Six things you need to know this week

The biggest placemaking stories from the past seven days, including government proposals to allow sites included on statutory registers of brownfield land to be effectively granted automatic planning permission.

Chancellor George Osborne
Chancellor George Osborne

Sites included on planned registers of brownfield land suitable for housing will be effectively granted automatic planning permission, the government has announced in a roadmap document aimed at boosting productivity in the UK. It said the government would legislate to grant automatic permission in principle on brownfield sites identified on the statutory registers, subject to the approval of a limited number of technical details.

The government's productivity plan also revealed that the government would "work with mayors in London and across the country to use new powers in the Devolution Bill to use development corporations to deliver higher-density development in designated areas". It added that the government would also consider "how policy can support higher density housing around key commuter hubs".

The plan also outlined proposals to devolve new powers to the future mayor of Greater Manchester, providing "the tools to drive forward complex, brownfield developments". The mayor will also be able to create development corporations, and promote compulsory purchase orders, it said. "These powers will be exercisable with the consent of the cabinet member representing the borough in which the power is to be used," it added.

A scheme in Blackpool aimed at improving housing quality locally could be rolled out across the town centre, Blackpool Council has said. The Selective Licensing housing scheme requires that privately rented properties in the area have a licence that requires landlords to show that they manage their properties effectively. A consultation will launch this week on plans to expand the coverage of the scheme to include the town centre.  

Plans to transform a derelict shipyard in Clydebank have moved a step forward following a £15 million investment from West Dunbartonshire Council. The deal will see essential infrastructure and groundworks carried out on site, the council said. It added that this work would allow the developers Clydeside Regeneration to progress with a masterplan for the Queens Quay site, which includes proposals to deliver more than 1,000 homes alongside retail and leisure uses and public space.

An urban beach opened on Saturday at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. Beach East provides 1,000 tons of sand, a padding pool, two full-size beach volley-ball courts, funfair rides and beach bars. It will also host sporting events and activities throughout the summer, including hosting up to 200 local primary school children to play beach sports and games and free fairground rides.

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