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News in brief: Hotel in St Paul’s approved; RTPI publishes guide on digital economy

Words: Laura Edgar
St Paul's / Shutterstock_167953277

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 9 May, 2017

Hotel in St Paul’s approved

The City of London Corporation has granted planning consent for a hotel on Ludgate Hill, close to St Paul’s, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Real estate and private equity principal company Dominvs will develop and operate the 82,500 square foot hotel under a yet-to-be-announced brand.

Bedrooms will be spread across six floors. The hotel will include a restaurant and spa for hotel guests and local visitors and residents.

The permission also comprises the retention of an existing retail unit on the ground floor.

The scheme has been designed to BREEAM Excellent level. The façade of Creed Court will be retained, and existing buildings on the site will be demolished and replaced with a new part five, part seven-storey building with three basement levels.


RTPI publishes guide on digital economy

The RTPI has published new practical advice aimed at helping planners in cities and city regions to respond to the growth of the digital economy and guide its development.

The digital technology sector is among the strongest drivers of growth in metropolitan areas. Tech jobs are created two times faster than the rest of the economy with the average salary 44 per cent higher than the national average, according to Tech City UK.

Richard Blyth, head of policy and research at the RTPI, said: “Innovative hubs don’t just thrive by chance – they are frequently the result of good planning. City planners are uniquely placed to mediate and bring together the conditions that are attractive to technology firms, such as highly skilled employees who prefer a more social lifestyle and proximity to workplace, broadband connectivity, good transport, and physical compactness.

“But beyond attracting the technology sector, city planners also need to avoid creating ‘tech ghettos’ that exacerbate social inequality, as well as use technology in the planning process itself to innovate and serve the community better.”

The guidance can be found here (pdf).

50% starter homes application submitted in Lancashire

A detailed planning application for 61 homes has been submitted to South Ribble Council for a site in Penwortham.

Housing and regeneration company Galliford Try Partnership, which markets its homes under the Linden Homes banner, plans to redevelop a site off Hill Road South. Plans include building 61 homes on the currently derelict site.

Half of the new homes will be available for open market sale and will include a mix of three and four-bedroom semi and detached homes. The remainder of the homes will be sold through the Starter Homes Initiative. They include a combination of two-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom houses.

The Homes and Communities Agency previously owned the 4.2-acre site. Galliford Try Partnerships acquired the site in April 2017.


79% support renewable energy – poll

Recent government statistics have suggested that 79 per cent of people support renewable energy.

The Public Attitudes Survey, published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, notes that 73 per cent support onshore wind, 80 per cent support offshore wind, and 79 per cent support tidal energy.

Emma Pinchbeck, executive director at RenewableUK, said: “As political parties get ready to launch their manifestos, it must surely be worth their attention that nearly 80 per cent of the general public support renewable energy, and this remains true across all demographics.

“The public is well aware that home-grown renewables provide clean and affordable energy for the future, along with huge economic benefits to local communities.”

The statistics can be found here.


236 South Kilburn homes approved

Brent Council has agreed to award and enter into a Development and Sale Agreement with Telford Homes Plc for 236 homes in South Kilburn.

The redevelopment of the Gloucester House and Durham Court site, which forms part of the regeneration of South Kilburn, includes the demolition of 209 residential units and garages and the creation of 236 new homes.

One-hundred-and-thirty-four of the new homes will be available for market sale, with 10 of these proposed to be shared equity, and the remaining 102 for affordable social rent through Notting Hill Housing Group. There will also be a basement car park providing 91 spaces, relocation and improvement of the public open space and play area at the north of the site, and space for the South Kilburn District Energy Centre.  

Plans suggest that a series of connected private communal and public gardens will create a green sequence of spaces.  

Telford Homes said it intends to start on site by September 2017, with completion in 2021.


24 homes approved in the New Forest

PegasusLife has been granted planning approval for its first scheme in the New Forest.

Located in the Rise Conservation Area in Brockenhurst, which is in the New Forest National Park, the development will comprise 24 one and two-bedroom apartments exclusively for those aged 60 and over.

The apartments will be split between three villas and a coach house to transform the site of the disused Watersplash Hotel.

The development will include internal and external shares spaced aimed at helping residents and neighbours to socialise easily.


Court of Appeal challenge against government fracking decision launched

Environmental campaigner Gayzer Frackman has launched a legal challenge in the Court of Appeal against the government’s decision to approve fracking at Preston New Road, near Little Plumpton in Lancashire.

In October 2016, communities secretary Sajid Javid backed an inspector’s decision to grant permission to Cuadrilla for shale gas fracking exploration and monitoring operations at the site.

Environmental law barrister Marc Willers QC of Garden Court Chambers, representing Frackman, said: “We are taking this case to the Court of Appeal on the basis that the government did not fully assess the impact of greenhouse gas emissions likely to be generated from the site over the next three years before it approved fracking on the site, contrary to the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations. The appeal also questions whether it was safe for the government to grant permission for fracking in the absence of a robust regulatory system that ensures fracking can be carried out without risk to health and with minimal damage to the environment”.

Image credit | Shuttershock