Kensington and Chelsea enters £200m regeneration scheme
Catalyst Housing has received planning permission for phase 2 of its £200 million regeneration of the Wornington Green estate in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Work will begin onsite in Autumn 2015 and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2019. Over 300 private and affordable apartments will be built along with new shops on Portobello Road. An energy centre will be included in Phase 2 which will provide heating and hot water to the new development.
The £66 million second phase follows extensive consultation with local residents which has led to a number of design improvements including a range of balconies to suit differently sized families and changes to the layout of the apartments.
Planning permission for phase 2, along with the recent approval of a major regeneration of Havelock in Southall, continues Catalyst’s award-winning reputation as a developer of high-quality regeneration schemes catering to different housing needs across London and the South East.
Rod Cahill, Catalyst Chief Executive said: “We are thrilled that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have approved our plans for the second phase of the Wornington Green regeneration.
“I’d like to thank all those that have taken part in the consultation process and given us feedback on the first phase. I’d also like to thank residents of Wornington Green and surrounding area for their patience as the building work continues.
“Reactions from those that have moved into the first phase are positive and we’re excited to keep up this momentum by not only providing new homes but also new shops in phase 2.”
Boost for business energy and electricity sector investment
He also unveiled new plans that will remove barriers to investment in energy infrastructure, boost economic growth and support up to 250,000 jobs by 2020.
Mr Davey told the CBI’s Energy Conference that the energy sector had seen £45 billion of investment between January 2010 and December 2013, with nearly £8 billion investment in renewable technologies in 2013 alone, as he published the Government’s first report on energy investment in the UK.
According to the Government, the investment won since 2010 will keep the lights on and build a low-carbon energy system that will create new jobs in the energy trades.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: “Our plan is powering growth and jobs in the UK economy. We are building a secure, sustainable energy system for the future, dealing with an historic legacy of underinvestment and neglect that threatened to undermine the whole economy.
“The funds we invest now in keeping the lights on could, in the future, be available to support cheaper projects that deliver lasting reductions in peak electricity demand.
“I want to unlock the untapped potential of better efficiency in electricity use – so that more efficient kit can compete with building new power stations in the future. Our £20 million pilot will fund schemes that will help reduce our demand – not only saving businesses and their customers money, but reducing the amount of electricity we’ll need to generate.
“And by stripping away barriers to investment in our energy market, we’ll make attracting capital investment cheaper and easier – meaning real benefits for the British economy and British consumers.”
Rampion offshore wind farm gets the go-ahead
A new wind farm of the coast of Sussex that will support 750 jobs and bring over £2 billion of investment into the UK’s economy has been given the go-ahead.
The Government has today given consent to Rampion offshore wind farm. The project is expected to boost the local economy, create new jobs and encourage investment in the area.
Once built, the wind farm would generate enough electricity to power approximately 450,000 homes.
The decision underlines how the government’s policies have made the UK the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: “We’re driving investment in our energy security, and our plans have made us number one in the world for investment in offshore wind energy.
“This project is great news for Sussex, providing green jobs as well as driving business opportunities right across the country in a sector with a clear roadmap for long-term growth.”
Welsh Water confirms £1.5bn alliance partners
Welsh Water has announced the partners it has appointed to deliver part of its £1.5 billion capital investment programme for 2015 to 2020.
The level of capital investment across the period will also enable Welsh Water to continue to support more than 6,000 jobs across Wales.
The successful partners will work closely with Welsh Water throughout the investment period, known in the industry as AMP6, to deliver cost effective and sustainable outcomes that will benefit customers and the environment for many years to come.
The contracts will run for an initial five year period from 2015 – 2020 with an option to extend for a further five years.
The company’s capital partners for 2015 to 2020 have been confirmed as:
- Skanska Construction UK Limited working with Hyder Consulting (UK) Limited
- Mott Macdonald Bentley Limited
- Morgan Sindall working with Arup
Chris Jones, Welsh Water’s Chief Executive, said: “As a company, we want to deliver the best possible outcomes for our customers and for the environment at the most affordable price.
“We went through an extensive procurement process to ensure that we selected capital partners that share our vision and values and are committed to delivering the customer service, environmental and financial outcomes that our customers want and deserve.”
The Alliance will bring together best in class organisations and individuals to deliver Welsh Water’s capital programme safely and efficiently, achieving sustainable outcomes for the benefit of its customers and the environment.
The Alliance will drive value in the planning and pre-construction phase by co-locating Welsh Water, contractor and consultant resource into a single Integrated Solutions Team to help facilitate collaboration and innovation.
Alex Salmond reveals £2.2m to cut costs for offshore wind
The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) programme will bring together nine offshore wind developers with over 72% (31GW) of the UK’s licensed capacity.
The project aims to deliver the 10% reduction in time for offshore wind developments in Scottish waters with partners working together to identify technological challenges and prioritising those with the most significant savings potential, before developing innovative solutions.
The OWA will receive £200,000 in 2014/15 and £2,000,000 in 2015/16. The money will be used to:
· encourage international collaboration between the world’s leading offshore wind developers to address cost reduction challenges in Scottish waters
· share knowledge on foundations and installations, operations and maintenance, the best wind farm layouts, electrical systems and cable installation
· support the commercialisation of floating offshore wind turbines for Scottish waters
Following a meeting with representatives of the Carbon Trust and OWA programme in Aberdeen, the First Minister said: “Scotland is admired around the world for our work in renewable energy and in 2013 we set a new record for renewables generation, emphasising our commitment.
“That progress has accelerated into 2014 with new record levels of renewables generation in the first months of this year – up 56% over the year to the first quarter of 2014.
“Renewable energy is extremely valuable to Scotland’s economy, to reducing our carbon emissions and in providing low carbon energy supplies as well as jobs and long term investment.”
Tom Delay, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust said: “We are delighted to be working with the Scottish Government to drive further cost reductions in the offshore wind industry. The sector has huge potential to generate low carbon power and create economic value.
“Key to that success will be driving costs down through innovation and doing this quickly. The OWA and this new injection of funding will be key to help meet this cost reduction challenge.”
Manchester Uni strikes hotel deal as part of £1bn campus scheme
Bruntwood, one of the regional property firms, will develop the 326-room hotel in a 19-storey building under an investment deal with M&L Hospitality Group.
The landmark development, designed by architects BDP and Leach Rhodes Walker, will provide high-end accommodation for visitors to the University, its business school and the wider city.
The hotel, which forms part of Bruntwood’s wider redevelopment of MBS, will adjoin a new two-storey Executive Education Centre, which will provide a new home for the business school’s corporate leadership and management programmes.
Professor Fiona Devine, Head of MBS, said: “The hotel will provide an excellent base for all our visitors from across the globe to explore Manchester and the North West, with easy access to MBS and the University.
“The new Executive Education Centre will enable us to grow our international client base of some of the world’s leading businesses and public sector organisations.”
The development is part of the University’s £1billion Campus Masterplan, which will create some of the most modern campus facilities in the world along the southern gateway to the city, known as the Manchester Corridor.
Chris Roberts, Bruntwood Development Director, said: “The hotel and adjoining Executive Education Centre will be a landmark development for the Corridor and a great addition to the amenities of the city’s tourism and business offer.”
Neil Maxwell, CEO of M&L Hospitality, added: “We are always exploring investment opportunities that have the potential to deliver stable and attractive returns.
“This hotel will be a valuable campus amenity for MBS, the University and other nearby facilities, such as the Central Manchester University Hospitals, the Manchester Science Park and the many cultural assets and arts venues along the Corridor.”
Kier launches new house building division
The Kier Group, which employs over 16,000 staff in the building industry, has confirmed its launch of a new housing division that will see the building of more homes.
The new division will bring together three existing Kier housing businesses, from contracting, to affordable housing partnerships to private market housing solutions.
The new division is set to respond to the significant market opportunities created by a nationwide shortage of housing stock while boosting economic growth and creating new jobs.
The company plans to expand its geographical footprint to meet nationwide demand for new homes, to be better able to respond to the volume of public land emerging through the HCA Developer Partner Panel Framework and the HCA Affordable Homes Programme.
The division will target growth in the north and the south-east, supplementing its other existing regional strongholds and providing a true nationwide footprint for the first time.
John Anderson, Kier Living executive managing director, said: “The model of balancing activity across the public and private housing markets will protect the business against market fluctuation and enables Kier Living to really leverage the potential of its mixed tenure model.
“The cross subsidy effect of this model enables our local authority and housing association clients to generate the necessary funding to deliver a wide range of housing solutions limiting the impact on the public purse.
“We believe this is the ideal time to focus our house building offering in this way and to grow our presence across our core markets and regions.
“Housing associations and local authority clients along with other public and private bodies are increasingly asking Kier to help them deliver new housing stock for the first time in many years so it’s vital that we expand our housing delivery solution to respond to this growing demand.”
Morgan Sindall gets £1.2 million hydro scheme contract
Morgan Sindall has already started work on delivering the £1.2 million contract on the Allt Gharagain hydro scheme which will create sustainable electricity in the area.
The team is working on the run-of-river part of the project, a type of hydro-electric generation whereby little or no water storage is required to create sustainable energy with minimal environmental impact.
The work includes the installation of two kilometres of supply pipeline (penstock) from the stream to the new powerhouse and a tailrace to allow the water used for power generation to return back to the river.
As the works cross the Inverness-Kyle of Lochalsh railway line, the Network Rail level crossing needed upgrading. This part of the project has now been completed and construction of the access road has begun.
Green Highland Renewables will operate the completed scheme and anticipates it will begin supplying electricity to the local grid in December this year. The scheme has been developed with funds managed by Albion Ventures LLP.
Robert Ogg, area director at Morgan Sindall, said: “We’re very pleased to have been appointed to this scheme. Work is now underway on the project and the team is making good progress.
“This is an important scheme for the region, and the country which aims to become a net exporter of energy by 2020. This will only be achieved by using renewable energy services like this one.”
Ian Cartwright, Managing Director at Green Highland Renewables, said: “This is one of four hydro schemes we are currently delivering in the immediate area and it is good to be working alongside Morgan Sindall on what is a technically challenging project.
Green Highland Renewables has a growing track record in consenting, building and operating hydro schemes across the Highlands, and Morgan Sindall’s experienced team is already making an important contribution to the delivery of the Allt Gharagain project.”
£500,000 to help community energy projects across England
Thirty local renewable energy projects, stretching from Cornwall to Cumbria, are celebrating being offered financial investment from the government’s Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF).
The Government has this year assigned over £500,000 to help develop bespoke projects across England that will create new jobs and boost the renewable industry.
The first 30 projects receiving funding represent a spectrum of technologies, including community scale anaerobic digestion, solar power, hydro and wind as well as renewable and low carbon heat networks.
Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker said: “It’s great to see so many communities across the UK benefitting from local clean energy.
“I want to see more communities becoming producers of energy – powering schools, market towns and community centres sustainably – and boosting their economy at the same time.
“It’s initiatives like this that are so important for achieving my vision for the Big 60,000 and I wish WRAP every continued success.”
All have sought government support to help raise funding to help realise their ambitions, enabling them to implement environmentally friendly sources of energy at a local level.
Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Dan Rogerson said: “This fund will strengthen the rural economy, safeguard the environment, and will allow communities to unlock the potential of renewable energy.
“Since launching we’ve seen a wide range of projects given the green light and I urge more people to apply and make the most of this opportunity to get their local project off the ground.”
In Cumbria, RCEF is supporting a project which aims to provide heat directly to a local primary school from a community owned anaerobic digestion facility.
This will also generate income from the sale of electricity to benefit other community projects, in a future community group partnership with four farms.
Midland Metropolitan Hospital given the go-ahead
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has today announced approval for a £353 million new acute hospital in Smethwick that will create new jobs and boost the local economy.
The announcement comes as the Chancellor visited Rowley Regis Hospital – part of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust – where he met with senior executives to hear how they are moving care closer to the community and ensuring the continued delivery of high-quality acute services.
The new Midland Metropolitan Hospital will bring together acute services on to one site, promoting better patient safety and a patient experience while ensuring the best value for money for the taxpayer.
The Chancellor said: “This ambitious package will ensure that patients across the West Midlands continue to benefit from access to world-class acute treatment and cutting edge facilities.
“It is because of the difficult decisions we have taken as a government that we have been able to protect healthcare spending, and announce new facilities like the Midland Metropolitan Hospital.”
Richard Samuda, Chairman of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals said: “This is a vote of confidence in 7,500 staff at the Trust. The Chancellor’s announcement at Rowley Regis Hospital reinforces our strategy of local care for long term conditions and a single specialist acute centre at the Midland Met.”
Chief Executive, Toby Lewis added: “This is a decisive moment for healthcare in the West Midlands. We welcome the determination of the Chancellor to support the regeneration of Smethwick with this vital project for patients.
“Construction of the new hospital is expected to commence in 2016 and be completed by 2018-19. Plans will be finalised over the coming months, with all funding subject to final approvals as usual.”