Moving? Your solar can move with you

Moving  Your solar can move with you.Businesses and factories will be able to take their solar panels with them when they relocate, allowing them to continue to reap the benefits of lower bills under proposed changes planned by government.

In a consultation launched today, the government is seeking views on removing a barrier for building-mounted solar PV by allowing medium and large installations to be moved between buildings without loss of Feed in Tariff payments.

With an estimated 250,000 hectares of south facing commercial rooftops – the equivalent of 350,000 football pitches – there is massive potential in the UK to turn our buildings into power stations, helping to cut energy bills, reduce pressure on the grid and create jobs.

Launching the consultation, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy, Amber Rudd said: “Around 900 businesses already use solar PV – but I want to see more generating their own electricity.

There’s potential for significant growth in this area so it’s vital that we remove the barriers which prevent businesses from benefiting.

If there’s more rooftop solar we’ll see job creation as well as helping us deliver the clean, reliable energy supplies that the country needs at the lowest possible cost to consumers.

Solar increasingly offers efficient and cost effective onsite generation opportunities to both businesses and domestic consumers.”

At the moment if a FIT accredited installation is moved it becomes ineligible for further support. This can act as a significant deterrent to landlords and tenants who cannot guarantee to have the long-term ownership or lease of a building.

Allowing the panels and the tariff to move with their owner will increase flexibility and make solar PV a much more attractive investment.

HCA publishes latest set of Housing Statistics

HCAA further 13,040 new homes were started on site, according to the latest housing statistics published by the agency this month.

The statistics show that 3,229 market homes were started, an increase of 26% compared to the same period last year. 9,811 starts (75% of the total) were for affordable homes.

This includes 653 new build homes purchased by the provider at build completion. As these have not previously been reported, excluding them allows a like for like comparison with the same period last year (9,767), which shows that starts for affordable homes were broadly steady (-6%).

This is in line with our expectations and forecasts as the final year of the Spending Period focuses on completions. The 2011 to 2015 Affordable Homes Programme accounted for 49% of starts, while the Affordable Homes Guarantees Programme accounted for 36%.

Affordable housing completions (10,631) also represented 75% of the total reported, equating to an increase of 28% on the same period last year; while the number of market homes completed (3,545) increased by 41%. Taken together, market and affordable housing completions increased by 31% relative to the same period last year.

There were a further 14,515 homes completed with the assistance of the Help to Buy equity loan, demonstrating the impact of this programme in helping people, particularly first time buyers into home ownership.

All of these programmes and homes contribute to overall housing supply and help to meet a range of housing needs in local communities.

HCA Chief Executive, Andy Rose, said: “The housing statistics present the housing starts on site and housing completions delivered by HCA programmes in England, excluding London, with the exception of the Get Britain Building and Build to Rent programmes and Help to Buy equity loan, which the HCA administers on behalf of the Greater London Authority.”

Leading offshore wind suppliers invest in Teesside

Leading offshore wind suppliers, EEW SPC of Germany and Bladt Industries of Denmark plan to invest up to £20-£25 million in TAG energy, creating up to 350 jobs in the local area.

Leading offshore wind suppliers, EEW SPC of Germany and Bladt Industries of Denmark have taken over the TAG Energy facility in Teesside.

They plan to invest up to £20-25 million to upgrade the facility into a world class manufacturing base for the offshore wind industry. It’s expected that the facility will create up to 350 direct jobs in the local area, as well as a similar number in the supply chain.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “It’s great news that renewables manufacturing will create 350 green jobs in Teesside. We’ve been working tirelessly behind the scenes to help secure this investment and it’s more evidence that renewable energy is powering the economic recovery.

Renewable energy is a vital part of our plans for keeping the lights on, reducing emissions, and creating thousands of green jobs and investment.

£45 billion has been invested in the UK’s energy infrastructure since 2010 and the Energy Act will deliver 250,000 new low carbon by 2020.”

Between 2010 and 2013 £6.9 billion was invested in offshore wind and it is estimated that a further £16.2-£21.3 billion will be invested in the offshore wind sector between 2014 and 2020.

Offshore wind powers over two million UK homes and the UK is rated the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind.

700,000 new homes under this government

700,000 new homes under this governmentNew figures this week show 700,000 more homes have been delivered in this Parliament with empty homes at a 10-year low, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has announced.

The figures show the government’s plan to increase house building to help hard-working families onto the property and boost jobs and growth in the British house building industry is working.

The figures show:

More affordable and Right to Buy homes

The Housing Minister also welcomed the latest figures showing more hard-working tenants taking up their Right to Buy, and an increase in the number of affordable homes built.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Whether it’s building new homes or bringing empty properties back into use, we have pulled out all the stops and are delivering the homes this country needs.

There are now 700,000 more homes in England than there were in 2009, house building is up 16% compared to last year, hard-working tenants are taking up their Right to Buy and the numbers of empty homes are now at a 10-year low.

This is all thanks to the efforts we’ve made since 2010, reforming the planning system, paving the way for developers to do their job and giving aspiring homeowners the help they deserve as part of our wider and long-term economic plan.”

Approval granted for New Covent Garden Market Site

Approval granted for New Covent Garden Market SiteVINCI‘s joint venture with St. Modwen Properties and its partner the Covent Garden Market Authority (CGMA), has received the go-ahead to deliver the landmark redevelopment of the 57 acre New Covent Garden Market site in Nine Elms, London.

This major, multi-phased project will modernise and secure the future of the iconic market whilst delivering one of the largest schemes in London’s Nine Elms regeneration area.

This major 10-year project will see the delivery of over 500,000 sq ft of new state-of-the-art market facilities across a 37 acre site. The remaining 20 acres of land will be transformed into three high quality residential neighbourhoods comprising of 3,000 new homes, 135,000 sq ft of office space and 100,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and new community facilities, including shops, cafés and restaurants.

Bill Oliver, Chief Executive, St. Modwen and director of VSM said: “This landmark scheme is another example of VSM’s ability to progress large scale, nationally important, developments that create both jobs and homes and attract investment in areas ready for regeneration.

Wandsworth Council’s decision allows us to contribute to the long-term transformation of London’s newest residential and commercial quarter whilst securing the future of New Covent Garden Market by delivering vitally important world-class market facilities.

The VSM and CGMA teams have worked closely with the Council, local businesses and the local community to ensure that the scheme benefits all stakeholders and we look forward to continuing our work with them to enable a start on site in the first half of 2015.”

Pam Alexander, Chair of CGMA, said: “I am grateful to Wandsworth Council and all who have worked so hard to ensure the future of New Covent Garden Market as a key landmark at the heart of Nine Elms on the South Bank in the week that the market celebrates 40 years here at Nine Elms.

New Covent Garden Market is central to supplying London’s fresh produce. With our development partners VSM, we can now deliver the modern facilities that will enable our 200 business to grow and thrive whilst welcoming the public to a new Food Quarter for London.”

Bam Construction wins £80m Cambridge University deal

Bam Construction wins £80m Cambridge University dealThe University of Cambridge has awarded its largest value construction package for the first phase of the North West Cambridge Development to BAM Construction.

Worth approximately £80million, the BAM contract includes building significant areas of the new local centre, named Eddington, on the North West Cambridge Development.

Situated within the heart of the site, the works include 352 homes for University and College key workers built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5, as well as a supermarket and retail units, a doctors surgery, and the shell of the energy centre built to BREEAM Excellent standard.

Gavin Heaphy, Construction Director of the North West Cambridge Development said: “BAM’s considerable experience in the realisation of large and complex projects, coupled with their commitment to sustainable delivery made them the right choice to become our partner for two major Lots on the development.

This particular project holds many of the key “local centre” elements of Phase 1, delivering as it does: Supermarket, Energy Centre, Healthcare Facility and Key Worker Housing.  We are delighted to have this experienced team on board to realise the University’s aspirations and to build a key part of the next chapter of Cambridge.”

Stuart Robinson, Construction Director for BAM said: “It is a pleasure to work with the University of Cambridge on its impressive development within the City. Our work forms a major part of their scheme and will require expertise and considerate management skills.

We will draw on our strong track record in Cambridge, having delivered the complex Laboratory of Molecular Biology for the Medical Research Council, and a new University Technical College here.

Our knowledge of the local supply chain and the community allows us both to be an efficient contractor and a good partner. It’s an exciting project, and we’re keen to get started.”

BAM will build to the designs from Wilkinson Eyre, Mole Architects, Mecanoo and landscape architects, Townshend, and will work alongside the North West Cambridge Development consultants, Turner and Townsend Project Management and Gardiner and Theobald Cost Management. 

Works on the site wide infrastructure began in Winter 2013 and there will be phased completions for the North West Cambridge Development, with the local centre open from Spring 2017.

Logic Leeds development gets the go-ahead

Logic Leeds development gets the go-aheadLogic Leeds, the £5 million construction of 80,000 sq ft of industrial premises for modern manufacturing, has started on site in the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone.

The construction follows planning approval and the signing of a landmark £2.5 million grant agreement with Leeds City Council, funded through the government’s Building Foundations for Growth programme.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for transport and the economy, said: “This is another significant step forward for the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone. The council has worked proactively with developers and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership to get development moving in the enterprise zone.

We now have 260,000 sq ft of industrial space under construction and committed, presenting manufacturing and supply chain companies with a prime location for expansion, consolidation and relocation of their operations.”

Logic Leeds, Muse Developments’ flagship 110-acre manufacturing and distribution development, forms part of the largest speculative project of its kind in West Yorkshire since the recession. The contract to build the new 80,000 sq ft unit was awarded to Esh Build.

David Wells, developer director of Muse Developments in Leeds said: “We are delighted to be on site with the first building at Logic Leeds, which will set the tone for the whole development.”

Situated next to the A63, just half a mile from Junction 45 of the M1 and minutes from Leeds city centre, Logic Leeds presents a huge opportunity for the Leeds and wider Yorkshire industrial and distribution market.

Logic Leeds is part of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone, which means that it benefits from a range of incentives for occupiers. These incentives include a discount on business rates, worth up to £275,000 per business over a five-year period; a simplified and accelerated planning process; an opportunity for enhanced capital allowance claims; and high-speed fibre-optic broadband.