Ashfield Land secures permission for Bristol office scheme

Ashfield Land secures permission for Bristol  office schemeSouth 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 schemeAtkins 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

Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm given the go-aheadCompanies 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.”

ISG secures Asda’s first Level 2 BIM scheme

ISG secures Asda's first Level 2 BIM schemeISG is set to deliver Asda’s first Level 2 BIM (Building Information Modelling) project after securing a £10 million development contract in Clacton-on-Sea that will boost economic growth.

BIM methodology has its foundation in project collaboration, efficient working practices and the instant accessibility of highly-detailed building services data for asset planning.

The contractor was appointed to Asda’s influential global BIM steering group in 2014 and following trial BIM projects at the company’s new Barry store in South Wales and the Beeston store in Leeds – Asda has now awarded its first full Level 2 project to ISG.

The 35,000 sq ft Clacton store is being constructed on the site of a former multi-occupancy retail development in the popular Essex town.

Rob Martin, ISG’s Western regional managing director, said: “The Clacton-on-Sea project represents the culmination of a journey by Asda into advanced collaborative working practices, where ISG has played a key role as a trusted project partner and influencer.

In a sector where operational costs and asset management are critical, BIM not only creates efficiency benefits during the build phase but also throughout the service life of the store and we are thrilled to be working with Asda on such a milestone project.”

ISG wins first scheme on North West Framework

ISG wins first scheme on North West FrameworkISG has secured the first contract to be awarded under the renewed North West Construction Hub Medium Value Framework – a £2 million education scheme for Manchester City Council.

The company was reappointed to the NWCH Medium Value Framework after delivering public sector projects across the North West valued in excess of £124 million on the previous capital works framework.

The scheme involves the refurbishment of a former local authority care home in Longsight, Manchester to create replacement special educational needs (SEN) facilities for Rodney House School.

The refurbishment scheme will enable Rodney House to consolidate its specialist facilities on a single site, as well as providing the expansion space needed for the school to accommodate extra pupils.

The main project sees the existing building extensively remodelled to accommodate the change of use, with structural alterations to form new entrances and reconfiguration of internal walls.

Danny Murray, ISG’s Northern regional managing director, said: “The NWCH Framework has proved instrumental over the past four years in bringing key community projects to site quickly and cost effectively.

The renewed framework continues this forward thinking ethos and we are delighted to be working to deliver purpose-built facilities for Rodney House School, which will enable the school to provide support and education to a greater number of children in the East Manchester area.”

Go-ahead for Ashford Powergen plans

Go-ahead for Ashford Powergen plansPlans for Ashford regeneration have been granted planning permission to deliver a new mixed-use development at the old Powergen site on Victoria Way.

Previously occupied by Powergen in the 1990s, the project will bring 660 new homes, new public realm and a café for Ashford, built on a brownfield parcel of land that has lain derelict for well over a decade.

Developer U + I is delivering the scheme in partnership with Canterbury-based Quinn Estates and specialist private rented sector operator, Neighbour. Plans have been designed by the RIBA award-winning team, Guy Hollaway Architects.

This strategic regeneration project will help to link Ashford town centre with Victoria Park to the south, creating a new residential community and injecting new life into a currently unused site.

Almost six acres in size, a master plan is currently in progress for a significant regeneration project that will create over 165 new jobs.

The proposed development would house approximately 200 residential units, a 120-bed hotel, an Aldi food store and a new brewery and visitor centre for local wine and beer maker, Chapel Down.

With Ashford’s fantastic rail connections to London and Europe, this scheme will be a part of the continued economic development of Ashford, working closely with all partners to help bring the town’s full potential to the fore.

Affordable homes target exceeded by 10% in Scotland

Government welcomes house building boostThe Scottish Government has exceeded its 30,000 affordable homes target by more than 10 per cent, according to official statistics released for the first time this week.

Over the last Parliamentary term, 33,490 affordable homes were delivered while helping economic growth and boosting the construction trades.

The rate of house building completions across all sectors puts Scotland in the lead of every other country in the UK, with more completions than Northern Ireland for the first time since 2006.

The statistics follow the First Minister’s commitment to increasing the supply of homes even further by setting a new target of delivering at least 50,000 affordable homes, backed by more than £3 billion investment, by the end of this parliament.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart welcomed the statistics while visiting a new affordable housing development by Castle Rock Edinvar in Wester Hailes.

He said: “Our investment of more than £1.7 billion, as well as the re-introduction of council house building, has meant high quality, energy efficient, affordable homes have been built the length and breadth of the country.

We are building at a rate faster than anywhere else in the UK, and in fact since 2007 we have built over 41,000 more homes than would have been built at England’s lower per-capita rate. That’s the equivalent of a new town the size of Paisley.

Not only do these numbers show we have more than achieved our targets, but they also tell us approvals for affordable homes have increased by 26 % in the 12 months to March.

This marks an excellent start to being able to deliver our new, higher target and help supply the homes people and communities need.”