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News in brief: Housing minister bids for Tory leadership; Council to sell site using digital auctioneer

Kit Malthouse / Chris McAndrew

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 28 May, 2019

Housing minister bids for Tory leadership

Housing and planning minister Kit Malthouse has announced his plans to stand for leader of the Conservative party.

Launching his bid with an article in The Sun, Malthouse became the 10th contender to replace Theresa May, who announced last week that she would stand down as party leader on 7 June.

The MP for North West Hampshire is the author of the ‘Malthouse Compromise’ plan for Brexit to break Parliament’s deadlock. He suggested replacing the Irish backstop with alternative arrangements over a longer three-year period.

Malthouse told The Sun: “All the leadership candidates talk about the need for unity, but I’m the only one who got off my backside to make it happen.

“I gather that most of them are running on a variation of my plan. That’s what made me think I would be the person to deliver it.”


Council to sell site using digital auctioneer

Leeds City Council has instructed digital property auctioneer BidX1 to sell a greenfield site in its online auction on 24 July.

The site is located at Grange Farm in the village of Colton, which is on the eastern outskirts of Leeds. It is is listed with a guide price of £500,000 and is within the Colton conservation area.

The site is an L-shaped area of grazing land covering about 0.23 hectares. It currently houses several poor-quality storage buildings, has open fields on one side and forms part of the adjoining Grange Farm equestrian centre.

The local planning authority has suggested that the site could suit a courtyard scheme of five dwellings.


TPS opens nominations for People’s Award

The Transport Planning Society (TPS) has opened nominations for the People’s Award to mark the official launch of Transport Planning Day 2019 on 20 November at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London.

The TPS People’s Award looks for the UK’s best community-focused transport initiatives that have made a real difference to people’s access to services, quality of life and well-being.

It forms part of the Transport Planning Day campaign, which showcases the role of transport planners in improving everyday life across the UK. The TPS aims to have communities tell professionals about the transport projects that have made a significant difference and improved their day-to-day lives.

The society is also working with the Transport for New Homes project to develop new awards focusing on the importance of sustainable transport for housing developments.

Nominations are open through the society’s website until 2nd August, and finalists will be announced in the autumn. Nominated initiatives must have been in operation for at least one year.


Heritage Partnership Agreement signed at King’s Cross Station

A Heritage Partnership Agreement has been signed at King’s Cross Station with Historic England, Network Rail and Camden Council to guarantee the efficient future management of the nationally significant site by streamlining the formal listed building consent process.

This new Heritage Partnership Agreement (HPA) will streamline and simplify this process, as more minor works no longer need formal consent. This will make managing the building much easier, saving time and money, while protecting what is special about it.

Historic England says it hopes that this project will inspire other similar sites to consider it as an option for sound, efficient management of our heritage.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “The project shows that through close partnership working, combined with expertise and a passion for our heritage, exceptional, vibrant places can be shaped for everyone to enjoy. This new HPA agreement builds on this project, ensuring that King’s Cross station can continue to be efficiently looked after for the future.”

Green light given for £2.5m housing scheme

Lovell Midlands has been awarded a grant of £770,000 by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to construct 151 new homes on a former industrial site in Steelhouse Lane, Monmore Green, Wolverhampton.

The £2.5 million scheme will see Lovell develop brownfield land to provide a mix of homes to buy or rent. The scheme will provide a mix of two, three and four-bedroom open-market and affordable homes.

A total of 76 homes will be sold by Lovell, whilst a further 16 will be available on a shared ownership scheme called Home Reach from Heylo Housing. The other 59 homes will be managed by WHG Housing Association on an affordable rental basis.

The site, which has been lying vacant for more than a decade, is being brought back into use after the WMCA used funding to clean up the land and make it ready for development.

Construction work on the 8.5-acre site, to be named Saints Quarter, is due to start in the summer.


Beam Park construction begins in East London

Homebuilder Countryside and housing association L&Q have begun the £1 billion construction of the 3,000-home Beam Park regeneration site in East London.  

Following the completion of phase one preparatory works, the regeneration of Beam Park will transform the derelict site of a former Ford manufacturing plant into a new and vibrant destination spanning 29-hectares (71.7 acres).

The first phase of the development will deliver 640 new homes, as well as extensive community facilities, including the Beam Park railway station, which will be framed by a high-quality Station Square, providing a lively heart to the development.

Phase one will also see the delivery of a three-form entry primary school, as well as a new linear park to the north of the site.  

Sales of the new homes are due to launch in May this year, with the first homes ready in 2020. The first phase of the development should be fully completed by 2022.

The marketing suite will open on the site in May 2019, with two show apartments and a show home available to view.

When the masterplan is complete in 2030, Beam Park will also deliver an additional school, retail spaces, a gym, nursery, community facilities, a multi-faith space, and two energy centres.


MEPC unveils 20 year Milton Park masterplan

MEPC has created an emerging 20-year masterplan with Perkins+Will to create a neighbourhood-style campus at Milton Park to bring the workforce to 20,000.

Milton Park is currently home to more than 250 companies, employing 9,000 people.

The plans will eventually bring the total square feet at Milton Park to over four million square feet, all within the site's existing Local Development Order (LDO) planning boundary. MEPC said that this will play an important part in the 2040 Vision plans as it streamlines the planning permission process, allowing applications within certain parameters to be approved within 10 days.

The 2040 Vision Masterplan aims to make more efficient use of the existing 300-acre site, with 41 per cent of new space focused on creating world-leading labs.

The Vision work completed at Milton Park will change how business parks are perceived by modernising design, creating a flexible and adaptable framework for future development and improving amenities to boost well-being.

Peter Baird, associate at the London office of Perkins+Will, said: “The 2040 Vision will provide the framework that business parks across the country can follow, dramatically changing the way in which they are they are utilised and perceived in the UK.”


Scheme at Aero Centre Yorkshire submitted

A reserved matters planning application has been submitted by Trebor Developments and partner Hillwood for an speculative industrial scheme at Aero Centre Yorkshire.

This follows an exchange of contracts between the developers and Peel Land and Property.

The proposal comprises two units of 45,976 square feet and 59,159 square feet in size. They will be suitable for B1/B2 and B8 uses.