Regeneration scheme to deliver thousands of new properties and jobs

A massive programme of development of railway stations and surrounding land will deliver thousands of new homes and jobs that will boost local growth.

The agreement between Network Rail and the Homes and Communities Agency will see them working with local councils to kick-start development opportunities across England’s railway stations for housing and businesses.

The ambitious initiative could deliver up to 10,000 new properties on sites around stations in the coming years.

Government wants to hear from at least 20 local authorities to take the scheme forward.

Drawing on the example set by the transformation of Birmingham New Street, Manchester Victoria and London Kings Cross, government will bring together high-calibre technical expertise and local knowledge to increase development opportunities that exist throughout the entire rail estate.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “We’re determined to fire up communities and back local business so they build much needed housing and create thousands of jobs.

Rail stations are a hub of communities, connectivity and commerce and should be making the most of their unique potential to attract investment and opportunities.

With record numbers of people travelling by train, it makes sense to bring people closer to stations and develop sites that have space for thousands of new homes and offices.”

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “As a one nation government we are determined to ensure further opportunities are grasped to put stations at the heart of wider community regeneration.

This will help deliver thousands of new homes and jobs and deliver a substantial return to the taxpayer.”

Go-ahead for Berkeley’s Southall masterplan

Go-ahead for Berkeley's Southall masterplan

A masterplan has been given the go-ahead for the regeneration of the former Southall Gasworks, paving the way for construction of 3,750 new homes in the London Borough of Ealing.

The Berkeley Group is planning to redevelop the 88-acre brownfield site to build Southall Waterside, which will also include 46,000m2 of commercial space, a two form entry primary school, a health centre and substantial green space.

Work is expected to start on site this year and the scheme will be delivered in a number of phases over a 25 year period that will pave the way for new jobs.

The revised masterplan will see more than half the site set aside for open space, including landscaped public parkland, leisure and play spaces, and piazzas.

Berkeley is now preparing a detailed planning application for Phase A of the development. This is expected to include 618 new homes in the northeast corner of the scheme, of which 186 are designated affordable. It also features roads, parking, landscaping and access to public realm.

Subject to approvals, first completions for Phase A are anticipated for mid-2018.

Berkeley Group executive director Sean Ellis said: “These gasworks closed almost 50 years ago, so approval of the Southall Waterside masterplan marks the start of an exciting new future for this 88 acre site. It is the largest regeneration scheme in West London.

It creates a much more diverse residential and commercial offer for Southall. And when 80% of new homes currently planned for the capital are in just three East London boroughs, this provides some welcome balance.”

Glasgow Uni unveils £1bn campus plan

Glasgow Uni unveils £1bn campus plan

Glasgow University has taken possession of the former Western Infirmary site paving the way for its £1 billion expansion of the Gilmorehill site over the next decade.

It is anticipated that 2,500 jobs will be created during the construction period. Work to appoint a construction delivery partner is already underway with a winner due to be selected by early next year.

The planned campus project is one of the biggest education developments in Scotland – higher than the public investment in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “I know that the University of Glasgow has been engaging strongly with local community groups and businesses in this part of the city and I hope to see a mutually beneficial relationship grow between ‘town and gown’ as this project develops.”

The masterplan for the former Western Infirmary site, which covers 14 acres, includes:

  • The creation of a Research and Innovation Hub housing large-scale, inter-disciplinary projects and incubator space for spin-out collaborations with industry, which should support economic development in the West End;

  • Public routes and a new central square which will link Byres Road to the up-and-coming cultural quarter for the West End, with new links to Kelvingrove and the newly-refurbished Kelvin Hall. These link will be reinforced by a new-build for the College of Arts;

  • New buildings for social sciences, the Institute of Health and Well-being, and the School of Science and Engineering;

  • Commercial opportunities, including a hotel, restaurant, bars and cafes which will also ensure that the five listed buildings on the site have a new and valuable use.

Willmott Dixon to build 1,000 homes a year

Willmott Dixon to build 1,000 homes a year

Willmott Dixon is planing to build up to half of the 2,000 homes it delivers each year using factory manufactured systems that will boost the housing industry.

The company has signed three-year strategic agreements with leading suppliers of timber frame and light-gauge steel frame systems, which it hopes will reduce reliance on on-site trades as costs continue to rise with demand outstripping supply.

To help provide economics of scale for its nationwide residential building capability, Willmott Dixon has signed agreements with Robertson Timber Engineering as sole supplier of timber frame produces, while Fusion Building Systems will provide light-gauge steel frames.

Willmott Dixon’s residential construction chief operating officer Charlie Scherer said: “This is an important step in our strategy to provide a high quality product that utilises all the benefits of factory-made systems while also reducing our exposure to the labour price escalation we’ve seen in recent years.

We aim to be building 1,000 homes a year by 2017 using systems provided by Robertson and Fusion, with the consistent quality also aiding our zero defects strategy.”

Tim Carey, product director for Willmott Dixon, said: “If we are to address the significant capacity gap that currently exists in the construction sector, we need to think strategically about our supply chain.

The selection of Robertson and Fusion will help maximise efficiencies across our projects, enabling us to deliver as many high-quality homes in as short a time frame as possible whilst ensuring they are delivered to the quality our clients deserve.”

Willmott Dixon has built nearly 50,000 homes since the 1974, and operates across the South, Midlands and North, building for developers, housing associations and local authorities.

The mix includes affordable, care residential, retirement villages, housing for sale and private rent, plus student accommodation. Projects vary in scale, from a standalone 90 unit care homes to multi-phase ten year estate regenerations that create a new ‘destination’ for communities.

Keepmoat and Strata secure landmark Leeds scheme

Three neighbourhoods in Leeds will soon benefit from a major £142 million investment which will deliver in the region of 1000 new homes on brownfield land.

The scheme will pave the way for employment and training opportunities for local people over the next eight years.

Working in partnership with Leeds City Council and Strata, housing and community regeneration specialist, Keepmoat, will redevelop 13 sites in the Seacroft, Halton Moor and Osmandthorpe areas of Leeds.

The scheme will serve to provide much-needed, quality affordable homes and purchasing initiatives such as Help to Buy, which will offer aspiring home owners a real opportunity of getting on the housing ladder.

The scheme will also provide considerable work opportunities including apprenticeships and training placements to address skills shortages and ensure that local people will get the maximum benefit of this investment in these areas.

As a major landowner in the city, the council has committed to ensuring development takes place on brownfield land first. Currently, around 70 per cent of all new homes in Leeds are being delivered on brownfield sites.

Ian Hoad, operations director for Keepmoat in Yorkshire, said: “We are actively expanding our presence in West Yorkshire, where we see a real appetite for new homes. With 95% of our developments built on brownfield land we are perfectly placed to deliver this scheme and we’re thrilled to have been selected as chosen developer alongside Strata.

Working in partnership with Strata will allow us to accelerate the delivery of these new homes, with the target of achieving 150 properties per annum.”

Go-ahead for multi-million pound Bristol Arena

Plans for building a £90 million Bristol Arena have been granted planning consent, paving the way for the 12,000-seat venue and redevelopment of the wider site.

The new arena would be built on land former diesel depot site on Bath Road and is scheduled to open in 2018. This site is now known as Arena Island and forms part of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.

The 100,000 sq ft building will be split over four floors with the main entrance from a plaza to the north, accessed from a new bridge over the River Avon.

It has been suggested that the venue could hold up to 116 events each year of which about 20 would make use of the full capacity (10,000 seated and a further 2,000 standing). Up to 400 staff would be working at major events.

Proposals for the Arena Island site include 205,000 sq ft of retail, office and leisure space as well as a hotel, student accommodation and affordable housing.

Bouygues UK has been named as preferred bidder to build the arena, which has been designed by London Olympic Stadium architects’ firm Populous with Bath-based architects’ practice Feilden Clegg Bradley and engineering firm BuroHappold.

Bristol mayor, George Ferguson, has previously confirmed that that 65 per cent of the construction workforce will come from the region with at least a third of that coming from Bristol itself.

HS2 and TUC sign framework agreement

The agreement demonstrates a commitment from HS2 Ltd to work together with the trade union movement to lead a safe, diverse and inclusive workforce with a strong voice.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) and many of its member unions support the case for HS2, recognising it as a crucial investment in the country’s economy that at the peak of construction will create a 25,000-strong newly skilled workforce and up to 2,000 apprenticeships.

An ‘initial framework agreement’ sets out how the partners will discuss issues concerning the employment, development, diversity and inclusion of people working throughout the project’s supply chain.

It also provides a platform for future work package agreements to be to be agreed directly between the relevant contractors and unions with support from HS2 Ltd and the TUC.

HS2 Ltd Chief Executive and TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, signed the agreement this week at HS2 Ltd’s community hub in Euston.HS2 Ltd Chief Executive, Simon Kirby, said: “Our mission is to be a high-performing, innovative organisation that delivers value for money by applying the best in worldwide design and construction techniques.

To accomplish this mission we need to lead a safe, valued and effective workforce. This fundamental agreement underlines our responsibility as a direct employer as well as a commitment to the wider workforce that will deliver HS2 across our supply chain.”

Balfour Beatty to build RAF engineering facility

Balfour Beatty secures landmark care scheme in Ireland

Balfour Beatty has been selected by BAE Systems to deliver an £82.5m contract to build engineering and training facilities at RAF Marham in Norfolk.

In March 2013, the Secretary of State for Defence confirmed that RAF Marham would become the main operating station for the UK’s fleet of F-35 Lightning II jets.

Balfour Beatty will utilise digital tools including 4D modelling and BIM throughout construction of the 25,000m2 of technical accommodation across three individual sites on the base.

Dean Banks, Balfour Beatty Managing Director UK Construction Services, said: “We are committed to making this exciting development a success and extending the excellent track record BAE Systems and Balfour Beatty have for delivering defence projects in the UK.

Our proven expertise in defence and aviation means that we have developed technically advanced delivery solutions that will help to ensure that RAF Marham’s operational capability is maintained throughout our construction activities on base.”

Balfour Beatty has worked closely with BAE Systems, its customer Lockheed Martin, the UK Ministry of Defence’s Lightning Project Team and RAF Marham over the past six months as a Preferred Supplier to prepare for the construction project.

This project builds on the existing experience that Balfour Beatty has of delivering highly complex and technically challenging projects for the UK MoD on live operational bases.

Balfour Beatty is dedicated to providing sustainable benefits to the local communities in which it operates and has planned to channel a minimum of £25 million of project spend via SMEs.

As members of The 5% Club, Balfour Beatty will ensure that the project generates opportunities for 15 apprentices, three graduate trainees and a further three work placements for students. The project will see 300 construction workers employed at peak.

Works are scheduled to commence on the project in April 2016 with completion scheduled for summer 2018, ready for the arrival of the F-35 Lightning II fleet in 2018.

Barratt to build 1000 homes at West London Nestle site

Industrial estate developer SEGRO has selected Barratt London to build over 1,000 homes on the former Nestle plant in Hayes, West London.

The regeneration will be a boost for the Capital as it faces the challenge of building more homes to meet population growth coupled with creating the employment opportunities that underpin sustainable communities and business.

As a long term property investor and developer, SEGRO will be responsible for delivering 230,000 sq. ft. of modern industrial and urban logistics warehouses that have the potential to create up to 400 jobs.

SEGRO bought the 30 acre site in January in 2015 as part of its strategy to provide high quality urban warehousing to meet the growing demand from occupiers.

Alan Holland, SEGRO’s Business Unit Director for Greater London, said: “This is an exciting time for SEGRO as we embark on a new journey to deliver both first-class urban warehousing alongside a high quality residential scheme.

London’s population is set to expand significantly over the next decade and with land supply diminishing rapidly, we understand the need to think creatively to meet the need for homes and jobs.”

Alastair Baird, Barratt London’s Regional Managing Director said; “This year we are set to complete around 2,000 new homes across London and this agreement with SEGRO will boost our pipeline of future projects.

It demonstrates that our technical capability in delivering complex schemes continues to provide us with a competitive advantage in London. Working with SEGRO, we will draw on our experience to design and build a great place to live and work on this important regeneration site in Hayes.”

Dudley residential scheme gets underway

Dudley’s Falcon House has been bought by a developer who has set his sights on creating more than 140 flats as part of a £14 million regeneration scheme.

Arran Bailey, owner of ALB Black Country Properties, bought the outdated eight-storey office block at auction and has revealed plans to convert the 88,000 sq ft building in to 65 one-bedroom and 76 two-bedroom apartments.

Falcon House was set to be demolished to make way for a supermarket complex which would have included a café and petrol station, but plans were scrapped by Commercial Estates Group, paving the way for ALB Investments to step in and regenerate the building.

Bailey said: “The local area has been in need of new housing developments and we are excited to play a big part in the area’s regeneration.

“The project will be a great opportunity to bring more footfall to the town by attracting young professionals. This will help to boost the local economy and will improve the area’s image by updating outdated buildings.”

Headoffice3 has designed the development of Falcon House and will be managing the works to complete in 2017.

Glen Harding, chief executive of headoffice3, said: “We believe this project will genuinely improve the local demographics and breathe new life into a tired block in urgent need of renovation.

“The external façade alterations will create a new, vibrant and exciting feel to the building.”