January 18, 2018

Broadway Malyan secures its largest UK masterplan consent


A masterplan developed by Broadway Malyan for a major new neighbourhood in Suffolk has been unanimously approved by planners.

The proposals for the 279-acre site adjacent to the Adastral Business Park on the outskirts of Ipswich will see the creation of  2,000 new homes and is the practice’s largest UK planning consent to date.

The successful outline planning application comes more than a decade after the site was first earmarked for potential development and Broadway Malyan director Jeff Nottage said the practice had worked hard with other stakeholders to bring forward a scheme that met the needs of the client while respecting the sensitive nature of the site.

He said: “Our aspiration for the site was to create a viable and thriving new mixed use community that was based around a high quality community hub while fully embracing the site’s beautiful natural setting.

“From the outset the project has been designed in the context of the adjacent Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and we have worked closely with key stakeholders including Natural England and local wildlife groups to create a sustainable and walkable scheme that includes a large central area of natural landscape set around a lake.

“As well as the natural landscape, the masterplan also incorporates a heritage park accommodating  a series of scheduled monuments. Working closely with the council, client and consultant team we have managed to achieve the support of officers and local members for this exciting new development.”

The main elements of the new development will be 2,000 new homes, 500 of which will be affordable including homes for rent and shared ownership. There will also be a new all-through school across a 13-acre site with 20 acres of sports grounds with a new sports pavilion.

At the heart of the development will be a new public square overlooking a lake with a series of small shops, cafes, a community centre and a purpose built medical centre. The settlement will include a 1.5-acre employment area and more than 50 acres of outdoor space and play areas.

The masterplan was prepared on behalf of Carlyle Land and CEG, who have also been working with BT to deliver improvements to the northern quadrant, a site to the north of the development, which could have a new higher education facility with a view to attracting tech giants such as Apple and Facebook.

John Kenny, development director at CEG, said: “The decision to approve this application will enable a sustainable development which will deliver extensive new and improved infrastructure including education and health provision and a £15m investment into transport improvements alongside new homes. We have taken a very sensitive approach with high quality design which respects the setting with extensive green and open spaces.” The new homes are expected to be delivered by 2028.



Westside developer Urban&Civic receives planning permission


City of Wolverhampton’s £55 million Westside scheme has reached a major milestone.

Urban&Civic has received outline planning permission for the first phase of their development on 6.4 acres of land at the heart of the city.

Enabling works continue on the leisure led mixed use scheme, and strong demand from occupiers means construction on the first phase remains on track to start in 2018.

A multiplex cinema, 50,000 square feet of additional leisure space, new restaurants covering 40,000 square feet, a 100 plus bed hotel, and a multi storey car park are lined up for phase 1.

Phase 2 will deliver new city centre homes and additional retail and leisure space.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “This is going to be a big year for regeneration in the city with the Westside project leading the way.

“The scheme has already attracted unprecedented demand from occupiers and being granted outline planning approval means the finer details can be agreed in terms of occupier expectations.

“Urban&Civic possess an excellent track record in delivering comparable high quality schemes in the UK and have the financial support in place.

“There is a general enthusiasm around the Westside opportunity, and optimism concerning the groundswell of regeneration activity across the city, where £3.7 billion of investment is on site or in the pipeline.

“The outstanding proposals put forward by Urban&Civic perfectly meet our expectations of a regenerated Wolverhampton.”

Construction on phase 1 of the project is expected to be complete in 2020. It encompasses land between Penn Road Island and Salop Street, including the current School Street and Peel Street car parks and the area around Market Square.

Phase 2 incorporates parts of land between Salop Street and Darlington Street, including the Fold Street car park. Works on this section of the development are likely to be completed in 2022.

Philip Leech, Property Director for Urban&Civic, said: “We are delighted to have reached this important milestone in the delivery of Westside.

“We have had an exceptional level of interest from occupiers and look forward to starting construction this year.”

Image: Artist’s impression of the Urban&Civic Westside development at night

London’s toxic air-level has ‘improved overnight’ after introduction of low emission bus zones


Low-emission bus zones on some of London’s most polluted high streets have been praised for leading to an “overnight improvement” for toxic air levels.

No road-specific annual toxic air limits have yet been breached in the capital, which is an improvement after last year the threshold on one major street was broken in just five days.

London environment experts said this change is “largely” due to the roll out of new cleaner bus routes in the capital’s worst offending areas such as in Brixton Road, in south London, and Putney High Street, in west London.

Frank Kelly, environmental health professor at King’s College London (KCL), said London mayor Sadiq Khan’s scheme could have led to an “overnight” improvement.

He said: “If you remove the vehicles that create the problem, pollution just disappears. It’s as simple as that. The introduction of these eco-buses in places like Putney High Street would be a main reason why we have seen an improvement.”

It comes after last year London’s filthy air broke legal limits on annual levels of traffic fumes just 120 hours into the New Year.

Readings taken in Brixton Road five days into 2017 found levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) repeatedly breached the EU limit.

Under EU law, the average hourly level of NO2 must not exceed 200 micrograms per cubic metre more than 18 times in a year.

Mr Khan launched the first two additions of his planned network of low-emission bus zones in the capital last year on the worst two “offending” roads in Brixton and Putney.

The mayor said in December that the Putney route, which was the first to get the new buses in March, had seen a 90 per cent reduction in hourly breaches of toxic air levels.

Professor Kelly added that the capital has seen a “pretty clean” start to 2018 generally, in terms of pollution levels, which he said is reflected in NO2 data for this year.

But while the new buses appear to have had a major impact, Professor Kelly said the weather has also proved to be a contributing factor to lower levels of toxic air.

He said: “When we see the very worst of levels of pollution in London it is totally down to the weather. [Toxic air] travels from other countries like France and contributes to it here. It’s a global problem, not just London’s.”

It came as a new study on air quality in the UK revealed that three quarters of Britain’s worst pollution hotspots are in the capital, showing that Hyde Park Corner and Marylebone Road in central London have the most polluted postcodes in the country.

A newly-launched tool based on the data, created by air quality experts EarthSense and the BBC, allows people to check the pollution levels in their postcode.


Image: Sadiq Khan/ Twitter

Residents invited to public consultation to view Govan’s £17m regeneration plans


Residents who live, work or visit Govan are being asked to attend a public consultation event to view the council’s masterplan for the area.

The £17 million proposal will look at the potential for a whole new development at Water Row, from housing to retail and leisure facilities.

The vision is a ‘lively attractive destination’ where the old Harland and Wolff Shipyard once stood, drawing on the historic buildings around Water Row and tourist attractions like Govan Old Parish Church and the Riverside Museum across the water.

It will mean up to 100 mid-market rentals and 32 homes for social rent, with work expected to start around September 2019.

However, the council wants residents’ views to ensure the plan is the best for the whole community.

The public consultation event will take place on Thursday, January 18 at the Pearce Institute between 3-7pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.


Image: google maps

Bath residents seeking judicial review over decision to approve housing regeneration


Residents of an estate in Bath are seeking a High Court judicial review of a decision to approve a housing association’s regeneration plans.

Curo, which owns and manages more than 13,000 homes across the South West, was granted outline planning permission to demolish 542 homes on the Foxhill Estate and replace them with 700 new builds in July.

Lawyers acting for the Foxhill Residents’ Association submitted several legal challenges to Bath & North East Somerset Council in December over its decision.

Among other concerns, the lawyers claimed the authority had failed to follow its own policy regarding the loss of social housing in regeneration schemes.

Curo’s plans for the estate will result in a net loss of 204 affordable rented homes on the site.

The council refuted all of the points made, meaning the claim has now been submitted to the High Court.

Rowan Smith, solicitor at Leigh Day, said: “The loss of social housing point we make is that the council failed to properly assess the impact on vulnerable groups.

“There’s also a point we make that the council incorrectly applied its policy about the regeneration of social housing estates.

“It didn’t explore whether a greater number of social houses could be built based on what Curo said about the viability of the scheme. That was the policy of the council if you read it correctly.”

Curo submitted a viability assessment as part of its planning application, which a planning officer’s report said will see the housing association make a loss on the Foxhill Estate regeneration.

Mr Smith added that the council had made “errors” by taking affordable rented homes delivered through the neighbouring Mulberry Park site – where Curo is building 700 new homes, 30% of which will be affordable.

“We say that they have double counted and promised a number of additional social houses, but then subsequently said that those social housing tenants from Foxhill would be moved to Mulberry Park, so there will not actually be additional social housing delivered,” he said.

A High Court judge will now decide if there is legal justification for a judicial review. Bath & North East Somerset Council has 21 days to respond to the submission.

A spokesperson for the council said: “All communications on this matter are subject to legal privilege and so we will not be commenting.”

A spokesperson for Curo said: “It’s not appropriate for us to comment at this stage and we will await the outcome of the legal process.”

Peter Buckley, a member of the Foxhill Residents’ Assocation, said: “From our point of view it’s a very ill-conceived scheme from the start.

“We’re well aware that there are blocks of flats on the estate which are run down, but the majority of the estate is houses, with a lot of owner-occupiers. Not enough work was done on separating what was good-quality housing and what needed knocking down.”