Lovell gets £2.5m housing refurb scheme

lovell-gets-2-5m-housing-refurb-schemeNuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council (NBBC) in Warwickshire has appointed Lovell to carry out £2.5 million of housing improvement work for local council homes over the next three years.

The large-scale refurbishment programme will see Lovell transforming homes with new kitchens and bathrooms, as well as carrying out other improvements including installing level-access showers.

In the first phase of the work, 300 homes at the Grove Farm estate, Nuneaton, will be refurbished by May 2017.

Councillor Julie Jackson, Housing and Communities portfolio holder, said: “This is fantastic news for our tenants. NBBC will be delivering around 350 kitchen and bathroom replacements this year, an increase of approximately 40 properties on previous years. It has been possible to achieve so much as a result of a successful re-procurement process and reduced tender costs.”

Lovell has moved into new premises at the Attleborough Fields Industrial Estate in Nuneaton, which will be the project depot for the contract. Forty people are employed to work on the project with 90 per cent local to the Nuneaton area.

We’re delighted to bring our expertise in undertaking successful large-scale housing improvement programmes to this important scheme for Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council” said Lovell regional director Steve Davis.

Our focus is always on ensuring that residents are at the heart of what we do. We have a strong record of delivering improvement work carried out to the highest standard and with the utmost consideration for householders.”

Loans to help make warmer homes

£1.9bn net benefit to improve energy efficiencyNew £10 million pilot scheme has been announced which will increase energy efficiency and help repair homes across Scotland.

More people will be able to make their homes warm and water-tight through a new £10 million fund that will also boost the building trades.

The pilot scheme in Glasgow, Argyll and Bute and Perthshire will provide equity loans of up to £40,000 to home owners on low incomes to help them make essential repairs to leaking roofs and building structures.

The funding can be used either as a single equity loan or with other existing Scottish Government grants to fund more expensive measures like solid wall insulation or a package of energy efficiency works.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart announced the pilot ahead of his attendance at the launch of Under One Roof. The new website will provide free and impartial advice to private flat owners and help them understand their obligations when it comes to property and shared spaces.

He said: “Making sure everyone has access to a warm and affordable home is a priority for this Government which is why we have committed half a billion pounds over the next four years, meaning over £1 billion by 2021, to tackling fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency.

We know leaking roofs and poor building structures can drive up energy bills and make them more difficult to heat, but for low income households they can often be too costly to repair.

This £10 million scheme will provide households with loans to carry out essential repair work and install energy efficiency improvements.

This will help us make homes warmer and easier to heat, with our record investment already resulting in two fifths of Scottish homes now being in the top three energy efficiency ratings – an increase of 71% since 2010.”

Mary Taylor, Chief Executive of SFHA, said: “We welcome the announcement of the equity loan scheme. It is extremely important that we invest in the energy efficiency of existing homes to provide affordable warmth and reduce carbon emissions. It is also important that we invest in existing buildings and keep them in a good state of repair.”

Government announces major plan to get Britain building

Government unveils major plan to get Britain buildingPlanning rules on brownfield sites are being removed to free up land for the building of new homes, paving the way for thousands of jobs in the construction industry.

The housing budget is directed towards new ‘low cost homes for sale’ for first-time buyers and housing association tenants given the right-to-buy to increase home ownership and construction.

Another improvement is about the existing 89 Local Authority pension funds which will be pooled into half a dozen British Wealth Funds, each with assets of over £25 billion. This step will save millions of pounds every year in costs and fees. The new funds will develop the expertise to invest in infrastructure.

The government will bring forward sales of land, buildings and other assets the government bought or built, raising up to £5 billion over the course of this Parliament. The funds from these sales will be recycled to help fund new infrastructure projects.

A new independent National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) is being created today (5 October 2015). It will be charged with offering unbiased analysis of the UK’s long-term infrastructure needs.

Commenting on the National Infrastructure Commission the Chancellor, George Osborne, said: “The Commission will calmly and dispassionately assess the future infrastructure needs of the country and it will hold any government’s feet to the fire if it fails to deliver.

“I am delighted that the former Cabinet Minister and Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis has agreed to be the Commission’s first Chair and help us create Britain’s plan for the future.”

£21m funding for home improvements

£21m funding for home improvements£21 million will be invested in a new three year scheme which will allow low income owner-occupiers to carry out essential repairs and energy efficiency improvements to their homes.

Unveiling details of the new scheme Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said: “Housing is at the heart of the Government’s ambitions to create a fairer and more prosperous country, and that includes supporting homeowners in essential upgrades to enable sustainability at home.

We recognise there are homeowners who want to look after their homes and make them more energy efficient but are unable to afford to carry out work, particularly those who live in tenements. The Help for Homes funding will help homeowners with limited income to combat this.

That is why the Scottish Government is tendering for a Help for Homes pilot scheme, which will see vulnerable homeowners given help to carry out vital improvements to their homes.”

The property must have been the homeowner’s sole residence for at least 12 months. The maximum loan is 49 per cent of the valuation.

If there is a mortgage or other secured debt at least 30 per cent of the market valuation in equity must remain in the property after the loan has been deducted. Eligible homeowners will borrow from the Scottish Government and repay when they sell their home, die or transfer ownership.

There will be no means test but the scheme will be limited to properties in Council Tax bands A to C and also to home owners outwith these Council Tax bands in receipt of Council Tax Reduction.

Peter Howden, Chair of GWSF, said: “GWSF very much welcomes the Scottish Government’s renewed emphasis on community regeneration, and its commitment to helping owner-occupiers make necessary and sustainable changes to their homes through the Help for Homes scheme.

Not only will this scheme encourage regeneration and sustainability within tenements in particular, but it will also help owner-occupiers living in mixed tenure blocks contribute toward overall repairs alongside housing associations and local authorities.”

Planning reforms boost home improvements

Home improvements up, as planning freedoms take effectNew figures today show for the first time how efforts to reform the planning system and cut red tape have enabled thousands of homeowners to make improvements to their properties, and have got Britain building.

Since last year, new permitted development rights have given people more power to extend their homes without having to apply for planning permission.

The move was part of wider reforms to help create a swift and responsive planning system – a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan.

Today’s figures show it’s working: in the 3 months to June, councils across the country received 7,700 applications for home extensions – 6,500 of which got the go-ahead without needing to go through the whole planning process.

The figures also show how permitted development measures to enable redundant office buildings to be turned into new homes are also being taken up, with 1,900 applications received by councils in the last quarter and 900 approved during the same period.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Today’s figures show how thousands of homeowners are now able to make improvements to their properties without having to negotiate excessive red tape and bureaucracy. On top of this, offices that once stood empty have been transformed to help deliver much-needed new homes for communities while maintaining green belt protections.

“All this is part of our wider planning reforms, which have helped put power back in the hands of councils and communities to have a real say over how their area is developed – meaning planning approvals are now at a 10-year high.”

Approvals reach 10-year high

The move to increase permitted development rights has helped deliver new homes while at the same time protecting the green belt – and has freed up planning officers to process more planning applications for larger schemes.

Today’s figures also show planning approvals at a 10-year high, with authorities granting 350,200 permissions in the year to June – 2% higher than in the previous year.

Launch of new triple glazing brings greater flexibility for UK homeowners

Launch of new triple glazing brings greater flexibility for UK homeownersThe launch of Anglian Home Improvements’ new high-tech triple glazed windows will provide greater choice and flexibility for the UK’s homeowners.

Specially designed to be warmer, quieter and safer, Anglian triple glazing is the future solution for rooms that need added insulation, such as north-facing rooms that rarely get any sunlight.

It has been designed to look the same as Anglian’s double glazed windows, meaning homeowners can now choose to install triple only where they will really benefit from it yet still get perfectly matched windows, retaining the aesthetics and integrity of the home.

The new windows have an extra pane of Low E glass – an invisible metal coating that enables the windows to harvest more free energy from the sun and reflect heat back into the room.

The added warmth retained within the property can help to keep energy bills down and reduce the home’s carbon footprint. Meanwhile, the extra pane of glass reduces outside noise and makes the window harder to break, bringing greater security to the home.

As part of the product development process, the company has invested around £1 million in a new state-of-the-art production line which has been installed at its factory in Norwich where it manufactures a wide range of home improvement products.

The new production line includes a highly sensitive scanner that will detect even the smallest imperfection in the glass, rejecting any glass that isn’t faultless, as well as a pioneering system for filling the glazing units with argon gas using robotic assembly in a compression chamber in order to seal them perfectly.

Martin Troughton, Marketing Director at Anglian Home Improvements, says, “We are really excited about the launch of Anglian’s new triple glazed windows and have invested heavily in the research and technology required to be able to make sure we can give homeowners exactly the right solution for their homes.

“The truth is that homeowners in this country don’t generally need triple glazing throughout their properties as the UK climate is relatively mild. However, most of us have one or two rooms that would benefit from an extra layer of insulation to help retain heat, reduce outside noise or improve security, and this is where Anglian’s triple glazing product comes into play.

“Different rooms have different needs and now, thanks to Anglian’s new triple glazing windows and our ‘mix and match’ design approach, we are able to find the ideal solution for each individual homeowner, on a room by room basis, making their homes more enjoyable all year round.”

Green Deal fund helps energy efficiency

Streamlining and improving the Green DealThe Green Deal Home Improvement Fund has issued £25 million in its first month and the Government is encouraging households to act now to get money back for their home improvements.

According to Government statistics revealed this week, some 4405 households in England and Wales have already taken advantage of the new scheme.

The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund offers up to £7600 for energy saving measures such as solid wall insulation, new heating systems and double glazing.

With the current rates guaranteed for the first £50 million, people should act now to enjoy the benefits of a warmer, greener home and lower energy bills.

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker, said: “With the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund off to such an encouraging start, it’s the perfect time to make your home more energy efficient.

“Act now, get money for the improvements and enjoy a warmer home and lower energy bills this winter.”

Under the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund domestic energy customers can get:

  • up to £1000 for installing two measures from an approved list; and/or
  • up to £6000 for installing solid wall insulation; and
  • up to £100 refunded for their Green Deal Assessment

The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund also entitles those who have bought a property in the 12 months prior to application to qualify for up to an additional £500 if they carry out energy efficiency improvements.

Liverpool FC chooses Carillion for £75m Anfield job

Carillion logoCarillion has been appointed preferred bidder for Liverpool Football Club’s Main Stand Expansion and the associated public realm improvements, estimated to be worth £75 million.



Carillion has been selected as the preferred bidder to expand Liverpool Football Club’s Main Stand and the associated public realm improvements.

Work on the project is expected to start later in 2014 and is expected to take approximately 20 months to complete.

If planning permission is granted, the proposals would see the capacity of a new Main Stand rise by approximately 8,300, taking the overall capacity of Anfield to around 54,000.

Carillion will deliver the proposed project through an innovative programme that will mitigate the impact of the construction work by maintaining as much as possible of the existing main stand in operational use throughout the contract.

Carillion is the leading trainer of apprentices in its sector and on this contract Carillion has committed to provide placements for at least 50 apprentices.

Commenting, Carillion Chief Executive, Richard Howson, said: “I believe that being selected for this prestigious project reflects Carillion’s reputation for high standards of quality, Health and Safety and sustainability.

“We look forward to working closely with Liverpool Football Club to create new world-class facilities at its famous Anfield Stadium.”