Friday, 31 August 2012

£2.4million health centre opens its doors in Liverpool as part of major health estates project

LSHP: A newly refurbished Princes Park Neighbourhood Health Centre has officially opened its doors in Liverpool, following an opening ceremony with support from Louise Ellman MP for Riverside, and Gideon Ben Tovim, Chair of Liverpool Primary Care Trust (PCT).

Work first began on the building’s overhaul in December 2010 and now the £2.4 million renovation to modernise is complete, the facility has been transformed into a modern Neighbourhood Health Centre capable of housing a far wider range of community services, including extended GP opening hours.

The development was overseen by LSHP Ltd (Liverpool and Sefton Health Partnership), the NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust for Liverpool and Sefton, supported by Galliford Try, and MBLA architects.

The work is part of Liverpool PCT’s wider vision for a ‘New Health Service for Liverpool’, which was first announced in 2007.

Since then, millions of pounds have been invested in brand new purpose-built or major refurbishments of health facilities across the city.

Princes Park's re-development is the penultimate project taking place as part of the scheme, with the opening of a brand new Neighbourhood Health Centre in the heart of Kensington’s regeneration zone set to follow next year.

Other brand new state-of-the-art health centres have already been opened under the scheme on sites in Everton, Breeze Close, Picton, Yewtree, Oriel Drive, Speke, Garston, Childwall, Townsend Lane and Mere Lane.

Gideon Ben-Tovim, Chair of Liverpool PCT said:
“This is one of the most extensive and ambitious health programmes the city of Liverpool has ever seen, and I feel very proud of the work that has been done to provide improved healthcare facilities to these different communities across the city.”
The Princes Park site remained open throughout the building work, which took part in two stages to ensure minimum disruption to patients and staff at the centre.

Graham Pink, Chief Executive of LSHP Ltd said:
“When we first set out to undertake these plans for the ‘New Health Service for Liverpool’ programme, we had a very clear vision for delivering attractive and modern health centres which would provide real value for money,  and better fit the needs of patients in the 21st century.”

“I am delighted that this vision is being fully realised and that patients at Princes Park and at our other development sites across the city, are now able to enjoy health services that are conveniently located close to where they live, offering a lasting legacy of improved health to local communities for many years to come.”
Gideon Ben Tovim, Chair of the PCT and Graham Pink from LSHP outside the new centre
Louise Ellman officially opening the centre with Gideon, Graham and staff members


Kier named preferred bidder to deliver £240million Watford Health Campus

Kier Property: Kier Property has been selected by the Health Campus Partnership (formed by Watford Borough Council, West Hertfordshire Health Trust (WHHT) and Watford Football Club) as the preferred bidder for the £240million Watford Health Campus project.

The contract will deliver a 375,000sq ft mixed-use development, including new hospital facilities for Watford and south-west Hertfordshire; up to 650 homes, 35% of which will be affordable housing; a 37,500sq ft office, which will be pre-let to WHHT; and a large multi-storey car park.

The Health Campus Partnership has been established to regenerate land in Watford and the surrounding area, creating new office, retail and industrial space and the potential for 1,600 new local jobs.

Kier chief executive, Paul Sheffield, commented:
"We are extremely pleased to be selected as the preferred partner to deliver the Watford Health Campus scheme, having worked closely with the partners to understand their vision and aspirations for the Health Campus and the area overall. We have an excellent track record of delivery and have an experienced and skilled team to take our proposals forward."
Kier will be working with the Health Campus Partnership to complete the financial and legal aspects of their agreement by December 2012.

Arup projects on shortlist for Structural Awards 2012

Arup: The Institution of Structural Engineers recently announced the shortlist for the Structural Awards 2012. The list includes two Arup projects: King’s Cross Station Redevelopment and the New Engineering Building.

The Structural Awards is celebrating the projects leading the industry in 2012 and the structural engineers shaping the world around us.

King’s Cross Station Redevelopment
This project was shortlisted in the category 'Infrastructure or Transportation' and comprises a new column-free concourse adjacent to the existing listed station building. The judges’ comment states:
"The judges were impressed by the way the structural engineers cleverly managed to deal with the missing shell action, because the roof is only half a dome, and still achieve a slender and elegant solution. In addition to creating a well engineered and dramatic new space under the new diagrid roof, the engineers also had to deal with the redevelopment of the existing Western Range Building which was done with admirable restraint and respect for the existing structure."
New Engineering Building, NUI Galway
This building houses five different engineering disciplines and acts as a teaching tool for students. It was shortlisted for 'Education or Healtcare'. A wide variety of reinforced and prestressed concrete solutions were employed as well as structural steel in unique and interesting ways. A multitude of different types of space were required but generally with one common theme; of long clear spans and flexibility.

The building appears to be “floating” and the engineering has been cleverly devised to maintain that appearance. Interest for students will be enhanced by embedded sensors and vision panels to look inside the structural elements. The judges’ commented:
"A building for engineering teaching simply had to be an exemplar. The University should be proud of this marvellous new facility which should enable them to attract high calibre students."
This project has already won the CMG Building Design Award for building of the Year and the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) People’s choice award and sustainable building of the year award.

The Structural Awards ceremony will take place on 2 November at the Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square in London.

Sunshine Insurance Group's new Beijing headquarters

Woods Bagot: Woods Bagot is currently designing a new tower in the Beijing CBD for Sunshine Insurance Group.

Located just a stone’s throw from the iconic CCTV tower designed by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren, the new tower forms part of the government's new financial CBD area where 15 towers will be built by 2015.


Morgan Sindall appointed to £4.9 million Tower Hamlets primary school expansion

Morgan Sindall: Morgan Sindall has won a contract to expand Cayley Primary School in London’s Tower Hamlets, as part of a £4.9 million scheme.

The project will see the existing four storey Victorian school extended from a two form entry school to a three form entry school. The development will also include the construction of an additional nursery class and is due to be completed in October next year.

Staff and pupils at the school will remain on site and continue with their normal activities during the construction process, so the design of the extension to the building has been adapted to ensure that there is minimal disruption to day-to-day school activities.

Peter Jacobs, managing director of Morgan Sindall’s London office, said:
“We are delighted to have been appointed to extend Cayley Primary School and to be able to use our extensive expertise in constructing education developments to play a role in ensuring that more children are able to take advantage of the school’s excellent facilities.

“Cayley Primary is surrounded by residential properties, so we will be working hard to ensure local residents and the pupils and staff at the school are not disturbed by the construction work.”
Morgan Sindall was appointed to the project through the £1 billion Improvement and Efficiency South East (iESE) framework, one of the key construction frameworks in London and the South East.

The four year framework is available for use by public sector organisations to procure major building works across the full spectrum of new build and refurbishment schemes in education, health and community buildings.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Grant Shapps: Put our towns first and revive the nation's high streets

Department for Communities and Local Government: MPs returning to Parliament next week can put their towns first by putting their local high streets forward for a package of Government support and help make them the beating hearts of their communities once again, Local Government Minister Grant Shapps said today.

The Minister urged MPs whose towns missed out in the Portas Pilot competition to apply now for their town centres to become Town Team partners and benefit from help available, including support from the Government and access to advice and support from leading retail experts.

He also called on towns across the country to apply to be considered for the Future High Street X-Fund. Those town centres that show they have made the greatest improvements will win a share of the £1million prize on offer.

Grant Shapps said:
"Having witnessed the overwhelming response from over 400 towns to our search for Portas Pilots, I'm determined that the energy and enthusiasm they displayed is not lost, and that every area has the opportunity to breathe new life into their high streets.

"It's time to put 'Our Towns First'. That's why today I'm calling on MPs to apply for their towns to become Town Team partners, so that communities can put their plans into action with the backing of retail experts as well as learning the lessons from other town teams from across the country.

"And for those who make the greatest improvements to their high streets, I look forward to awarding them with a share of the £1million Future High Streets X-Fund so that they can continue their sterling work to bring their town centres back to life."
No high street left behind
This package of support comes after an overwhelming response to the competition to find 27 Portas Pilots. With over 400 town teams submitting bids, Mr Shapps is clear that none will be left behind in the campaign to breathe new life into the nation's high streets.

Those MPs that apply to be Town Team partners will be making a commitment for their town team to take forward key elements of their original plan for reviving their high streets.

In exchange, they will have access to:
  • An advice line and a network of advisers managed by the Association of Town Centre Management, as well as key informative events;
  • Direct mentoring and visits from a range of retail experts;
  • Regular meetings with other Town Teams to share lessons learned, tips and ideas; and
  • An online community to receive advice and information from retail experts; and
  • Benefit from a Government-sponsored fund designed to help towards getting their plans off the ground
Already Portas Pilots across the country are taking steps to bring their high streets back to life. These include:
  • Market Rasen's Portas Pilot, who attracted 35 new traders to the town in July putting the 'market' back into Market Rasen and enticing thousands of new visitors into the town. Going forward, they are now looking to run their next BIG Market event on 1 September with the theme, 'Say Goodbye to Summer';
  • Stockton's Portas Pilot, who are already achieving their goal to connect local businesses to the range of events taking place in the local high street. For example, for the 25th anniversary of Stockton's International Riverside Festival, local restaurants were offered their own gazebos, banners and leaflets to serve their food to visitors.
  • Dartford's Portas Pilot, which has opened a community shop to be used by a range of community groups as a place to meet and socialise. The Pilot have also been generating more Sunday trading through a 'My Sunday' marketing campaign that promotes the towns businesses, market, parks and free parking.
Future High Street X-Fund open for business
Mr Shapps also called for nominations for town centres to be considered for the £1 million Future High Street X-Fund.

This prize will be shared among the high streets that show the greatest improvements. Towns will be judged by an independent expert panel, for the inventiveness of their schemes and the impacts they can evidence, such as increased footfall or turnover, or improved skills and employment levels.

Towns will also need to explain how they plan to use their prize money to further support their high streets.

Pinewood Studios drops housing from expansion plans

BBC: A new planning application for the expansion of Pinewood Studios will not include houses, it has been confirmed.

The government rejected Pinewood Shepperton's £200 million plan, which included building more than 1,000 homes, in January.


Planning Application for New Holmfirth Retirement Development Approved

Conroy Brook: Award-winning Holmfirth property developer Conroy Brook (Developments) Ltd is delighted to announce that its planning application for a new retirement complex, on the brownfield Prickleden Mill site in Holmfirth, has been approved by Kirklees Council, at the 23 August Planning Sub-Committee meeting.

The proposals envisage transforming the now disused industrial site into a 46-apartment complex for the over 55’s, complete with community facilities, gardens and restored mill dam. The scheme has been designed with the lifestyle and well-being of its residents in mind.  Set in a courtyard style, the apartments will be centred around a landscaped garden and overlook the restored landscaped mill dam. In addition there will be a residents’ pavilion, house manager, guest bedrooms, and an area set aside for the residents to do their own gardening, such as herbs, flowers or even vegetables!
Conroy Brook Chief Executive, Richard Conroy said:
“We have an ageing population, with the number of retired persons set to more than double within 25 years, and this trend is reflected in Kirklees. Many people have talked to me of the difficulty of finding suitable retirement homes in the Holme Valley, which is why we are delighted to receive planning approval, to allow us to bring this scheme forward.

We have a track record of award winning retirement developments and believe the Prickleden Mill site will make a positive contribution to the community, including an estimated 350 construction jobs, and deliver much needed, modern retirement units. We have also already had an astounding level of interest, with over 80 people registering to receivemore information.”
Conroy Brook is confident that this new development will respect the heritage of the site, whilst providing residents with modern accommodation of the highest quality within walking distance of the heart of Holmfirth.

It is envisaged that work on the site will start in 2013.

Clegg Construction to complete £3.5 million student halls project ready for new term

Clegg Construction: A £3.5 million student accommodation project will be completed by contractors Clegg Construction in time for the start of the term.

The first phase of the project, which will see a five storey office building on Clarendon Street in Nottingham converted into accommodation for 200 students, is set to be complete by 15 September, with the second phase due to be finished on 22 October.

Clegg Construction was contracted to do the work for student residence developer Study Inn Inc. after winning it through a competitive tender. They were given just five months to complete the project, which they began working on in May. The refurbishment was designed by Marchini Curran architects.

Simon Blackburn, managing director at Clegg Construction, said:
“We’re delighted how quickly work has progressed for this project. It was an incredibly tight schedule and we’ve worked around the clock in order to finish the conversion so that the students can move in during September. 
“The work so far has been really well-received and we’ve built a successful relationship with Study Inn, who has been an excellent client to work for. They needed a quick turnaround time and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to deliver thanks to our experienced site team and use of local suppliers.”
Another challenge for Clegg Construction has been the location of the site.

Simon added:
“Because the site is right in the middle of the city on a major one-way road, we’ve had to liaise closely with the Highways Authority and Environment Agency. This has involved a lot of careful coordination between several organisations.”
So far the project has involved preparatory work on the site, followed by significant alterations to the building’s internal structure in order to accommodate the 200 bedrooms – each with an ensuite bathroom and kitchenette. Solar thermal roofing has also been added to the building in a bid to boost its green credentials.

The bulk of the work is almost complete with completion scheduled for October.

This is not the first student accommodation project Clegg Construction has been involved in. They have established an excellent reputation as experts in student living developments, having completed over 4,000 beds in the Midlands to date.

Henderson Property receives planning consent for No.1 Hagley Road, Birmingham

Henderson Property: Henderson Global Investors’ c. £12.3 billion Property Business has secured planning consent to redevelop its asset at 1 Hagley Road, Five Ways, Birmingham.

Henderson has received planning consent to transform the 20 storey, landmark city centre office block into a bright and modern apartment block, providing up to 182 well proportioned city centre homes, many with spectacular views over the city. It will be remodelled and extended by 4 floors. To complement the residential use of the 140,000 sq ft tower, it is proposed that the lowest two floors could be used for a gym, restaurant, café or bar.

Outline consent has also been given for the development of the adjacent extensive car parking area, with a new hotel or student accommodation building of up to 12,500 sq m floorspace,  with options for street level retail or restaurant. The outline approval parameters allow scope for this building to be designed to meet specific needs of future development partners/ operators at a later date.

This site in the West of the City Centre is well placed for residential, hotel and student housing uses, given its proximity to Broad Street and its public transport links to the Universities.  The development of the prominent landmark site will be one of the most significant of a number of redevelopment projects underway or planned around Five Ways that will combine to achieve significant regeneration.

Henderson will provide 13 affordable homes and financial contributions toward public park improvement, street enhancement and better public transport in the site vicinity.

The outline scheme was designed by local architects, Associated Architects, with GW Planning acting for Henderson in negotiating the planning consent.  

Martin Payne, Fund Manager at Henderson Global Investors, said:
“We are delighted to have received consent for this scheme, having worked closely with the Council and our advisors to ensure the consent allows a viable development of the site whilst providing for improvements to local amenities and providing for affordable housing.

“The proposals will not only give a viable long term use to the building, but also generate the ability to greatly enhance the external appearance of this major landmark which sits in one of the key gateways to the city centre.”

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Leicester contractor continues Northamptonshire expansion with over £6 million worth of contracts

Hallam Contracts: Hallam Contracts are continuing to expand their marketplace with a number of projects currently underway in Northamptonshire.

The firm, located in Oadby, Leicestershire have a well established client base locally and have recently broadened their focus to win a number of contracts beyond the Leicestershire boundaries.

Work has just commenced on Queensway Medical Centre in Wellingborough; a brand new, £1.25 million state of the art building for patients at a local GP practice. The new Centre is being built on the site of the old Eagle pub on Queensway, close to local shops and a pharmacy.

John Hallam, Managing Director of Hallam Contracts, said:
“Hallam Contracts are delighted to be working with the partners of Queensway Medical Centre on this exciting new development. We are experienced at working with the NHS and healthcare trusts and understand the need to deliver a functional, future proof building within tight budgetary constraints.”
Leicestershire based Maber Architects and Employer’s Agent Edward Cooper young are also involved with the Medical Centre.

Other projects also underway or recently completed in Northamptonshire include the refurbishment of Kettering Library for Northamptonshire County Council, the £3.5 million redevelopment of Denfield Infant and Junior School in Rushton, a £1 million refurbishment project at Moulton College and a £400K renewal works scheme at The Duston School in Duston.

The firm are also currently working alongside Northamptonshire County Council as part of their procurement framework in delivering a number of projects over the next three years.

Robert Jones, Business Development Manager at Hallam’s has been fundamental in developing the new business. He said:
“Hallam’s have an excellent track record and we are getting better at telling that story to prospective clients. We have a number of target areas that we are focusing our attention on. Watch this space for further developments!”

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

New Wing Opens at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy

BDP: The new wing at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, Fife is now open. The 500 bed extension to the existing hospital was delivered by Balfour Beatty for NHS Fife through a Public Private Partnership. The facility contains eleven operating theatres and a new A+E department as well as offering a range of other services including maternity, paediatric, renal and critical care.

The geometry and massing of the new hospital relate to the grain of the site, its stepped form mediating between the urban scale of the existing hospital building to the north-west and the suburban scale of the adjoining residential area to the north-east. The design is a medium rise modern variant of the podium and tower format of the existing building.

Diagnostic and treatment space is located in an extensive two-storey podium, offering maximum flexibility to accommodate future changes in clinical practice and technology. This podium is subdivided by wide landscaped courtyards, assisting orientation and providing daylight and long views. Wards are accommodated in contrasting straight or wave form elements located in the upper four storeys above the podium, providing a variety of ward sizes to suit NHS Fife’s brief.

BDP was architect for the £170 million new hospital which will improve healthcare delivery in Fife, focussing on the needs of the patients, in a state-of-the-art facility. White Young Green was structural engineer, and Hulley Kirkwood was building services engineer.

New Town Hall devoted to health

Henning Larsen Architects: Henning Larsen Architects and a group consisting of turnkey contractor Züblin, landscape architect SLA and consulting engineers Henrik Larsen and Jørgen Nielsen have won the competition for Egedal Town Hall and Health Centre. The building of 18,000 m2 in Egedal, North Zealand, will be the centre of the new, merged Egedal Municipality.

Egedal Town Hall and Health Centre will be one of the first buildings in the new planned urban area around Egedal Station. The Town Hall and Health Centre form part of the same entity. The Health Centre comprises training facilities for children and adults as well as rehabilitation facilities.
"The citizens of Egedal can look forward to improved and more consistent service in two years with the completion of the entirely new and highly energy-efficient Town Hall and Health Centre”, says Mayor Willy Eliasen. The mayor and municipal council decided by unanimous vote that there was a clear winner of the competition.

The various activities of the building sprout up around the central square that leads through the large atrium. The town council hall, which is situated on the ground floor, can be opened up towards the central square – in connection with exhibitions, concerts or other special events.

In their statement, the jury emphasises Henning Larsen Architects’ proposal for “introducing a significant quality level for the future buildings in the town of Egedal”. And further: “The jury considers the daylight to be used in an effective way in the proposal. In particular, the design of the skylight in the atrium effectively lets the daylight flow into and around the building, without unnecessary solar energy impacting the indoor climate in warm periods.”

"In the project, we have worked with the Municpality’s vision for the new Town Hall – where care and service for the citizens and good working conditions for the employees have been essential focus areas. This contributes to ensuring a positive development of Egedal”, says CEO Mette Kynne Frandsen, Henning Larsen Architects. “We have designed an open and welcoming building with attractive outdoor spaces, the square in front of the Town Hall and the Town Hall garden.”

The Town Hall forms an important element in the development of the new urban district in Egedal. Therefore, the building is designed to stand out with a distinctive character in all development phases. Egedal Town Hall and Health Centre meets the requirements for low-energy class 2020 according to Danish building regulations and is expected to be inaugurated in the end of 2014.

Henning Larsen Architects has also designed Viborg Town Hall, which was inaugurated in 2011. Viborg Town Hall is Denmark’s first sustainable town hall.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Foster announces City Hotel expansion to boost international business

Northern Ireland Executive: Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today announced a £500,000 expansion by the City Hotel, Londonderry, which aims to boost its international business.

Situated on the banks of the Foyle River, the four-star hotel is one of the leading hotels in Londonderry and attracts customers from Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland and beyond.

In a bid to increase the number of visitors from Europe and the US, the 146-bedroom hotel plans to add 12 luxury suites onto its top floor.

Invest NI has offered the City Hotel £70,000 of support towards the project which is due to be completed by December 2012. Five new jobs are expected to be created as a result of the redevelopment.

Arlene Foster said:
“The City Hotel is a highly regarded hotel, which is positioning itself to benefit from the increase in demand for accommodation expected during Londonderry’s high profile year as the UK City of Culture 2013.

“As the expectations of our visitors continue to rise, it is important that we not only meet, but exceed such expectations, by providing a wide range of quality accommodation and superior customer service. By capitalising on the demand, for both business and leisure purposes, we can deliver a top quality visitor experience which will keep people coming back.”
Ciaran O’Neill, General Manager of the City Hotel, said:
“Since our launch, 10 years ago, we have established ourselves as a market leader in Derry and this project further underpins our position. Offering an exclusive accommodation product to customers will enhance the existing hotel proposition and enable us to achieve higher returns. We are on the countdown to Derry’s year as the UK City of Culture and Invest NI’s support will help us to progress these expansion plans in time to benefit from next year’s unique opportunity.”

BREEAM “Excellent” Lend Lease HQ completed

Woods Bagot: An as built BREEAM rating of “Excellent” has been awarded to the recently completed Woods Bagot designed headquarters for global property giant Lend Lease.

The new offices are part of a major office and retail development at Regents Place in London’s West End and were designed to consolidate Lend Lease’s asset base within the UK. From inception Woods Bagot was tasked to deliver a highly sustainable office environment that would exemplify Lend Lease’s values and brand as part of a mixed-use development.


Thursday, 23 August 2012

Double award glory for Royal Veterinary College development

Morgan Sindall: A new student accommodation development at the Royal Veterinary College in Potters Bar has scooped two prestigious architecture awards.

The £15 million Royal Veterinary College Student Village development, which was built by leading construction, design and infrastructure company, Morgan Sindall and designed by architects, Hawkins\Brown, won a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) East Education Award. This is a RIBA East special category award for the best education building in the Eastern Region.

The scheme, which involved the design and construction of accommodation for 205 students, a 200-seater restaurant and three training rooms, also received a national RIBA Award.

Charlie Norris, construction director for Morgan Sindall said:
“The quality of student accommodation has taken great strides forward in recent years, especially in terms of facilities, and it is very pleasing for the entire project team that this ambitious, forward-thinking scheme has won two such prestigious awards.
Alasdair Esson, director of estates and facilities management at the Royal Veterinary College, said:
“We are delighted that this project has won two RIBA awards. The new accommodation has been designed to a high standard and has greatly helped us to improve our student experience at our Hertfordshire campus.”
The project involved the construction of nine accommodation blocks of between three and four storeys, based around a central courtyard and linked by common open access stairs. Each floor of the accommodation blocks features six en-suite rooms and a communal kitchen and lounge area.

Oliver Milton, partner at Hawkins\Brown said:
“We are delighted that the RVC student village has been awarded a RIBA award. Despite being delivered to challenging timescales, the project demonstrates that with close collaboration between designers and contractors, award winning design and quality can still be achieved.”
In a statement about the winning building, the RIBA judges said:
“Architecturally the buildings embody the concept of sharing in a variety of ways. They thus celebrate not only economy, but the spirit of education, which best derives from spontaneous meetings, interaction and gathering.”
The judges praised the arrangement of the dormitory buildings, which they said created a series of shared vistas and shared green commons across the site, spaced out enough so as not to steal light from each other. The diverse cladding materials used on the project, which included brick, timber and punched aluminium, were also commended by the judges.

One of UK’s biggest regeneration projects given go ahead

Keepmoat: A £430 million project to transform Pendleton in Salford went a step further recently when Salford City Council voted in favour of the SP+ consortium’s ‘Creating a New Pendleton together’ vision.

As one of the partners in the consortium, Keepmoat will be building 1,600 new homes and carrying out refurbishment work on more than 1,250 more as part of the massive regeneration scheme.


Leeds leads the retail way with western Europe's biggest mall project

The Guardian: Building shopping centres is fraught with difficulties. Just ask the people of Bradford. Their city centre is blighted by a large building site, dubbed the Bradford Hole, where work on a new Westfield shopping centre was halted four years ago. Occupy Westfield protesters recently set up camp there for five weeks but have left again.

In nearby Leeds, however, it's a different story. A new shopping centre the size of 13 football pitches and crowned by a sweeping glass dome is due to open there next year, the largest project of its kind in western Europe. Trinity Leeds will have a million square feet of space with 120 shops, 12 restaurants, bars and cafes and the biggest Everyman cinema in Britain. As if that were not enough, work is due to start on another huge city-centre mall in 2014.


Landmark planning application submitted for 5,750 home garden suburb

A landmark planning application for a new 5,750-home Garden Suburb in Ashford, Kent has today been submitted to Ashford Borough Council.

The masterplan for the 415 hectare site at Chilmington Green provides a long-term, holistic vision for the area to be delivered in four phases over two decades.  The new suburb will accommodate 5,750 homes arranged in three distinctive neighbourhoods with a high street, a secondary school, four primary schools, a park and extensive areas of formal and informal green space. It is expected to provide over 1,000 new jobs for the local area. 

The planning application was prepared for the developer consortium - comprising Hodson Developments, Jarvis Homes, Pentland Homes and Ward Homes - by a five strong design team led by John Thompson & Partners (JTP) and including engineering consultancy WSP landscape consultancy Grontmij, Sellwood Planning and Ian Bull Consultancy.

Garden Cities and Suburbs have recently been heralded as part of the solution to the UK’s chronic housing shortage by The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA).

Ian Bull, project manager for the consortium, said:
“Plans for Chilmington Green re-invent Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City principles for the 21st century. Garden Suburbs based on Howard’s principles have stood the test of time and continue to set a benchmark for new communities.  They are popular well-designed places that offer communities a lifestyle of wellbeing through a range of employment opportunities, cultural facilities and services, a mix of housing tenures including affordable housing, well-connected and walkable neighbourhoods, and the chance for people to connect with nature through carefully landscaped streets, parks, private gardens and allotments.”
Clare San Martin, partner at JTP agreed, saying:
“Chilmington Green will embrace the principles of Green Suburb design to foster the development of a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable community.”
Julia Goodwin, senior landscape architect at Grontmij, went on to explain that: 
“As a design team we achieved these aspirations by putting People, Nature and Place at the heart of the design of the open space and public realm of Chilmington Green, in keeping with the feedback we received from workshops and steering group meetings.”
Important to the design of the new Green Suburb was a sustainable transport strategy. Chilmington Green will be well connected to Ashford by a network of footpath and cycle routes as well as a high quality bus service. A renewable energy strategy and extensive areas of natural green space will also contribute to the community’s environmental sustainability.

Richard Hutchings, Project Director at engineering consultancy WSP, who prepared all the engineering and environmental designs and documentation to support the application, said:
“There were several challenges with this project but our considerable expertise in sustainable urban planning meant we were able to develop effective transport, utilities and drainage strategies that will ensure efficient delivery of this major urban extension. Perhaps most significant was the development of a sustainable transport strategy that resolved existing capacity problems on the A28 corridor by reducing reliance on private vehicle travel and promoting alternative options such as walking, cycling and public transport.”
A Community Development Trust is to be developed which will deliver a programme of social activities designed to nurture the new community from the outset and maintain the key facilities and open spaces to ensure a high quality of environment is established and maintained.

A decision on the outline planning application from Ashford Borough Council is expected in Spring 2013.

Planning application submitted for extension at Cyfarthfa Retail Park

Hammerson: Hammerson has submitted proposals to Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council for its extension to Cyfarthfa Retail Park.

Marks & Spencer will anchor the £22 million retail development and the 4,645m² (50,000ft²)
full-line store, offering clothing, homeware and food, will be its first in Merthyr Tydfil.

As well as delivering a new anchor store for Marks & Spencer, the scheme delivers 9,090m² (100,000ft²) of additional retail space for a relocated B&Q and up to seven new brands. Essential improvements to the existing car park and local road network will also be carried out as part of the proposals.

Hammerson originally developed Cyfarthfa Retail Park in 2005 and the scheme is 100% let. The retail park, which is one of the most successful in South Wales, is already home to Debenhams, Next, New Look, Arcadia and Costa Coffee.  Subject to planning approval, work on the 13,935m² (150,000ft²) scheme could start in 2013 with the extension complete in 2014.

Russell Beresford, Hammerson development manager commented:
“We have worked hard with the Council to develop these proposals which will significantly improve the town’s retail offer and finally bring Marks & Spencer to Merthyr.  We have been greatly encouraged by the Council’s constructive approach to the project and hope we will be able to secure planning permission this year.”
Powell Dobson designed the scheme and GL Hearn is providing integrated planning and strategic communications advice on the project.

British Land Vues Glasgow Fort Leisure Expansion

British Land: The Hercules Unit Trust (HUT), the specialist retail warehouse fund advised by British Land and managed by Schroders, is pleased to announce it has fully pre-let a £9 million leisure extension to Glasgow Fort Shopping Park.

The 45,000 sq ft extension, which is due to open in summer 2013, will comprise a multiplex Vue cinema and 24,000 sq ft of restaurant space pre-let to TGI Friday, Prezzo, Harvester, Chiquito and PizzaExpress. Miller Construction UK has been appointed as main contractor, enabling works have been completed and work is expected to start onsite in August 2012.

Commenting on the extension, Dan Clark, Asset Manager for British Land, said:
“Glasgow Fort Shopping Park has a critical mass of retail that attracts 12 million customers per year from a very large catchment area.  The new Vue cinema and restaurants will reaffirm its status as a premier regional centre and create additional reasons to visit, extending Glasgow Fort’s trading and appeal in the evenings. 
“The Glasgow Fort extension is another example of British Land’s proactive asset management.  The park’s retail offer trades extremely positively and is a genuine alternative to the more traditional shopping centres serving Glasgow.  To maintain that position, however, it is necessary for the park to evolve.  Part of Glasgow Fort’s added appeal will be leisure, which is a segment poorly served in the catchment.”
Glasgow Fort has been chosen by Jack & Jones and Swarovski recently as the location for their first out of town stores and by Smyths Toys which opened only its second store in Scotland earlier in the year.  They join brands such as Next, H&M and Zara in creating regional flagships at Scotland’s number one retail park (CACI, 2011).

Morgan Williams and Montagu Evans acted for British Land.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

United House completes challenging construction of dramatic spiral library building for Clapham

United House: Leading social housing contractor and developer United House has completed the challenging construction of a new £6.5 million state-of-the-art 19,000 sq ft community library in Clapham with a dramatic spiral ‘drum’ design and three-storey height atrium. The highly distinctive new 12-storey building by cutting-edge architects Studio Egret West has already become an iconic landmark on Clapham High Street.

United House embarked on the project’s complex build programme in January 2010 at short notice, working to tight timescales and rigid working hours. The ambitious building was technically demanding to construct. Designed to have curved facade without any square corners to reduce impact, United House’s team had to be incredibly precise and skilled in order to create the three, sculpted masses which are arranged in a ‘stepped’ formation.

The original plan for the external facade design (a traditional cavity construction) was modified mid-build due to the need to speed up the works programme to achieve an early weather tight structure by incorporating a special cladding system which was developed uniquely for this scheme. An unusual material was used - white bricks infused with a mineral aggregate – giving The Library Building’s facade a natural sparkle. The blocks are formed by breaking a single cast element into two sections, making each block unique and three-dimensional in finish.  Using this system and materials achieved the goal of a shorter installation period with the added benefits of improved thermal performance and a more aesthetic appearance. From a distance, the cladding appears to be uniform and smooth but when viewed close-up it is irregular and textured providing visual interest. The building also has a technically demanding cantilevered element, supported by a large column nicknamed ‘the stiletto’.

The building site was also a very tight one to work in as the structure occupies the full footprint of the site and is surrounded on three sides by residential housing and Clapham High Street on the fourth side, a Transport for London red route. Severely restricted access and minimal storage space were overcome by ‘just in time’ delivery planning and fully monitored and controlled access onto site. It was essential that dust and noise were kept to an absolute minimum throughout the process since the building is surrounded by homes and busy local businesses.

Jeffrey Adams, Group Chief Executive of United House Group, said:
“It is fantastic to have The Library Building completed and open on schedule, already receiving a high volume of visitors from the local community. Clapham One is very close to our hearts at United House - we have been involved in every step of this landmark regeneration project as investor, contractor and developer. It has been hugely rewarding to deliver such significant public facilities for Lambeth alongside Cathedral Group and we are now looking forward to delivering our next joint venture project together in the heart of Deptford – which will revitalise another of South London’s neglected corners.”
The Library Building forms part of the wider Clapham One mixed-use regeneration scheme which was made possible by an innovative £80 million public private partnership (PPP) project between leading social housing contractor and developer United House, Cathedral Group PLC and the London Borough of Lambeth. As well as a new library, the project includes a new multi-million pound community Leisure Centre, a 20,000 sq ft primary care medical centre, a café plus 136 high specification private apartments. Crucially, Clapham One has been delivered at zero cost to the public – funded entirely by the sale of the project’s private residential apartments.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Mass protest outside Wandsworth Town Hall over playing fields sell off

Save Elliott School campaign: Campaigners trying to save four acres of playing fields from being sold to housing developers are planning a last ditch protest at a council meeting that will decide the fate of a London secondary school.

Today's protest outside Wandsworth Town Hall is the last chance for opponents of the plans to appeal to the council to abandon the sell off of 41% of Elliott School in Putney, south London, ahead of a crucial vote on the issue.

Elliott School has been at the heart of the playing fields row that erupted after David Cameron promised to protect school sport following the success of Team GB at the Olympics. Boris Johnson has also recently spoken out against the sale of playing fields.  The Telegraph revealed last week that Elliott was one of five cases in which the Education Secretary Michael Gove ignored the advice of the independent School Playing Fields Advisory Panel in order to approve the sale of land.

Gove's decision has paved the way for Elliott School to be turned into an academy and the playing fields to be built over with housing. However, the disposal of the land could still be avoided if a committee at Wandsworth council were to listen to the overwhelming opposition and rethink its plans.

The protesters plan to hand over a petition with over 55,000 signatures to the leader of the council Ravi Govindia on the steps of the town hall. They claim there will be a massive turnout outside the town hall as councillors gather for a vote on selling the land that will seal the fate of its six tennis courts a large games pitch and nature reserve built by student funded by community donations.

The school missed out on £40m for refurbishing the grade-II listed building when the government cancelled its school building programme and the council says it has no money to pay for the works.

In a public consultation carried out by the council earlier in the year 96% of respondents were against any proposal to sell off the playing fields to pay for the refurbishment and demolish the existing sports and design technology block, which is listed, without any details of the proposal in place.

Wandsworth Council's own heritage report about the school said:
"The landscape design is an integral part of the interest of the listed building, and should be considered as part of any proposals. […] The hard and soft landscape setting of the main Elliott School building is a part of the special interest of the listed building."
Ed Lattimore, a former pupil and founder of the Save Elliott School campaign, said:
"The council's argument that the building is not fit for purpose are inaccurate and designed to be emotive without looking at the facts.

“This heritage building is acclaimed for its educational spaces but has been neglected for decades by its owners, including the council and the government. The sustained lack of funding has kept pupils in a unsafe environments and without resources - for the last 5 years not even tennis nets have been provided on the six courts! Now the council is saying the sports pitches are not used.
“The plain facts are that in the year the capital hosts the Olympics a London council is selling off land, for their profit, land that should be used by young people with a passion for sport. Meanwhile Wandsworth’s council tax is the lowest in the country. If the sale goes ahead all this space will be lost forever, is that an Olympic legacy to be proud of?"
The Save Elliott School campaign has received support from many high profile figures including Ken Livingstone and actor Alun Armstrong.

The protest is taking place outside Wandsworth Town Hall, 6:15pm, Tuesday 21st August. The council has received requests to address its committee meeting from the Save Elliott School campaign and a local residents group led by Sir Terence Clark.

Land sale plan

Enterprise Zone CPO set for public inquiry

West Northamptonshire Development Corporation: A public inquiry will consider a Compulsory Purchase Order for the largest site in the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone.

Led by West Northamptonshire Development Corporation, the CPO has been launched to enable a major mixed-use development at the Avon Nunn Mills site.  The public inquiry will start on 13th November and is expected to run for approximately two weeks.
Covering 20 hectares of brownfield land along the River Nene, the site includes a disused factory owned by Avon Cosmetics and a former power station owned by Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon. The proposed CPO also covers an area of land in unknown ownership, which is required for a new road.

Peter Mawson, WNDC’s Chief Executive said:
“Avon Nunn Mills is the largest site in the Northampton Enterprise Zone and is at the forefront of local regeneration plans. With its prominent waterfront location, the area is ideally suited for major mixed-use development.

“The Compulsory Purchase Order is a vital part of our strategy for securing a comprehensive and high quality scheme.  Meanwhile, work is already underway at nearby sites in the Enterprise Zone, including a £20 million bottling plant for Carlsberg UK.  Next year, we will start the construction of a new and improved Northampton Railway Station in the centre of the Zone”
Stretching across 120 hectares of brownfield land, the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone is encouraging commercial development in a range of sectors, including high performance technologies.  Alongside the CPO, WNDC has invited expressions of interest from prospective development partners for the Avon Nunn Mills site. A positive response has been received from a wide range of interested developers.

Multi-million pound regeneration project gets go ahead for Maryhill

City Building LLP: Maryhill Housing Association and City Building LLP, has signed a contract signalling the go ahead for a multi-million pound development at Maryhill Locks.

The £16 million contract win for City Building forms part of an overall 18 month programme for Maryhill Housing Association, not only breathing new life into 18 hectares in the North West of the City but also in bringing new apprenticeships and local jobs to the area.

Phase 2 of the project will see 106 new homes built to rent, 19 units for shared equity and one commercial unit. Maryhill Housing Association is offering the shared equity scheme which means buyers can become full owners, but purchase only the percentage of the property they are able to afford.

The development sees City Building continue its successful track record in the new build housing sector. Over the course of the contract around 14 apprentices and seven new entrant employees will begin work as a result of this development.

The kitchens and timber kit frames will be locally sourced and provided by Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries (RSBi), which is managed by City Building. RSBi is one of Europe’s largest assisted workshops employing 240 people at its facility in Springburn, Glasgow. The houses will also feature a range of modern and sustainable technologies, including high efficiency boilers and Solar PV systems.

Cllr Paul Carey, chair of City Building, said:
“We are delighted to be officially signing the contract for the next phase of this exciting venture. Maryhill Locks is a landmark project for Glasgow. It fits in with our ambition to work with local communities and adding value through local jobs.

“City Building has an excellent track record of working in partnership with housing associations, the public, private and third sectors to deliver first-class building projects.”
Willy Briody, chief executive of Maryhill Housing Association, said:
“This is another important step forward in the Maryhill Locks project. Working together with our partners we are bringing real change to this area of Maryhill by building new housing and creating a place where people will want to live.”
City Building was appointed on the recommendation of independent consultants Turner + Townsend, which was responsible for fully evaluating the tender submissions received following a public procurement process.

Middleport Pottery secures Planning Permission for Regeneration Project

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and The Prince’s Regeneration Trust are delighted to announce that planning permission has been secured for the ambitious restoration and regeneration of the Middleport Pottery site in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

The planning permission entails a sustainable regeneration scheme including Listed Building Consent to the Grade II* fabric. The redundant buildings will be developed for new uses that benefit the community and celebrate the area’s important industrial heritage.


Morgan Sindall secures education projects worth over £10 million on Smarte East framework

Morgan Sindall: Morgan Sindall has secured education construction contracts worth a combined total of £10.5 million since being appointed to the £500 million Smarte East Framework.

The company won a place on the four-year framework in April 2011 and was appointed on Lot 2 (projects ranging in value from £550,000 to under £2.5 million) and Lot 3 (projects valued at £2.5 million and over) of the framework.

The company has since been selected by Hertfordshire County Council to construct four primary schools in Hertfordshire through the framework.

Hertfordshire County Council deputy cabinet member for Education and Skills, Terry Douris, says:
“We are pleased to be working with Morgan Sindall on our primary school expansion programme. The collaboration will help the county council provide new surroundings which will offer an excellent environment to teach, learn and play.”
John Homer, managing director for the South East at Morgan Sindall, says:
“We are delighted to have been awarded a place on the Smarte East Framework and believe that Morgan Sindall’s strong ethos of collaborative working and proven good practice makes us an effective partner on schemes large and small.

“Smarte East has driven improvements in performance, efficiency and value for money in procurement and we have enjoyed working closely with Hertfordshire County Council to deliver a number of education projects in the region. Our team has achieved exceptional results against key performance indicators as well as customer satisfaction and we are looking forward to the challenge of continuing to perform well over the next four years.”
Projects already secured by Morgan Sindall include a £3.3 million contract to extend Cassiobury Primary School in Watford, and a £2 million contract to extend Beechfield Primary in Watford.

The company has also won a £2.8 million contract to extend Fairlands Primary School in Stevenage and a £2.4 million to extend Holywell Primary School in Watford.

The developments form part of the local authority’s efforts to expand local schools and deliver state-of-the-art facilities for children in the county.

The Morgan Sindall team utilised a number of effective construction techniques, including using pre-made timber frames, to construct the single storey school buildings. Other methods included using pre-assembled classroom modules, which are built off-site and fitted together and erected on-site. The use of these techniques significantly lowers the time it takes to construct a new school building and minimises disruption for staff and students, while providing buildings of exceptional quality.

The Smarte East Alliance is a coalition between three East of England local authorities, namely Essex, Hertfordshire and Suffolk county councils. It was formed with the aim of achieving efficiency, reliability and continuous improvement in the procurement and delivery of public sector capital works projects.

BDP completes Chapelford Village in Warrington

BDP: A newly completed Sainsbury’s food store, a key component of the Chapelford Urban Village, has opened its doors. The small but perfectly formed superstore sits at the heart of the village.

BDP provided architecture, masterplanning and landscape for the new Chapelford village centre and architecture and landscape for the new Sainsbury’s store with associated public realm. BDP produced a masterplan for the site that also includes a primary school, pub-restaurant, health centre and public park to provide for the local community. Chapelford Urban Village is a David Wilson Homes residential development of over 1,500 new family homes built upon the former RAF Burtonwood site.

The store is designed to sit comfortably within a modern residential setting and the use of materials and scale was very important in generating the design. The building allows significant daylight onto the shop floor which contributes significantly to the excellent environmental performance of the scheme.

A café is situated on the high profile south eastern corner. This presented its own thermal challenges that were overcome by utilising industry leading performance glazing.

Mark Slocombe, project architect at BDP's Manchester studio, said:
"I have been involved with the Chapelford project since its inception three years ago, working with other urbanists and architects from BDP to produce the masterplan. It is therefore very satisfying to see the completion of the new Sainsbury's store, which is now open for business and trading well.

"Work is now underway for the remainder of the project, which includes the creation of a new primary school, a health centre and a public park - the future for Chapelford looks great."
The client, contractor and tenant are all extremely pleased with the completed scheme which commenced trading on schedule on 09 July 2012.

ISG Takes £7.8 Million Contracts At West Suffolk College

ISG: ISG has been awarded two projects at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds, with a combined value of £7.8 million. The most high profile of these awards is the brief to create a stunning new £7 million teaching block at the entrance to the main Out Risbygate campus site.

Both schemes form part of the college’s overall masterplan to further enhance teaching facilities across its two main sites in Bury St Edmunds. Creating a purpose-built hub for the college, the new three-storey concrete framed teaching block is set to provide 3,600 sq m of accommodation, with high specification classrooms, tutorial facilities, student support and recreational areas.

Designed to reflect the architectural style of surrounding buildings on the campus, the new Further Education block will showcase the college’s sustainable ambitions and incorporates high performance building materials and a biomass boiler. Featuring a large atrium to maximise the volume of natural light entering the building, the structure also makes extensive use of curtain walling to its façade to reduce the requirement for artificial lighting.

Externally, ISG will carry out extensive landscaping, creating a sustainable urban drainage system to regulate the volume of surface run off entering natural watercourses. The contractor is also tasked with remodelling the existing car parking provision as part of the project.

During the ten-month new build programme, ISG will additionally deliver a programme of general refurbishment works to the college’s Higher Education facilities during an £800,000 upgrade. Operating across a live campus environment, ISG has worked closely with staff to develop a workable programme that delivers to expectations whilst minimising the potential impact of these essential works on students.

ISG’s Phillip Allerton, managing director – East, commented: “
"What we are providing at West Suffolk College is a full turnkey delivery solution following an extensive value engineering exercise to help the scheme meet budgetary constraints. Colleges face the challenge of balancing reduced public funding with the need to invest to attract students, and this scenario is where the influence of contractors with sector-specific expertise is increasingly important. Our ability to offer both quality and value, while maintaining continuity of college operations, proved a critical element in ISG securing this high profile contract."

New teaching block at West Suffolk College
The facility will create a purpose-built hub for the college

Leadbitter to build new extra care apartments in Portsmouth

Leadbitter Group: The Leadbitter Group has been awarded the contract to design and build new extra care apartments in Portsea, Portsmouth.

Caroline Lodge will provide 43 beds in one and two bedroom self-contained apartments, each with their own kitchen and bathroom. The four-storey block will also include a kitchen, residents’ dining room, lounge and a salon.

The new development replaces the care home that originally occupied the site, which has now been demolished. The extra care apartments are designed to enable older people to remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible, with care support on hand should they need it.

Leadbitter is delivering the £4.4 million scheme on behalf of elderly care and affordable housing provider Housing 21 in partnership with Portsmouth City Council. The scheme is supported with investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

Caroline Lodge is due to open to residents in autumn 2013 and aims to achieve a BREEAM Very Good rating.

David Cook, Regional Director of Leadbitter’s Southern Construction and Housing division, said:
“We are delighted to be working with Housing 21 and Portsmouth City Council on this project. Leadbitter has an excellent track record in delivering extra care schemes, and we will use our considerable expertise to build these modern, comfortable and high-quality homes for the elderly.”
Julia Godwin, Development Programme Manager for Housing 21, added:
"This new extra care scheme will be a valuable resource, both for residents and the local community. We're pleased to be working with Leadbitter again on this exciting project.”
Andrew Lewis, Project Manager of the scheme for Portsmouth City Council, said:
“Housing 21 and Portsmouth City Council are working together to provide extra care housing for older people in the city. Caroline Lodge is one of a number of existing and planned extra care schemes in Portsmouth that enable older people to continue to live independently in their own homes.”

Development Securities completes three disposals from trading and development portfolio generating revenue of £40.9 million

Development Securities:    
  • Residential and retail components at Westminster Palace Gardens sold for £21.9 million realising profit of £2.0 million
  • Completion of Wick Site, Littlehampton, disposal to Morrisons for £12.5 million realising £3.0 million of profit
  • Disposal of retail park in Burnley from within the Rock portfolio for £6.5 million realising profit of £1.0 million
Development Securities today announces that it has completed the disposal of the residential and retail components at Westminster Palace Gardens, Central London, the Wick Site in Littlehampton, and a retail park in Burnley from within the Rock portfolio for a combined £40.9 million.

Westminster Palace Gardens, a Grade II listed Central London building, was acquired in June 2010 for £10.1 million comprising commercial, residential and retail components. Development Securities secured planning consent to convert the majority of the offices into residential use which were sold for £20.6 million as refurbished prime residential accommodation. Further to this, the retail component has been sold for £1.3 million. These disposals confirm a profit realisation of £4.4 million, of which £2.4 million was accounted for in the previous financial period. In addition, contracts for the sale of the freehold have been exchanged and should realise an additional modest gain.

The Wick Site was acquired in July 2010 for £7.6 million as a 7-acre distribution and office facility formerly occupied by Body Shop International with whom a reverse premium of £4.9 million was subsequently secured for the surrender of its lease. Development Securities secured planning consent in February 2011 to reposition the site as a prime food-anchored retail scheme, pre-sold to Morrisons for £12.5 million for the development of a 47, 500 sq. ft. foodstore, a petrol station and a car park. After allowing project costs and partnership allocation, the realised development gain is £3.0 million.

The 42,000 sq. ft. retail park in Burnley, previously within the Rock portfolio, has been sold for £6.5 million realising a profit of £1.0 million. 66% by value of the Rock portfolio has now been sold, generating cumulative revenue of £27.8 million and profits of £5.3 million.

Michael Marx, Chief Executive, said:
“All of these properties were acquired from the proceeds of our equity raise in July 2009. The profitable realisation of these assets within a short time frame confirms our strategy of creating value by repositioning secondary or tertiary real estate into prime or near-prime markets.”

Monday, 20 August 2012

gbpartnerships wins key contract from BDH community ventures

gbpartnerships: BDH Community Ventures (BDH CV) has awarded a five year contract to Birmingham-based healthcare developer gbpartnerships to act as management service partners for its £54 million property portfolio.

gbpartnerships Development Director David Acklam commented:
“The consolidation and outsourcing of Barking, Dagenham and Havering LIFTco is designed to deliver a more efficient delivery model more closely aligning itself with stakeholder requirements. Whilst very few LIFTcos have their own team, this is the first time the outsourced management company is not one of the shareholders.

“We are responsible for the daily operational management of BDH CV and our remit includes the provision of estate management, financial management, partnering services and the development and sourcing of potential primary care schemes.”
Graham Spence, Regional Director of Community Health Partnerships London, commented:
“The proposal put forward by gbpartnerships represented best value for money, as well as providing the right balance in terms of sharing risk and reward working in partnership with shareholders.

“All contracts currently underway will now be managed on behalf of BDH CV by gbpartnerships ensuring a seamless transition which, during this period, has included the retention of key members of staff."
David Acklam commented:
“We have retained the services of BDH CV’s Estate Management team comprising Regional Project Manager Simon Waters, Development Manager Carolyn Evans, and Deputy Project Manager Ana Orban. They are a welcome addition to our company and form the core of our Southern team.”
gbpartnerships, which was founded as a small development company in October 2001 and has grown into a shareholder and management service provider in five public private partnership LIFT companies. These are: Barnet, Enfield and Harringey, Coventry; Liverpool and Sefton; South East Essex; and South West Hampshire.

David Acklam commented:
“Strategically, the BDH CV contract is an excellent addition to our portfolio of LIFTcos. It is well placed geographically being adjacent Barnet, Enfield and Haringey; and South East Essex; and matches the clustering we have established in the North East area.

“We are continuing to deliver projects on behalf of BDH including minor capital works programmes and master planning for St. Georges Community Hospital in North London as well as Project Manager and Employer’s agent for the redevelopment of St. James Health Centre in Walthamstow Town Centre.”
 gbpartnerships was awarded Property Developer of the Year at the Health Investor Awards 2012

DLA have successfully reached practical completion of the £4.3 million extension to Bradford Academy

DLA: DLA were successfully appointed at the beginning of 2011 as preferred bidder to help create an 'All through' Academy through the use of fully integrated nursery and primary accommodation. The design has been based on a Scandinavian model of delivering education, and is one of only a handful in the country.


Plan to extend London’s South Bank culture

Wandsworth Council: An ambitious plan to extend the cultural spine of London’s South Bank all the way to Battersea Power Station in Nine Elms is now being developed.

A multi-billion pound investment programme has started to transform the largely industrial Nine Elms district and a cultural placemaking consultancy is being brought onboard to help ensure the area reaches its potential as a new centre for arts and culture.

Wandsworth and Lambeth Councils are now inviting expressions of interest from experts in the field of cultural masterplanning.

Nine Elms Programme Director Helen Fisher said:
"Just 40 years ago the South Bank was an industrial part of the city. Today, it's a world class cultural destination with some of London's most popular tourist attractions. The redevelopment of Nine Elms will be the final stage in this extraordinary transformation.

"As we reshape this district we want to lay the foundations for a rich, exciting cultural scene, capitalising on our central London location and riverside setting.

"A great deal of progress has already been made and we are now looking for a placemaking consultancy to take the project forward."
The successful candidate will deliver a far reaching engagement process involving local people, local businesses and the wider art and cultural world.

About Nine Elms on the South Bank
Nine Elms on the South Bank includes a large slice of industrial Battersea, Vauxhall and the Albert Embankment. At 195 hectares it is by far the biggest regeneration area in central London.

It will include the new US Embassy, a revived Battersea Power Station and a new food quarter at New Covent Garden Market.

The Albert Embankment and Vauxhall boast an established cultural scene with an increasingly popular blend of shops, bars, cafes, pubs, restaurants, clubs and galleries. Working with and developing this growing industry will be central to the masterplanning process.

Tate Britain sits directly opposite on the north bank of the river and Sloane Square, the Houses of Parliament, Clapham Junction, Oval Cricket Ground and Battersea High Street are all within walking distance.

An enormous investment programme has begun to transform Nine Elms on the South Bank - around 2million sq m of new development has been granted planning permission across the district.

Up to 16,000 new homes will be built - 14,000 already have planning consent and the first 1,000 are now under construction

Up to 1,000 construction and engineering apprenticeships will be created across the regeneration programme.

The new Nine Elms on the South Bank will provide 25,000 new permanent jobs for London.

The Northern Line Extension will provide two new Tube stops in the area. One will be located at Wandsworth Road and another at Battersea Power Station. Plans for this Government backed scheme are now being developed by TfL.

A new stretch of Thames Path will run through the district and a new pedestrian and cycle bridge is planned to create another link to Westminster on the opposite bank of the river.

Work is now underway on major developments including St George's Vauxhall Tower scheme and the St James Riverlight development.

Enabling works are also underway on the site of the new US Embassy which is expected to open in Nine Elms in 2017.

For more information visit

Councillors to discuss £30 million Elliott scheme

Wandsworth Council: Plans to invest around £30 million in refurbishing and modernising Elliott School in Putney are set to be discussed.

Councillors on the finance and corporate resources committee will be asked to endorse a proposal to generate funding to improve Elliott and provide its pupils with a school fit for the 21st Century.


ISG Checks In With Luxury Evesham Hotel Scheme

ISG: ISG has secured a £2 million fast-track project to redevelop Wood Norton Hall in Evesham, Worcestershire into a luxury hotel, conference and wedding venue. The grade II* listed Victorian property will undergo a comprehensive programme of sensitive refurbishment and modernisation, with ISG creating additional guest accommodation and upgrading communal facilities.

Wood Norton Hall was once the family home of the Duc d'Aumale, the fourth son of the king of France, and in 1939 was acquired by the BBC as a war time broadcasting base and in use by the corporation as a training facility up until 2001. The renaissance of this historical property will see ISG create an additional five luxury guest bedrooms in the main hall, whilst restoring and upgrading accommodation in the existing 15 rooms.

Blending contemporary style with historical architectural elements, a number of the guest rooms will feature glazed central bathroom pod structures. Extensive areas of oak panelling will be sensitively restored and all rooms redecorated and furnished to a high standard. Structural alterations will be carried out at ground floor level to enable ISG to create a new bar and wedding reception area.

In the adjacent Pear Tree Stable Block, work will commence on the modernisation of 30 existing guest rooms, with upgraded en-suite bathroom facilities. Rooms will be redecorated, as will lobby, bar and ancillary areas. A new highly efficient boiler will also be installed as part of the project to provide heating for the entire hotel complex. Externally, ISG will carry out minor repair works to the building’s façade and supervise the landscaping of the extensive grounds, with the hotel set to open for guests in September.

ISG’s Jonathan Kell, managing director - Midlands, commented:
"The new owners have ambitious plans for the redevelopment of Wood Norton Hall under its new name of The Wood Norton and this initial phase sees the property open to discerning guests as an idyllic retreat and imposing wedding venue. A collaborative approach has been of critical importance in developing a workable programme capable of delivering a scheme combining complex structural alterations to a historically protected building within an accelerated timeframe. This close working relationship is synonymous with ISG’s contracting approach and we are confident that The Wood Norton will prove to be an outstanding success.”"

Hilson Moran appointed to 100 Cheapside redevelopment

Hilson Moran: Quadrant Estates has appointed leading multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy Hilson Moran for the speculative redevelopment of 100 Cheapside, a 94,000 sq ft Grade-A office and retail development located in the heart of the City of London, between the Bank of England and St Paul’s Cathedral.

100 Cheapside comprises the comprehensive redevelopment of a prominent site at the corner of King Street and Cheapside on the ceremonial route to and from the Guildhall. The existing buildings will be demolished, with the new BREEAM ‘Excellent’ building taking its place. 

Hilson Moran has been appointed to design the building services, provide sustainability services – including BREEAM and LEED – as well as designing the vertical transportation for the building.

Martin Murphy, Director at Hilson Moran said:
“100 Cheapside is a high quality, efficient and imaginative new development that will offer an environmentally-conscious and highly serviced workspace for its tenants.  It is one of the few being developed speculatively.”
100 Cheapside is a Joint Venture between CarVal, Orion and The City of London, with Quadrant Estates acting as Development Manager. The completion targeted is set for the second half of 2014.

Project team:
Architect – EPR Architects
Project Manager – Second London Wall
Cost Consultant – Quantem Consulting LLP
Structural Engineer – Waterman
Planning – DP9

Friday, 17 August 2012

Developer appointed to transform Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire

Homes and Communities Agency: The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and Rushcliffe Borough Council have agreed a deal to transform Cotgrave, the former mining town, creating 444 new homes and 12,600 sq m of employment space for local businesses.

Computer generated images of how the proposed new Barratt homes might look. Housebuilder Barratt Developments has been selected as the developer on the £100 million scheme, which will include a range of affordable homes to rent as well as homes for sale under the Barratt and David Wilson Homes brands, in addition to a high quality business area that will support the creation of new jobs.