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News in brief: Tony Crook CBE to take over as deputy chairman at the CIC; Neighbourhood plan for Lichfield city

Words: Laura Edgar
Tony Crook

A round-up of planning news: Tuesday 11 July, 2017

Tony Crook CBE to take over as deputy chairman at the CIC

The Construction Industry Council (CIC) has appointed Professor Tony Crook CBE as its new deputy chairman.

Crook will take over the role as chairman in June 2018, succeeding the incumbent Professor John Nolan, who will stand down from his two-year term of office in accordance with CIC rules.

Crook, who received a CBE in 2014 for services to housing and the governance of charities, is an RTPI fellow and member of its board, chairing its education committee. He is also emeritus professor of town and regional planning at the University of Sheffield, where he previously served as senior pro-vice-chancellor.

He is the first nominee of the RTPI to be appointed as deputy chairman.

Crook has said he recognises the “vital importance” of having a representative body for all in our sector to campaign for and support the many key nationwide issues that affect a number of disciplines and professions. This includes making the case for investment in infrastructure, to address acute staff shortages across the sector, and to ensure that housing and infrastructure is safe, environmentally sustainable, inclusive and accessible.


Neighbourhood plan for Lichfield city

Lichfield City Council has submitted a neighbourhood plan to Lichfield District Council.

If approved, the neighbourhood plan will provide a framework for development and form part of Lichfield District Council’s local plan.

The district council is now holding a six-week consultation and will then collate all the comments, which will be passed to an independent examiner.

The examiner will look at the comments when assessing whether the neighbourhood plan meets national requirements and can proceed to a local referendum.

This is the sixth neighbourhood plan in the district to reach this stage of the process.

The consultation closes on 18 August. The neighbourhood plan can found on the district council website.


Dora House redevelopment approved

Westminster City Council in London has approved Central & Cecil Housing Trust’s (C&C) plans to redevelop Dora House in St John’s Wood.

C&C was advised by planning and development consultant Montagu Evans.

The project, to be located opposite Lord’s Cricket Ground, will provide 156 homes for senior living.

The existing Dora House will be demolished and a new residence constructed on the Lodge Road side of the site.

According to C&C, the £150 million plans will deliver adaptable apartments that “exceed” the Mayor of London’s space standards, provide specialist services for residents and offer a range of communal facilities.


Approval of affordable homes up in Scotland

The Scottish Government has announced that the number of affordable homes being approved is at its highest level since the 1980s.

Statistics suggest that there has been a 29 per cent increase in approvals this year, compared with 2015/16, with 10,276 approved in 2016/17.

Finance secretary Derek Mackay said: “Earlier this year, I secured a budget that saw investment in public services on a massive scale, support for our economy and help for those on low incomes. By providing the planned resources for the next three years our local authorities can plan high-quality, energy efficient and affordable homes.

“This important investment provides a further boost to the construction industry – supporting the economy and an estimated 14,000 jobs each year.”

“We are currently seeing the highest levels of activity in the affordable housebuilding sector since the early 1980s. With affordable site starts and completions increasing, this represents an excellent pipeline of projects across Scotland.”


Training sessions for community-led housing

A community housing group in South London has launched training workshops for people who want to learn about alternatives to the mainstream housing market.

The Rural Urban Synthesis Society (RUSS), a London-based community land trust working to provide “genuinely affordable” community-designed homes, has said it will be running training sessions on how to set up and organise a community-led housing project.

A pilot session has already been held, with a second session scheduled for Saturday 15 July at the Building Centre, London, in partnership with the Built Environment Trust. Topics will include how to form a group, finding land, legal issues and the planning process.


Plans revealed for Cwmbran

Plans for a £13.6 million development on the site of a former school in Cwmbran have been revealed by housebuilder Lovell.

The 78-home Oakfield Grange development will be built on the former site of Llantarnam Community Primary School.

The plans allocate 55 houses for the open market and 23 affordable rented homes for housing association Bron Afon.

According to Insider Media, initial preparations are under way at the site, with the development scheduled for completion by the end of 2019.