Planning roundup

The last main piece of London owned by City Hall is to be turned into 2,000 homes and a new railway station under plans to be announced by Boris Johnson, the city’s mayor, according to the Financial Times. The 29-hectare Beam Park site in Dagenham, east London, has scope for 5,000 homes in the wider area, according to estimates by the Greater London Authority. The station will be funded by Network Rail, Transport for London and c2c Rail, including £9M from TfL’s growth fund. 

A new parliamentary-led inquiry was launched last week to investigate how greater use of design techniques in the planning and construction of the UK’s built environment may help foster positive behaviour change in local communities. The eight-month inquiry is being conducted by the Design Commission, a cross-party group of parliamentarians and leading representatives from business, industry and the public sector. It will be chaired by Baroness Whitaker and Professor Alan Penn, Dean of the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at University College London. It will seek to discover and showcase case studies and best practice examples of how infrastructure can be used to design for ‘good’ behaviours and how design-led planning policy can create environments in which individuals and communities thrive.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers is calling for Government and industry to ensure major infrastructure projects and more household products are designed to cater for older users. The new report 21st Century Engineering for an Ageing Population makes five key recommendations about how engineering and engineers could play a role in meeting the needs of the increasing number of older people in the UK. Prof Garth Johnson, Author of the report and ageing expert at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Biomedical Engineering Association, said: “All major contracts for public infrastructure should have an earmarked budget to cater for older users

The Mayor of London is planning to redevelop Albert Island, a slab of land owned by the Greater London Authority in London’s Royal Docks. Developers are being asked to respond to the Mayor’s vision of a development that would include industrial space plus a working boatyard and marina facility, with the potential for a small amount of housing. Any successful development would be expected to improve transport links to the Gallions Reach and King George V DLR stations, provide better cycling and walking routes, and make improvements to the river frontage with an aim of integrating the site into its surrounding communities.