Trains test the tracks for the Elizabeth Line Images released by Transport for London (TfL) and Crossrail (See RIGHT) have shown the first new Elizabeth Line train being tested and driven through Elizabeth Line tunnels. The train was the first to be driven from Abbey Wood, entering the tunnels at Plumstead and heading for Connaught Tunnel before returning to Abbey Wood station on a Sunday night. The latest development has been described a “major milestone moment” and is a welcome image for those responsible for ensuring Crossrail opens as planned later this year. The testing is the first of hundreds that will take place between now and December on the line which will serve 41 stations and stretch across more than 60 miles from Reading and Heathrow in the west through tunnels in central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. – http://www.infrastructure-intelligence.com
Deeper pocket Developer Pocket Living has secured planning permission from the London Borough of Croydon for a 21-storey project (See BELOW])near East Croydon station. The developer specialises in providing what it describes as "compact" flats to local first-time buyers. The mayor’s office has confirmed that he will not intervene in the application. The approved scheme comprises 153 flats, of which 112 (73 per cent) would be available to local first-time buyers at a 20 per cent discount below market rates. Pocket Living has also agreed in principle to make the remaining homes available for shared ownership. – Planning
Planning in London
ABOVE: The light at the end of the tunnel... is a train coming the other way. In this case testing Crossrail
Economic contribution of London’s architects revealed London’s architecture sector had 4,515 workplaces (in 2017) and contained approximately 26,200 jobs (in 2016). Around half of these jobholders were female and one-third had a non-UK nationality in 2016. In terms of gross value added (constant 2015 prices), London’s architecture sector produced £1.9 billion of output in 2016. That makes it similar in size to London’s Postal and courier activities and Motor trades sectors. The architecture sector has also grown 7.7 per cent per annum on average between 2009 and 2016 which was a faster rate of real growth than the London average. The architecture and engineering sector – the lowest level of disaggregation possible – had a lower proportion of jobholders who identified as black, Asian or any other minority ethnic (BAME) than the London all-sector average in the 2014 to 2016 period. GLA Working Paper 93 updates previous analysis looking at the economic contribution of London’s architecture sector. – GLA Economics.
423,000 homes with planning permission waiting to be built Research carried out by construction analysts Glenigan on behalf of the LGA shows the backlog of unbuilt homes has surged 16 per cent in the last year. There were 365,146 undeveloped permissioned units across England and Wales in 2015/16, rising to 423,544 in 2016/17. Developers are also taking longer to build homes, with the average gap between planning approval and completion now 40 months – eight months longer than in 2013/14.
S.106 obligations and CIL A new Government study looks at the use of developer contributions in England 2016 to 2017, updating evidence from previous studies. The qualitative aspects of this study point to delay being best understood as an outcome of a discretionary planning system where developer contributions are intimately bound up with sitespecific context, mitigation and development viability. – Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government SEE https://goo.gl/GccYQo ■
PLANNING IN LONDON 105 April 2018