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News in brief: Government rebrands DCLG; Council makes affordable housing key for Holloway Prison site

Words: Laura Edgar
Sajid Javid / Number 10

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 9 January, 2018

Government rebrands DCLG

Prime Minister Theresa May has reshuffled her cabinet and rebranded the Department for Communities and Local Government as the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Sajid Javid will remain in post as secretary of state at the department.

“The name change for the department reflects this government’s renewed focus to deliver more homes and build strong communities across England.”

Alok Sharma, who was the housing and planning minister for nearly seven months, has been moved to the post of employment minister. Dominic Raab becomes the new housing minister.

Rich Sunak has been appointed as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the MHCLG.

Greg Clark also kept his post in the reshuffle as business and energy secretary.

Responding to the changes, Stephen Wilkinson MRTPI, RTPI president said the institute welcomed Javid’s reappointment. "His reappointment provides continuity to this crucial portfolio. While the elevation of ‘housing’ to the cabinet is welcome and reflects its importance, action on delivering more homes which people can afford is key."

Welcoming Raab to the housing portfolio, Wilkinson said: "As the largest professional body to represent planners and planning in the UK, the RTPI is looking forward to working with the new minister, Dominic Raab in his new position as housing minister. Planners are critical to the successful delivery of more homes, of all types and tenures, in locations across the UK supported by the right infrastructure."


Council makes affordable housing key for Holloway Prison site

Islington Council has adopted a planning document that requires that at least 50 per cent of new housing built on the Holloway Prison site be genuinely affordable.

The site, formerly home to Europe’s largest women’s prison, is now up for sale by the Ministry of Justice.

The supplementary planning ocument was adopted last week following a “record” consultation response. The council said it has been produced to provide clarity and set out clear parameters as to what is expected to be delivered on the site.

It requires that 50 per cent of the homes delivered on site should be “genuinely affordable”, with a mix of housing types, including a significant proportion of family accommodation, social infrastructure such as a women’s centre, and “high-quality”, publicly accessible green space.


Humber flood scheme progresses

Funding has been secured for a £42 million upgrade to the tidal flood scheme in the Humber Estuary.

Led by the Environment Agency, the Humber Hull Frontages scheme will present an opportunity to review and improve a 19km stretch of tidal flood defences in the Humber Estuary to better protect 113,000 properties at risk of flooding in the city.

Contractor BMM JV – a joint venture between BAM Nuttall and Mott MacDonald – has been appointed to develop a detailed design-and-build plan. This work follows the review of existing flood defences along the banks of the Humber Estuary in Hull conducted by built environment consultants at Arup.


Plans submitted to transform former Glasgow police HQ

Developer and operator of rental homes Moda has submitted plans to Glasgow City Council to transform the former Strathclyde Police headquarters in central Glasgow into high-tech rental housing.

The company wants to turn the Pitt Street complex into a “build-to-rent” neighbourhood that also has co-working space for start-ups, cafés, restaurants, and health and well-being facilities.

Holland Park will offer 433 homes for rent, comprising a mix of studios to three-bedroom dwellings.

Designed by Glasgow architects HAUS Collective, the homes will be spread over four blocks arranged into a square. A courtyard will be in the middle of the development, which will be open to the public during the day. Moda is also in discussions with the city council on improving the surrounding public realm and installing new green infrastructure.


Lichfield consults on local plan

Lichfield District Council has published a consultation on its revised local plan allocations draft document.

Following consultation in spring 2017 and new evidence, the councils has made a number of changes to the draft Lichfield District Local Plan Allocations (Focused Changes) document.

This is the second part of the district’s local plan and covers issues from housing and employment land allocations through to reviewing the planning policies used to determine planning applications.

The consultation closes on 19 February. It can be found on the Lichfield District Council website.


Retirement development approved in Edinburgh

Edinburgh City Council has granted detailed planning permission for Edinburgh Marina Holdings for a luxury waterside retirement living scheme.

The site is 2.5 miles north-west of the city centre.

The Living for Retirement development will form a key part of the forthcoming £500 million, 28-hectare Edinburgh Marina development.

Living for Retirement has been designed to provide over-55s with the means to “lead an active, fulfilling retirement”. It will comprise 104 high-end spacious one, two and three-bedroom luxury apartments, with a wide range of amenities specifically tailored for the over 55s.

The development will include dedicated guest accommodation, a 24-hour concierge service, secure private storage spaces and car parking (all with provision for electric power) for every apartment, set around a private one-acre landscaped garden close to the new Edinburgh Marina.

Residents will have access to a health and wellness centre as well as a cinema, bistro, lounge, library and laundry room.

Detailed planning permissions for the remaining elements of Edinburgh’s new waterside residential quarter are expected in early 2018, and construction is scheduled to begin in the latter part of the year.


New plan commissioned for New Cross

The London Borough of Lewisham, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Transport for London (TfL) have jointly commissioned a team to formulate a plan for New Cross because of the potential extension of the Bakerloo line.

Architects and urban designers 5th Studio and We Made That will develop a Masterplan and Station Opportunity Study for New Cross Gate. Supporting consultants include Alan Baxter Associates and Lambert Smith Hampton.

The area has more than 350 artist studios within the study area, demonstrating the huge influence of Goldsmiths, University of London, which must be factored into forthcoming development plans.

The study’s purpose is to develop a “visionary and practical” plan to maximise the benefit of infrastructure investment to support good growth, through coordinating, negotiating and integrating the needs and desires of all those that have a stake in the future of New Cross. The study area forms a radius of approximately a kilometre around the station, addressing a gap between the area-wide plans of the Old Kent Road Opportunity Area, Deptford Creek & Greenwich and the regeneration around Lewisham Gateway.


Consortium confirmed for local authority cycling plans

Independent transport planning consultancy Phil Jones Associates has been appointed to a consortium with engineering consultancies WSP and Mott Macdonald to support the development of the first local cycling and walking infrastructure plans (LCWIPs).

The plans will be led by local authorities across England.

A team of project managers will support 35 local authorities that have been awarded LCWIP assistance by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The plans form part of the government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, which aims to making cycling and walking the natural choice for short journeys.

The three specialist companies have been appointed to the project by the DfT following their previous work producing the LCWIP guidance and involvement in Highways England’s Cycling, Safety and Integration programme.


Lincolnshire water tower restored

Civil engineering and infrastructure specialists Barhale has restored Chatterton Water Tower in Spalding.

The tower, opened in 1955 by the Marquess of Exeter, is in the centre of town. It is a cubic structure 30 metres tall and 29 metres wide.

As part of Anglian Water’s Integrated Operational Solutions (IOS), Barhale steam-cleaned and repainted the tower, which provides drinking water and essential pressure to more than 22,000 properties in Spalding and the surrounding rural areas.

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