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News in brief: London could lose its office space to permitted development; Burton health village given board approval

Words: Laura Edgar
Office / Shutterstock_174876011

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 19 September, 2017

London could lose its office space to permitted development

Research published by the British Council for Offices (BCO) has suggested that 13.3 million square feet of London office space could be lost to office-to-residential conversions carried out under permitted development rights.

The figure includes 7.5 million square feet of office space in the capital that has already been converted into homes since the rights were introduced in 2013.

Permitted Development Rights: One Year on From Permanence, carried out by property consultants CBRE for the BCO, states that while Bristol, Birmingham and Leeds have all experienced high levels of notifications to local councils, London remains the city most affected, with 36 per cent of all notifications in the capital.

A higher proportion of notifications have been converted in London compared with the rest of England, with 57 per cent implemented, compared with an estimated national average of 50 per cent.


Burton health village given board approval

A £55 million health village development in Burton-upon-Trent is set to go ahead following an agreement between STRIDE, the partnership between Morgan Sindall Investments’ health brand Community Solutions, Arcadis and Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has signed an option with STRIDE to progress the development on surplus land next to its Queen’s Hospital site in Burton (Outwoods site).

STRIDE will now produce an outline planning application before the end of 2017.

It is expected the development will provide GP and community services for about 30,000 patients, extra care residences to mitigate delayed discharges, a 100-plus place nursery and accommodation for vulnerable adults.

Helen Scott-South, CEO at Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said the trust is conscious that the NHS needs to make better use of its surplus land, the development proposed, “in lieu of a standard housing development, enables a greater focus for the community in providing more seamless care”.


NaCSBA launches programme to showcase right to build work

The National Custom and Self Build Association’s (NaCSBA) Right to Build Task Force has launched a national programme of events to showcase the work of the recently established task force to help boost the supply of custom and self-build housing.

It also aims to bring together stakeholders from industry, local authorities and landowners.

Housing and planning minister Alok Sharma attended the event in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. He said custom and self-building housing would be an “essential” part of fixing the broken housing market.

Aylesbury was chosen by NaCSBA as the location for the first event because the task force has been supporting Buckinghamshire Advantage to allocate a significant proportion of the 1,100 homes planned for the Aylesbury Woodlands site as custom and self-build housing.

At the event Buckinghamshire Advantage confirmed the decisions it support from the Task Force. Richard Harrington, chief executive, said: “The task force gave us clear and helpful advice, drawing on the UK and international experience of its experts. As a result, our board has agreed to target 15 per cent custom and self-build housing, amounting to 165 plots”.


Firm appointed for Bracknell town centre review

Following a competitive tender process, real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield has been appointed to conduct a town centre masterplan review by Bracknell Forest Council.

The firm will work with Allies and Morrison, which will provide urban design support to the masterplan review.

The opening of The Lexicon, a shopping and leisure destination, has brought 1,000,000 square feet of shopping and leisure space, up to 1,000 new planned apartments, 12 multiplex cinema screens and 3,800 new car park spaces to Bracknell.

Bracknell Forest Council is now seeking to identify and stimulate development activity to complement the new Bracknell, “future-proofing the town centre for generations to come”.


Architects announced for Barking & Dagenham employment land overhaul

Architects Hawkins\Brown and We Made That have won an open competition to explore the future use of employment land in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

It forms part of the area’s plans to deliver 50,000 new homes and 20,000 jobs by 2035.

The council wants masterplans that create mixed-use schemes that encourage growth in the area. The firms will set out proposals for “fully integrated living and working areas to address Barking and Dagenham’s status as one of the poorest, low-skilled boroughs”.

The plans will cover 135 hectares of industrial land alongside the intensification of retained industrial sites with new employment space.

Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “This is a pivotal piece of work which will enable our new regeneration company Be First to deliver on Barking and Dagenham's ambitious plans to be London's east-end engine for homes and jobs."


Redevelopment of grade II Porthcawl building approved

Bridgend County Borough Council has granted planning permission and listed building consent for the redevelopment of a grade II listed Victorian building in Rest Bay, in Porthcawl.

The redevelopment, by Acorn Property Group, will provide 69 apartments – 39 within the grade II listed building and 34 new-build apartments.

When Acorn entered a joint venture agreement to become the development partner with the landowner, permission already existed for the site. Acorn revised the plans.

James Groombridge, managing director at Acorn’s Cardiff office, said: “The revised permission on the listed building will provide an additional 6,296 square feet of net internal space. In addition, all apartments have been carefully reviewed in order to maximise views and ensure configuration of living accommodation. As part of this review we ensured that all apartments include plenty of storage, provided individual access and private amenity space to many ground-floor apartments and increased parking standards, providing two spaces per dwelling.”


10 homes approved in Northumberland

Northumberland County Council has approved 10 homes for a site in Longframlington, Northumberland.

JT Planning provided planning and surveying services to local building firm Pringle Building Services.

The scheme will see 10 large homes built at low density on the site.

The developer has provided funding for affordable housing on another site in the county.

Pringle Building Services expects to be on site soon.

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