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News in brief: Permission sought for homes in Shepshed; WMCA approves £2bn CRSTS bid

Words: Laura Edgar
Application submitted / Shutterstock_434614015

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 21 September, 2021

Permission sought for homes in Shepshed

Godwin Developments has submitted an application for permission to build up to 50 new family homes on land south of Ashby Road Central in Shepshed, Leicestershire.

The site is currently vacant and is allocated in the emerging Charnwood Borough Council Local Plan for housing.

As well as a mixture of housing types, the application includes parking for residents and cycle storage for every home.


WMCA approves £2bn CRSTS bid

The board of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has approved bids to the government’s City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) fund and Bus Service Improvement Plan fund worth – with local top-up – £2 billion for the next five years.

The West Midlands Metro network would receive £280 million to improve the network and extend it towards Walsall, Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell and Wolverhampton.

The Bus Service Improvement Plan bid includes the development of 110km of new bus priority routes, a simplified lower-cost fare system across operators, and the expansion of the new ‘West Midlands On Demand’ bus service.

A bid of £55 million to introduce a fleet of 200 zero-emissions hydrogen buses has been backed by the WMCA board.

Read more here on The Planner.


Housebuilder partners with UKGBC to improve sustainability

Developer Countryside has announced it has partnered with UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) to help it achieve its approach to sustainability.

Through the UKGBC platform, Countryside said it would collaborate with colleagues in the construction and housebuilding industries to find “innovative solutions to the myriad of sustainability challenges the world faces”.

The UKGBC is aiming to transform the building and construction sector across three key strategic areas: climate action, health and wellbeing, and resources and circularity.

Countryside has identified 25 key targets that formulate its sustainability approach and it has committed to setting science-based carbon targets.

Iain McPherson, group chief executive at Countryside, said: “By partnering with the UKGBC, we intend to tackle the challenges of sustainability within the housebuilding and construction industries as well as deepening our knowledge about sustainable development. Having already joined the HBF Future Homes Taskforce, we want to build on our sustainability approach by closely working with our partners, supply chain stakeholders, communities and industry colleagues to resolve these far-reaching and complex issues together, ensuring we create the positive outcomes we are aiming for.”


Retirement development to be zero carbon

Retirement Villages Group has announced that its 196-home mixed-use development at West Byfleet, Surrey, will be the “UK’s first net-zero carbon” scheme over its whole development and operational lifespan in the later living sector.

The firm is the first developer to use UKGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework definition in this sector.

The net-zero status accounts for carbon generated by the materials used to build the project (embodied carbon) and the ‘operational carbon’ used to run the development over an average 60-year lifespan.

Retirement Villages Group said the embodied carbon will be offset at practical completion and the operational carbon annually.


Plans for Nottingham development altered owing to pandemic

Leonard Design Architects (LDA) and placemaking specialist Studio Egret West have made a series of changes to the masterplan for the Island Quarter in Nottingham in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The two companies said the green space offer has been enhanced on the 36-acre site, as have the multifunctional public areas for outdoor events.

David Leonard of LDA said: “The plans for the Island Quarter have been adapted to create inclusive, healthy, sustainable and viable communities, which also meet the changing attitudes towards flexible working and health and wellbeing in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“These latest changes include an expansion of the linear park, which will now extend around the site to create active, liveable and safe spaces linking the new community at The Island Quarter with the area’s existing vibrant communities.”

The new masterplan features 10,000 square metres of more urban river and green space than the original, as well as more than 20 restaurants, bars and cafés. It will also include 1,600 new homes and allow for more than 6,000 office jobs.

The Conygar Investment Company plc is the developer behind the scheme.


Partnership seeks to encourage under-represented groups to become barristers

A partnership between the Planning and Environmental Bar Association (PEBA), Cornerstone Barristers, Field Court, Francis Taylor Building, Kings Chambers and Landmark Chambers intends to encourage undergraduates and postgraduates from groups that are not well represented at the Bar to consider becoming barristers.

The scheme will run from October 2021 to June 2022. It aims to provide advice and guidance to suitable candidates on the process of becoming a barrister specialising in planning, property and public law.

PEBA and each chambers hope that the mentoring scheme “can lay the foundations to creating a profession that is representative of all and for all by introducing those from a non-traditional background into the profession”.

Successful applicants will be offered one-to-one meetings with a mentor and a workshop on application for pupillage.

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