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Proposed planning revamp to boost infrastructure projects and create new jobs

The Scottish Government

Scotland’s planning system will create new trade jobs and economic benefits to help deliver sustainable economic growth, Planning Minister Derek Mackay has announced today.

The third National Planning Framework (NPF) and draft Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) will influence development plans across Scotland and guide future planning decisions on a range of sectors including transport, energy and infrastructure.

The NPF is the Scottish Government’s strategy for the long-term development of Scotland’s towns, cities and countryside. It sets out strategic infrastructure needs and priorities over the next 20 to 30 years that will pave the way for new jobs in the construction sector.

Mr Mackay said: “Scotland needs a planning system that has, at its heart, the overriding principle of delivering sustainable economic growth in order to maximise the country’s attraction to investors and visitors in a global economy.

“We want future planning decisions to give significant weight to the economic benefit of proposed developments, particularly the creation of new jobs.”

These draft proposals are supported by on-going measures to improve the overall performance of the planning system, ensuring smoother delivery and a stronger focus on economic recovery.

Planning Minister Derek Mackay added: “The consultation on the National Planning Framework and Scottish Planning Policy will influence development plans across the country for the next thirty years affecting every part of Scotland.”

He said: “We will support our review of Town Centres by insisting that major new developments which attract people – like workplaces, leisure facilities and shops – are in town centres wherever possible. We want to see development which ensures lively, successful and viable town centres.

“I am keen that planning does more to encourage good design, and the creation of the kind of places we would all like to live in or visit. Our forthcoming policy on Architecture and Place will show what we are doing to achieve this.

“Scotland is enriched by a high quality environment and many special places to live in and visit. These physical assets underpin our economy and our quality of life and that is why we need to ensure developments go in the right place, providing positive benefits for our communities and environment.”

What is your reaction to the proposed planning changes in Scotland that will create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Stanhope launches masterplan for BBC Television Centre

TELEVISION CENTRE, WHITE CITY

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.

Boost for Scotland’s construction industry

The Scottish GovernmentThe number of new homes started by private sector builders in the year to June 2012 was the highest recorded since the banking crisis started in 2008 according to official statistics.

Over that period, 10,827 new homes were started, a 24 per cent increase on the previous year. This increase follows three years of recorded annual decreases in private sector new build starts.

The statistics reflect new starts by house builders building for private sale, alongside other house building activity by construction companies throughout Scotland such as for RSL shared equity developments and self-build.

There was also a continued increase in the number of council houses across Scotland, with local authorities completing 1,206 new homes in the year to September 2012, the highest number since 1990.

Across all sectors 14,032 houses were started to June 2012, up by 4% compared to the same period last year.

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said: “Scotland’s construction sector has faced the full force of the economic downturn.

“Times are still very tough, with high deposit requirements and reduced mortgage availability continuing to prove a barrier to recovery in the housing market.

“However, I welcome these latest statistics and hope this increased activity can spark an economic revival for the industry. Every house started supports jobs for bricklayers, joiners, plumbers and the wider supply chain.

“The Scottish Government is doing all it can to support the industry and boost supply. We plan to deliver at least 30,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of the Parliament, backed by investment of at least £760 million in the next three years.

“We have allocated almost £115 million to local authorities across Scotland, which is helping deliver over 4,400 council homes.

“And we are stimulating growth through the innovative National Housing Trust initiative and our shared equity schemes.

“We have also offered a guarantee to support up to 6,000 new build house purchases through a housing industry-led Mortgage Indemnity Scheme, to help address the banks’ requirements for high deposits.”

New £36m Huddersfield Sports Centre reaches out for new jobs

BAM Construction has won the first stage of a £36 million deal to build a new Huddersfield Sport Centre that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

Kirklees Council has today announced BAM as the preferred contractor for the new multi-million pound Sports Centre which will be built on Spring Grove car park, Springwood, Huddersfield.

Construction work of the new centre is expected to start in 2013 as it is planned to be open to the public in 2015.

Kirklees Council Cabinet Member for Communities, Jean Calvert, said: “This is great news for Kirklees and is a major step forward for the regeneration of the town and a welcome boost for the local economy.

“Not only have we been working closely with communities to improve quality of life, but building the sport centre will help with our regeneration plans for the town, as well as supporting apprenticeships and creating job opportunities.”

The new sports centre will include building a 25-metre swimming pool; a teaching pool; two sports halls; climbing, squash and martial arts facilities; a large fitness suite; and a café and children’s area.

The sports centre will be owned by the council but managed by Kirklees Active Leisure. It will replace the Southgate sports centre which is coming to the end of its life and will close once the new centre is up and running.

BAM project and construction director John Phillips said, “We very much value the opportunity to work with Kirklees Council and are pleased to be building again in Huddersfield where we most recently delivered the Business School for the University, for which we’ve also delivered several other projects.

“As a community-minded contractor, this is a great building to be delivering because it means so much to the people around it. We’re sure that it will be an impressive building and it sits well with our other leisure sector projects in Yorkshire such as the City Varieties and the Leeds Arena, and we’re looking forward to making an early start.”

Hollywood film giant Paramount plans huge theme park in Swanscombe

A computer-generated image showing the proposed design for the site.
A computer-generated image showing the proposed design for the site.

HOLLYWOOD film giant Paramount has unveiled £2 billion proposals to build one of Europe’s largest theme parks in Swanscombe.

Planning to create 27,000 jobs, the 872-acre development planned for the Swanscombe Peninsula is bigger than the Olympic Park.

At the core of the development will be a Paramount-branded entertainment resort, boasting attractions including Europe’s largest indoor water park.

Theatres, live music venues, cinemas, restaurants and hotels are also planned to open in just six years time on the currently derelict brownfield site.

Top-secret talks have been held almost daily between developer London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) and Dartford and Gravesham Councils during the past year.

Gravesham Council leader Councillor John Burden said: “This scheme is as imaginative as it is vast.

“It has the potential to re-energise the entire north Kent economy, wipe out unemployment at a stroke and resolve the long-standing regeneration issues surrounding this peninsula.

“It’s a landmark announcement which could transform the area at super-heroic speed.”

A new country park, the biggest performing arts centre in Europe and apartments for the site’s employees are also in the pipeline.

The developer says a study suggests the huge attraction will draw in thousands of tourists to the north Kent area annually, adding significantly to the economy.

LRCH project leader Tony Sefton said: “Our vision is to create a world class entertainment destination, the first of its kind in the UK.

“We’re at the start of a long journey, but have been encouraged by the support and buy-in we have had to date.

“We are particularly pleased with the appetite we are seeing from investors, who consider this a compelling investment proposition.”

Ebbsfleet International station is at the core of access plans for the site, while the M25, M20 and A20 will provide road access.

Source This Is London

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Babatunde Ayodele talks about electrical training with T4TS

Babatunde Ayodele is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Babatunde to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Babatunde via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills  

 

Train4TradeSkills Radio: George Rees talks about electrical training with T4TS

George Rees  is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed George to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with George via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills  

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Justin Hancock talks about electrical training with T4TS

Justin Hancock  is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Justin to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Justin via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills  

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Danny Hardwick talks about electrical training with T4TS

Danny Hardwick  is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Danny to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Danny via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills  

 

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Lincoln Bradstock talks about electrical training with T4TS Part 2

Lincoln Bradstock  is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Lincoln to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Lincoln via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills