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News in brief: Government methodology for OAN would ‘entrench’ existing house building patterns; Trampoline park approved in Coventry

Words: Laura Edgar
Trampoline park approved | Shutterstock_626051600

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 14 November, 2017

Government methodology for OAN would ‘entrench’ existing house building patterns

The RTPI has said that the government’s proposals for a new methodology to calculate housing need would “entrench existing house building patterns”.

They fail to address the need for a mix of housing tenures and types, too, according to the institute.

In its response to the government consultation the RTPI said: “The methodology does nothing to address the tendency to base housing growth on past trends, rather than on a more forward-looking strategy which takes into consideration future growth aspirations or employment projections.”

A better methodology would require local authorities to be more holistic, taking into account plans like the council’s own economic growth strategy, employment projections, or wider government’s plans such as industrial strategy.

A full account of the RTPI’s response to the standard methodology consultation will be published in The Planner shortly.


Trampoline park approved in Coventry

Coventry City Council has approved proposals for the city’s first trampoline park.

The application was made by Harris Lamb’s planning team on behalf of Jump In.

Proposals will see a vacant warehouse in the Tile Hill area of the city transformed into an all-ages activity centre, creating 60 jobs.

Neil Slade, part of Harris Lamb’s agency team, brokered the deal for Jump In to take on the site with landlords Avon Capital Estates (ACE), while the business’s planning consultancy oversaw the application for the change of use.

The park is expected to open in spring 2018.


Real estate company to finance Build to Rent homes

M&G Real Estate has announced that it will finance the development of 148 Build-to-Rent homes in Montrose Crescent, near Wembley Central station in North London.

The £67 million deal is the latest on behalf of M&G Real Estate’s UK Residential Property Fund managed by Alex Greaves. Sunbel Development Limited will develop the scheme, which is expected to be ready for residents by 2019.

The development will comprise one, two and three-bedroom homes in the heart of Wembley.


Westminster gains £16m through CIL

Contributions from property developers through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) have been used on public squares, school expansions and large transport schemes.

Since May 2016, the CIL fund has generated cash receipts of £7 million. Other sums collected by Westminster City Council from property developers specifically for use on projects to benefit the local area have taken the total to £16 million.

The council’s first CIL committee meeting confirmed spending on a broad range of projects, including the continuing public realm improvements to Hanover Square, where the Elizabeth Line is set to attract millions of additional visitors each year, and the Church Street Green Spine project.


Care home approved in Banstead

Reigate & Banstead Council has approved the redevelopment of the former Merok Park Nursing Home site in Banstead.

The site is located on Park Road and is designated as Metropolitan green belt land.

The new facility, to be called Woodstown House, will deliver a purpose-built nursing homes designed to cater for patients with complex needs. It will comprise 40 bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, communal lounge areas, a physiotherapy room and office space.


Arup to explore for hydrogen to heat homes

Planning consultancy Arup has announced that it will lead on a UK Government project to examine the feasibility of phasing out natural gas for domestic use and replacing it with hydrogen fuel.

The £25 million Hydrogen for Heat Programme, commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), will consider the feasibility of replacing natural gas with hydrogen for cooking and heating in a small village or estate.

The Arup-led consortium, including hydrogen specialist Kiwa Gastec, will explore the practicalities of using the zero-carbon gas in homes. It will facilitate the design and manufacture of new appliances such as fires, cookers and boilers, for both domestic and commercial use.

Hydrogen fuel produces water and heat when burnt so swapping out natural gas in homes would have a “significant impact” on reducing the UK’s carbon footprint.

The project, which is expected to run until March 2021, will explore public attitudes to changing to hydrogen fuel and lay out the ground work for a pilot project in a village or small town.


£100m housing scheme in Greater Manchester

Housing and regeneration specialist Galliford Try Partnerships and Trafford Housing Trust have come together in a joint venture – Health Lane Farm LLP – to transform the Partington area of Greater Manchester.

The partnership expects to deliver up to 600 new homes at Health Lane Farm that integrate with existing community. The partners said the plans would be developed with the local community and contribute to the Partington Priority Regeneration area.

Work has started on the consultation process and then a planning application will be submitted to Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council.  

The proposals are expected to comprise 576 new homes, 500 of which will be available for open market sale and 74 available as affordable homes, including shared ownership and for rent. They will be a mix of one to five-bedroom dwellings, including apartments and family homes.