Public Sector

December / January 2015

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Education Pg 7-8 Health Pg 9-11 Social Housing Pg 12-14 Urban Regeneration Pg 15 PLANNING REFORM WELCOME BUT FUNDING GAP REMAINS December/January 2015 n News n Education n Health n Social Housing n Urban Regeneration Public Sector building specification READER ENQUIRY 1 A package of planning reforms designed to speed up the delivery of new infrastructure and development has been welcomed by the property industry. The Coalition's National Infrastructure Plan, outlines a range of reforms designed to streamline the planning system, bring brownfield land back in to use and make it easier for councils to assemble land for regeneration. The National Infrastructure Plan stated that the government will publish proposals for Compulsory Purchase Reforms for consultation at Budget 2015 to make processes "clearer, faster and fairer", with the aim of bringing forward more brownfield land for development. The government will take forward measures to ensure that the principle of development need only be established once. There is support for a new garden town at Bicester to provide up to 13,000 new homes subject to value for money, plus ambitious targets for the release of public sector land between 2015 and 2020. Government is committed to releasing land with capacity for up to 150,000 homes. The government will extend affordable housing capital investment to 2018-19 and 2019- 20, to ensure that 275,000 new affordable homes can be delivered over the next Parliament. It will also publish new data on Local Authorities' performance in meeting their statutory duty to process smaller planning applications within 8 weeks. The British Property Federation welcomed the announcement and urged Government to match structural reform of the planning system with measures to unlock greater investment in infrastructure and to ensure that local authority planning departments were properly resourced. British Property Federation Chief Executive Liz Peace said: "The property industry has a key role to play in regenerating our towns and cities, and so reform of Compulsory Purchase Orders to help bring brownfield land back in to use is long overdue. "Speeding up section 106 negotiations, which can often drag on for many months, is also hugely welcome, as are proposals to encourage local authorities to process planning applications more speedily. "However, structural reform is only half the battle. We would urge Government to also ensure that the system is properly resource at a local level, and to do all it can to drive greater investment in to the built environment as a whole." Thousands of homes could be built on brownfield sites available for development according to figures published by the Homes and Communities Agency. Following reforms of the planning system, more than two thirds of all homes are built on brownfield land – with ambitions to go even further. The government has issued new guidance to councils on using Local Plans to safeguard their area against urban sprawl and protect the green lungs around towns and cities. BROWNFIELD SITES TO BE PRIORITISED FOR DEVELOPMENT Councils will play a critical role in bringing forward brownfield land and government wants to see permissions in place for homes on over 90% of suitable brownfield land by 2020. This could pave the way for up to 200,000 new homes while protecting our green belt. In addition, 20 new housing zones on this brownfield land in London will benefit from £400 million funding from the government and the Greater London Authority. There will be £200 million of additional government funding available for 10 zones outside London. BBMV, a joint venture comprising Balfour Beatty, BeMo Tunnelling, Morgan Sindall and VINCI Construction Grands Projets, which is delivering two sections of the £15bn Crossrail project, has reached a major milestone in the construction of the new Crossrail Whitechapel station, completing the spray concrete lining (SCL) of the two tunnels that will form the space occupied by the new station platforms. The completion of the SCL has allowed colleagues at Dragados Sisk joint venture to move two CONSTRUCTION MILESTONE REACHED ON CROSSRAIL tunneling machines through the station to commence the final tunneling push underneath London's East End towards Liverpool Street and Farringdon stations. Once the tunneling machines have completely passed through the station the team will complete secondary lining works for handover to its sister project for platform construction. Crossrail is a 73-mile line that is due to begin full operation in 2018 providing a new east-west route across Greater London. 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