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News in brief: RTPI to put planning on the world stage at Habitat III; Organisations create community-led placemaking booklet for Scotland


A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 11 October, 2016

RTPI to put planning on the world stage at Habitat III

Good planning and experienced planners will play a crucial role in implementing international agreements – that's the message the RTPI will be taking to the Habitat III Conference in Quito next week, 17-20 October, 2016.

Habitat III will consider urban trends and their impact on human development, environmental well-being and governance. RTPI president Phil Williams, chief executive Trudi Elliott and policy and research officer Marion Frederiksen will represent the institute’s 23,000 members to national governments from around the world.

Williams said: “My message to world leaders will be that planners have the skills to help solve some of the complex problems confronting societies around the world. Planners have a crucial role in building resilience and delivering sustainable housing, jobs and growth within vibrant communities.”

More information on the RTPI’s involvement at Habitat III can be found here.


Organisations create community-led placemaking booklet for Scotland

Development Trusts Association Scotland, Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations, Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust and Scottish Federation of Housing Association have collaborated to produce a booklet showcasing six examples of community-led placemaking.

The booklet was produced under the Joint Housing Delivery Plan, a collaboration between the Scottish Government and partner bodies from housing and related sectors. It includes six case studies centring on new housing and one around a community woodland area. Schemes in Kincraig, Sutherland, Wester Ross, Gorbals, Glasgow and the Isle of Arran are featured.

The booklet's authors find that where policies are pro-development, have sufficient priority within the planning system and sit alongside a strong support network, Scotland can create the stronger and more viable communities that are “essential for the country’s future prosperity”.

See the document here.


Khan seeks early delivery of Ultra-Low Emission Zone

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has laid out proposals to deliver the Central London Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in 2019, a year ahead of schedule. The proposals would see the ULEZ extended to the North and South Circular roads in 2019 or later, and formal consultation to introduce the ‘T-charge’ toxicity levy for older polluting vehicles in October 2017.

The proposals are part of the mayor’s second air quality consultation led by Transport for London. They follow on from an initial consultation last summer which attracted a record number of responses.

Khan said: “Toxic air in London is a health emergency that requires bold action, including introducing charges for older polluting vehicles and expanding the ULEZ. I am determined to help every Londoner breathe cleaner air. After the massive response to my first consultation, I now need the public to let me know their views on my detailed proposals to help clean-up our filthy air.”

Full details on the proposals and information on how residents can have their say can be found here.


Kier Living launches £1 billion housing delivery fund

Kier Living has launched a £1 billion housing delivery fund in partnership with The Cheyne Social Property Impact Fund and The Housing Growth Partnership (a joint venture between the HCA and Lloyds Banking Group) in an aim to “help the sector build 10,000 new homes across the UK”.

The New Communities Partnership will provide local authorities with development options for their land including a choice between sale and/or rental developments, offering “significant scope” for affordable development.


‘Saved’ historic hall will form centre of new community

Grade II listed Ewnrigg Hall in Cumbria, recently saved from dereliction, will form the centre of a new community to provide a further 124 homes on surrounding land.

Consultancy WYG secured planning permission for the hybrid application despite the site being outside of the development boundary for Maryport, and the local authority having a five-year supply of housing land.

Efforts have been made to incorporate the surviving elements of the hall sympathetically into the scheme; the hall’s historic façade has been retained to form an enclosure for the private gardens behind. A new-build element will also be introduced in the footprint of the building’s former east wing to “create a balanced appearance”.


Work starts on SME business space at Kidderminster’s Ratio:Park

Work has begun to deliver 30,000 square feet of industrial workshops, warehouses and offices for small businesses at Ratio:Park, part of the South Kidderminster enterprise park.

The scheme will offer 22 units, with business owners having the option to purchase or let the plots. Developer Chase Commercial Ltd has appointed Colonnade Construction Ltd to deliver the first 11 units.

The enterprise park is a key employment and regeneration area for Wyre Forest District Council, which has seen many changes following the introduction of a local development order to simplify planning and improve business activity.

Rob Champion of Halls Commercial, which helped secure the sale of land for Ratio:Park, said: “The region is chronically short of small business units, especially those which are available to buy, and I expect us to sell rather than let the vast majority of the units on this park.”


London mayor launches task force to tackle rough sleeping

Sadiq Khan has launched a new task force dedicated to helping tackle the “shameful” rise in people sleeping rough on London’s streets, after statistics revealed that the number of people who slept on the city’s street last year rose by 7 per cent to 8,096.

To tackle this, Khan has set up a 'No Nights Sleeping Rough' task force, chaired by James Murray, the deputy mayor for housing. The group will see officials from national government working with five London boroughs with the highest number of rough sleepers – Westminster, Camden, Lambeth, Tower Hamlets, and the City – and four leading voluntary sector organisations – Crisis, St Mungo's, Thames Reach, and Homeless Link. It will also see involvement from the Metropolitan Police, the NHS, and Transport for London.

The first meeting of the task force took place last week with the view to agreeing future funding for supported housing and mental health provision for rough sleepers.