Proposed changes to Scotland’s planning system will put a great emphasis on economic benefits, including creating new jobs, planning Minister Derek Mackay will tell key members of Scotland’s business community this week.
Mr Mackay will meet with Scotland’s business leaders during a series of engagements taking place around the country to support the Scottish Government’s public consultation on Scotland’s third National Planning Framework (NPF3) and a revised Scottish Planning Policy.
The Minister will discuss how proposed changes to the planning system will place a greater weight on economic impact. This includes the creation of new jobs as well as recognising and responding to economic conditions.
Mr Mackay said: “The Scottish Government is focussed on sustainable economic growth, and as Planning Minister I am intent on delivering a planning system that is enabling this objective.
“This is about the culture and practice of planning on the ground. An explicit emphasis on economic impact in planning deliberations is both necessary and timely. I believe we are making good progress.
“During the consultation process I have been meeting with local authorities, developers, environmental groups and members of the public. By meeting with key players from Scotland’s business community I will gain further feedback on the consultation which will assist in our drive to push forward sustainable economic growth.”
Developers are being sought to transform a derelict site in Portsmouth that will create 1,500 jobs and see the building of up to 1,600 new homes.
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has announced it is seeking a development partner to build and market the first 80 new and affordable homes at its site in Tipner. Work by Portsmouth City Council includes the creation of a new motorway interchange and park-and-ride facility.
The site has undergone an extensive clean-up over the last year, which has seen the HCA invest around £3 million in preparing it for residential development.
This work has been carried out by specialist construction company the Tamdown Group, who have worked closely with local residents to keep them informed about progress on the site over the last year.
Kevin Bourner, HCA head of area, said: “This first phase of development marks an incredibly important step for a project which stands to make a hugely positive contribution to the local community and wider economy over the long-term.
“It will set the standard and tone of the rest of the development and demonstrates to those who have backed the project for so long that progress is being made. This is a complex project, which has required a great deal of work to get to this stage.
“I am confident that prospective partners will see what a fantastic opportunity this represents to be part of an exciting scheme that has the potential to regenerate the area for future generations.”
Kathy Wadsworth, director of regeneration at Portsmouth City Council, added: “Tipner will be an important new residential and employment area at the gateway to the city, with major new transport infrastructure and waterside developments.
“It is a major part of our plan to bring £1 billion worth of investment into the city. The new motorway junction will enable more development in the area, and the park-and-ride will cater for visitors to our new-look city centre, which is being planned now.”
Communities Minister Baroness Hanham has announced £5.4 million of European investment to build state-of-the-art business facilities which will further development on Enterprise Zones.
Lady Hanham confirmed that the European Regional Development Fund Competitiveness Programme 2007- 2013 is investing £3.29 million in the HCA owned Darlington Business Growth Hub where work will start later this year.
The Baroness also announced that the European Regional Development Fund is investing £2.1 million in Boho 5, part of the DigitalCity initiative, that is expected to create at least 250 new jobs in 10 years.
The scheme is set to provide 2,322 sq m of high quality business accommodation targeted specifically at small and medium enterprises operating in digital and creative sectors.
Baroness Hanham said: “I am delighted to formally announce European Regional Development Fund investment for the Darlington Business Growth Hub and Boho 5, which will see the development of high quality premises enabling new and growing businesses to create jobs and wealth in Tees Valley.”
Darlington Business Growth Hub will comprise additional 3,200 m² of high quality Grade A office space for small and medium enterprises and is due to open January 2015.
The project will see the creation of at least 25 new businesses and 350 new jobs within the first 15 years of operation. The project is being managed by Darlington Borough Council with the Homes and Communities Agency providing the match funding.
David Curtis, Executive Director at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) said:
“The confirmation that these schemes will receive European Funding means that the HCA will invest an additional £5million in creating jobs in the Tess Valley.”
“We will invest £3million in the Darlington Growth Hub to help create a purpose built facility that will help new businesses grow and supports local jobs. Our £2 million investment in Boho 5 is a key part of our wider long term investment in Middlehaven to help create educational and employment opportunities for Middlesbrough”
The European Regional Development Fund Competitiveness Programme 2007-13 is bringing over £300 million into North East England to support innovation, enterprise and business support. It will help create and safeguard 28,000 new jobs, start 3,000 new businesses and increase the productivity by £1.1bn per annum.
Willmott Dixon has been selected to deliver phase three of the Orchard Village scheme in Rainham that will see the creation of hundreds of new homes and jobs in the trades.
Old Ford Housing Association, part of affordable housing provider Circle Housing Group, is responsible for the £80 million masterplan to replace the 1960s-era high-rise Mardyke estate with Orchard Village, which was recently listed by Inside Housing as one of its Top 50 UK Affordable Housing Developments for 2013.
The third phase of Orchard Village will see Willmott Dixon build 87 homes, with 29 available for affordable rent, 28 for shared ownership and 30 for sale.
This latest deal means that Willmott Dixon will have been involved in all three phases of the village, which is replacing 516 homes with 555 new homes comprising 339 general needs, 64 shared ownership and 152 private sale properties. There are also local shops and a new Primary Care Trust facility.
Orchard Village’s creation is a six year process, with completion by 2015. During that time, Willmott Dixon will have demolished six tower blocks and ten low rise blocks and replaced them with lower rise, more family-friendly homes.
Charlie Scherer, chief operating officer at Willmott Dixon’s housing company said: “We’re very proud of our role in building Orchard Village, which will offer a fantastic living environment to so many people.
“During phases one and two, our community engagement was a key feature, so much so that we were recently one of only a few projects in the UK that won a Considerate Constructor Scheme gold award. This is an ethos that will very much continue as we start phase three.”
New homes and jobs are being created in Telford as part of a £11 million project by Sanctuary Group that will see the building of hundreds of new homes in the area.
The leading housing and care provider is developing 86 extra care apartments for over 55s as well as 12 apartments specially designed for people with learning difficulties, in Ketley.
A 500-strong workforce has begun work on the Ketley Park Road site as part of a £60 million partnership with national contractor Seddon to build more than 700 new homes in the Midlands.
Councillor Hilda Rhodes said: “This is an excellent scheme which very much reflects the council’s drive to support businesses and I was delighted to kick start the work on the site. I look forward to seeing the projects develop in the months to come.”
David Charmbury, area manager with HCA, said: “The HCA is pleased to be working with our strategic partners and making investment into this scheme.
“Not only will the development cater for local need, it will also provide much needed economic and employment benefits for the borough and complete another key component of the wider Telford Millennium Community.”
The new extra care scheme, set in landscaped gardens, will feature communal facilities including a restaurant, lounge, gym and hair salon.
Sanctuary’s development, Andrew White, said: “This is an ambitious project which will create much needed homes for older people in this part of Ketley. Sanctuary is dedicated to creating new jobs and apprentice posts at all our developments and this site is no different.”
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Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed Kier as one of four construction firms on its new prime contractor framework to deliver the majority of its building projects that will create new jobs.
In the agreement, which will last up to four years, Kier joins Galliford Try Construction, Mansell Construction Services, and Robertson Construction to work on projects estimated to be worth around £6 million per year.
HIE director of regional development, Carroll Buxton, commented: “We are delighted to have agreed a contract with these four highly skilled and respected companies, all of which have strong links to the area.
“This partnership framework approach provides flexibility for the businesses and healthy competition for us which will ensure best value for the public purse.”
From its offices in Aberdeen, Kier is currently working on a number of projects across the region and its appointment on the framework will further strengthen the relationship between Kier and the HIE, established through the delivery of projects via the Scape National Minor Works Framework, on which Kier is the sole contractor.
Kier Construction regional managing director, Brian McQuade, said: “The appointment to HIE’s framework will provide Kier with an excellent opportunity to continue its relationship with local communities delivering employment and training opportunities in various disciplines and professions in the construction industry.
“Kier looks forward to supporting HIE in its role as the economic and community development agency for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
“Our knowledge and relationship with the local supply chain combined with our national buying power will deliver best value construction solutions that will support community benefits and development throughout the highlands.”
HIE is now discussing a number of pipeline projects with the businesses and hopes to award the first projects under the framework later in 2013.
An extra £1.3 billion has been spent on building affordable homes, new health facilities and schools in the past year, the Welsh government has said.
Jane Hutt said that despite cuts to the capital Budgets, the Welsh Government has focused on important priorities of creating new jobs and boosting economic growth.
Ms Hutt said: “The additional investment we have made from capital reserves, totalling almost £462m, in the short term has the potential to create around 8,000 jobs during construction phases. In the longer term, this will boost growth and support the delivery of more efficient public services.
“In addition we have continued to work across the Welsh Government to maximise our opportunities. For example, we have worked to develop an Infrastructure Priority in the 2014 – 2020 European Structural Fund Programmes.
“A potential £1.8bn source of investment which could make a significant contribution to the delivery of our key priorities.”
The additional infrastructure investment in Wales will see a number of construction schemes underway including the Local Government Borrowing Initiative to the 21st Century Schools programme and completion of the A465 through a non-dividend investment vehicle
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Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced to increase the Government’s infrastructure investment in enterprise zones by £100 million that will create thousands of local jobs in the trades.
The investment package will help the thirteen enterprise zones to receive more money for 18 projects to build new service roads, car parking and other infrastructure, transforming ‘shovel ready sites into job ready sites’.
The fund, originally £60 million, is designed to help zones reach their real growth potential faster as economic engine rooms of local economies. Following a competitive bidding process the successful proposals will now undergo further testing to ensure value for money for the taxpayer.
Enterprise zones have already created 3,000 new jobs, attracted 126 businesses, generated 105,000 square metres of new commercial floorspace and secured almost £229 million of extra private sector investment.
In addition to this, 5 enterprise zones are also receiving £24 million to tackle traffic bottlenecks and road congestion near their site through Department for Transport funding.
Eric Pickles said: “Enterprise zones are stimulating job creation and economic growth in different parts of the country with their special package of incentives to attractive new business ventures.
“The government is putting its money where its mouth is and making sure enterprise zones have the buildings and infrastructure they need to make sites ready for business to set up in.
“Enterprise zones are proving extremely popular with business – they have already created over 3,000 jobs for local people – a 75% increase in just 5 months – and many more will be coming down the pipeline because of this new support.”
Andy Rose, Chief Executive at the Homes and Communities Agency, which is administering the fund, said: “The response from the enterprise zones to this investment opportunity demonstrates just how crucial upfront infrastructure is to development.
“It is great news that this additional investment means more priority sites can be funded than first thought, creating more jobs in the areas that need them.”
Today’s announcement is just one of range of steps the government has taken to rebalance the economy and support local businesses to grow and create jobs.
The government has reformed the way councils are funded so they have new incentives to go for growth and support local businesses. It has established 39 local enterprise partnerships that along with enterprise zones are able to access millions in government investment to support their local economy, including the £770 million Growing Places Fund and £2.4 billion Regional Growth Fund.
The schemes backed by the London Enterprise Panel (LEP) are in areas where ambitious regeneration plans are in place and where transport infrastructure will help unlock significant economic growth.
These schemes are set to deliver improved rail links between Tottenham Hale and the Upper Lee Valley; major road improvements in Bexley and support Ealing to harness the economic opportunities coming from Crossrail.
Collectively the projects could safeguard existing or create an estimated 45,000 jobs, support the construction of tens of thousands of homes and attract significant private investment into deprived areas.
The LEP’s adoption of these bids is a significant milestone for these projects and the proposals will now progress to a final stage, including more detailed work developing business cases, technical modelling and delivery mechanisms.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Transport links are a vital precursor to economic development. This money is earmarked for investment into transport schemes which have significant potential to stimulate growth and job creation.
“I welcome the London Enterprise Panel’s assessment of which projects are best placed to do this and City Hall will now be working with the bid teams to progress these ambitious proposals.”
The bids approved by the London Enterprise Panel will provide extra services at Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale, improving rail links between Stratford, the Upper Lee Valley and beyond including Stansted Airport.
Collectively with Angel Road Station improvements, this will support the commencement of the Meridian Water development and regeneration at Northumberland Park where there are plans for an estimated 3,500 homes and 500 jobs.
It will also support the development of an estimated 15,700 new homes, 21,900 new jobs in the Lee Valley and up to 15,000 jobs in adjoining areas.
£2.5 million allocated to upgrade Angel Road station and support regeneration in Enfield (bid from Enfield Borough Council). Angel Road station is vital to the regeneration of Enfield and specifically to support the Meridian Water development and regeneration in the Lower Lea Valley more widely.
Station improvements will increase passenger capacity through an enhanced commuter rail service and boost employment across wide range of trades in the building construction industry.