Go-ahead for £55m Kingston University building

Go-ahead for £55m Kingston University building

Kingston University has received the go-ahead for a new £55 million building and landscaping scheme at its Penrhyn Road campus that will boost local growth and create jobs.

Councillors on the Royal Borough of Kingston‘s development control committee unanimously approved the application at its meeting on 11 August and heard there was strong support for the plans from the local community.

Construction work is due to start in summer 2016, with the new building and landscaping scheduled to be complete in late 2018.

The project include a modern learning resources centre over several floors, a 300-seat multi-media auditorium and three new public landscaped areas.

The University will also be working with the Council to see how its Mini-Holland cycling proposals can be accommodated into the design of the landscaping.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Julius Weinberg is delighted with the strength of support for the Town House project: “Many students, staff and local residents have been inspired about how the development will benefit both the University and the borough. It has something for everyone and will help to put the University firmly on the map.

We can now be justly proud and excited about being able to deliver a sympathetically-designed, yet remarkable, landmark building that will transform the learning experience at the University.”

Kingston University’s Director of Estates Sean Woulfe said: “Local people and heritage groups have responded very warmly to this project. The design reflects the University’s intention to engage with the public and open up learning opportunities for everyone.

The colonnade draws people in, and the lively landscaped terraces showcase the University’s learning activities to everyone passing by, on this key gateway to the town centre.”

New figures show a rise in number of homes built

New figures show a rise in number of homes built

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis today welcomed new figures showing a rise in the number of homes being delivered across the UK.

The latest housebuilding figures show that there were over 131,000 completions in the last 12 months, 15% higher than in the previous 12 months and at their highest annual total since June 2009.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Our One Nation government has got the country building again with today’s figures showing that 131,060 extra homes have been built in the past year.

This has provided a real boost to the UK’s construction industry and is delivering the homes that hard-working people rightly deserve.

We’re also determined to support those who aspire to own their own home, which is why we’re making up to £10 million available to bring forward brownfield sites to build new Starter Homes which will be available to young first-time buyers at a 20% discount.”

Housebuilding is at the heart of the government’s long-term economic plan.

Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics have shown that output in the construction industry increased by 2.7% in June compared to the same month last year. Work on private new housing between April and June rose by nearly 3.9% on the previous quarter.

The government has also given local people the powers they need to drive forward housing development with the number of homes in locally led plans up by a quarter.

Before March 2012 the average number of homes planned for by local authorities stood at 573 per year. But radical reforms put Local Plans and housing delivery at the heart of the planning system.

This has helped expand the housing pipeline with those Local Plans published after the reforms containing on average 717 homes per year.

The government is also helping hard-working people achieve their dream of home ownership with more than 200,000 households helped to buy property through government-backed schemes since 2010.

Hinkley Point to power the future and create new jobs

Hinkley Point to power the future and create new jobs

Balfour Beatty announced that its joint venture with NG Bailey has been selected for the £460 million Hinkley Point C power station electrical package, for EDF Energy.

The 50:50 Balfour Beatty and NG Bailey joint venture – Balfour Beatty Bailey – will work across both proposed Hinkley Point C units to deliver the critical infrastructure that will power the station and its operations, creating 1,000 jobs including many specialist engineers.

Works will include design and installation of circa 76,000 cables totalling over 3,000km in length; over 180km of cable containment support systems; fire and environmental sealing; design and installation of earthing systems, and specialist packages associated with data acquisition and plant control.

Balfour Beatty Bailey will deliver a lasting local legacy with a significant proportion of the new workforce recruited locally, 60 local apprenticeships and training commitments and partnerships with local colleges.

Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive said:“This project enables Balfour Beatty to deploy its extensive experience and knowledge of the nuclear sector as the UK takes its next significant step forward in low-carbon energy.

The new nuclear programme demands a scale of resources and expertise that only the most capable and trusted partners can deliver. Equally significant, the project requires us to draw on the local community and its people in building what will be a highly specialist workforce.

I am particularly pleased to see Balfour Beatty combining its tradition of delivering essential infrastructure with the creation of new skills and employment in this country.”

Balfour Beatty Bailey’s six year project is expected to commence in 2016 with design work and the construction phase in 2017. The joint venture’s full contract award is scheduled for 2016, subject to the Hinkley Point C final investment decision.

Hinkley Point C, which will be located on the North Somerset coast, will be the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK for 20 years. The two new nuclear reactors that form the proposed Hinkley Point C will provide reliable, low carbon electricity to meet 7% of UK demand.