Ebbsfleet Development Corporation has acquired its first land in the Kent garden city, buying two sites to improve infrastructure links and bring forward new forms of housing. The corporation has invested some £1.6 million in two brownfield sites, which have a combined area of around a hectare. It has bought Station House, in Northfleet, to enable a new pedestrian walkway to be provided, linking Ebbsfleet International and Northfleet station. The second site, in Milton Place, close to Gravesend town centre, is earmarked for housing to diversify the offer and could potentially include homes for older people.
Bristol City Council has appointed developers LiveWest and Keepmoat Homes to deliver a 350 home scheme to the south of the city. The council has already secured outline planning permission for the homes, 30 per cent of which would be affordable, at Hartcliffe Campus. The two developers are now working up detailed design proposals.
The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) is calling for new legislation to raise the quality of new homes in England. It is making the case for a healthy homes act, and has set 10 quality, safety and placemaking principles, which it says form a decent home. The move follows research TCPA carried out with University College London, which drew attention to the poor quality homes being created under permitted development (PD) rights. The 10 principles set by TCPA include requirements for a home to be safe from the risk of fire and have adequate living space.
The London mayor has called on developers and businesses across the capital to offer their empty buildings to City Hall to house additional shelters and services for rough sleepers. The mayor has worked with the London fire commissioner and Islington Council to bring Clerkenwell fire station, in north London, back into use for homelessness services temporarily, while the long term development plans for the site are evolved. The first occupant to move into the building is providing the UK’s first LGBTIQ+ homeless shelter.
A student housing co-operative has secured £65,000 in grant funding to help it develop affordable housing for university students in Brighton and Hove, in Sussex. The South East Students Living Together (SEASALT) Housing Co-operative and Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) are aiming to develop accommodation for up to 18 students and young people. The student-led group has been awarded more than £40,000 through Homes England’s community housing fund and £15,000 through the Reach Fund, which is provided by Access – the Foundation for Social Investment.
Wigan Pier could be transformed with townhouses, an artisan food hall and an events venue, if plans for its regeneration win approval. Manchester developer Step Places is working with The Old Courts, Wigan Council and the Canal and River Trust to transform the site, with its disused eighteenth century industrial buildings, into a cultural attraction.