£47m plans approved to build new homes

£47m plans approved to build new homesPlans for building a £47 million Woodford Grange housing development in Winsford have been given the go-ahead by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Chosen developer, Keepmoat, will deliver 401 new homes on the 30 acre brownfield site off Woodford Lane West, where home hunters and first-time buyers will now have access to a collection of two, three and four bedroom properties under the government-backed Help to Buy scheme.

There will be 130 affordable properties built on behalf of the Council within the development; these are understood to be the first local authority houses built within the Borough for nearly 40 years.

A green corridor and a small central village garden will be created at the heart of the development. In addition significant investment will be made in outdoor play facilities at Hebden Green and Oakland schools and a state of the art 3G pitch at Winsford Academy.

Prior to submitting plans, Keepmoat hosted a public consultation event at Hebden Green Community School to hear any concerns and include local input.

Gareth Roberts, regional managing director for Keepmoat in the North West, said: “Working in partnership with the Council, we have identified key ways to regenerate a surplus piece of land and really invest in Winsford while creating housing solutions – particularly for first-time buyers.

This major new scheme will also create new job opportunities, which supports the Council’s aspirations for Winsford.  We’re delighted that this shared vision for Woodford Grange has been given the go ahead and we look forward to getting on site.”

Councillor Angela Claydon, Cheshire West and Chester Council Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “This is really good news for Winsford. The partnership will provide a true mix of properties including 130 homes built for the Council which will give people a real choice from a range of new build homes”

Construction boost to London’s housing industry

Construction boost to London's housing industryTwo multi-million pound deals that will see over 1,000 new homes built in the capital specifically for private rent have been welcomed by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis.

The 2 schemes are the latest deals under the government’s innovative Build to Rent scheme and are being supported with more than £150 million of funding.

The 1046 new homes to rent support a package of government measures to deliver 1 million new homes to boost housing supply and help local economic growth.

The schemes help provide more choice for Londoners, and are located close to underground stations. Each site will include a mix of 1, 2 or 3 bedroom homes.

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said: “As a global city filled with opportunity and links to the rest of the world, there is a real demand for good quality homes available to rent on flexible terms in the Capital.

These 2 new deals will provide a big boost to housing and help meet the needs of tenants well into the future.”

The Build to Rent fund is designed to accelerate housing provision and to help developers produce large scale, quality homes, specifically for the private rented sector.

To date over 5,800 homes have been contracted through Build to Rent with investment totaling £661 million, supporting the delivery of rented homes for tenants.

HCA-I Head of Transactions Gareth Blacker said: “This is good example of how the Homes and Community Agency is able to support major cities to create successful places for people to work and live.

This investment in the capital helps to meet local priorities for housing and growth, supports a wide range of construction professions working on the scheme, and gives greater choice to people who want to rent a high quality home in London.”

£55.7m infrastructure contract signed for upgrades at Mount Pleasant

£55.7m infrastructure contract signed for upgrades at Mount PleasantA multi-million contract to upgrade the power station, boiler house and district heating system at the Mount Pleasant complex on the Falkland Islands has been signed.

The announcement comes after Defence Secretary Michael Fallon visited the Falkland Islands in February, and forms part of his commitment of £180 million investment over the next decade to modernise the military infrastructure on the Islands.

The contract is for the upgrade of the main power station, main boiler house and district heating system, which have been in service for a number of years and will ensure that the facilities continue to provide a safe and reliable means of supplying electrical power and hot water for many years to come.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “The upgrading of these facilities is an important part of our major investment plan to deliver better infrastructure for our armed forces. Alongside our recent contract to improve Mare harbour, we are boosting our defensive capability and supporting the Islands.”

This latest contract is expected to be followed by investment to improve new services accommodation at the 3 Radar Heads.

Simon Trant, Managing Director International at Trant Engineering said: “It will be a privilege and honour to utilise our expertise to upgrade Mount Pleasant power station.”

Morgan Sindall appointed to key infrastructure scheme

Morgan Sindall appointed to key infrastructure framework in the North EastMorgan Sindall has been appointed to a new civil engineering framework set to account for as much as £1.5 billion of infrastructure development in the north east of England.

The four-year framework aims to achieve significant cost savings on Local Authority infrastructure and civil engineering projects across the region through the appointment of 23 contractors.

Morgan Sindall was the highest scoring contractor across the three categories to which it’s been appointed on the framework.

These include Infrastructure (a broad range of works such as highway maintenance, drainage and public realm jobs), Highways (involving construction of new highways) and Highways Structures (such as culverts, over bridges, underpasses and demolitions).

The company has won two value ranges in each category and is eligible to bid for contracts ranging from £1 million to over £5 million.

Bill Gifford, Morgan Sindall’s Managing Director of Transport, said: “We’re thrilled at achieving such widespread wins across this important framework.

We have a proud history of delivering infrastructure upgrades for the travelling public across the UK and are excited at the prospect of employing our expertise here in the north east.”

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.

Work starts on Cinderford’s Northern scheme

Work starts on Cinderford's Northern schemeGloucestershire County Council has appointed Buckingham Group Contracting to build phase one of the spine road for the Cinderford Northern Quarter scheme.

Phase one of the £400 million project will see construction begin this spring and pave the way for a new Northern Quarter spine road.

David Owen Chief Executive of GFirst LEP said: “The funding received in the Gloucestershire Growth Deal that was allocated to the Cinderford Northern Quarter is crucial to the development of the road infrastructure, the development will sustain the Forest of Dean’s economy opening up this area of the county to a boost in jobs creation locally.”

This new road for Cinderford will start near the junction of Newton Road and Broadmoor Road, and head off towards the Northern United Industrial Estate and through to the A4136.

The first phase of the road will create access for the new college once it is built.

Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure said: “I’m delighted to announce that work will start to build the new spine road this spring.

The Cinderford Northern Quarter scheme will unlock more than £100 million in investment for Cinderford and the Forest of Dean, and this brand new road is a key part of the overall project.”

Ian McSeveney, Managing Director, Civil Engineering at Buckingham Group Contracting said, “We’re delighted to have secured this high-profile, important, project that will contribute significantly towards future investment and job creation for the area.”

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.”

Willmott Dixon to build 1,000 homes a year

Willmott Dixon to build 1,000 homes a yearWillmott Dixon is planing to build up to half of the 2,000 homes it delivers each year using factory manufactured systems that will boost the housing industry.

The company has signed three-year strategic agreements with leading suppliers of timber frame and light-gauge steel frame systems, which it hopes will reduce reliance on on-site trades as costs continue to rise with demand outstripping supply.

To help provide economics of scale for its nationwide residential building capability, Willmott Dixon has signed agreements with Robertson Timber Engineering as sole supplier of timber frame produces, while Fusion Building Systems will provide light-gauge steel frames.

Willmott Dixon’s residential construction chief operating officer Charlie Scherer said: “This is an important step in our strategy to provide a high quality product that utilises all the benefits of factory-made systems while also reducing our exposure to the labour price escalation we’ve seen in recent years.

We aim to be building 1,000 homes a year by 2017 using systems provided by Robertson and Fusion, with the consistent quality also aiding our zero defects strategy.”

Tim Carey, product director for Willmott Dixon, said: “If we are to address the significant capacity gap that currently exists in the construction sector, we need to think strategically about our supply chain.

The selection of Robertson and Fusion will help maximise efficiencies across our projects, enabling us to deliver as many high-quality homes in as short a time frame as possible whilst ensuring they are delivered to the quality our clients deserve.”

Willmott Dixon has built nearly 50,000 homes since the 1974, and operates across the South, Midlands and North, building for developers, housing associations and local authorities.

The mix includes affordable, care residential, retirement villages, housing for sale and private rent, plus student accommodation. Projects vary in scale, from a standalone 90 unit care homes to multi-phase ten year estate regenerations that create a new ‘destination’ for communities.

Go-ahead for London’s Lambeth council homes

Go-ahead for London’s Lambeth council homesLambeth Council’s Cabinet has given the go-ahead to redevelop the Cressingham Gardens estate under plans to build new homes.

The decision allows Lambeth to replace all the 306 homes, many of which are in a poor state of repair, and provide extra properties for council rent on the estate.

The redevelopment will provide a minimum of 464 new homes – a net gain of 158 extra homes.

Cllr Matthew Bennett, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Rebuilding Cressingham Gardens will mean all homes on the estate will be rebuilt, with no loss of social housing.

The proposal would provide a new home for each tenant, at council rent levels, with a lifetime tenancy and enough rooms to meet their needs.”

It will also mean at least 158 extra homes, 47% of which will be affordable homes. It will mean at least 75 extra homes for rent for families on Lambeth’s waiting list of over 21,000 people, and it would mean at least 27 extra family-sized homes for council.”

Cressingham Gardens is one of six estates on the Council’s estate regeneration programme, which has been set up to find ways to improve the quality and size of homes on Lambeth’s housing estates.

The programme also aims to invest in the wider neighbourhood and increase the number of homes on those estates. The programme will contribute towards the Council’s commitment to provide 1,000 extra homes for council rent for local families.

GRAHAM bags £22m Student Accommodation scheme

GRAHAM bags £22m Student Accommodation schemeWork on the £22 million Buccleuch Place & Meadow Lane Student Accommodation Project for the University of Edinburgh is now underway.

GRAHAM Construction began preparatory work on the site in Scotland’s capital in December with the project completion expected by summer 2017.

The project involves the conversion and refurbishment of two grade B-listed tenement blocks and the construction of four new build accommodation blocks in the city’s Southside conservation area.

The conversion and refurbishment will see the current office accommodation at 1 to 6 & 7 to 13 Buccleuch Place transformed into 246 student bedrooms split into cluster flat arrangements.

Once completed, the project will create an outstanding centralised student accommodation at the heart of the University of Edinburgh.

Regional director at GRAHAM Construction, Neil McFarlane, said: “Securing this contract with one of Scotland’s most respected universities is a real boost for GRAHAM Construction, and the two-part dimension of refurbishing existing premises on site coupled with a new build construction poses an interesting challenge – one the team is looking forward to.

This latest project further underlines the strong relationship forged between GRAHAM Construction and the University in recent years.”