Construction set to begin on The Mill

construction-set-to-begin-on-the-millThe Mill – an 800 home urban village complete with a neighbourhood centre, community hall, and parks – is being developed by Tirion Homes on the site of the former Arjo Wiggins Paper Mill site in Canton.

The construction programme is expected to create over 1,000 jobs, many for people living locally.

The site remediation has been carried out by Alun Griffiths. The construction of the new homes will be undertaken by Lovell.

The Group is currently working on two other sites in the region; the 500-home Whiteheads development in Newport, and the planned 225-home Parc Eirin site in Tonyrefail.

Peter Mathias, chairman of Tirion Group, says: “The Mill is a ground-breaking development that will not only transform the local community around it, but hopefully become a blueprint for high-quality housing communities across South Wales.

As we prepare for the start of construction it is an honour to host AMs, MPs and councillors, and to be able to outline our vision for the site and our future vision for housing developments across Wales.”

At The Mill, Tirion has unlocked the potential of the long-disused paper mill site by acquiring and cleaning up the brownfield land with financial backing from the Welsh Government and Principality, securing planning permission and then developing the site in partnership with Lovell.

Lovell regional director Kate Rees says: “We are delighted to be working with the Tirion Group, Cadwyn Housing Association, the Welsh Government and Principality to deliver this landmark housing scheme for Cardiff and look forward to starting construction of these new high-quality homes for sale and for rent.

The Mill will create a brand-new community in an extremely desirable riverside location close to the city centre.”

Peter Hughes, managing director at Principality Commercial, said: “Supporting this development goes to the heart of our purpose in helping people access quality affordable housing in an attractive environment, with excellent links to the city centre.

In recent years we have invested heavily in local communities through a variety of both commercial and residential projects. The Mill project will hopefully pave the way for similar schemes across Wales.”

 

Birmingham unveils £1bn investment plans for growth and jobs

birmingham-unveils-1bn-investment-plans-for-growthAlmost £1 billion of investment is being committed to redevelop a part of Birmingham that will pave the way for thousands of new jobs and homes.

The Curzon Investment Plan is an ambitious 30-year strategy to unlock and regenerate the 141 hectares of land around the planned HS2 Curzon Street Station, led by the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP (GBSLEP) and Birmingham City Council.

Creating 36,000 jobs, 4,000 new homes, unlocking 600,000 sqm of commercial floor space and connecting the eastside of Birmingham to the rest of the city and beyond; the investment is the first major financial commitment by any local area in the country to use HS2’s arrival as a catalyst for regeneration. It also has the potential to add £1.4 billion to the local economy.

Plans include the development of Curzon Street Station itself, several new neighbourhoods, offices and retail spaces. The creation of stunning public places such as the Curzon Promenade and Curzon Square – which will incorporate the original Curzon Station, a Grade I listed building.

In total £907 million is being allocated to a variety of projects, and is made up of £586.8 million from the GBSLEP, which draws funds from business rates within the Enterprise Zone and £137.2 million from the newly formed devolved government, West Midlands Combined Authority.

A further £183.3 million towards the cost of delivering Metro extension projects, connecting the eastside of the city to central Birmingham and out to Birmingham International Airport and Solihull, where another HS2 station, an interchange, is planned.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “I’m delighted that Greater Birmingham is making this investment in the future, working to maximise the potential of HS2 by investing in jobs and housing – and encouraging more business investment.

It was in Birmingham where I outlined my plan to build an economy that works for all, with a proper industrial strategy that delivers prosperity, job creation and higher wages across the country, not just in London.”

Steve Hollis, Deputy Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP (GBSLEP), said: “The Curzon Investment Plan is the first major commitment by a local area to maximise the impact of HS2.

It outlines how we will use HS2 as a trigger to transform an area of untapped potential in Birmingham’s city core and create thousands of new jobs, homes and places for businesses to thrive.

This demonstrates clearly what we can achieve in this region by being given the right tools by central government, to unlock our own future economic success.

Our commitment to invest is a bold statement of intent for how we will utilise HS2 as a catalyst for growth at every step. By setting out our plans and investing now, we will begin to realise the economic benefits of HS2 far sooner.”

Councillor John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “It is an unprecedented time for Birmingham and the wider region. By working with partners from across the region, we have fuelled an economic renaissance with significant inward investment and the implementation of major infrastructure schemes.”

U+I signs £95m London regeneration scheme

U+I secures £95m London regeneration schemeU+I has exchanged contracts with landowner, Parkdale Investments, to bring forward a new mixed-use regeneration project for the Forest Works site on Blackhorse Road, North East London.

The 3-acre industrial site has the potential to deliver 300 new homes and 5,500 sq. ft. of commercial space for the area, with a GDV of £95 million.

Less than 150 metres from Blackhorse Road Station, Forest Works sits within an area that has already been earmarked for significant wider regeneration.

The site has been identified as a hub within the London Borough of Waltham Forest’s Blackhorse Lane Area Action Plan and is located within the new Blackhorse Lane housing zone, which is aiming to deliver over 2,500 new homes and 1,000 new jobs in the next ten years.

Councillor Clare Coghill, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and High Streets has described Blackhorse Lane as the area with “the greatest potential for improvement of any part of the borough.”

As well as £200 million of private investment, it is benefiting from support from the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund for improvements to its high street and public amenity spaces.

In January 2016 it was also announced that Blackhorse Road Station would receive £2.2 million investment from TfL for improvements to the station and surrounding area.

Simon Hesketh, Director of Regeneration, U+I said: “We are delighted to be working with Parkdale Investments on a mixed-use regeneration project that will deliver significant benefits to the local area.

Forest Works demonstrates U+I’s ability to uncover regeneration opportunities within emerging parts of the London City Region. We are focussed on creating long-term social and economic change for the places in which we develop and we look forward to working with Waltham Forest council and the local community to progress our redevelopment plans for the site.”

HS2 will go ahead says new Transport Secretary

HS2New Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has confirmed he has no plans to scrap the HS2 high-speed rail contract.

The news will be a huge relief for contractors and consultants looking to win billions of work on the scheme.

It has also been viewed as a bellwether for the new-look Government’s approach to infrastructure spending

Grayling told BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend: “I have no plans to back away from the HS2 project.”

He added: “The thing that’s important for people to understand is that HS2 is not simply a speed project, it’s a capacity project.

We have lines at the moment which have seen huge increases in the number of passengers, the amount of freight in recent years.

Of course it makes sense if we’re going to build a new railway line for it to be a fast railway line, to increase travel times or reduce travel times from north to south – that’s logical.

But actually we need a better transport system for the 21st century and HS2 is part of increasing the capacity of our transport system.”

Phase One of the scheme is expected to cost £27.4bn and the green light for work to start is due later this year.

The first round of contracts worth £11bn are due to be awarded in the coming months.

Faster planning helps the building trades

Regeneration scheme to deliver thousands of new properties and jobsThe average time for a planning decision to be made on major developments has fallen by 17% on the previous year, paving the way for the building trades.

Annual statistics published this week show decision times for local and major applications have reduced, meaning more housing and business developments can start to build sooner.

Planning Minister Kevin Stewart welcomed the statistics, but said more must be done to improve planning performance.

The average decision time for major developments in 2015-16 reduced by more than 6 weeks on the previous year, while major housing development decisions are now almost two weeks faster than in 2013-14.

Decisions made on local housing applications also reduced by almost a week compared to the previous year.

Mr Stewart said:“Effective planning is crucial to promoting sustainable economic growth and ultimately to helping build more homes. Speeding up the planning system is a vital part of this.

“These statistics are very encouraging, particularly at a time where we are looking at the best ways to reform and improve our planning system.

“The reduction in decision making timescales can only be a good thing – it means we are open for business and helping create certainty within the building sector.”

Household numbers continue to rise

The Scottish GovernmentThe number of households in Scotland has continued to increase, though the rate of growth is smaller than before the economic downturn.

There were 2.43 million households in 2015, according to figures published today by National Records of Scotland (NRS) in ‘Estimates of Households and Dwellings in Scotland, 2015’.

The number of households in Scotland has grown by around 160,000 over the last ten years. Household numbers have been growing faster than the population.

Since 2005, Scotland’s population has risen by five per cent, whilst the number of households has increased by seven per cent. This is because more people are living alone and in smaller households.

This is reflected in the average number of people per household, which has fallen from 2.21 people per household in 2005 to 2.17 in 2015.

Tim Ellis, the Chief Executive of National Records of Scotland, said: “These latest figures from the National Records of Scotland show household numbers continue to rise but the level of growth has changed, with the number of households rising by a much smaller amount each year after the beginning of the economic downturn.

In most council areas, average household size continues to fall, but average household sizes are now rising in the four city council areas of Aberdeen City, Dundee City, City of Edinburgh and Glasgow City, and in Perth and Kinross.”

The overall number of dwellings also rose in 2015, to a total of 2.56 million. This was 161,000 more than in 2005. In Scotland as a whole, 3.1 per cent dwellings were vacant and 1.1 per were second homes, with the latter being more common in more rural areas.

Development Work Commences on Murrays’ Mills

Development Work Commences on Murrays’ MillsManchester Life Development Company and GRAHAM Construction have marked the start of development works in East Manchester that will see the building of 124 one, two and three bedroom homes.

The guiding principle for the development has been to preserve many of the Mills’ 19th-century features and create a unique living experience.

The historic canal basin will form the centre of a landscaped courtyard, with every apartment individually designed to make the most of the building’s features, along with interior layouts, finishes and on-site facilities to create attractive homes in the heart of Ancoats.

GRAHAM Construction is the main contractor for Murrays’ Mills and, with a proven track record of working on high-profile developments of historical importance, is continuing the extensive restoration work already undertaken to protect its character.

Gary Hughes, Regional Director at GRAHAM Construction, said: “As a leader in heritage and restoration projects, we understand the need for balance between creating modern, aspirational homes and keeping the character and history of the building alive.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The transformation of Murrays’ Mills is a significant milestone in Ancoats’ emergence as a desirable and vibrant neighbourhood, it is a brilliant way to address the demand for central accommodation in way that preserves and carefully evolves our former industrial areas.”

As part of Phase One, Manchester Life has developed an Advanced Apprenticeship scheme in partnership with The Manchester College – the Murrays’ Mills construction team will include a number of local apprentices, enabling them to gain substantial industry experience.

Willmott Dixon wins Uni of London accommodation scheme

Willmott Dixon wins Uni of London accommodation schemeWillmott Dixon is to create ‘new model for student accommodation’ at Royal Holloway, University of London, after being awarded a contract to provide rooms for 621 students on its North Campus.

The project involves construction of 56 three and four storey townhouses that will provide housing and student accommodation.

Michael Berry, Director of Estates at Royal Holloway, said: “This provides an exciting new model for student accommodation to serve Royal Holloway for years to come.

Townhouses encourage communal living, with shared facilities and common areas, and our development among mature trees will include green spaces and sheltered paths connecting residences to the main campus.”

The project forms part of a masterplan which will develop Royal Holloway’s historic estate into a 21st-century campus that meets the needs of people studying and working at the university.

The project underlines Willmott Dixon’s role as a leader in the housing sector, with it building over 2,000 new homes each year, as well as developing a further 500 homes through its private sale brand Prime Place and PRS company Be:here.

Charlie Scherer, Chief Operating Officer of Willmott Dixon Housing said: “This is an excellent template for providing student accommodation and plays well into our housebuilding skill-sets. We look forward to providing future students of the Royal Holloway University with first-class places to live while they study.”

NG Bailey gets £20m Land Securities contract

NG Bailey gets £20m Land Securities contractNG Bailey has won a three-year maintenance contract with Land Securities for eight shopping centres in the company’s retail portfolio that will boost economic growth.

The £20 million contract is a retention of five shopping centres that had been managed by NG Bailey for five years and, an extension of a further three centres, which went live on the 1st April 2016.

As part of the remit, NG Bailey will provide mechanical, electrical and building fabric maintenance, including HVAC, security, fire detection and protection, drainage and energy consumption management.

Seven of the shopping centres will be maintained by resident NG Bailey staff, including skilled engineers, apprentices and contract management support staff. Whilst a smaller centre in West London will be serviced and supported by the firm’s fleet of mobile engineers.

Stuart Linington, managing director of NG Bailey’s Facilities Services division said of the contract win: “We’re delighted to have been awarded this significant contract, which builds on the strength of our existing relationship with Land Securities.

As part of the new contract, we proposed an innovative energy saving solution that will introduce significant savings and further improve Land Securities’ impressive sustainability record.”

Tony Hemmings, Head of Engineering at Land Securities, added: “NG Bailey has proven that they can exceed our expectations, while being cost-effective and delivering measurable results.

We are pleased to be working with the company for another three years, potentially six and, to have added three more centres to its remit.”

Regeneration scheme to deliver thousands of new properties and jobs

Regeneration scheme to deliver thousands of new properties and jobsA 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.”