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Mayor announces £40m to create jobs and economic growth

London Mayor Boris Johnson

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.


NewBuy scheme set to boost housebuilding in Wales

The Welsh Government

The Welsh Government has announced to launch its flagship mortgage guarantee scheme this summer that will boost the construction industry and create new jobs.

The NewBuy Cymru scheme will enable home buyers to access high loan value mortgages which will have a positive impact on the housing market and see the building of around 3,000 new homes across Wales.

The housing sector has widely welcomed the scheme which is set to provide significant employment opportunities in the trades. It is estimated that for every £1 spent on building houses, there is £1.40 generated in gross output across the economy as a whole.

Minister for Housing and Regeneration, Carl Sargeant, said: “NewBuy Cymru is not only good news for the Welsh economy but good news for families and individuals across Wales.

“We are all aware of the difficulties that people are having in either buying their first home or moving up the housing ladder. NewBuy Cymru will provide a helping hand in the shape of a mortgage guarantee to people that have been saving hard to put down a deposit for a new home.

“By helping to kick-start the housing sector it’s hoped that NewBuy Cymru will help tackle poverty and provide a welcome short in the arm to our economy.”

Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation, Stewart Baseley, said: “It is fantastic news for Wales that NewBuy is being launched. In recent years many people in Wales have been unable to buy a home because of the large deposits required to secure a mortgage.

“NewBuy will allow people to buy with a more realistic 5% deposit and so realise their dream of home ownership. Opening up the market will also allow builders to build more homes, so creating jobs and providing Wales with an economic boost.”

What is your reaction to the new NewBuy scheme in Wales that will see the building of new homes and boost the construction industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

Quintain gets the go-ahead for building new homes at Greenwich Peninsula

Quintain gets the go-ahead for building new homes at Greenwich Peninsula

Quintain has been given the go-ahead to build more than 500 new homes as part of a £5 billion master plan at London’s Greenwich Peninsula.  

Construction work on site is set to start in summer 2013, paving the way for new trade jobs and boosting the building construction industry.

Peninsula Riverside forms part of a multi-billion master plan which will deliver 10,000 new homes to transform Greenwich Peninsula into London’s most exciting riverside community.

Max James, Chief Executive of Quintain said: “We are delighted that the Royal Borough of Greenwich has granted detailed planning consent for 506 homes at Peninsula Riverside.

This decision paves the way for construction work to start on site this summer delivering new jobs and homes; a positive step in transforming the vision for Greenwich Peninsula into reality.”

The 190 acre scheme has been given an outline planning consent by the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It will see the building of residentially led mixed-use development scheme with new homes spread across four quarters and a commercial district, including a 40-acre park.

Anthony Gill, Development Director for Greenwich Peninsula said: “The Peninsula Riverside development will continue the unstoppable momentum East London has enjoyed since the Olympic Games.

“The combination of affordable riverside living, just one tube stop from Canary Wharf and within 15 minutes’ reach of the West End, ensures Peninsula Riverside will become one of the most exciting new housing schemes in London.”

Accelerating delivery on major sites like Greenwich Peninsula is a key part of the Mayor of London’s work to boost the building of homes for Londoners and drive investment in the capital’s economy.

Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property, said: “Greenwich Peninsula, with its potential to deliver thousands of homes, including a large proportion of affordable housing, and jobs, is exactly the kind of development we want to see moving forward in London helping to boost the economy and accelerate the number of homes being built on GLA public land.”

What is your reaction to the building of hundreds of new homes at London’s Greenwich Peninsula?  Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Legal & General get the go-ahead to build new homes in Croydon

Legal & General get the go-ahead for new homes in Croydon

Work is due to start for the building of 288 new homes in Croydon after Legal & General received planning permission to transform Nestlé’s former Croydon headquarters into flats.

The financial investment company was given planning permission for the St George’s House scheme in Croydon that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

Jason Perry, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and transport, said: “This exciting plan matches the council’s vision for transforming the town centre into a place to live as well as to work, shop and socialise.

“It’s a significant leap forward in the council’s strategy for regenerating the town centre, refreshing its 1960s streetscape and boosting the economic growth of the borough.”

Charlie Walker, director at Legal & General Property, said: “Last night’s decision marks an important step forward for Croydon and is a strong testament to the hard work we have put in over the past year to ensuring our proposals not only complement the existing qualities of the borough but contribute to its wider regeneration, enhancing its position as a desirable residential location.

“We believe that not only will this scheme deliver much needed high quality residential accommodation to the very centre of town, but should bring a new lease of life to the area by significantly improving the public realm, creating a more accessible and attractive civic space for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

Legal & Generals plans include community and retail space at ground level and a roof top garden area that will be environmentally sustainable.

There will also be 160 car parking and 313 secure cycle spaces and a café on the corner of Park Street and Park Lane.

The planning committee granted permission to the scheme less than seven months after being presented with the pre-application enquiry.

Stanhope launches masterplan for BBC Television Centre


Property developer Stanhope has outlined plans for BBC’s iconic Television Centre in White City that could see the building of 1,000 new homes.

Stanhope and the BBC have launched their vision to transform the Television Centre in West London that will be turned into office and studio space for the BBC, modern housing, complementary entertainment, leisure facilities and a hotel.

Listed buildings are to be retained, while the “inner ring” of the TV Centre will be converted into new apartments that will create new trade jobs as well as boost the construction industry.

David Camp, chief executive of Stanhope Plc, said: “Stanhope is working in partnership with the BBC to deliver a publicly accessible mixed use remodelling of these iconic buildings and redevelopment of the adjoining land.

“We will be introducing a vibrant and exciting mix of new retail, leisure, office and residential uses whilst keeping and enhancing the famous original BBC buildings and retaining key operational BBC studio and office facilities on site.”

  • The listed buildings and the remodelled forecourt, frontage and elevation of Television Centre from Wood Lane will be retained
  • The ‘inner ring’ of Television Centre will be refurbished to provide space for a hotel and residential apartments
  • The current ‘Stage 4 and 5′ buildings will also be refurbished to provide speculative office space, targeted at being a new media or creative hub for businesses in the area
  • The ‘Drama Block’, ‘Restaurant Block’ and Multi Storey Car Park on Wood Lane will be replaced with new residential buildings and townhouses and the ‘East Tower’ will be replaced with a more slender and appropriately positioned residential building
  • A ‘Village Green’ of town houses for families with private rear gardens will be created to the south of the site
  • There will be approximately 1,000 new residential units and townhouses in total, including affordable housing
  • RIBA award winning practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris are Stanhope’s lead architects on the project, supported by Macreanor Lavington and Duggan Morris


What is your reaction to the transformation of the BBC Television Centre in White City that will be turned in to offices and new housing? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Historic town hall work to bring new trade jobs

Ealing Council has appointed Willmott Dixon to carry out a £16.5 million refurbishment contract that will improve the historic Acton Town Hall and create new trade jobs.

The Acton Town Hall regeneration project will provide new and improved leisure, library, community and civic facilities which will benefit communities and boost the local economy.

The town hall complex was built at the beginning of the last century to serve Acton’s growing population. According to the council, these buildings now need significant repairs and have high maintenance costs.

Ealing Council said that the regeneration of the site will provide new facilities whilst considering the heritage assets of the building as well as preserving the environment.

The project also includes the demolition of Acton’s former baths which will be replaced by a new three-storey building housing-a 25 metre swimming pool and a trainer pool, along with fitness and leisure facilities.

Part of the Town Hall will also be kept and refurbished to create a new library and council offices and the Town Hall’s iconic frontage and the baths chimney, listed Grade II, will also be restored.

Chris Tredget, managing director for Willmott Dixon in North London, said the company was delighted to be working with Ealing.

Mr Tredget said: “We are delighted to be working with Ealing Council to regenerate another part of Acton by redeveloping the Town Hall.

“We have a long track record in Ealing and are looking forward to adding to that with the improved Acton Town Hall that will be a new focal point on the main high street.”

What is your reaction to the multi-million regeneration project in Ealing that will benefit local communities and pave the way for new jobs in the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Shapps: New homes to go green with new energy-saving grants

Housing minister Grant Shapps has promised that all new homes built will qualify for energy efficiency grants under the government’s Green Deal, which aims to create a low carbon future.

Under the Green Deal, homeowners will receive around £6,500 in grants, which they can then use to make energy-efficient improvements to their homes, such as installing cavity wall insulation and solar panels, to reduce energy emissions and their heating bills.

The grant would then be paid back in a different to their energy bills.

The coalition government’s Green Deal seeks to make all new homes zero-carbon by 2016, so the UK is in line with the European Union’s stringent energy laws. This government has promised to become the greenest ever, and see the new grants as a way for homeowners to make energy-saving modifications to their homes on their own.

Senior figures from the construction industry announced last week that they plan to support the government and help them work towards a low-carbon future.

Mr Shapps, who was speaking at the Zero Carbon Hub conference, said:

“I think we are already there because we know homes will have to emit no carbon in future or if they can’t reach that level they have to mitigate that with something down the road like combined heat and power resource – the work for Zero Carbon Hub now is to define what those allowable solutions will be.”

The housing minister, who is also the MP for Welwyn Hatfield, has confirmed that just building new green homes would not be good enough to significantly reduce the UK’s carbon emissions, and that the new grants are another alternative for a zero-carbon future.

What do you think about Grant Shapps’ announcement? Are these grants the way to create a low-carbon future?


Skanska get green light for their first ever UK housing project

Construction giants Skanska have secured their first residential site in the UK and are planning to build hundreds of new homes in Cambridge.

Skanska, who operate primarily in the Nordic countries, announced they were establishing a Residential Development business in the UK last month, and have now exchanged contracts to build new homes at Great Kneighton in Cambridge.

Skanska has planning permission to build 128 new homes on the 6.5-acre site, and hope to build a total of 2,550 new homes and apartments in the Great Kneighton area, once further planning permission has been granted. The work is expected to start later this year.

The new homes will all be eco-friendly and in line with Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, which is the industry standard for new homes. This project will likely create new construction jobs for plumbing, electrical and gas contractors in the region, as thousands of new homes will be built in the Cambridgeshire area.

Magnus Andersson is the President of Skanska’s Residential Development in the UK, said in a statement:

“I am delighted we have secured our first land deal for residential development. Cambridge is a very vibrant market and Great Kneighton is in an excellent location close to the M11. This marks the start of an exciting new journey for Skanska in the UK.”

What do you think of Skanska’s move into UK housing? Let us know in the comments section below, or on our Facebook or Twitter page.

Goodbye Goodyear as tyre plant transformed into hundreds of new Wolverhampton homes

Hundreds of new homes are set to be built in Wolverhampton as part of a £150 million regeneration project in the city.

CN Plus report that 600 new homes are set to be built in Wolverhampton in a joint venture by St Modwen and Persimmon Homes. 314 new homes will be built on a 36 hectare site in Wolverhampton this year, and will be a mixture of one, two, three and four-bedroom homes. The remaining 300 homes shall be built by another contractor that has not been disclosed at the moment.

The homes will be built on the former Goodyear plant in Wolverhampton. The former tyre factory was closed in June 2008 and has been left as rubble since then. The remainder of the site will be demolished in preparation for the new homes.

The plans also include community facilities like a 7-hectare park, a children’s play area, new tennis courts, sports pitches and a multi-use games area.

This project will create hundreds of new plumbing, electrical, gas and construction jobs in the Wolverhampton, as St Modwen’s John Dodds said in a statement:

“The submission of two major planning applications signifies a real milestone for the rebirth of this local landmark, which in turn, will create hundreds of new jobs for local people.”

The plans for Wolverhampton are part of a UK-wide house building frenzy from St Modwen, who aim to build 2000 new homes on seven sites by 2015, at a cost of £300 million.

What do you think of the plans for Wolverhampton?

New homes for Nottingham as £50m scheme goes full-steam ahead

The £50m Stonebridge Park regeneration scheme is going ahead and will see more homes and more jobs come to Nottingham.

The scheme has finally received the all-clear after a £5.6 million cash injection by the Homes and Communities Agency and has been described as one of Nottingham’s biggest achievements in the last decade by Council leader John Collins.

Stonebridge Park is a rundown area of Nottingham with 500 homes in dire need of repair and bad connectivity. The regeneration scheme will see 258 new homes built, which will all be eco-friendly and meet targets for Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Work will start immediately on 95 of the homes, which is the first phase of the plans.

Nottingham Council’s Portfolio holder for Housing Delivery Dave Liversidge says that, “the investment will help to renew and reinvigorate the area and will be a hive of activity for some time, creating more choice for residents and a sustainable neighbourhood.

As this scheme involves the construction of hundreds of new homes, this means that new jobs for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers will be created in Nottingham and the surrounding areas. The fact that the Stonebridge Park scheme will rejuvenate a rundown area and build new sustainable and eco-friendly homes is a bonus as well.

What do you think about these plans in Nottingham?