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News in brief: Lib Dems make housing commitment; Dover planning enforcement plans approved

Words: Laura Edgar
Housing / Shutterstock_84968503

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 18 September, 2018

Lib Dems make housing commitment at conference

The Liberal Democrats Party has reaffirmed its commitment to build 300,00 homes a year over the next decade at its party conference in Brighton.

The party says it would create a British Housing Company, which would be a dedicated, not-for-profit body that would acquire land that is not being used through compulsory acquisition.

Additionally, the Liberal Democrats say local authorities would have the power to decide on the availability of Right to Buy in their areas. Right-to-Buy receipts would to be reinvested in social housing.


Dover planning enforcement plans approved

Dover District Council’s cabinet has approved a document setting out how the council will carry out planning enforcement work.

The updated Planning Enforcement Plan (PEP) sets out the range of planning enforcement powers available to the council, how the council will decide whether or not to pursue planning enforcement action, and how it will prioritise work so that any action is targeted at the most harmful breaches of planning control.

Nicholas Kenton, council cabinet member for environment, said: “This updated plan will help us to continue to provide direction to planning enforcement processes, to provide consistency and clarity for our communities, and to continue to ensure that planning enforcement is supporting the regeneration of the district for the future.”


Household projections due later this month

Steve Quartermain, the government’s chief planning officer, has said in a letter that the new household projection figures will be published in “late September 2018”.

The household projection figures, to be published by the Office for National Statistics, form part of the government’s new standard method for assessing housing need.

The standard method, published in September last year, is based on household projections that are adjusted to reflect housing affordability. This is then subject to a 40 per cap on any increase about the current annual requirements.

In May, the latest population figures used to calculate household projections suggested a lower rate of growth.

Quartermain said: “In the government response document to the revised National Planning Policy Framework we noted that revised population projections are likely to lead to the minimum need numbers generated by the method being subject to a significant reduction, once the relevant household projection figures are released. We will consider adjusting the method after the household projections are released, in late September 2018, and consult on the specific details of any change at that time.”

The letter can be found here on the UK Government website (pdf).


Community Housing Fund open

The second phase of the government’s Community House Fund has been launched.

The £163 million fund aims to enable community-led groups to drive forward the delivery of new affordable housing development across England. The scheme is set to run until 31 March 2020.

The first phase, which launched in July, was intended to support applications for capacity building, pre-development revenue funding and capital funding for local infrastructure projects.

Phase two bidding is open to eligible organisations to bid for capital grants to fund the costs of acquiring land and building community-led housing schemes.

More information can be found here on the UK Government website.


Student accommodation plans submitted in Manchester

Student Castle has submitted a planning application for a 55-storey skyscraper on Hulme Street in Manchester city centre.

The building will comprise 850 studio apartments for undergraduates and postgraduates; 6,000 square feet of communal and ancillary spaces; and 259 secure cycle storage spaces.

‘SME incubator’ space will take up four floors, and provide residents with the chance to work alongside start-up professionals, according to the plans.


Peckham development approved

Southwark Council has granted permission for a new mixed-use development on an infill site in Peckham.

The site comprises a two-storey Victorian shop with flat above facing on to a small high street, and a long and thin industrial yard previously used as a garage, flanked by a large warehouse building.

Developer Nimtim said the complex footprint required innovative solutions to internal layouts and stair arrangements in order to achieve dwellings that satisfied
London and Southwark space and access standards.

The site will feature five apartments above a proposed butcher’s shop and a warehouse.


Kent seafront regeneration green-lit

Folkestone and Hythe District Council’s strategic development projects team has been granted approval for a leisure and residential development on a former waste disposal site at Princes Parade on Hythe seafront in Kent.

The new development includes a new leisure centre with a 25-metre swimming pool, new public open space, up to 150 homes (45 affordable), small-scale commercial uses, and a vehicle-free seafront promenade.

Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design advised the team on the regeneration.


Beeston development site for sale

A two-acre site in Beeston, Nottingham, has been up for sale as a freehold development that could feature 132 homes.

Broxtowe Borough Council, which is acting as the lead developer, is in advanced negotiations with a national cinema operator after unanimously securing full consent and outline planning consent for 79,182 square feet of residential and 6,225 square feet of commercial space.

The development offers four commercial units available to lease on flexible lease terms for retail and food and drink tenants.

It forms the second phase of a £50 million development that involved the refurbishment of the shopping precinct, new and improved public transport connecting the town to the NET tram network, more retailers, cafés and a gym.

Work is expected to start next year.

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