Award for councilís development team
by Marco Cillario Thu 30 June 2016, 3:21 pm
Hounslow Councilís development management team has been named Local Authority Team of the Year at the Planning and Placemaking Awards 2016.
The team was also “highly commended” as Best Development Management Team in the UK at the awards, which recognise best practice in planning in the country.
The team was praised for its work in planning corporate objectives in the borough, improving the economic and social wellbeing of the community.
Through a collaborative approach with members of teams such as corporate property, school place planning, affordable housing and planning policy, it has contributed to the extension of the school offer in the borough, the relocation of the civic centre, the development of new housing and the regeneration of the town centre.
“This is further endorsement of the great service that developers and investors can expect from Hounslow,” said Brendon Walsh, executive director of regeneration, economic development and environment.
The development management team has worked for the expansion of 20 primary schools and three secondary schools, as well as helping to find sites and facilitate building of three primary and three secondary free schools.
It has collaborated with the council’s corporate development team towards the relocation of the council’s civic centre from Lampton Road to Bath Road.
The scheme will deliver a new civic centre with a public library in the town centre, assisting its regeneration.
On the site of the former city centre on Lampton Road, room will be made for housing: 940 new homes will be built, 40% of which will be allocated as affordable.
The scheme was conceived and approved in just more than a year, from the planning brief in February 2015 to the committee resolution in March 2016.
The development management team also helped conceive and obtain planning permission in less than one year for a scheme which will see 527 properties built, 41% of which are to be classed as affordable, built in five urban blocks around a new square in the town centre. The project will also deliver a 5,267sq m cinema, 9,830sq m floorspace and 513 basement parking spaces. Submitted in March 2015, the planning application was given the green light in February 2016.
Marilyn Smith, head of development management, said: “I am delighted that the positive results of planning in Hounslow have been recognised. We are hardworking, and the work we do is for the benefit of the borough.
“We have systems in place to have early engagement with developers and residents to work together on schemes and provide the best development for the community.
“Our achievements show that if planners and developers work together, schemes can be delivered to agreed timescales.”