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News in brief: London landlord fined for unsafe HMO; A428 upgrade plans on show

Words: Laura Edgar
HMO lacks smoke alarm / iStock-172404569

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 11 June, 2019

London landlord fined for unsafe HMO

Islington Council has successfully prosecuted a rogue landlord for failing to comply with fire safety regulations and carry out repairs to his property.

A complaint from a tenant living at Flat C, 98 Petherton Road saw a council environmental health officer inspect the property, which had four unrelated occupants sharing kitchen and bathroom facilities.

The house in multiple occupation (HMO) did not have a mains wired smoke alarm system, or a fire door to the kitchen as required by HMO licensing. The officer issued an improvement notice under section 12 of The Housing Act 2004 to the owner David Simons, requiring him to remedy these defects and provide an electrical installation condition report.

Simons was found guilty of failing to complying with the notice at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on 11 April. He was sentenced on 16 May and fined £12,400. Costs of £600 were awarded with a victim’s surcharge of £175.

The full story can be read here on The Planner.


A428 upgrade plans on show

Plans to update one of the busiest road links in the East of England have gone on show.

Up to an hour-and-a-half a week could be saved by commuters on the A428 as a result of the plans, said the government.

The new 10-mile dual carriageway would link the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire to the Caxton Gibbet roundabout in Cambridgeshire, replacing the only remaining section of single carriageway between Milton Keynes and Cambridge. The plans would see both roundabouts upgraded into modern, free-flowing junctions and a new junction would be added at Cambridge Road near St Neots.

In February, Highways England announced the preferred choices from a 2017 public consultation on three route options for the new dual carriageway and three options for improving the Black Cat roundabout.

The details behind that announcement are now out for an eight-week consultation before the final plans go forward for planning consent early next year.

The consultation can be found here.


HS2 design consultation

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has launched a consultation on 11 proposed design refinements to the HS2 phase 2b route.

There are 11 proposed changes. The consultation asks for views, based on the information included in the design refinement consultation document, which will be independently analysed and reported and then considered by the secretary of state when making a decision about the final route.

The consultation can be found on the UK Government website.


Consultation Elland town plans

A consultation has been launched so that the public can have its say on proposals to improve Elland town centre.

One of the oldest settlements in Calderdale, Elland has “high-quality historic buildings” and a variety of independent retailers, but areas have been identified as requiring improvements.

A draft masterplan has been created by Elland Development Board and Calderdale Council, as part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Elland Station Gateway project.

The Elland masterplan aims to develop a vision of regeneration for the town centre, building on its unique characteristics and creating a vibrant heart to the town.

Improvement proposals include changes to the transport network, improving pedestrian access, creating more green spaces and making the most of the town’s heritage elements. There are also a number of complementary initiatives proposed, including expanded market events, and community growing projects, all designed to increase the amount of time people spend in the town.

The detailed proposals and a feedback form can be found here.


York seeks views on local plan changes

The City of York Council is inviting residents, businesses and other interested groups to comment on additional evidence and proposed modifications to the city’s local plan.

The consultation is seeking views on several changes, including:

  • removing housing site allocations at Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Strensall and land at Howard Road, Strensall;
  • formally revising the objectively assessed housing need (OAN) from 867 to 790 dwellings in York each year for the duration of the plan;
  • amendments to the green belt boundary to take into account recent change, such as planning decisions in York and the removal of the Strensall Barracks site.

The consultation closes on 22 July. It can be found here on the City of York Council website.


London funding for tackling toxic air

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has invested £6 million into 15 new projects that are being established across London in an attempt to improve air quality in the capital.

The new schemes include initiatives to cut pollution from river craft and construction machinery, as well as establishing hundreds of car-free and pedestrianisation schemes.

The money comes from the mayor's Air Quality Fund.

Four new Low Emission Neighbourhoods (LENs) will be established in Hackney, Dagenham, Southwark and Camden. LENs receive funding and support to install electric vehicle charge points, expand cycle lanes, establish green walls and investigate traffic reduction schemes. This funding will be matched with almost £3 million from the relevant boroughs.

The other 11 projects include a project to tackle emissions from South London construction sites, a zero-emission zone in the City, cargo bikes in Camden and retrofitting boats to cut emissions on the Thames. These projects will share £4 million from the mayor, match funded by almost £6 million from the boroughs.

Image credit | iStock