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Adams Hendry Planning & Built Environment News Round-Up - 24th October 2018

The Adams Hendry News Round-Up highlights recent news and commentary relating to planning and the built environment.


This week’s round-up includes news of £1bn of funding for housing in London, data on planning permissions for new housing, and the Historic England project to list 2,500 memorials across the country to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.


Khan allocates £1bn for councils to build 14,700 more homes (Inside Housing – Requires Log-In)

“Sadiq Khan has allocated £1bn of funding to local authorities under his ground-breaking council housebuilding fund which will allow them to build 14,700 new homes in London.

Twenty-six London boroughs have received funds from City Hall as part of the programme, which aims to fund 11,000 new low-rent council homes at London Affordable Rent over the next four years.

City Hall estimated that the plans will see councils increase their building rates by five times over the next four years compared with the previous four.

The funds come out of the £1.67bn of grant the mayor received at the Spring Statement earlier in the year and will pay for 11,154 homes at London Affordable Rent as well as 3,570 other homes, some of which will be for London Living Rent, which is set at a third of local incomes.

Mr Khan said: “Londoners need more council homes that they can genuinely afford, and local authorities have a fundamental role to play in getting London building the homes we need for the future.

“Today, City Hall is using money we secured from government to help councils go much further. It is welcome that the prime minister has recently listened to calls that I and others have long made for councils to be able to borrow more to build. But let me be clear: lifting the borrowing cap for councils must be just the first step of reform, not the last.”

A number of boroughs, including: Brent, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Hounslow and Lewisham, received significantly less than it bid for, with Havering receiving only 20% of the money it bid for.

 Mr Khan said London needs “at least four times the amount of money we currently get from government” to build council housing.

Newham Council received the largest allocation for £107m which it says will help it build 1,123 homes. The authority, as Inside Housing reported last month, had planned for the bid to potentially increase to £150m…”


£10m cash boost for London council’s planning teams (The Planner – Requires Log-In)

“Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched a £10 million fund that aims to ‘beef’ up councils’ housing and planning teams to help them build more homes.

Council budgets in London have fallen by 50 per cent in London, which Khan says has prevented housing growth and planning for new council homes.

The Homebuilding Capacity Fund will see council bid for up to £750,000 each to boost housing and planning teams. The money can be used for hiring new staff.

Khan will also consider bids that help to deliver a new generation of council homes, social rented and other affordable homes on small sites, masterplans in areas that have significant growth potential, and optimal density across new residential development in an area.

The fund will work alongside a number of the other schemes that aim to deliver council housing, including a new council-led housing forum, run by Future of London, which will provide technical advice to practitioners involved in council-led delivery of homes.

Khan said progress on meeting housing demand would only be achieved if councils could take a lead in getting new homes built.”


Planning permissions sustained at +350,000 as plans for growth continue (Home Builders Federation)

“Planning permissions, a strong indicator of future housing supply, continue to be granted at record high levels HBF/Glenigan’s latest Housing Pipeline report shows.

Permission for more than 350,000 new homes were granted in the year to June, as housebuilders continue to invest.

Housing supply climbed to 217k in 2016/17, a 74% increase in just four years, but still well short of the 300k new homes a year target set by Government.

Today’s Pipeline report shows that for the year up to June 2018, the picture was very positive with 354,646 plots granted planning permission on 20,076 sites. This is the first time for a decade that more than 20,000 sites have been granted planning permission in a 12-month period. Over the course of the past 10 years, the average permissioned site has increased in size by 58% from 19 units to 30. Today’s figures reflect the first fall in average site size for annualised planning permissions for almost five years (Q4 2013). 

This should assist SME builders and better enable them to play their part in delivering increases in supply. The last few years has seen a massive reduction in the number of SME developers and a greater supply base is needed if the 300k target is to be achieved.

 Permissions for 77,704 homes were granted in Q2 of this year. This is down by 15% on the second quarter of 2017. While it is difficult to attribute this to any single factor, it may have been, in part, as a result of uncertainty over the future of Help to Buy post-March 2021, as many plots currently being permissioned will be delivered into and beyond 2021; Uncertainty around new planning policies ahead of the publication of the Revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which was eventually published in July; or the Local elections which often leads to decisions being delayed by Local Authorities.”


Gatwick considering standby runway to increase capacity (The Planner – Requires Log-In)

 “Gatwick Airport has outlined plans that could see its standby runway being used routinely to increase operational resilience.

The current planning agreement dictates that the runway is only used when the main runway is closed for maintenance or emergencies. This 40-year agreement ends in 2019.

A draft masterplan, put together by the airport for the independent consultative committee GATCOM, sets out how the standby runway could be used routinely for departing flights by 2020.

The airport notes that this would be delivered without increasing its noise footprint and would provide “greater operational resilience”. It is confident that such a project would remain within the existing airport footprint, and if the airport went ahead with the plan it would apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the Planning Inspectorate.

The draft masterplan satisfies a Department for Transport requirement that the airport should provide regular updates on long-term plans, as well as meeting the government’s call for airports to make the best use of existing runways.

Gatwick is looking at how technology can be used to increase capacity of the main runway by improving efficiency. Land allocated for a new runway for the Airports Commission, the process from which the government chose to support expansion of Heathrow Airport, will be safeguarded for the future.

The airport is holding a 12-week public consultation to gather feedback and views on the draft masterplan before a final version of the masterplan is agreed on early next year.

The masterplan and details of public exhibitions can be found here on the Gatwick Airport website.”


More Than 2,500 Poignant War Memorials Listed During Four Year Project to Commemorate First World War Centenary (Historic England)

“From a memorial which commemorates one of the oldest men to fight in the First World War who was determined to serve alongside his four sons, to a monument which marks one of the worst explosions in the history of Britain’s explosives industry, Historic England has completed a project to list 2,500 memorials across the country to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Before the project began there were more listed telephone boxes (2,486) than war memorials (1,657). Throughout the centenary period Historic England has been working in partnership with War Memorials Trust, IWM, Civic Voice, volunteers and school children across the country to better understand these important local landmarks and protect them for the future.

Through the First World War Memorials programme, 2,645 First World War memorials have been listed, more than doubling the amount previously listed. Historic England has been supported in this endeavour by volunteers and school children. War Memorials Trust submitted nearly 700 applications, including many which received grant funding for repairs throughout the centenary…”


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Suzanne Pidgeon 01962 877414 | s.pidgeon@adamshendry.co.uk