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News in brief: RTPI awards two members fellowships; Climate response outlined by national park authority

Words: Laura Edgar

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 3 December, 2019

RTPI awards two members fellowships

Two members of the RTPI have been elected as fellows of the institute – Jon Suckley and Warren Marshall.

The fellowship recognises their contribution to the planning profession.

Suckley is principal and senior director for planning, development and regeneration at Avison Young in Manchester, and Marshall is group planning director at Peel Ports Group.

The RTPI said fellowship is awarded to those planners who have “made a major personal contribution to the profession to further the science and art of planning for the benefit of the public”.


Climate response outlined by national park authority

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority has highlighted how it is responding to the challenges posed by climate change.

The authority’s members have welcomed a report that details continuing and imminent action as well as possible areas for further progress. It follows the declaration of a climate emergency by the Welsh Government and Pembrokeshire County Council earlier this year.

National park authority chairman Paul Harries said: “Members and staff agreed that the authority should outline the ways in which it is already taking action in order to identify where further reductions or impacts can be made and the areas that the authority has the most influence over.

“There is such a diverse range of work being carried out across the authority’s teams, but combining them in this way allows us to view the entire picture in order to maximise our response to the climate emergency.”

The report includes details in a wide range of areas, from planning policy and recycling to transport and procurement.

Members have agreed to develop an action plan to identify new areas of work, which will be prepared in the coming months.

The report can be found on the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority website.


Lichfield consults on local plan

Lichfield District Council has begun work on a new local plan to shape the district until 2040.

The council said the plan would provide homes, jobs, facilities and services to meet the needs of the population in a sustainable way. It would also protect and enhance the area’s environment and heritage.

The council wants local people, developers and organisations, including parish councils, to consider its draft local plan preferred options document, which sets out how the council thinks the district should be developed over the next 20 years.

The consultation will close at 5pm on Friday 24 January 2020.

More information can be found on the Lichfield District Council website.


135,000 homeless children in Britain

A report published today (3 December) has found that there are 135,000 children in Britain who are homeless and living in temporary accommodation.

According to the Shelter report, this is the highest number in 12 years.

Generation Homeless states that a child loses his or her home every eight minutes, which is equivalent to 183 children a day.

  • There are 5,683 homeless families with children currently living in emergency B&Bs and hostels.
  • In England, the areas with the highest proportion of homeless children are the London boroughs of Kensington & Chelsea, Haringey, Westminster and Newham, where one in 12 children is homeless.
  • Outside the capital, the places with the highest concentration of homeless children are Luton (one in every 22 children), Brighton & Hove (one in every 30) and Manchester (one in every 47).
  • In England’s classrooms, there is an average of five homeless children for every school in the country.

Polly Neate, chief executive at Shelter, said: “The fact 183 children become homeless every day is a scandalous figure and sharp reminder that political promises about tackling homelessness must be turned into real action.

“Day in, day out we see the devastating impact the housing emergency is having on children across the country. They are being uprooted from friends; living in cold, cramped B&Bs and going to bed at night scared by the sound of strangers outside.

“Every child has the right to a safe home and if we act now, we can help get them to a better place."

Neate urged people to donate to Shelter's Christmas appeal.


More than 250k completions supported by Help to Buy

Between 1 December 2015 and 30 June 2019, there have been 256,564 property completions supported by the Help to Buy ISA, recent statistics have suggested.

A total of 339,747 bonuses have been paid through the scheme, at an average value of £943.

Other statistics in the document released by Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government include:

  • North West and Yorkshire and The Humber – highest number of property completions supported by the scheme.
  • North East and Northern Ireland – lowest number of property completions supported by the scheme.
  • £173,573 – the mean value of a property purchased through the scheme is £173,573 compared with an average first-time buyer house price of £193,701 and a national average house price of £230,292.
  • 28 – the median age of a first-time buyer in the scheme is 28 compared with a national first-time buyer median age of 30.

Help to Buy: ISA Scheme Quarterly Statistics can be found on the UK Government website (pdf).

Image credit | RTPI