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News in brief: Public realm study for Oxford; Birmingham skyscraper application submitted

Words: Laura Edgar
Oxford city centre | iStock_23817808

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 3 October, 2017

Public realm study for Oxford

Transport consultancy Phil Jones Associates (PJA) and sustainable transport firm ITP are to undertake a movement and public realm study of Oxford city centre on behalf of the city and country councils.

The study is expected to inform the new Oxford City Council’s local plan to 2036 as well as inform a future update of Oxfordshire County Council’s Oxford Transport Strategy.

It is anticipated that within the plan period there will be significant growth within the Oxford City Council administrative area and also in surrounding Oxfordshire districts. Therefore, the study aims to develop a strategy for city centre transport and public realm to ensure that it is served by adequate infrastructure.

The councils want to increase the use of public transport and cycling, as well as the number of people walking.

PJA and ITP will review traffic data, pedestrian footfall, public transport routes and future development plans to inform the vision for Oxford city centre for years to come. The implications of emerging technologies such as automated vehicles and e-bikes will also be carefully considered.


Birmingham skyscraper application submitted

Developer Moda Living has submitted plans for 481 apartments to Birmingham City Council.

The £183 million scheme is for the site of the former Tramps nightclub and forms part of the wider regeneration of Broad Street.

Named 2one2 Broad Street, the development comprises apartments ranging in size from studios to three-bedrooms units, which will be managed by Moda Living, which is also an operator of private rented homes. Plans include 30,000 square feet of communal space, such as a residents’ gym.

Mixed commercial, retail and leisure space also features on the plans.

If approved. it will be Birmingham’s tallest tower.


Architects pH+ and Walbury Estates receive go-ahead

Planning permission for Architects pH+ and Walbury Estates Ltd’s 24 new homes in Stockwell Green has been granted.

The development is located within a conservation area in a dense urban site sandwiched between student housing and a grade II listed community resource centre.

It comprises three blocks that step up incrementally from the adjacent Hudson House to address the taller Glassyard building.

The two companies said the façade of the building references the traditional materiality of the area; buff brick, light bronze zinc cladding, and decorative back-lit panels are layered throughout the project to fit the building within the surrounding context.


Tunbridge Wells bus depot to be transformed

Retirement living developer PegasusLife has been granted planning permission to redevelop the Arriva Bus Depot in Royal Tunbridge Wells into retirement apartments.

Plans include 89 apartments, which will be a mixture of one, two and three bedrooms.

The site will also feature a number of communal areas, including a rooftop sitting room, a café, a gym and gardens.

Howard Phillips, CEO of PegasusLife, said: “We have worked hard to ensure the design of the site contributes sensitively to the surrounding area and we look forward to starting work on creating a development, which will provide homes exclusively for those over 60.”

The project team for the site includes Barton Willmore as planning consultant, and architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.


Affordable home scheme approved in Dunstable

Central Bedfordshire Council has approved Catalyst’s plans for 61 new affordable homes at Brewers Hill Road in Dunstable.

The scheme is 100 per cent affordable and will comprise 43 homes for shared ownerships and 18 for affordable rent.

The plans show there will be 38 two, three and four-bedroom houses, and 23 two-bedroom apartments.

Architects Levitt Bernstein designed the development.

Contractors are expected to be appointed later this year, with work on site due to start in early 2018.


Council terminates procurement process for creative deliver for Welborne

Fareham Borough Council has announced that it is to recommend the termination of its procurement process to appoint a creative delivery partner for Welborne.

This will be made to the executive committee on Monday 9 October.

It follows the announcement that Buckland Development Ltd has completed the purchase of Dean Farm and has said it wants to act as both landowner and developer in delivering Welborne Garden Village.

Buckland Development Ltd lodged a planning application for the garden village, which features proposals for 6,000 homes, with Fareham Borough Council in March 2017.


Javid announces £10bn for Help to Buy

The government has committed an extra £10 billion for the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, communities secretary Sajid Javid has said.

The new funding means, according to the government, that the Help to Buy Equity Loan could help around 135,000 more people to buy homes by 2021.

Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter, said: “Extending Help to Buy is the wrong priority at a time when over a million renters are struggling with crippling housing costs. Help to Buy has barely helped the first-time buyers it is targeted at and has done nothing to help those worst affected by our broken housing market and those at risk of homelessness. Moreover, it has increased house prices and propped up a speculative development model in need of reform.”

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