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News in brief: Khan ‘on track’ to deliver 17,000 affordable homes; Woking scheme gets HIF funding

Words: Laura Edgar
Affordable housing / Shutterstock_519502300

A round-up of planning news; Tuesday 18 February, 2020

Khan ‘on track’ to deliver 17,000 affordable homes

A total of 12,546 ‘genuinely’ affordable homes were started in London between March and December 2019, according to statistics published by the Greater London Authority (GLA).

The mayor’s office said this is 74 per cent of Sadiq Khan's target for 2019/2020.

During the same period in 2018/19, Khan had started 42 per cent of his 14,000 affordable home starts target. Over the full year, 14,544 affordable homes were started.


Owner fined after 33 people were found in Whitechapel flat

Thames Magistrates’ Court has ordered the owner and agent of a Whitechapel flat to pay a fine of more than £30,000 over an illegal house in multiple occupation (HMO).

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets’ environmental health team found 33 people living in 5-7 Court Street after a tip-off led them to raid the property. The team was accompanied by the police and officers from other partner agencies.

The team also found a flat containing nine people, including two 10-year old children.

Freeholder Maqbool Khan pleaded guilty to numerous housing breaches and was sentenced in January. Mohammed Abul Miah, director of managing agent ARS Properties, did not attend court but the case against him was proven in his absence.

In total, the penalties issued against the defendants – Maqbool Khan, Mohammed Abul Miah (director of managing agents ARS Properties Ltd) and ARS Properties – amounted to £30,905.19.


Woking scheme approved

Woking Borough Council has approved the next stage of a £115 million highways scheme.

This is Woking’s biggest infrastructure project to date, said the council.

The local authority has accepted a £95 million grant offered by the government and administered by Homes England so that it can complete the acquisition of the Triangle site on the south side of the town to deliver the improvements to the town centre’s road network and widen the outdated Victoria Arch bridge by 2024.

The money comes from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) after both Woking and Surrey County Council submitted the bid. It sets out the proposals to alleviate long-term congestion issues within the town centre, future-proof the highways and rail network, and unlock 13 brownfield sites for town centre housing – 40 per cent of which the council said would be affordable.


Manchester Mayfair development approved

Manchester City Council has granted planning permission for the first phase of the development at Mayfield.

The plans comprise public space, including a 6.5-acre landscaped public park, a nine-storey 75,900 square-foot office building, a 13-storey 244,000 square-foot office building and a 581-space multistorey car park in the heart of Manchester.

The scheme is being brought forward by the Mayfield Partnership, a public-private venture comprising U+I – a regeneration developer and investor, Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and LCR.

Work on the site is expected to start in autumn 2020.


Grosvenor Square to be redesigned

Architectural practice Tonkin Liu has been appointed to redesign London’s Grosvenor Square ahead of its 300th anniversary.

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland manages the public garden on a not-for-profit basis. The firm explained that it has been working with local residents and Londoners to build a “shared vision” to enhance the square’s contribution to Mayfair and London by making it more sustainable and welcoming.

Tonkin Liu has been asked to bring this together in a design developed with the participation of Mayfair’s many communities. The firm was appointed following a six month-long formal competition. Grosvenor said the emphasis of “their design process on connecting people back to nature, collective storytelling and community involvement were key factors in their success”.


Team picked to deliver Purley Way masterplan

A team led by We Made That has been chosen to deliver the Purley Way masterplan.

The team also comprises Hawkins\Brown, Steer, Hatch Regeneris, Cushman & Wakefield, and Resolve Collective.

The 140-hectare mixed-use masterplan aims to ensure that the Purley Way redevelopment includes updated industrial and commercial space, residential, civic, mixed-use development, social and cultural infrastructure, improved public realm, green infrastructure and sustainable transport.

Holly Lewis, partner at We Made That, said: “This is a sizeable masterplan where success rests on being able to intensify industrial uses and support employment uses alongside new homes. We’re excited to be working with Croydon Council to ensure Purley Way is both a success and an exemplar for other areas of London to learn from.”

Anisha Jogani, leader of the placemaking team at Croydon Council, added: “The masterplan is a significant opportunity for the council to be at the forefront of shaping change coming forward along the Purley Way, in order to support Croydon’s need for housing and employment space, and supporting infrastructure. The project will create an opportunity to test the future of out-of-town and industrial and retail locations and how they evolve into mixed-use neighbourhoods.”

Image credit | Shutterstock