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News in brief: Funding for Midlands construction jos; Homes approved for Bilston urban village

Words: Laura Edgar
Constuction apprentices / Shutterstock_303640871

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 20 November, 2018

Funding for Notts construction jobs

Partners in Nottingham have been given a slice of a £22 million government fund, which will be used to launch construction academies with Nottingham College.

The academies will bring training to construction sites – allowing learners to apply their knowledge in a real-world environment. The money will be used to help local residents secure industry jobs and will pay for training and resources.

The Construction Skills Fund was launched in June 2018 and Nottingham has been chosen as one of 26 successful bidders from across the country.

The bid was led by Nottingham College, along with partners Nottingham City Homes, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham City Council, Wates Construction and local construction firm Robert Woodhead.


£2.3m for West Midlands construction jobs

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has received £2.3 million from the Government’s Construction Skills Fund to help local people get jobs in the region’s booming construction industry.

WMCA said two hubs will initially be set up by spring 2019. One will located at the Commonwealth Games Athletes Village in Perry Barr, to provide on-site training for housebuilders of the future; and the other will be at the M6 smart motorway project between junctions 2 and 4.

It is hoped that 1,450 local people will be trained at the first two hubs – with more hubs planned for other large construction projects in the West Midlands in the next few years.


Homes approved for Bilston urban village

The City of Wolverhampton Council has approved 420 homes south of Bilston town centre.

Countryside will build the homes across a 27-acre site. They will range from two to four bedrooms, with 192 for market sale, 123 for private rent, 85 for affordable rent and 20 for shared ownership.

Investment by the council and Homes England enabled the site to be brought forward for development. The cash saw a range of major works so the site was fit to be developed, including the clearance of trees, removal of the old railway embankment removed, and installation of highways and drainage infrastructure.

Council cabinet member for city economy John Reynolds said: “Our plans to develop almost 500 homes on the site will make a significant impact in achieving our housing targets in the City of Wolverhampton.

“The council has spent a lot of time making sure there is good road access, and ensuring that, with a bus-only link, cycle ways and pedestrian routes, the new housing will be well connected to the town centre.”


Warehouse regeneration approved in Leicestershire

Plans for the regeneration of a former warehouse in Moira into a residential development has received planning permission.

Local developer Wheatcroft Land plans to build nine family homes on the north-west Leicestershire site, which is next to a canal. A total of 200 square miles of woodland development surround the village, which is close to a Forestry Commission national cycle centre, Moira Furnace museum, Donisthorpe Country Park and Conkers Discovery Centre.

The development, named Swingbridge Wharf because of the nearby swing bridge that provides access across the canal to the museum, will comprise three and four-bedroom homes. Three will be detached and six semi-detached, with access to the public footpath and cycleways along Ashby Canal.


CIC to create map for change

The Construction Industry Council (CIC) celebrates its 30th year by initiating a ‘Roadmap for Change’. It will explore working practices and inclusive environments – both culturally and physically.

People in the built environment industry are being asked to fill out a short survey about how they would like to see the industry changed over the next 30 years.

It is hoped that that everyone within the industry, from students to retirees, completes the survey to help CIC get a robust picture of the sector and build on future aspirations in the roadmap.

The survey can be found here.


Refurb of William Morris’s home approved

Cotswold District Council has approved plans for a new education centre at Kelmscott Manor, as well as the conservation and refurbishment of the estate’s grade I listed buildings.

Carter Jonas secured the permission on behalf of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Kelmscott Manor is built of limestone and dates from 1570. Built by farmer Thomas Turner, the estate is best known as the home of write, designer and socialist William Morris.

The consultancy worked to vary a restrictive covenant in favour of Kelmscott Manor and negotiated with a neighbouring landowner to rent a small area of land for a new car park, which involved the surrender of a long-term lease from the agricultural tenant, a change of use and settling terms for a new long-term lease direct with the landowner.

The 969 square foot education centre will be built on the south side of the farmyard with construction due to start in the second quarter of 2019. Conservation repairs will begin a year later in 2020, to the listed buildings, including the house itself.


2,800 homes approved for St Neots extension

Proposals comprising the residential development of up to 2,800 homes in St Neots have been granted planning permission.

Dentons advised Huntingdonshire District Council on the planning agreement and conditions for the urban extension for the town, which is 15 miles west of Cambrige.

Up to 63,500 square metres of employment development, a district centre including health services, two primary schools and open space play areas also feature in the plans.

The agreement for this scheme included the negotiation and drafting of a viability review mechanism, which is to be undertaken at various stages of the development in order to increase the level of affordable housing on the site as scheme viability allows.

Image credit | Shutterstock