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News in brief: Sheffield mixed-use scheme green-lit; Masterplan approved for Glasgow uni expansion

Words: Laura Edgar
CGI of West Bar Square

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 21 February, 2017

Sheffield mixed-use scheme green-lit

Sheffield City Council has granted outline planning permission for a £175 million mixed-use West Bar Square development.

The regeneration project, West Bar Square, aims to create up to 5,000 jobs.

The flexible masterplan comprises 1.4 metres square feet of city centre space, while the permission also covers associated landscaped public spaces.

Developer Urbo Regenerations is currently negotiating with potential occupiers of officers, private rented sector apartment block, a hotel, restaurants and retail units.

The permission forms part of the regeneration of Sheffield’s Riverside Business District.

The office units will be focused on the new West Bar Square, linking the Cathedral Quarter with the Riverside district (see image above).

The West Bar Square scheme has been designed by 5plus architects and masterplanners Urbed, and was developed working in conjunction with officers at Sheffield City Council. HOW Planning Consultants advised upon and co-ordinated the planning application process.


Masterplan approved for Glasgow uni expansion

Glasgow City Council has approved the masterplan for the expansion of the University of Glasgow’s Gilmorehill Campus.

The plan is to provide up to 85,000 square metres of learning, teaching and research space within a mixed-use quarter.

Planning and infrastructure services company AECOM and 7N Architects collaborated on the design of the masterplan.

It will be delivered on a phased basis and, the two companies explained in a statement, will be governed by extensive design guidance they have prepared. The guidance denotes the design of the buildings, including form and height.

Professor Anton Muscatelli, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Glasgow, said: “An initial financial envelope of around £430 million will be spent over the next five years on the first phase of the project. It is part of a wider £1 billion investment which includes significant spend on refurbishing and improving the existing estate. This will be one of the biggest educational infrastructure projects in Scotland’s history and is certainly the biggest development undertaken by this university since it moved to Gilmorehill 150 years ago.”


London council approves hotel plans

Westminster City Council has approved plans to turn the War Office into a hotel.

The owners, the Hinduja Group and OHL Developments, will have to work to the condition that the historic character of the 1,000-room Edwardian building is not lost.

Additionally, the permission is dependent on the new hotel offering public access to the historically significant parts of the building for at least 10 days a year.

Plans for the development include the construction of a double height basement and three new floors. Eighty-eight new flats will also be created and a £10 million donation will be made to the affordable housing fund.


Contractor appointed for Manchester development

Russells Construction has been appointed to work on a £34 million grade II building, formerly known as Hanover House, in Manchester’s NOMA neighbourhood.

The 109,000 square foot development will see the building stripped back and remodelled to create 91,000 square feet of office space and 18,000 square feet of retail and leisure.

Hanover is expected to be complete by August 2018.

NOMA is a mixed-use regeneration scheme in Manchester and is a joint venture between the Co-op and Hermes Investment Management. More information can be found here.


Cotswolds to increase enforcement resources

Cotswold District Council’s cabinet has proposed additional funding to increase the capacity of its planning enforcement team.

The move aims to expedite processes and ensure that more developers are deterred from failing to comply with the terms of planning consent.

Cabinet member for planning services Mark MacKenzie-Charrington said: “By increasing the capacity of the team, we should be able to spread the workload more evenly and respond better to public concerns about enforcement. The extra resource should expedite processes and provide residents with more reassurance that we tackle breaches quickly.”

The full council will discuss the proposal this week.


New appointments to HCA board

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed four new appointments to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) board.

Stephen Bell, Richard Blakeway, Councillor Simon Dudley, and Councillor Teresa O’Neill OBE have been appointed following a recruitment process in line with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, said the government.

Javid said: “This is an important period for the HCA as it plays a key role in delivering the homes this country needs.

“The agency will be vital for boosting house building and speeding up the delivery of new homes so that everyone can benefit from having somewhere safe and secure to live.

“These appointments will bring new skills, knowledge and considerable experience that will be of real benefit to the HCA’s board.”

More information about the new appointments here.