Go ahead for Ferrybridge £360m power plant

Power generator SSE has taken a final investment decision to proceed with the Ferrybridge Multifuel 2 (FM2) project in West Yorkshire, with construction expected to begin later this year.

The completed plant will be able to generate around 70MW of electricity, enough to power around 170,000 homes.

FM2 is expected to bring similar benefits to the local area as FM1, including in excess of 500 construction jobs during the three year build, a number of contract opportunities and an estimated £10 million of additional economic benefits to the local economy, through spending in restaurants, hotels and local businesses.

An EPC contract has now been signed with Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI), a Swiss headquartered company who are a market leader in building energy from waste projects, who were also the main EPC contractor on the neighbouring FM1 plant.

Charlie Cryans, Head of Construction for SSE said: “SSE’s decision to take the FM2 project through to construction is positive for our businesses, but also represents a £360 million investment, which will provide a range of benefits for the local area which we have a long association with.

We will be holding a Meet the Buyer event in the coming weeks which will provide local businesses and suppliers with the opportunity to meet the main contractor for the project, and pitch their products and services.”

Morgan Sindall wins £2.5m Western Power Distribution job

Morgan Sindall wins £2.5m Western Power Distribution job

Morgan Sindall has been appointed to construct a £2.5 million depot for Western Power Distribution in Bude.

The firm is already on-site constructing the new depot, which will be used to accommodate office staff and house equipment at the industrial estate in Stratton Business Park.

The two-storey building will comprise open-plan office space, individual work areas and a spacious workshop. It will also include an induction room, wash-down area and a drying room.

During the six month project, the Morgan Sindall project team will also create a fuel storage facility and a modern canteen within the depot.

The building will be completed in winter 2016 and will be fitted with solar panels to generate sustainable electricity and a water attenuation tank to store water and prevent flooding. The project is targeting a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) rating of excellent.

Richard Hallt, area manager at Morgan Sindall, said: “We’re so pleased to be creating a sustainable and modern working environment for staff at Western Power Distribution in Bude. The depot will provide office staff with a Grade A workspace as well as secure areas to store equipment.

As a company, Morgan Sindall is committed to delivering projects with sustainable best practice at their core and we look forward to handing over the new depot to Western Power Distribution in due course.”

Go-ahead for Liverpool new cancer centre

Plans to transform cancer care across Merseyside and Cheshire by developing a major new specialist hospital in the heart of Liverpool have been given the go-ahead.

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust has been granted full planning permission for the 11-floor hospital on West Derby Street as part of its £157 million investment in expanding and improving cancer care.

Preparatory construction work is expected to start on site later this year, with the new hospital opening to patients by the end of 2019.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet member for regeneration, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, said: “This is a landmark development which will not only create a first-class new building in this part of the city, but will lead to major improvements in the delivery of services for cancer patients from across the region.

The health campus will be a world-class facility that the whole city can be tremendously proud of and will continue Liverpool’s long tradition of innovation in the fields of medicine and health.”

The hospital has been designed by the same award-winning architectural team at BDP that created the new Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

The cost of the new hospital will be funded by the NHS and is not a private finance initiative.

The funding is coming from a combination of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s own reserves, NHS commissioners, some borrowing from government sources and a public fundraising appeal.

Keepmoat gets Wakefield housing scheme

Keepmoat gets Wakefield housing scheme

Keepmoat has been granted planning permission to build 100 new homes in Kinsley, Wakefield, paving the way for economic growth and new jobs.

The firm, which recently expanded in the region with the launch of an office in Leeds, has now secured three major projects in as many months, with work on brownfield developments across Leeds, as well as the Seacroft Hospital site already in the pipeline.

Keepmoat will now deliver two and three bedroom homes at land off Spring Close; prompted by the success of existing schemes at Fitzwilliam and Frickley.

Keepmoat’s Kinsley development is the latest in the Wakefield district involving a ‘stalled site’ – land which had previously had planning permission but remained undeveloped.

Wakefield Council launched its ‘Wakefield Builds’ campaign which aims to increase the number of new homes built across the district through schemes such as matching developers with stalled sites such as the one in Kinsley.

Councillor Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth and Skills, said: “We are committed to stimulating housing growth across the district, and Keepmoat’s development is a prime example of this.

Not only will the development lead to even more quality homes being built in the area, but it also demonstrates how developers can work with our ‘Wakefield Builds’ campaign to unlock stalled sites.”

Building work on the new homes is expected to progress in November this year.

Sewell Group plans major Yorkshire business park

Hull based contractor Sewell Group has unveiled plans for construction of a major new business park on the outskirts of the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Sewell has joined forces with telecommunications company MS3 Networks and developer the Chiltern Groupon proposals for the Yorkshire Energy Park scheme.

The scheme is earmarked for the former aerodrome site within the boundary of Preston village, to the west of Hedon.

A first stage of pre-application consultation has been undertaken with East Riding of Yorkshire Council and a project team has been appointed to prepare an outline planning application for submission later this year.

Early proposals are exploring the delivery of:

  • A mixture of space for businesses operating in key strategic sectors for the region;

  • A further/higher education space and associated accommodation, connected to the renewable energy and technology sectors;

  • An energy centre providing private wire electricity to the wider Energy Park; and

  • A data centre.

Rob Cawkwell, Project Director at Sewell, who is leading the scheme on behalf of the consortium, said: “It is at the very early stages and we are very keen to engage with all stakeholders, as well as ensuring good dialogue with both East Riding of Yorkshire and Hull local authorities.

This is a strategic site for the Humber Estuary, which is the first of its kind in Yorkshire, bringing together businesses, data, energy and education all in one place.”

Morgan Sindall breaks ground on £13m project

Morgan Sindall breaks ground on £13m building project

Morgan Sindall has started work on the £13 million transformation of South Shore Academy on St Anne’s Road, Blackpool.

The start of work on site was marked in traditional fashion with a turf cutting ceremony last week, paving the way for construction work to get underway.

South Shore Academy is one of 12 schools being rebuilt by Morgan Sindall under the Education Funding Agency‘s (EFA) Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) North West Batch.

Plans for the school will see two new buildings constructed – a three storey main building and a single storey sports hall – with a combined floor area of almost 5,000m².

The main building will house 25 classrooms across three storeys. General classrooms will be situated on the first floor, with art rooms and state-of-the-art science labs on the second floor.

Building work is due to be completed in time for the start of the academic school year in September 2017. The finished school will provide up to 900 pupils from the local area with a modern education facility, fit for 21st century learning.

Morgan Sindall’s area director, Barry Roberts, said: “We’re proud to be delivering another school as part of the PSBP NW programme. Once complete, the new look South Shore Academy will provide pupils and staff with a modern learning environment and will be an enduring addition to the educational offering in the area.

As with all of our construction work, we set out to not only cause minimal disruption to school life, but also to complement the teaching on offer by providing access to work placements and careers advice for pupils interested in the construction industry.”

Work starts on 1,500 new homes for Woolwich

Construction work has started on the first new homes to be built through a £320 million, 1,500-home regeneration programme set to transform three council estates in Woolwich, south-east London.

Representatives from the Royal Borough of Greenwich, partnership housing developer Lovell and asra Housing Group, gathered at the former Connaught estate to mark the beginning of building work.

The first new homes, at the renamed Trinity Walk, are now under construction by the Lovell team. The ground-breaking event followed the completion of demolition work which began at the estate last October.

The redevelopment will see 684 energy-efficient new homes built at Trinity Walk, including 239 affordable properties. The first new affordable homes are due to be completed in late Spring 2017 with the first completed housing for sale expected to be finished later the same year.

The 12-year scheme is set to create important job and training opportunities locally including a significant number of apprenticeships.

Cllr Danny Thorpe, cabinet member for Regeneration and Transport, said: “The Connaught Estate regeneration project is bringing state-of-the-art, energy efficient homes to the borough while also sparking job creation and economic growth.

Through a dedicated programme of investment, partnership working and house-building, we are truly changing the face of this borough for our residents.”

Lovell regional director Michael O’Farrell commented: “This is a huge project bringing major benefits for local people including modern new housing, and open spaces. The construction programme will also boost the local economy by creating valuable job and training opportunities.”

Ashfield Land secures permission for Bristol office scheme

Ashfield Land secures permission for Bristol  office scheme

South Gloucestershire Council has given the go-ahead to developer Ashfield Land to build a 200,000 sq ft office development scheme at Bristol Parkway Station.

Ashfield Land has secured planning permission for a 200,000 sq ft office development immediately adjacent to Bristol Parkway Station.

Planning permission has been granted by South Gloucestershire Council and will see Ashfield Land bring forward a new HQ office scheme to be named ‘The Approach’.

The £100 million office scheme, named ‘The Approach’, will offer highly sustainable, flexible space which is expected to attract strong interest from corporate occupiers.

Ashfield Land anticipates that the new building will be completed in 2018, the same time as the Bristol to London rail electrification upgrades.

James Digby, Director at Ashfield Land, said: “Bringing 200,000 sq ft of excellently-connected office space forward is a strong sign of confidence in the Bristol occupier market. The area has a strong track record in attracting major organisations particularly in financial services, defence and aerospace.

The approved plans maximise the site’s location and public transport connectivity and will offer a stand out scheme for any corporate occupier.”

James Finnis, Office Agency Director at JLL, which is now marketing the building, said: “The Approach has all the right ingredients for success.

It has planning and is deliverable, it is easy to get to by all forms of transport and it will offer much lower occupational costs than London, the South East and even Bristol City Centre.

The wealth of local talent and the quality of life available means it will attract employers looking for a productive base for their operations.”

Atkins gets £26bn London Old Oak scheme

Atkins gets £26bn London Old Oak scheme

Atkins has been awarded a contract to help make Old Oak and Park Royal, London’s largest opportunity area, one of the most sustainable urban developments in the UK.

At five times the size of the Capital’s King’s Cross redevelopment and one of the biggest schemes of its type in Europe, the £26 billion Old Oak and Park Royal project has the ability to deliver over 25,500 new homes and the capacity for 65,000 jobs.

Atkins, working with Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) and its cost and project management consultancy, Faithful+Gould, will develop a set of ambitious environmental sustainability targets that will be used on Old Oak and Park Royal and feed into all future development across London.

These targets will look to improve upon the targets set out in the London Plan and Mayoral strategies.

Sean Lockie, sustainability director, Faithful+Gould, said: “Old Oak and Park Royal is a massive opportunity for London to do things that haven’t been done before.

It means creating a vision which sets out clear goals, such as being healthy to live in, flexible over time, affordable, comfortable, and being energy and resource efficient, and then taking a systematic approach to delivery.”

The sustainability targets will be based around six core themes:

  1. Urban form and public space – considers densities and form of properties, public realm, use of the canal, air quality and future climate impacts such as temperature, wind and storms.

  2. Transport – Considers rail and bus systems, movement within the development area, demand, roads, mode share and interaction with watercourses and green space.

  3. Energy – considers district heating / cooling, demand reduction, renewables, energy from waste (rubbish, sewerage)

  4. Waste and materials – considers waste reduction / recycling, designed to enable disassembly and upgrade to extend life of building, energy efficiency of buildings.

  5. Water – considers water management system (supply, collection, treatment, reuse), rainwater harvesting and flood risk management

  6. Green /blue infrastructure – Considers access to nature, water courses, food production, green spaces, green roofs and walls

The integration of green infrastructure with urban planning and design, and the role of rapidly emerging smart technologies, will also be critical areas of focus for Atkins and the OPDC.

The Grand Union Canal has the potential to play a unique role in the development, providing a cost effective way of harvesting water for use in toilets, irrigation and cleaning.

It will also be become a feature around which green spaces, trees, art and other community leisure activities can be built around, and could even be used as a form of giant refrigerator to help cool buildings in the summer.

The scale and ambition of the project is one of London’s biggest investment and is worth over £7 billion per annum to UK economy.

Investment boost for offshore wind sector

Companies in the offshore wind sector will benefit from £1.5 million of funding to increase innovation, reduce costs and encourage further investment.

The Scottish Government has made the award to the Carbon Trust to support its Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) research and design programme.

Set up in 2008, the OWA has driven forward new technologies in the offshore wind sector – seen by the renewables industry as a key area for growth.

Previous funding rounds have supported research into the floating wind technology market and into the use of concrete foundations for offshore windfarms in deeper waters.

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Only last week, around 350 jobs were announced as a direct result of the construction of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm, highlighting the massive opportunity offshore wind presents to Scotland and the Scottish economy.

Innovation in renewables also continues to contribute to the excellent progress we are making on reducing greenhouse gas emissions after the recent announcement that Scotland has exceeded our 2020 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42% six years early.

I will be attending Renewable UK’s Global Offshore Wind Conference on Wednesday in Manchester where I look forward to discussing not only this important announcement but the Scottish Government’s continued support for this important part of the renewables sector.”