We have had a few planning consents emerging from the system in the last few weeks – all of which have been months in the making – covering a wide range of projects and geographies, and all are schemes that will help our pipeline of work as we navigate through these strange times.
Many planning committees are convening through video calls at the moment and we are beginning to see subtle changes, within the confines of established policy, which we believe are a result of the current crisis.
An example is our proposed scheme in Ledbury which will feature a community medical centre, locally-run children’s day nursery and a Lidl food store.
We are currently going through consultation and as part of that process we appeared at a Town Council meeting on Zoom. We felt there was far greater consideration than there would have been pre Covid-19 around the provision of local facilities alongside housing, and how developments and decisions could help limit travel times and help foster the community.
That has always been high up on the agenda of any Town or Parish Council, but we have noticed across different areas that there is a stronger emphasis than ever on providing for local people to ensure that they can get what they want and need within their own communities.
I think the current crisis has made authorities realise that you can’t just make one place busier and people can travel to, for example, the nearest retail development. The way we shop and way we live into the future is going to be considerably different.
We have found that people have taken on board that life has changed and that is not going to be for weeks, it is not going to be for months, we could be talking for the next few years.
It has been recognised that just because we have something now, which has worked up until this point, it is not necessarily going to be suitable or sustainable going into the future.
I think this will make Town and Parish Councils not only more relevant but also more powerful. There is a view – rightly or wrongly – that some councils do not want development whatever it is, or wherever it is but that approach will not work in the future.
Local councils know their communities better than anyone else and that level of knowledge is vital. We had a very good example last year in our dealings with Pillerton Priors Parish Council, where the members were very specific about the sort and variety of housing they felt would suit the community, and we adjusted our plans for The Meadows accordingly.
Obviously, there are agreed village plans which take precedence, but I think there is an acceptance that there is not enough affordable housing and it is not of the age or quality that is needed.
The current crisis has emphasised the importance of local family networks which can lend support when it is needed. It has as highlighted how having family close is a really great benefit for all and for a variety of reasons, and that living in the area you grew up in and having connections in your community can be very useful for everyone as it reduces the pressure on local service provision.
On a practical level, the session in Ledbury went very well and worked effectively. We have also had planning committees on Zoom, which are then broadcast through YouTube, and again that has worked without any issues.
There are, in fact, benefits in that I think it stops people talking too much and therefore makes the meetings more efficient!
Everyone is talking about the “new normal” and certainly in planning terms, we are seeing it develop with impacts in our industry, which, I believe, will only grow and hopefully bring increased benefits to the local communities in which we live and work.
A new Costa Coffee drive-thru restaurant is being created on a site in Wolverhampton – and will be central to perking up a well-loved community hub.
Midlands based developer Deeley Properties, in partnership with Ziran Land, has won planning consent to create the new drive-thru on the Birmingham New Road and Spring Road.
The development will be built on land owned by the 44 Club, which will be investing the sale proceeds back into the club and its facilities including its bar and function room, as well as snooker, crown green bowls, darts and a shooting range.
The club was founded in 1944, by some prominent Wolverhampton business leaders and now has around 240 members. The permission will also see money donated to local outdoor green spaces.
The development will create five full time and 12 part time jobs, and work is expected to begin on the new unit in September with opening in Spring 2021.
Andrew Brazier, of Deeley Properties, said: “This new unit will be a welcome addition to the local area and is situated on one of the main routes between Wolverhampton and Birmingham and will prove very popular both with people using the road network, but also locals.
“The land is not used at present but we have been able to realise considerable value for the 44 Club to help it improve what is a well-loved facility used by generations of people from the local community.
“We work across the retail sector throughout the UK, creating new units for a range of end-users. To have brought this forward from concept, through planning and delivery, for the benefit of all involved, is really pleasing.
Pictured: Andrew Brazier
The site of a former school in Wyken, Coventry is set to be re-developed as affordable housing after planning permission was granted for 39 homes.
The site was formerly the home of Dartmouth School and was then a temporary home for The Seva School up until September 2015.
Since Seva School moved to its new home in Walsgrave, it has been a redundant brownfield site for almost five years.
Planning permission has now been granted for 23 affordable rented and 16 shared ownership properties to be built on Tiverton Road, by Coventry-based family firm Deeley Group for leading housing provider Stonewater.
The site was originally purchased from Coventry City Council and upon completion will feature 39 brand-new homes comprising a mix of two, three and four-bedroom houses.
Stonewater and Deeley Group previously worked together on the successful development of another affordable development at Feather Lane in Nuneaton, which completed earlier this year.
The Deeley Group has a proud history of projects in the area with founder George Deeley building nearby St John Fisher school in the 1950s – who was also joined by a young Peter Deeley, now managing director, who drove a dumper on the site.
Peter went on to help build St John Fisher Church in the 1970s, and current Deeley Construction managing director Martin Gallagher was on-site to build the parish hall in the 1990s.
Now Eleanor Deeley, as part of Deeley Affordable Living, has secured the planning for the delivery of this new housing for the community.
Peter Deeley, Managing Director of the Deeley Group, said: “There is a genuine need for more housing of this type in Coventry and we are pleased to be able to deliver this development alongside our partners.
“We have a strong relationship with Stonewater and we are looking forward to working closely with them again, after the great success of our project in Nuneaton.
“With planning now approved, work will be starting on site in the coming months.
“This scheme will provide vital affordable housing for the community in Wyken and surrounding areas and makes good use of what would otherwise be a redundant brownfield site.
“Deeley Group has a history of development in the area, building St John Fisher Catholic Primary school in the 1950s and St John Fisher church and hall in the 1970s. Many years ago I drove machinery on the nearby site as I began my career in construction.
“We have great expertise in delivering developments of this type for local people, and it is the latest in a string of affordable housing schemes we have worked on in Coventry, Warwickshire and further afield.”
Matt Crucefix, Director of Development (West) at Stonewater, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Deeley Group on another regenerative project so that we can make better use of this brownfield site.
“Trying to manage the spread of Covid-19 over the last few months has shone a light on just how important it is that everyone has a place to call home and has really amplified the importance of our work as a social housing provider.
“We’re looking forward for work to get underway at Tiverton Road, so we can support the local community and bring more much-needed affordable homes to Wyken.”
A Midlands-based construction company has started work on a multi-million retail unit near Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire.
Deeley Construction, which is headquartered in Coventry, has begun work on the 22,000 sq ft unit at Wolstanton Retail Park, which will be home to nationally renowned home furnishing retailer Dunelm Mill.
The unit, which is expected to be completed later this year It is being built between the existing Matalan and Marks & Spencer stores at the retail park, and when Dunelm Mill opens its doors it is expected to create up to 50 jobs for local people.
The unit will be purpose-built for Dunelm Mill and feature a café, alongside the typical homeware and home furnishing goods sold by the retaile which has 169 stores across the UK.
Work is being carried out on site during the Covid-19 pandemic, with workers adhering to strict social distancing guidelines.
Deeley Construction’s work will also include improvement of the foundations of the Matalan unit, whilst still maintaining a fire safety route from Marks & Spencer.
Martin Gallagher, managing director of Deeley Construction, said: “Our team are now set-up and working on site to deliver this retail project, which is part of the continued development of Wolstanton Retail Park.
“The retail park is still busy, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and our team will be operating social distancing measures, while providing as little disruption as possible the general public.
“Deeley Construction has great experience with working in live retail environments and delivering purpose-built units.
“The new Dunelm Mill store will provide a boost to the local economy and provide new jobs for people in the area and we’re delighted to be working on this project.”
Ledbury residents are being encouraged to have their say on a new community-led development scheme before it is submitted for planning permission.
The scheme, known as Leadon Vale, is being developed by Midlands-based Deeley Group and the family-owned company is engaging with the local community through an online public consultation.
The new development will feature a community medical centre, locally-run children’s day nursery and a Lidl food store.
It is proposed to be built adjacent to the Old Wharf Industrial Estate, where Leadon Way meets Dymock Road.
There will be just under 200 car parking spaces at Leadon Vale, with the development offering a range of amenities and employment opportunities for existing and new residents in the south of Ledbury.
The energy-efficient buildings are designed to respond to the surrounding area with fitting design, including a green roof on the 23,412 sq ft Lidl store.
A public consultation was planned to take place in May however due to Covid-19 this will not be possible, so the event will be taking place online.
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director of the Deeley Group, said: “The Deeley Group always make a priority of engaging with communities wherever we work to ensure we create a sustainable footprint on the local area.
“Leadon Vale is in a fantastic location to provide support to local people and is within walking and cycling distance of those who live on the south side of the town.
“We would like to hear feedback from residents on the proposed development and ensure it responds to the needs of the community before submitting for planning permission.”
Woodlands Nursery will be operating the day nursery and it will be the site of their third pre-school, with other sites at Hereford and Ross-on-Wye.
The nursery will offer at least 23 full and part-time jobs to qualified and apprenticeship staff, while also providing in-house training opportunities for local people who are interested in a career in early years.
Oliver Marshall, Director of Woodlands Nursery, added: “We are delighted to be able to take forward these plans for a new purpose-built nursery school at Leadon Vale.
“We have been searching for a site near Ledbury for a number of years, having been told by local people and businesses that they desperately need an early years facility like this in the town.
“Leadon Vale is a really well thought out proposal, and as a local business we are delighted to be involved. We believe it will be a credit to the area.”
To find out more about Leadon Vale and to provide feedback on the proposal visit www.deeley.co.uk/properties/our-developments/leadon-vale/
Deeley Construction has landed a £2.1 million contract to create a test facility which is set to transform car parking and help shape the future of motoring.
Nuneaton-based global automotive engineering and development consultancy HORIBA MIRA is creating the UK’s first facility to test and support the development of automated parking solutions.
The ‘Trusted Autonomous Parking’ project is being delivered in partnership with Coventry University.
HORIBA MIRA has appointed Coventry-based Deeley Construction as the main contractor for the development.
It will feature a multi-storey car park consisting of four levels and off highway and on highway parking to replicate different types of car parking at the facility.
The facility will provide real-world parking situations to further support the development of self-parking solutions and is located on HORIBA MIRA’s existing City Circuit test facility.
Deeley Construction’s work will also include associated infrastructure, such as roads, cycle lanes and roundabouts, in the area.
It marks the 10th project that Deeley Construction has worked on at HORIBA MIRA and completion is expected for Autumn 2020.
Martin Gallagher, managing director of Deeley Construction, said: “We have a fantastic relationship with HORIBA MIRA, stretching back to our first project on the MIRA Technology Park in 2010.
“Our team are due to start work on site in the next couple of weeks and we’re delighted to be involved in this exciting project which could change the face of car parking for years to come.
“We will ensure the strict tolerances set in the specification are met to ensure HORIBA MIRA can carry out precise autonomous vehicle testing.
“The site is located on the existing, busy Proving Ground and our on-site team will ensure minimal disruption to the day-to-day operations at the facility, whilst also operating safe social distancing measures.
“We look forward to working alongside HORIBA MIRA to complete this very exciting project over the course of the next six months.”
Chris Reeves, Head of CAV Technologies at HORIBA MIRA said: “This new facility will deliver a comprehensive testing environment for the development of autonomous driving and autonomous parking solutions, enabling us to test the next generation of connected and autonomous vehicle technologies in a safe and repeatable way.”