Log in | Register

News in Brief: Research into Scotland’s potential for ‘world-class connectivity” begins; Barbour ABI to provide starter homes data

Telephone poles

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 22 March, 2016

Research into Scotland’s potential for ‘world-class connectivity’ begins

Property consultant Bidwells and IT and telecoms consultancy FarrPoint have begun a joint research project looking into how the Scottish Planning System can help to deliver “world-class connectivity” in Scotland.

The project, on behalf of the Scottish Government, aims to produce evidence-based recommendations on the scope for legislative changes to increase permitted development rights for electronic communications infrastructure, to help meet the government’s digital objectives.

This research will be particularly pertinent to communities in rural Scotland. The government has committed to improving mobile coverage across the country, particularly in remote areas that are likely to be outside the commercial rollout of 4G services.

Jan Miszalowski, principal consultant at FarrPoint, said: “This research work will be a key element in deciding how the Scottish planning system can support operators in building the communications infrastructure required to ensure that everyone in Scotland can participate in the digital age.”

The research project is due to conclude at the end of March 2016.

Barbour ABI to provide starter homes data

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has awarded construction industry analyst Barbour ABI a contract to supply the UK Government with key data relating to the construction of starter homes.

Barbour will collect, analyse and monitor starter home planning applications through to the construction phase on behalf of the DCLG, in line with the government’s commitment to deliver 200,000 starter homes by 2021.

Barbour’s group director Simon Mahoney said that the firm’s “excellent working relationship” with planning authorities would help it to provide a “high level of accuracy” in its research.

Regent’s Park Estate plans gets go-ahead

Camden Council has approved plans for replacement homes on London’s Regent’s Park Estate, for residents affected by the proposals for HS2.

The new homes will be within a 10-minute walk of resident’s existing homes and will be delivered ahead of HS2 proposals across eight different sites within the site, along with public realm improvements.

The project also includes plans for a replacement public house, two new commercial units and a replacement community facility. The estate currently includes 2,200 homes across 49 residential blocks on a 15-hectare site.

Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design designed and led the planning application. The firm’s director, Hilary Satchwell, said: “Through consultation, we’ve ensured that wherever possible the plans will benefit not only the residents directly affected, but improve the estate for everyone. To do this we focused on two areas in particular – design quality and placemaking – while ensuring we met the tight programme required by the council in response to the HS2 proposals.”

‘Blue-Green’ infrastructure works tender issued for Glasgow’s Sighthill development

Glasgow City Council has issued the tender for contractors to progress the ‘Blue-Green’ infrastructure works for the £250 million regeneration of the Sighthill area, which is seen as the main driver for future investment.

The regeneration project includes 800 homes, a new school, community facilities and commercial units. The scheme’s infrastructure proposal, developed by consultancy LDA Design, incorporates sustainable urban drainage solutions into the development to create new areas of parkland and public realm spaces, offering opportunities for recreation and biodiversity.

Kirstin Taylor, director at LDA Design, said: “The public realm strategy in this development is both highly sustainable and people-centric. Our focus has been on the landscape and amenities, taking the emphasis away from vehicles and onto the community they will serve, and giving Sighthill a unique identity.

“We’re also proposing innovative green infrastructure solutions such as rain gardens within key streetscapes, right through to the design and specification of bespoke street furniture and dramatic gateway spaces.”

Green light for last piece of £90m St Giles Circus development

Camden Council has granted planning consent to Consolidated Developments Ltd for a 280-capacity music venue for St Giles Circus in London’s West End – the final piece in a £90 million development project.

Plans for the area include two new buildings to house services including a publically accessible ‘urban gallery’, an 800-capacity music venue and a bar as well as retail, leisure and office use. Famous as London’s ‘Tin Pan Alley’ and home to many specialist music shops, the area is already set to benefit from the £1 billion redevelopment of Tottenham Court Road station.

Richard Metcalfe, property consultant at Consolidated Developments Ltd, said: “St Giles Circus is set to continue as an internationally recognised destination for music commerce, culture, creativity and inspiration, set in the heart of London. We will continue to deliver a diverse scheme that showcases leading international culture in an iconic setting known for its creativity and flair.”

Construction is set for completion by the end of 2018.