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News in brief: WYG secures approval for two developments; Costain wins A40 Westway contract

Words: Laura Edgar
A40 Westway / iStock: 579773306

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

WYG secures approval for two developments

Planning consultancy WYG’s Newcastle team has secured planning approval for 327 homes in Choppington and 16 homes in the Newbrough green belt.

Northumberland County Council recommended the Choppington scheme for approval. WYG prepared and submitted the applications, acted as project manager and undertook public consultation for the scheme on behalf of Dysart Developments Ltd and Arch Developments.

A viability appraisal submitted with the application suggested that an affordable housing contribution would make the scheme unviable, so the council didn’t seek a contribution.

The planning committee at the council unanimously approved the 327 homes.

At Butt Bank in Newbrough, WYG submitted a proposal for 12 affordable and four open market homes on behalf of Partner Construction Ltd. A local family had bequeathed a dowry of £400,000, but it was restricted to providing affordable housing only within Newbrough.

The council’s planning officer recommended the scheme for approval, concluding that the “requirement for affordable housing in this location and the circumstances outlined in relation to this above outweighed the potential harm caused by the visual impact on the development”.

The permission is subject to a section 106 agreement to secure the provision of 75 per cent affordable rented accommodation for the lifetime of the development.


Costain wins A40 Westway contract

Transport for London has chosen engineering firm Costain to undertake investigation works and to plan the refurbishment of the A40 Westway dual carriageway and the Marylebone flyover.

The company has already contributed to the first phase of the project. This new £6 million contract is for a two further preparatory stages – a feasibility study and concept design.

Costain will undertake a number of investigations of the 21 structures along the 4.6km route that runs through Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham and the City of Westminster.

They will assess the condition of key parts of the existing structures and identify the potential scope for future refurbishment work.


Brentford build-to-rent scheme approved

The London Borough of Hounslow Council has granted Essential Living planning permission for 221 homes.

The scheme has been designed specifically for rent by HTA Architects. Essential Living is a developer and operator of homes for rent.

Under the plans, the existing Morrisons supermarket on Brentford High Street will be redeveloped into rental housing at various prices. A quarter of the homes will be offered as affordable housing.

The development also comprises a residents’ lounge, a rooftop terrace, a supermarket and a café. The 221 apartments will be spread across two blocks ranging from 10 to seven storeys in height, featuring studios, one, two and three-bedroom homes.


Welborne Garden Village receives funding

Fareham Borough Council has been awarded over £228,000 in capacity funding that aims to progress work to bring forward the Welborne Garden Village proposal.

The funding was confirmed in a letter to the council by the Homes and Communities Agency.

The capacity funding is one of a number of funding schemes available to support the government’s garden village initiative.

At the beginning of the year, the government announced its first garden village locations, including Fareham.

Seán Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: “The funding received can be used to progress the council’s Welborne Delivery Strategy to help bring forward the garden village proposal, and this is something we are very much focused on so we can provide much-needed homes and jobs for our residents and their families.”


Fifth of London’s music venues could close as business rates rise

Twenty-one of London’s grassroots music venues are at risk of closure because of the increase in business rates, suggests research commissioned by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

An additional 18 of the capital’s 94 venues are expected to experience significant financial challenges, it notes.

The research, compiled by Nordicity, an analysis consultancy, states that these 39 venues account for up to 530 jobs and £21.5 million of the capital’s economy.

The total business rates bill for music venues rose overnight by 26 per cent when the new charges came into effect on 1 April – from £3.2 million to £4 million, according to the research.

Venues most at risk include the Lexington and the Macbeth, both in Islington.

Khan said: “The way in which the business rates are evaluated for London’s grassroots music venues doesn’t make sense – it is completely unfair to bill a business based on the size of its building and not to take its profits into account. At the very least, I want to see Transitional Rate Relief being prioritised for small businesses like grassroots music venues, which contribute so much to London’s reputation as a powerhouse for culture and music.”

The mayor has also asked the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to hold an urgent meeting with his Night Czar, Amy Lamé, and the music industry to address the impact of business rates rises on the survival of music venues


Bath Quays development approved

Working on behalf of Bath and North East Somerset Council, with Penoyre & Prasad Architects, planning consultancy Turley has helped to secure planning and listed consent for the Bath Quays South redevelopment.

The scheme is a part of the wider Bath Quays project, which aims to realise the significant development and regeneration opportunities that exist as part of the Bath & Somer Valley Enterprise Zone in Bath, a World Heritage city.

The development features 9,500 square metres of new employment space, including a new office building of 5,017 square metres, up to 60 new homes, small-scale retail and leisure uses, and new public realm.

Under the plans, the grade II listed Newark Works will be refurbished and brought back into use separately by developer TCN to provide 4,503 square metres of small-scale creative workplace opportunities.

Work is expected to start this summer.


Harbour Lofts development approved

Poole Borough Council has granted planning permission to Acorn Property Group for nine apartments and a ground floor retail unit at Harbour Lofts.

The apartments will be a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments.

Acorn held “lengthy and detailed” consultation with Poole Borough Council in  an attempt to achieve a high quality landmark building as the site is located in a conservation area.

Image credit | iStock