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News in brief: Shortlist for RTPI research awards announced; Tenant Fees Bill must go further, says Khan

Words: Laura Edgar
RTPI Awards for Research Excellence shortlist

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 7 August, 2018

Shortlist for RTPI research awards announced

The shortlist for the 2018 RTPI Awards for Research Excellence includes projects that consider planning for different religions, urbanisation in Rwanda and Ethiopia and Scottish marine planning.

Research into heritage, build-to-rent housing, walkability and improving streets have also made the list.

In total, 20 research projects, an increase of nearly 20 per cent compared to 2017, are competing across five categories.

The winners will be announced during the Planning Research Conference in Sheffield, held from 3-5 September 2018.

Read more here on The Planner.


Tenant Fees Bill must go further, says Khan

The government’s proposed Tenant Fees Bill is a “missed opportunity” to protect people who rent in London, says Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

In a joint letter to the prime minister, Khan, Crisis, Generation Rent and Citizens UK have set out how a reform of private renting is overdue.

Renters in the capital have to find nearly £3,700 each time they move home compared with the nationwide average of £2,000 owing to “extortionate fees and deposits”, according to City Hall analysis, explained the mayor.

As the bill passes through its parliamentary stages, the mayor wants ministers to make amendments to give renters much-needed protection from exploitation. These include capping rental deposits at three weeks’ rent and holding deposits at one day’s rent; scrapping provisions for new and potentially exploitative ‘default fees’ to be written into tenancy agreements; and enabling tenants to directly claim back prohibited payments along with compensation worth up to three times the fee paid.

Read the full story here on The Planner.


Amey awarded HS2 contract

Public services provider Amey has been awarded a construction contract to provide power for a part of the build of HS2.

Amey will deliver the design, installation and construction of two temporary substations that will support the delivery of the Chiltern Tunnel south portal.

The first will connect to the Scottish and Southern Electricity Network (SSEN) power grid and transform voltage levels from 132kV to 33kV. The second, primary substation will then drop these voltage levels further from 33kV to 11kV ready for the distribution of power to the tunnelling equipment required for the Chiltern Tunnel.


Grade II Hammersmith redevelopment approved

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Council has granted planning permission and listed building consent to redevelop and refurbish the Grade II listed building at 41 Iffley Road, Hammersmith.

The work will see the building provide 7,000 square feet of grade A office space.

The hall will be opened up, the basement extended and a new mezzanine level built to create an open-plan floor space and bring a new viewpoint to the vaulted roof, according to the plans.

Complete restoration works of the listed building will be carried out, including stonework, metal work glazing and paintwork.

Work is expected to be complete by mid-2020.


DCO application submitted for West Midlands Interchange

Four Ashes Limited – a consortium led by Kilbride Holdings*, has submitted an application to the Planning Inspectorate for a Development Consent Order for the West Midlands Interchange.

The scheme will go through the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regimes.

West Midlands Interchange is a proposed Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) with warehousing and other associated development. It would be located on land west of Junction 12 of the M6 in South Staffordshire.

It will be linked directly to the West Coast Main Line, and therefore able to serve the West Midlands, the Black Country, Staffordshire, Birmingham, the northern M6 corridor and parts of Warwickshire.

When built, the West Midlands Interchange website says it will provide up to 743,200 square metres of new rail-served and rail-linked warehousing allowing the region’s important logistics industry to grow. The scheme could create 8,550 direct jobs.

* Kilbride Holdings is working in partnership with privately owned international property group, Grosvenor Group and Piers Monckton, the majority landowner.


23 flats approved in Isleworth

The London Borough of Hounslow Council has approved plans by Carter Jonas for 23 additional apartments at 71 St Johns Road in Isleworth.

Carter Jonas were working on behalf of FRT Developments Ltd.

71 St Johns Road is an office to residential conversion that will deliver a total of 51 new homes, a private communal garden to the rear of the property, landscaped road frontage and secure cycle storage.

The new planning allows for the erection of a two-storey extension to the roof and rear of the building to accommodate the additional apartments.