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Note: This blog is no longer active - please visit my new site at HAT Projects where you will find our new blog!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006
News update in brief
Sorry for lack of posts. Life is hectic. June will be better!

But a few interesting bits and pieces around, aside from continual Ruth Kelly-watching as she gets into her stride at the DCLG.

The draft planning guidance for the Lower Lea has been released, setting out the strategic framework for the areas around the Olympics site. It said up to 173ha of industrial land could be provide between 30,000 and 40,000 homes, as well as retaining some industrial facilities.

Landowners, developers, funding and delivery agencies, and local councils, will be expected to incorporate the development principles into their plans. At least 44 per cent of the new homes should be family housing, with 50 per cent of the overall provision affordable. The plan outlines the transformation of the valley into a "water city" through the enhancement and extension of existing waterways. It also suggested a system for pooling planning gain receipts to spend on transport, and also possibly to education, health and open space facilities.

The Green Party has complained to the EU that Argent's development at King's Cross breaches air pollution rules because the new development will arguably contibute to a 'massive' increase in traffic.

Terry Farrell's plans for a major residential-led scheme next to St Thomas' Hospital have been rejected by planners who said that "The development as it stands does not offer a suitable living environment for residents. The buildings would have to be lowered and moved away from the boundaries of Archbishop's Park." The client is the hospital trust and they are currently considering whether to appeal.

Our friend Chris Murray has officially been announced as the new head of the Core Cities Group.

And CABE has awarded three schemes its highest Building for Life awards: the Accordia development in Cambridge published in BD the other week designed by Feilden Clegg, Maccreanor Lavington and Alison Brooks, Gun Wharf in Plymouth and the Hyde Housing scheme in Deptford by BPTW. Seemingly picking up on the rather comic press release from English Partnerships last week about car parking 'transforming' neighbourhoods [is this what 'good design' is reduced to?] CABE said that most schemes under consideration fell down because of bad integration of car parking. You might think that after all the effort put into developments, they might have the creativity to not let cars dominate the public realm...such a simple thing to get right!

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