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News in brief: Homes for Scotland appoints new chair; £1.8m homelessness action plan in Greater Manchester

Words: Laura Edgar
Homelessness / Shutterstock_351803642

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 10 October, 2017

Homes for Scotland appoints new chair

Trade body Homes for Scotland has appointed Ken Gillespie as chair for a three-year term with immediate effect.

With 33 years of experience, Gillespie has been responsible for the development and delivery of residential, commercial and infrastructure schemes both nationally and internationally.

Gillespie said: “My philosophy is clear: whether public or private sector, local or national government, we all need to work together, positively and progressively, to an agreed common objective which should be increasing and accelerating housing supply across Scotland to meet the needs of our growing population.”

More about this appointment can be found on The Planner Jobs website.


£1.8m homelessness action plan in Greater Manchester

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has invested £1.8 million to help homeless people get off the streets.

He said the money, one of just eight social impact bonds (SIB) approved, will help to provide accommodation, intensive health support and improvements in the way homeless people are encouraged into education or work for up to 200 people.

The money comes two weeks after Burnham asked all public bodies in the region to work together to end homelessness and rough sleeping with immediate action.

Representatives from all of those organisations attended a meeting of Greater Manchester’s Reform Board to suggest actions, including calling on the government to halt the roll-out of the Universal Credit benefit scheme.


Countryside to deliver Hoxton regeneration scheme

Housebuilder Countryside has signed a development agreement with Hackney Council to develop new homes for social renting, shared ownership and outright sale at St Leonard’s Court in Hoxton, East London.

The development is located near Shoreditch Park and Tech City, as well as Hoxton and Old Street stations.

It comprises one, two and three-bedroom apartments, landscaped open space, bicycle storage and a central courtyard.

Of the homes, 21 per cent will be for social rent and 11 per cent for shared ownership.

The council has secured detailed planning permission for the development.

Countryside will start on site in 2018.


Fareham bids £10m housing grant

Fareham Borough Council has submitted a bid for £10 million of grant funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) Housing Infrastructure Fund.

If approved, the money would be the last piece of finance required to upgrade J10 of the M27 to an ‘all-moves’ junction.

The bid has been supported by Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Hampshire County Council, Fareham MP Suella Fernandes, and Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery.

The council said £29 million of public funding has already been secured through the Solent LEP and the Department for Transport. However, the total estimated cost, which includes allowances for inflation and contingency works, and associated highways works, is in the region of £60 million.

Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Seán Woodward, said: “Securing funding to ensure this infrastructure is in place upfront will unlock any barriers to the housing requirements for the area and ensure timely delivery of housing and Welborne Garden Village.”

Welborne Garden Village is expected to deliver 6,000 homes and 5,700 jobs.


245 homes approved next to Crossrail

The Royal Borough of Greenwich Council has approved developer HUB’s proposal for a mixed-use scheme at Abbey Wood, south-east London.

Abbey Place will comprise 245 one to three-bedroom homes for rent and will be near the new Abbey Wood Elizabeth Line station, which is set to open in 2018.

The 23,000 square metre scheme, designed by architects at shedkm, will also deliver flexible space at the ground level for future retail and commercial use. Abbey Place features two residential buildings of 21 storeys and 13 storeys. More than 400 cycle spaces will be provided on the ground floor.

The development will be delivered by HUB in partnership with sustainable and social impact investor Bridges Fund Management.


Planning consultancy appointed by Cabinet Office

The Cabinet Office has appointed planning and development consultancy Montagu Evans as the property management and finance services provider for the shadow Government Property Agency (GPA).

The GPA is part of the Cabinet Office.

Montagu Evans, working with partner organisations CBRE and Moore Stephens, will work for the GPA over a three-year period, supporting it with a range of back-office services. These include paying and receiving rents and other costs associated with a complex property portfolio – managing property transactions, maintaining property data and providing full reporting and accounting services.

Ian Playford, interim chief executive of the GPA, said: “The signing of this contract represents real progress towards the creation of the Government Property Agency. It will allow us to develop the high-quality property management and finance services we need to realise our objectives of increased efficiency and reduced operating costs across the government estate.”

The GPA has been shadow running since January 2017 to test processes and structures in preparation for its official launch in April 2018.

Image credit | Shutterstock