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News in brief: Greater Manchester housing plan approved; Neighbourhood Planning Bill update

Words: Laura Edgar

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 1 November, 2016

Neighbourhood Planning Bill update

Planning minister Gavin Barwell has tabled a number of amendments to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill, which is currently at committee stage.

One clause would enable the secretary of state to invite a county council to prepare or revise a development plan document if it is thought that a district council in the area is failing to prepare, revise or adopt such a document.

A second new clause would allow the secretary of state to give a direction that would require two or more local planning authorities to prepare a joint development plan document.

Another clause would enable the secretary of state to set data standards for local development scheme so that the document or data comply with specified technical specifications while a fourth would enable regulations to require a local planning authority to review local development documents at prescribed times.

Read more about the bill here. An amended version of the bill can be found here (pdf).


Javid sets out what housing white paper might include

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has set out some of the short and long-term measures the housing white paper might include.

Speaking at a meeting the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) New Communities Group, Javid also reiterated that housing is his “number one priority”.

He said: “The white paper will seek to make sure that we release land in the right places… and include measures to diversify the market – we don’t have enough SME builders – and we must increase the different types of homes, including custom build.”

He added that addressing the housing crisis would only work if “every government department works together… we need consensus in Parliament as well… I want to work with the opposition on this. It’s a big challenge and it’s about time we did something much more radical in this space”.


Greater Manchester housing plan approved

Leaders for Greater Manchester have approved the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF), which identifies sites for 227,000 homes.

In our report last week on the GMSF,  we explained how the framework aims to deliver these homes, including through the use of green belt land - something the framework suggested was “essential” to keep up with Greater Manchester’s growth.

A consultation on the GMSF can be found here.


Scottish rural communities must get share of affordable homes

The issue of rural and island communities in Scotland getting their "fair share" of the 50,000 affordable homes targeted by the Scottish Government  over the course of this Parliament was debated at the Scottish Rural and Islands Housing Conference 2016.

The event, run by the Rural and Islands Housing Associations Forum (RIHAF), saw treasurer Martin Pollhammer arguing for housing investment to be split fairly and proportionately between each Scottish Government rural housing classification – but specifically to ensure remote rural and island areas get their fair share.

“RIHAF is ready to work with the Scottish Government to ensure that the challenges faced by rural and island landlords can be overcome in order to deliver the affordable homes that are desperately needed.”


Yotta to support TfGM

Highways and infrastructure company Yotta has been commissioned by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to deliver the third phase of an ongoing specialist analysis support contract.

The phase is designed to provide insight into the carriageway asset condition of the region’s key route network and inform the road maintenance plans of Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities.

Yotta delivered the first two project phases, which involved estimating the carriageway asset maintenance works required on the Greater Manchester key route network.


Former Strathclyde police HQ to be transformed

Moda Living is set to redevelop a former police headquarters into a £105 million development of homes built specifically for rent.

The company has engaged HAUS architects to help with the work to revamp Strathclyde Police’s former headquarters into Scotland’s “first major build-to-rent development”.

The building on Pitt Street will comprise 365 apartments and over 20,000 square feet of ancillary ground floor space. It will also include cafés, restaurants, workspace and gardens.

Moda will retain ownership of the properties and operate them for rent only.


336 homes for Bexley approved

The London Borough of Bexley Council has granted outline planning permission for a development of up to 366 homes at Richmer Road, Erith.

Plans also include provision for 500 square metres of retail and community floorspace as well as green public areas.

Planning consultancy Turley secured the permission on behalf of Balmoral International Land.

Image credit | Shutterstock