Hounslow Council’s planning enforcement team have shown that they are among the best in the country after picking up a coveted national award.
The service won the Best Local Authority award at the annual Planning and Placemaking Awards 2016, which are held to recognise good planning in the UK.
The service was also highly commended in the Best Development Management Team category, after demonstrating the strong systems it has in place to carry out early engagement and communication with residents and developers on upcoming schemes, ensuring the best outcome for developments needed across the borough.
High praise was given to the team which has shown how it has constantly delivered on projects that are set to improve the economic and social wellbeing of the borough.
These have included the forthcoming building of a new and cost-effective Civic Centre and library in Bath Road, Hounslow, with a new housing development to replace the current Civic Centre in Lampton Road, consisting of more than 900 new homes for local people.
The team has seen plans go forward for the regeneration of Hounslow Town Centre. They have also been instrumental in the expansion of 20 primary schools, three secondary schools and are working to find appropriate sites for the building of more primary and secondary schools across the borough.
This is not the first time, the service has been recognised nationally. In 2014, it won the Planning Authority Best Career Development Scheme, Planning Enforcement [Rogue landlords] and the Editors Award for Planning Enforcement.
Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, said: “This is fantastic news and very much deserved for the planning team.
“More so than not, the planning arm of a council is often talked about when something has gone wrong. It is great news that all the hard work that goes on to make sure new schools can be built, improvements are made to town centres for the benefit of residents and plans for new housing developments are recognised.
“We’re extremely proud to have won this award. I want to thank all the officers and staff who are involved in the work behind the scenes to get these projects off the ground so we can continue to provide the developments that will enhance the borough in which our residents live, work and go to school.”
Case Study 1
Kingsley Academy School Priority School Building Programme
The school was identified as suitable for rebuilding by School Place Planning Team.
- July 2015 DM officers met with the Education Funding Agency and the school headteacher to discuss potential for new building.
- August 2015 EFA run a bidding process to run, and when the tenders came back and contractors were chosen
- September 2015 Formal pre-application advice with DM for the design and setting of the scheme, and also on timing of the application.
- October 2015 The application was submitted
- December 2015 Determined at Planning Committee within 13 weeks
- May 2016 Start on site
CASE STUDY 2
Hounslow Civic Centre Relocation Project
- January 2015 Tender Process commenced:
- February Brief adopted February 2015
- September 2015 Planning Performance Agreement signed:
- December 2015 Planning Applications submitted:
- 10th March 2016 (resolution to grant made by Members) Planning Committee date:
Lampton Road housing site – delivery of up to 940 new homes through a hybrid outline/full planning permission with 174 delivered as part of Phase 1 by 2018. Of the total number of homes, 40% will be affordable, secured by S106 legal agreement.
Bath Road civic centre – a new 7-storey office building (c.16,000sqm GIA) incorporating a relocated lending library, customer services centre and Council Chamber.
Case Study 3
Hounslow Town Centre Regeneration
- August 2014. PPA agreed
- March 2015, application submitted
527 dwellings, of which 41% are affordable. 5 urban blocks are set around a new town square, one of which is 27 storeys high. Also surrounding this square is a 5267m2 cinema and 9830m2 A1-A5 floorspace, all underpinned by 513 basement parking spaces.
- November 2015. Planning Committee
- February 2016 planning permission issued
- March 2016 CPO Inquiry