s operations, the proposed crossing will be 12 metres above the high tide levels, significantly higher than the A47 Bascule Bridge, enabling a larger number of vessels to pass under the new crossing without a need for it to open.

To open the bridge, hydraulic pistons lift the bridge deck, which rolls back on the vertical part of the structure that contains a counterweight, holding the bridge at a specific angle to allow vessels to pass through safely. A control tower would operate the bridge – although no decision has been made on its location yet.

A consultation on the designs begins on 4 September, 2017.


Phase one of Thetford scheme to be delivered by Hopkins Homes

The Crown Estate and the Kilverstone Estate have announced that the first phase of the Greater Thetford Strategic Urban Extension scheme has been sold to Hopkins Homes.

The property developer will deliver around 350 for the phase, 15 per cent of which are designated as affordable, as part of an extension to the Norfolk market town.

Planning permission for the site was granted in 2014 for up to 5,000 homes, three primary schools, public open space, community and healthcare facilities, as well as a place of worship.

Pigeon Investment Management promoted the site, while Savills advised the Crown Estate and the Kilverstone Estate on the exchange.

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