First St William site to build 839 homes

First St William site to build 839 homesThe London Borough of Wandsworth has granted planning permission for a new mixed-use development in Battersea by St William, the new joint venture between National Grid and the Berkeley Group.

The project will bring £367 million of investment, create 370 jobs in construction and 123 permanent jobs on completion.

It marks the first St William scheme to secure a resolution to grant since the joint venture was launched in November 2014.

839 homes will be built on the five acre site of the former gasworks on Prince of Wales Drive, located between Battersea Park and Battersea Power Station.

The development will include 50,000 sq ft of new educational floor space, 201 affordable homes, a nursery, food retail unit, café and public realm improvements.

Alison Dowsett, Managing Director of St William, said: “We are delighted to secure a resolution to grant for the first St William site. This will open a former industrial site up for the first time in over 150 years and create a fantastic new place for the borough.”

Designed by award-winning architectural practice Squire and Partners, the master plan consists of 12 buildings ranging from two to 26 storeys in height and a new public square.

Phil Edwards, of National Grid Property and Director of St William, added: “This consent is another exciting step forward in the regeneration of Nine Elms on the South Bank and we look forward to starting work to deliver the first St William development.”

Vacant possession is due in spring 2016 with construction scheduled to start on site soon after. First occupations are scheduled for 2019.

Go-ahead for 1,465 new homes at White City

Go-ahead for 1,465 new homes at White CitySt James has secured a resolution to grant planning permission from the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham for a new development with up to 1,465 homes in White City.

The scheme will bring £615 million of investment, create 620 jobs in construction, 350 permanent jobs on completion, and deliver just over 30% affordable housing on and off site.

Currently occupied by a Marks & Spencer warehouse, the 4.2 hectare brownfield site will be transformed into a residential neighbourhood set in a new 4 acre public park White City Green.

This open space will be fully funded by St James and provide opportunities for a range of leisure and recreational activities and events.

The whole development aims to deliver up to 1,465 new homes, along with commercial, office, community and leisure space.

Award-winning architectural practice, Patel Taylor, was appointed as the architect, masterplanner and landscape architect to develop proposals for the site following a design competition.

The concept of “Living in the Park” will inform all the place-making, while the massing and architectural detail of the buildings creates a series of unique settings across the site.

A new bridge and pedestrian deck across the Central Line will improve connectivity from Wood Lane and provide direct access to Westfield London to the south. The pedestrian deck also provides an enhanced setting for BBC Television Centre.

The Marks and Spencer Warehouse is due to be vacated in July 2016 and construction is planned to start at the earliest opportunity. The scheme will be delivered in a number of phases over a 15 year period.

Government welcomes house building boost

Government welcomes house building boostThe latest housebuilding figures today show starts have more than doubled since those seen during the same period in 2009 – with both starts and completions rising over the past year.

The numbers of homes completed has also risen sharply, to their highest levels for nearly 6 years, paving the way for more jobs in the building construction trades.

Getting the country building

The 2008 economic crash devastated the housebuilding industry, leading to the loss of a quarter of a million construction jobs.

That’s why the government has made housebuilding an important part of its long-term economic plan, with a range of measures introduced to get the country building again.

In the year to March, work started on 140,500 homes – 5% higher than during the previous year.

Over 40,000 homes were started between January and March this year – 31% higher than the previous quarter, and 136% higher than the March quarter in 2009.

It means housing starts are at their highest level since 2007.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Housebuilding is at the heart of our plan to ensure the recovery reaches all parts of our country. We’re turning around an industry that was devastated and getting the country building again.

Today’s figures show these efforts are reaping results, with housebuilding starts having more than doubled since 2009, and completions at their highest for nearly 6 years.

It is vital we maintain this momentum, getting workers back on sites and homes built – giving more people the chance to own their own home.”

The figures also show 125,110 homes completed between April 2014 and March this year – 11% higher than the previous year and their highest annual total since 2009.

Eric Wright wins Network Rail principal contract

Eric Wright wins Network Rail principal contractEric Wright Rail (EWR) has been awarded a Principal Contractor Licence scheme by Network Rail that will pave the way for rail infrastructure projects and create new jobs.

The full Licence follows a lengthy process to achieve a provisional PCL, which enabled the company to bid for the Kent work.

Adrian Taylor, director of EWR, said: “Rail sector projects require specialist expertise and extremely high levels of health & safety due diligence so any contractor working in the industry must demonstrate that they have the technical and procedural requirements needed to meet Network Rail’s standards.

“PCL qualification is the formal process by which those requirements are first assessed for a provisional licence and then audited on a live site for a full PCL licence. We are delighted to have passed both steps with flying colours.”

The Kent project involved design development and installation of an electronic early warning system at a level crossing in Edenbridge, including all associated signalling, foundations and service ‘troughing’ works.

Network Rail’s licensing team attended the site to witness the works and interview the project team to ensure that EWR was adhering to its PCL systems and processes before awarding the full licence.

EWR will now be able to bid for further Netowrk Rail infrastructure schemes across the UK, building on the company’s track record in the rail sector, which includes numerous station car park upgrades and a number of minor works projects for various rail operators.

Businesses to drive up innovation investment

The Scottish GovernmentA shared vision on innovation will help Scotland become a world-leading entrepreneurial nation, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said today.

Meeting for the first time the newly appointed members of the Scotland CAN DO Innovation Forum will be the leading force in creating greater levels of demand for, and investment in, business innovation for the benefit of the whole Scottish economy.

Following the publication of the Scottish Government’s Scotland CAN DO framework, the Forum will stimulate demand for innovation from business and boost economic growth.

Speaking ahead of the first meeting at Edinburgh University Business School, Scotland CAN DO Innovation Forum, Chair Mr Swinney said: “Scotland CAN DO is a platform for all sectors to further sharpen our focus on creating sustainable economic growth. Our vision is to make a Scotland as a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation – a CAN DO place for business.

This Government is focused on growing our economy and this new Forum will help to ensure that Scotland’s economy is one where growth is based on innovation, change and openness to new ways of doing things.

The sheer diversity of innovation that already exists in Scotland is something to be commended. Scottish EDGE already stands as an exemplar of this approach and shows what can happen when public, private and third sector partners work as one for the benefit of growth orientated entrepreneurs across our country.”

Tidal energy project to create new jobs in Wales

Tidal energy project to create new jobs in WalesSwedish company Minesto will create 30 jobs and hundreds more in the long term in areas like manufacturing, offshore operations and new project development as part of an innovative Deep Green scheme.

The scheme will see the designing, manufacturing and testing of a low velocity device to produce electricity for thousands of homes from tidal and ocean currents.

The proposed installation site in the southern corner of Holyhead Deep has been chosen to maintain separation from shipping lanes and to minimise impact on other sea users.

The Welsh Government has been working with Minesto over a number of years on feasibility studies to help bring this investment to North Wales.

First Minister Carwyn Jones, said: “I am delighted that our investment has helped pave the way for Minesto to set up its UK headquarters in North Wales. It will create high quality jobs in what is a rapidly expanding and important sector for Wales.”

Weighing seven tonnes and operating at least 15 metres below the water surface, Deep Green’s underwater ‘kite’ technology can operate in waters where no other known technology can perform as cost-effectively due to its unique ability to run in low velocity areas.

Installation of the device will commence during the summer of 2017, and if successful the company will manufacture more ‘Deep Green’ devices from its assembly plant in Anglesey for export around the world, creating more jobs in the area.

Anders Jansson, CEO of Minesto said: “This is great news not only for us as a company, but also for Wales as a nation and the entire marine energy industry.”

Finance and Government Business Minister, Jane Hutt, said: “Over the next five years, £150 million of EU funds will be invested in renewable energy and energy efficiency, with a particular focus on marine energy in West and North Wales. The investment demonstrates how vital EU funds are to creating jobs and economic growth across Wales.”

Balfour Beatty secures landmark care scheme in Ireland

Balfour Beatty secures landmark care scheme in IrelandBalfour Beatty in a consortium with Prime and InfraRed Capital Partners has been selected as Preferred Tenderer to deliver 14 primary care centres across Ireland.

The project, with a combined capital value of circa €140 million, is the first programme of its kind in the Republic of Ireland’s primary care market, boosting economic growth and helping the trades.

The Health Service Executive (HSE), which provides all of Ireland’s public health services, issued the tender through the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) in response to the government’s health reform programme, which places a new emphasis on developing the role of primary care within a universal healthcare system.

The Prime led Consortium combines the considerable skills and resources of healthcare property company Prime, international infrastructure group Balfour Beatty, and InfraRed Capital Partners Limited a leading global investment manager focused on infrastructure and real estate.

Over the last five years Prime, Balfour Beatty and InfraRed have successfully raised over €3 billion of senior debt funding to support projects across the PPP infrastructure and primary care markets.

As experienced providers in the PPP and primary care markets, Prime and Balfour Beatty have brought together a team of 500 professionals to deliver the project.

A key aspect of the bid was the strategic commitment to local procurement with companies such as Balfour Beatty Ireland, JJ Rhatigan & Company and Aramark Ireland forming part of the delivery team.  Local subcontractors and suppliers will also feature strongly in each project.

Tzvetelina Bogoina, Balfour Beatty Bid Director, said: “Balfour Beatty is a trusted partner in the healthcare construction and maintenance sector having delivered over £2billion worth of hospitals and care centres over the past decade.

We look forward to working with the HSE and NDFA to deliver these primary care centres which will make a great, positive difference to local communities, not only in terms of health outcomes but in the positive impact it will have in creating local jobs.”

Will Bilbrough, Development Director at Prime plc, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed preferred tenderer and look forward to working with the HSE and NDFA to deliver this pivotal healthcare PPP for communities across Ireland.”