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News in brief: McVey seeks reassurance over Broxtowe green belt; Cherwell commits to biodiversity target

Words: Laura Edgar
Esther McVey / Chris McAndrew

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 15 October, 2019

McVey seeks reassurance over Broxtowe green belt

Housing minister Esther McVey has written to Broxtowe Borough Council to seek reassurance that the council will make ‘every effort’ to redevelop brownfield land.

The letter follows an inspector’s examination of the council local plan part two, in which the inspector concluded that the need for housing, the lack of alternatives outside of the green belt, and the limited impact that the alterations would have on the openness and purposes of the green belt constitute the exceptional circumstances required.

McVey noted that the council has identified increasing development of brownfield land, but reminded the council about the importance the government attaches to redeveloping brownfield land.

“My key priority is to ensure that this vital resource is put to productive use, to support the regeneration of our cities, towns and villages, and to limit the pressure on undeveloped green belt land ... I am seeking further reassurance that the council will be making every possible effort to prioritise delivering redevelopment on previously developed land going forward."

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

Cherwell commits to biodiversity target

Cherwell District Council’s executive has agreed to seek 10 per cent net biodiversity gains through the planning system.

The council already requires net gains through the planning process, but it said this decision establishes a consistent approach, “aiming for more substantial and measurable wildlife habitat gains”. Requirements for on-site habitat provision will be made when planning permission is granted.

Andrew McHugh, lead member for health and wellbeing, said: “Diverse natural habitats are valuable in their own right, but nowadays we have a better understanding of the fact that they also support our wellbeing, our economy, and carbon capture.

“Like any planning authority, we have to meet government housebuilding targets. But we can also use the planning system to mitigate the effects of this on local ecosystems, and indeed require developers to protect and improve our district’s natural capital.”


Dover pub will get a makeover

Dover District Council has granted planning permission for the revamp of one of Dover’s oldest pubs.

The Lord Nelson on Flying Horse Lane, which adjoins the St James retail and leisure development, is to be comprehensively refurbished by the owner, Kent-based Shepherd Neame.

Plans for the riverside pub include an open-plan bar area and dining space, while the new-look outdoor areas will include patio seating to the front of the property and a stone paved terrace to the back of the property.


Sisk appointed for regeneration project

Peabody has appointed John Sisk & Son to build phase 2 of the St John’s Hill Estate regeneration project opposite Clapham Junction train station.

The three-phase regeneration of the 1930s Peabody estate will increase the number of homes from 353 to 599 homes in total.

Sisk also built phase 1, which delivered 153 homes, of which 73 were for social rent for Peabody. Phase 2 is set to deliver 198 affordable homes (109 social rented homes, 54 extra care homes, and 35 offered for shared ownership) and a new community centre, which are due to be completed in 2022.

The £87 million second phase also features landscaping, a wild garden, a play area and a central public square for the community.


Shoreham box park approved

Adur District Council has granted planning permission for a seafront dining area on Shoreham Beach.

Boxpark’s plans will see a run-down toilet block transformed into a multipurpose split-level café-restaurant with paved outdoor seating area and roof terrace with coastal and countryside views.

Public toilets will be retained and upgraded within the building while changing rooms, a centre for water sports and community space for up to 90 people will be made available to local groups.

The Brighton-based firm has developments in Shoreditch, Croydon and Wembley constructed out of shipping containers.


Bermondsey airspace scheme gets the go-ahead

Southwark Council has approved developer Fruition Properties' plans to develop nine new residential apartments above a light industrial unit at 20 Crimscott Street in Bermondsey, London.

Designed by architectural practice TP Bennett, the development will provide a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom apartments as well as external improvements to the existing commercial space.

The approval was the result of collaboration between Fruition Properties, Southwark Council and the long-standing commercial occupier, printing company F. E. Burman, which has 50 employees and will stay fully operational during the development process without disruption.

The site was identified as an ideal platform for an airspace project owing to the existing building's flat roof, and Fruition Properties and Southwark Council wanting to provide new housing while preserving existing buildings and employment uses.

Image credit | Chris McAndrew