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February 27, 2018

Clugston CEO departs as group posts profit

Mr Martin has led the group for a decade and will depart later this year. Clugston Group chairman John Clugston said: “Stephen has been a most effective and loyal CEO and while we are sorry to see him leave, we are delighted he will be taking up such a prestigious appointment.

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ASET Scaffolding Training Centre opens for business

This is an exciting time for ASET and CITB as we realise our vision of creating a centre of excellence for scaffolding training in the North of Scotland.  The centre opened its door to the first apprentices and commercial cohort on 3rd October 2016. The level of enquiries and course

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UK move to set CO2 target faces challenge

©Bloomberg A boat passes between turbines at the London Array, the world’s largest consented wind farm, off southeast England The UK agreed on Thursday to set a legally binding goal committing the country to steep cuts in carbon dioxide emissions designed to help ward off climate change. But in a

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Níall McLaughlin wins 2016 RIBA Charles Jencks Award for architecture

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (21 September 2016) announced Níall McLaughlin, founder of Níall McLaughlin Architects, as winner of the 2016 RIBA Charles Jencks Award. The award is given to an individual or practice that has recently made a major contribution internationally to both the theory and

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April wipes record £7k of North East house prices

The latest report from KIS Housing has revealed that house prices in the North East dropped by 4% in April, wiping £7000 from the value of the average home. The record recorded fall wipes out the 3.1% rise recorded in March which had added £4811 to property prices and left

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RIBA announce winner of Research Medal Design Competition – Josh

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is delighted to announce medal maker Nicola Moss and architect/artist Simon Beeson as winners of the Research Medal Design Competition. Having caught the imagination of the judging panel with their submission – ‘Earth and Sky’ – Nicola and Simon will now set to

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Expert Calls for New Approach to Scheme Failures

Matt Dunham, a leading insolvency expert, from Dunham Dean Advisory is calling for a new approach to deal with property development firms that collapse and leave schemes unfinished and investors lacking money. He thinks a solution similar to the ‘London approach’ of the 1990s, under which creditors held off pursuing

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BDC 318 : Jul 2024

February 27, 2018

HSE to prosecute manufacturing company following Red Arrow pilot death

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has informed an ejection seat manufacturer that it will be prosecuted following the death of Flt Lt Sean Cunningham on 8th November 2011. HSE’s Inspector David Butter said: “HSE has today informed Martin Baker Aircraft Ltd that it will be prosecuted for an alleged breach of health and safety law. The charges relate to the death of Flt Lt Sean Cunningham in November 2011 at RAF Scampton. “We have conducted a thorough investigation and consider there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to bring a prosecution.” HSE was handed primacy of the investigation following a MOD Service Inquiry, investigations by the civilian and military police, and technical investigations involving the Military Aviation Authority and the Military Air Accident Investigation Branch. Flt Lt Cunningham was a Red Arrows pilot. He died after his ejector seat initiated during the pre-flight checks of his Hawk XX177 jet while on the ground and stationary at the Lincolnshire airbase. Martin Baker Aircraft Company Ltd, Lower Road, Higher Denham, bear Uxbridge will appear at Lincoln Magistrates Court, date to be confirmed, to face a Section 3 Charge under the Health and Safety of Work Act. ENDS The alleged breach is Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, which states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.” Now that criminal proceedings have commenced your attention is drawn to the fact that the provisions of the Contempt of Court Act apply to this matter. You will understand that it is not appropriate for HSE to give media interviews until court proceedings are concluded. You are advised to check the time and date of the hearing with the Court nearer the time to ensure that the case has not been put back. The Code for Crown Prosecutors sets out the principles for prosecutors to follow when they make enforcement decisions. HSE’s approach to prosecutions is set out in its enforcement policy statement. For the list of Ministry of Defence Service Inquiries visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/service-inquiry-si Journalists should approach HSE press office with any queries on regional press releases. Source link

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Clugston CEO departs as group posts profit

Mr Martin has led the group for a decade and will depart later this year. Clugston Group chairman John Clugston said: “Stephen has been a most effective and loyal CEO and while we are sorry to see him leave, we are delighted he will be taking up such a prestigious appointment. Once Stephen’s successor has been selected a further announcement will be made.” Clugston recorded a £2.2m pre-tax profit on a turnover of £143.4m in its results for 2015/16 released this month. That compared with turnover of £160m and pre-tax profit of £5.1m the year before. In construction, the group made a £2m profit (2014/15: £3m) on turnover of £126.6m in a market it said “remains very competitive”. Mr Martin said: “While we continue to face challenging conditions, Clugston Group has achieved another strong set of results, with solid profitability, substantial cash balances of £19.7m and no bank borrowings. “We appreciate that the economic outlook is now more uncertain following the Brexit decision; however, we already have a substantial forward order book in place for the next two years and remain confident that we can continue to deliver acceptable levels of profitability. “Furthermore, Clugston continues to make good progress in securing increased volumes of work in the water and care home sectors and I am pleased to announce that we will shortly commence work on our 12th energy-from-waste facility.”     Source link

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ASET Scaffolding Training Centre opens for business

This is an exciting time for ASET and CITB as we realise our vision of creating a centre of excellence for scaffolding training in the North of Scotland.  The centre opened its door to the first apprentices and commercial cohort on 3rd October 2016. The level of enquiries and course bookings to date has been very promising. I would like thank everyone involved in this project – from the architects to the builders and team members from both ASET and CITB. A lot has happened in a very short time and we can all be very proud of this purpose-built facility. Located near Aberdeen, the Centre will provide industry accredited scaffolding training to the North of Scotland, from Dundee to Shetland — both apprenticeships provision and commercial courses. I was delighted that ASET was chosen to partner with CITB on this project. In many ways it is a natural fit given that ASET delivers highly specialised vocational training to the oil and gas sector. This new centre offers unparalleled opportunities for the region through its extensive range of CISRS and SQA accredited courses. This investment underpins ASET’s long term commitment to the North East business community and economy. The new Scaffolding Training Centre will provide a local training facility to construction companies based in the North of Scotland who have, for too long, had to send their employees to Glasgow and further afield. It will also create new career opportunities in what is currently a depressed oil and gas employment market due to the low global oil price. Companies will now have a greater choice in selecting the right training options to develop the skills of their workforce, and individuals can choose to develop existing, or acquire new skills, in readiness for emerging market opportunities in the decommissioning arena. I look forward to building on the excellent foundations already established between ASET and CITB. About the author Atholl Menzies is the Chief Executive at ASET International Oil & Gas Training Academy.  ASET is a wholly-owned subsidiary company of North East Scotland College. It provides industry specific, competence-based training and assessment, and is acknowledged worldwide as a specialist training provider within the oil and gas industries in Process, Maintenance Engineering, Electrical and Hazardous Areas, Emergency Response, Marine and Health & Safety. Source link

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UK move to set CO2 target faces challenge

©Bloomberg A boat passes between turbines at the London Array, the world’s largest consented wind farm, off southeast England The UK agreed on Thursday to set a legally binding goal committing the country to steep cuts in carbon dioxide emissions designed to help ward off climate change. But in a sign of the uncertainties triggered by Britain’s vote to leave the EU, the move was dismissed as potentially “unlawful” by the think-tank founded by Nigel Lawson, the former Tory Chancellor and a member of the Leave campaign’s strategy committee. More On this topic IN UK Politics & Policy Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation said it was wrong for the government to set in law a fifth “carbon budget” committing the UK to cut emissions 57 per cent by 2032 from the levels of 1990. The goal was “based on the now incorrect assumption that the UK will still be in the EU by 2030”, the foundation said. It also assumed the UK would remain in the EU emissions trading scheme, the world’s largest carbon market, and be “covered by the EU’s Paris agreement terms”, it said. The EU has collectively agreed to cut emissions 40 per cent by 2030 as part of its commitment to the Paris climate change accord agreed in December. “It is our view that the government has behaved unreasonably and should have delayed approval of the budget and reassessed the impacts in the light of the far-reaching changes flowing from the referendum result,” the foundation said in a statement. “The hasty, rubber-stamping of a budget designed for very different circumstances is dangerous in itself and may be unlawful. The incoming prime minister should review this decision as a matter of priority.” The UK’s 2008 Climate Change Act requires the government to set five-yearly budgets for how much CO2 can be emitted to help reach the Act’s ultimate aim of cutting emissions 80 per cent from 1990 levels by 2050. Thursday was the statutory deadline for writing the latest budget into law and the turmoil surrounding last week’s Brexit vote had raised speculation that the government might try to delay. “Today’s announcement is especially welcome given the uncertainty caused by last week’s referendum,” said Hugh McNeal, chief executive, of RenewableUK, the wind farm industry trade group. However, the energy department is expected to announce next week that it will abolish a £10m fund set up by the previous coalition government to kick-start urban renewable energy projects. It is unclear if the move is related to the Brexit vote. The fund has backed more than 60 schemes, mostly solar panel installations, in towns and cities across England since it was set up in 2014. Lord Lawson is one of a number of influential Leave campaigners who have long questioned the cost of measures to tackle climate change. His foundation says the science of global warming is “not yet settled”. It is still unclear if the new government required after the resignation of David Cameron as prime minister will maintain existing climate policies. One of the frontrunners for Mr Cameron’s job, Michael Gove, the justice secretary, has said climate change can have a “devastating” impact on societies but was once accused of trying to downgrade global warming in the national schools curriculum. Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. You may share using our article tools. Please don’t cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web. Source link

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Níall McLaughlin wins 2016 RIBA Charles Jencks Award for architecture

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (21 September 2016) announced Níall McLaughlin, founder of Níall McLaughlin Architects, as winner of the 2016 RIBA Charles Jencks Award. The award is given to an individual or practice that has recently made a major contribution internationally to both the theory and practice of architecture. It will be presented on Tuesday 25 October at the RIBA in London, where the winner will also give a public lecture chaired by Charles Jencks. The judging panel for the 2016 RIBA Charles Jencks Award consisted of Charles Jencks (landscape designer, architectural theorist and writer), RIBA President Jane Duncan, Lily Jencks (Director, Lily Jencks Studio and JencksSquared), Deyan Sudjic (Director, Design Museum) and Brett Steele (Director, Architectural Association), and was chaired by David Gloster (RIBA Director of Education). RIBA President Jane Duncan said: “Níall’s body of work exemplifies the spirit of this award, which recognises the ability to seamlessly and in this case, beautifully, build theory into one’s practice. I am in awe of the materiality and the craftsmanship, of the dedication, the collaborative relationships and the contextual sensitivity with which Níall’s buildings are created, all of which make him a most-deserving winner of the 2016 RIBA Charles Jencks Award.” Speaking about Níall McLaughlin, Charles Jencks said: “Níall McLaughlin is a great inspiration for architects today, especially the young, because of his masterful skill in drawing from all traditions – classicism, modernism, postmodernism. All the “isms” are under his belt, not on his back, and he extends them all through the commitment to architecture as an art and professional practice.” On winning the 2016 RIBA Charles Jencks Award, Níall McLaughlin said: “I am honoured to receive the RIBA Charles Jencks Award; particularly given its special emphasis on a simultaneous engagement with theory and practice. For me, architectural practice includes drawing, writing and building as interlinked activities. It is a continual ferrying between an engagement in the natural processes required to bring something reliable and concrete into being, and the need to clear a space for the expression of doubt, possibility and a half-glimpsed ideal. I acknowledge the distinguished list of previous winners of this award; and I am very grateful for the recognition.” ENDS Notes to editors: 1. For further press information and images contact Callum Reilly callum.reilly@riba.org 020 7307 3757 2. Biography of Níall McLaughlin: Níall McLaughlin was born in Geneva in 1962. He was educated in Dublin and received his architectural qualifications from University College Dublin in 1984. He worked for Scott Tallon Walker in Dublin and London between 1984 and 1989. Níall established his practice in London in 1990. Níall McLaughlin Architects is now a studio of around 30 architects based in Camden, London. Significant projects include the Bandstand (Bexhill 2001), Pier Cafe (Deal 2006), Dirk Cove House (Cork 2004), ARC Building (Hull 2005), Goleen House (Cork 2008), Bishop Edward King Chapel (Oxford 2013), Olympic Athletes’ Housing (London 2012), Peabody Housing (Whitechapel 2015), and Somerville Student Residence (Oxford 2010). He is currently working on museum designs for the Natural History Museum in London and Auckland Castle in Durham. Niall won Young British Architect of the Year in 1998. He was named as one of the BBC’s Rising Stars in 2001 and his work represented Britain in a US exhibition Gritty Brits at the Carnegie Mellon Museum. Niall was made a Honorary Royal Designer for Industry (2015) and he represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale Architettura 2016. Niall is Professor of Architectural Practice at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. He was a visiting professor at the University of California Los Angeles from 2012-2013, and was appointed Lord Norman Foster Visiting Professor of Architecture at Yale for 2014-2015. Niall lives in London with his wife Mary, son Diarmaid and daughter Iseult. 3. Citation by Charles Jencks: “Niall McLaughlin gives the profession of architecture a good name. Staying within the confines of a tradition – broadly put – between classicism and modernism, he is nonetheless not worried about changing both by hybridising them, nor frightened of being called postmodern. In the time honoured manner of Mozart, he takes well known themes and tropes – the classical repertoire of the five platonic solids and their cognate modes (ellipse, parabola, pointed arch and so on) – and plays new games with them. This Free Style Classicism of vigour and light is the Old Game as defined by Lutyens, but it is orchestrated very lightly without being etiolated. His structural logic carried out with their repetitive geometries creates a new kind of Optical Architecture. The Bishop Edward King Chapel has its primitive strength, delicacy and content — virtues not usually found together – and ones reminiscent of James Stirling. His Alzheimer’s Centre in Dublin is one of the most subtle and appropriate designs for a sensitive building task I know. It stems from long careful research on the affliction, and was reinterpreted for this year’s Venice Biennale in his installation ‘Losing Myself’. McLaughlin’s planning and city design are equally based in particular and local research. Materiality, geometry, light, metaphor, abstractions, ornament and elegance are the obvious qualities. Quotations and iconic expression are sometimes prominent, and unembarrassed, unlike much other apologetic work today. Direct and bold, McLaughlin will even use Neo-Grec Horses as mass-produced panels for Olympic Housing, and not be accused of pastiche. Obviously he has a strong enough belief in eclectic practice to overcome the usual taboos that straightjacket architects.” 4. The RIBA Charles Jencks Award is awarded annually to an individual (or practice) that has recently made a major contribution simultaneously to the theory and practice of architecture. Winners are invited to deliver a lecture at the RIBA. Charles Jencks is a landscape designer, architectural theorist and writer, best known for his writing on post-modern architecture and as Trustee and Co-founder of Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres with Maggie Keswick. 5. The 2016 Charles Jencks Award lecture will take place at the Jarvis Hall, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD on Tuesday 25

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April wipes record £7k of North East house prices

The latest report from KIS Housing has revealed that house prices in the North East dropped by 4% in April, wiping £7000 from the value of the average home. The record recorded fall wipes out the 3.1% rise recorded in March which had added £4811 to property prices and left house prices 3.6% down over the course of 2016. The average house in the region is valued at £155,979 at the end of April 2016 – £7016 less than the end of March, but 1% higher than this time last year and 3% higher than April 2014. Every single area saw property prices fall over the past four weeks, with Morpeth recording the smallest fall (-0.1%). Above average falls were recorded in Jarrow (-6.3%) Whitley Bay (-6.1%) and Blyth (6%). Since KIS began compiling this data in April 2014, South Shields has seen the largest overall price increase, with a 6.7% rise in property prices. Other strong performers in this period in include Newcastle (6.6%) and Gateshead and Morpeth (6.2%). Prices in Easington have, however, fallen by 2.3% in this period – with Washington (-1.2%) and Jarrow (-0.6%) also seeing a reduction in prices over the past 24 months. Darlington’s April fall of 4.7% all-but returns property prices in the town to those seen in April 2014, with a price difference of just £486. This sees the town named this month’s “Best to Buy”. The majority of Darlington homes (38%) are semi-detached, 1% below the regional average. A further 30% are terraced, identical to the regional average. 60% of homes are owner-occupied, compared to 61% regionally. 15% of properties are socially rented and a further 18% privately rented. The average North East rent rose £14 per calendar month to £566pcm in April – a rise of 2.5%. Regional rents are, however, almost identical to those recorded in April 2014, when the average per calendar month cost of renting a North East home was £560. Blyth (£422) continues to be as the cheapest place to rent in the North East out of the areas surveyed, with Newcastle (£824) continuing to keep ahead of Tynemouth (£818) as the most expensive. As KIS’ monthly Tyne Wear Metro Map research shows, however, there is significant variation in rents within Newcastle itself. Peterlee has unexpectedly deposed Gateshead as the region’s Buy to Let capital, offering rental yields of 6.1% to investors. Other strong performers continue to be Gateshead and Sunderland (5.3%). Falling property prices and rising rents see the average North East rental yield rising 0.3% to 4.4%, with Easington and Tynemouth both seeing 0.7% monthly rises in the returns on their investment investors can expect to make. Yields in Gateshead continue to decline markedly, falling 0.8% over the past 4 weeks to a percentage figure 1.9% below a recorded high of 7.2%. Rents have risen sharpest in Whitley Bay over the past two years – rising from £578pcm in April 2014 to £679 today, a rise of 17.5%. As a whole, rents in the regional have risen by 1% over the past two years, with rents falling dramatically in Jarrow (-21%) and Houghton-le-Spring (-11%). Tynemouth’s yield rise of 0.7% and property price fall of 5.7% sees it named this month’s Best to Invest. 64% of homes are owner-occupied, 4% above the regional average. 15% of homes are socially rented, lower than the regional average of 22%. 17% of properties are privately rented, 3% above the regional average. Ajay Jagota, founder and Managing Director of North-East based sales and lettings firm KIS, had this to say: “House prices falling at a rate of 1% a week throughout April might sound surprising to some but the sad thing is these figures were entirely predictable. I’ve been forecasting for months that March would see prices boom as landlords raced to complete purchases ahead of tax changes which took place at the start of this month, before slumping back as many abandoned those investments altogether when they became less profitable. And so it proved.   The irony is that investors are now benefiting from higher rental yields and lower purchase prices. It’s the renters that lose out, as rents will inevitably rise as a consequence of those tax changes. Fewer properties are now available, leading to higher prices. It’s simple supply and demand. Having collected this data now for two years we are starting to see some fascinating trends emerging. Although average rents are all-but unchanged since April 2014, on an area-by-area basis there are some huge differences – 17.5% higher in Whitley Bay, but 21% lower in Jarrow. The reasons for these variations could easily be something as mundane as only a few rental properties coming onto the market, or a disproportionate number of cheaper or more expensive properties skewing the figures but overall they show the real value of us collecting this data – being able to tell our clients with absolute certainly which areas of the North East are at that moment the most attractive to renters and buyers and where landlords can expect to get the best returns”. Source link

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RIBA announce winner of Research Medal Design Competition – Josh

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is delighted to announce medal maker Nicola Moss and architect/artist Simon Beeson as winners of the Research Medal Design Competition. Having caught the imagination of the judging panel with their submission – ‘Earth and Sky’ – Nicola and Simon will now set to work producing the medal in partnership with a casting firm, before presentation to the medal winner of the President’s Awards for Research on 2 December 2015 at 66 Portland Place. The winner of the President’s Awards for Research will be announced on 13 November 2015. RIBA President, and Chair of the Judging Panel, Jane Duncan said: “Nicola and Simon have produced a stunning design that illustrates our rich tradition of medal design and awarding medals. It feels both appropriate and contemporary, whilst highlighting the expansive future possibilities of architectural research. The unique combination of architect, academic and medallist in their partnership made for a subtle yet arresting response to the brief. The approach from all six shortlisted entries has shown the hallmarks of excellent contemporary medal design, and I thank all of those who entered.” The competition was judged by a panel including RIBA President, Jane Duncan, RIBA Immediate Past President, Stephen Hodder; Philip Attwood, Keeper of Coins and Medals at the British Museum and President of the British Art Medal Society; and Charles Hind, RIBA Chief Curator and H J Heinz Curator of Drawings. Speaking about today’s announcement, Nicola Moss and Simon Beeson said: “We are delighted to be offered this challenge to create a contemporary medal for architectural research, in collaboration as artist and architect.” Nicola Moss is an established medal maker, whose work includes medals for the British Art Medal Society (George and the Dragon 1986, Mamoo 2008), St. Dunstan Millennium Medal (The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, 1988), Turtle Island Medal (Special Award, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture University of Minnesota, 1991 – cast bronze on ribbon, with box), and the Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture, (The Royal Society of Portrait Painters, 2000). Her work is found in collections internationally, including Department of Coins and Medals, British Museum, V&A, The National Museum of Scotland, Smithsonian Institute (Washington DC, USA) and Munzkainett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Simon Beeson is an architect, public artist and sculptor and is currently the Principal Lecturer & BA (Hons) Course Leader for Architecture at Arts University Bournemouth. His medallic work includes Linlithgow Threshold (2002) commissioned the British Art Medal Society. He has created collaborative medallic works with Nicola Moss, notably Ice Fishing (1993) and Grain Elevator (1995). In 1997 he designed the Simmons Gallery for coins and medals in Lambs Conduit Street, London. Recent plaster reliefs and sculptures were exhibited as part of Building Walden, ArtSway 2014. – ends – Notes to editors 1. For more information members of the press should contact: Gagandeep Bedi, Press Officer, RIBA: gagandeep.bedi@riba.org 020 7307 3814. Non press queries should be sent to MedalComp@riba.org. 2. The RIBA President’s Awards for Research promote research – and researchers – that contribute new knowledge and understanding to architecture and the practice of architecture. They highlight the need for the insight that nurtures innovation, quality, value and strategic thinking in the practice of architecture. 3. An image of the medal will be released on November 13, with an online image gallery of all shortlisted submissions to follow shortly. 4. Nicola Moss and Simon Beeson included the following explanation as part of their submission; ‘The obverse is an idea of architectural research and the reverse is an interpretation of the RIBA crest. The composition of the two sides of the medal begins with an act of division. ‘The dividing line of the obverse creates a horizon, representing the limits of knowing, but setting a boundary to inspire beyond. The reverse is divided vertically, establishing the axis mundi, the centre of the world. It also represents claiming our place in the wilderness as the first act of architecture; dividing space, with wall or column. ‘The two forces of light and shadow are here formally anchored in the earth and the sky. While the labyrinth is anchored to the hill, the horizon is drawn as a sharp line, representing both our perception of the world as we experience it and the abstract first line drawn on a plan or section, or the eye-level of our abstracted perspective. ‘Above the earth is the dome of the sky, described beautifully by the curve of the medal. And arching down from the sky is the sun’s light, illuminating the earth below. The space between the earth and sky becomes the domain we inhabit, the phenomenological origin of architecture. This space between earth and sky is co-incidentally shaped like the Labrys, the double-headed axe of Minoan Crete, after which the Labyrinth is named.’ 5. Further information and full Competition guidelines are available at www.architecture.com/ResearchMedalComp 6. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members www.architecture.com 7. Follow us on Twitter for regular RIBA updates @RIBA Posted on Wednesday 7th October 2015 Source link

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Conveyancing Association announce ongoing support for ESTAS Conveyancing Awards

The Conveyancing Association (CA), the leading trade body for the conveyancing industry, has announced its ongoing support for the ESTAS Conveyancing Awards, with entries now open for the 2018 competition. The ESTAS is a customer service award scheme designed to help conveyancers market themselves and to be recognised regionally and nationally for the standard of customer service they provide. The ESTAS award winners are based purely on feedback received from clients; during the competition conveyancers can track their customer service performance, view and use customer reviews in their marketing and download benchmarking data. The CA was a supporter of the ESTAS Conveyancing Awards in its inaugural year, 2017, and has today announced it will continue in this role for 2018. CA member firms enjoyed great success at last year’s Awards taking six of the ten regional categories: Countrywide Property Lawyers won the Best National Group Gold Award. CA member, Birchall Blackburn Manchester, won The ESTAS CA Member Award as the second highest-ranked branch in the UK. The Best Local Group Gold Award (for firms with two-five offices) went to Kent-based CA member firm, Boys & Maughan. CA member firm Coodes took silver in the Best Regional Group category (for firms with six to 20 offices). The gold for Best Regional Firm was presented to Birchall Blackburn. Convey Law also won the silver in the National Firm category. The awards came on the back of a customer service survey completed by over 5,000 clients, with the ceremony taking place at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London. The awards also recognised individual brilliance and two CA member firm employees taking home the ‘highly commended’ People Awards – they were Johanna Heane from Coodes in Newquay and Elizabeth Thomson from Boys & Maughan in Canterbury. Entry for the 2018 competition is already open and the CA is urging its member firms to take part by visiting: https://2018.conveyancers.theestas.com/ Entries close on the 31st May with the shortlists published in September and the Award Ceremony taking place on the 19th October at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. They will once again be hosted by ESTAS Ambassador, property expert, Phil Spencer. Lloyd Davies, Operations Director at The Conveyancing Association, commented: “Last year might have been the first for the ESTAS Conveyancing Awards but it already feels like its secured a permanent place in our industry’s calendar and we are very pleased to be announcing our ongoing support for the event in 2018. Last year 68% of all shortlisted entries were CA member firms and we’re encouraging all those who did not enter in 2017 to make sure they do so this year. Not only did the Association’s members feature heavily on the shortlists but there were some notable successes right across the board, showing that our firms work to the very highest of standards and that this is greatly appreciated by their clients. We’re looking forward to working with Simon and the ESTAS team again throughout the rest of the year, up to and beyond the Awards, and I’m sure our member firms will take a keen part in the event and be hugely successful on the night of the 19th October.”   Simon Brown, founder of The ESTAS Group who also recognise estate agents and mortgage advisers, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have the continued support of the CA; it’s another endorsement which confirms to us that conveyancers are ready for these customer-focused awards and the CA has been quick to understand the benefits to member firms who take part. Customer reviews now play a key role in consumers’ decision-making process and the ESTAS help to generate customer feedback which translates into powerful marketing opportunities for firms on a local, regional and national level.”

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Crest Nicholson and Waverley Borough Council seal partnership to regenerate Farnham Town Centre

Scheme consists of 239 residential units and nearly 10,000sq.m of retail and leisure space set in a new Town square in Farnham Award-winning developer Crest Nicholson and Waverley Borough Council have announced that work on the £115m Brightwells regeneration of Farnham Town Centre will commence in summer 2018. Comprising a new £40m retail and leisure hub, anchored by Marks and Spencer and Reel Cinemas, together with 239 new apartments clustered around a new town square, the development is set to transform and revitalise a much-underutilised part of the historic town of Farnham. The development includes 72 shared ownership affordable homes which will help meet a broader housing need and support first-time buyers in the local community. Once completed the commercial estate, which has been pre-sold to Surrey County Council, will include a six-screen cinema, eight restaurants and a combination of twenty-four retail units including a new Marks and Spencer Simply Food. The development will also refurbish part of the adjoining Sainsbury’s store and carpark. Detailed planning permission for the scheme has been secured, enabling work to commence in earnest in the summer. The centre, which includes new basement and deck parking for shoppers and residents, is expected to open in late 2021. The first residential dwellings will be occupied in early 2020 and the development will be completed in total by the spring of 2022.  The regeneration scheme secures more than £2 million of external investment into the Farnham community and includes an additional £2 million for highway improvements in central Farnham. Crest Nicholson estimates that once finalised the Brightwells site will provide Waverley Borough Council with a potential income of £700,000 to £900,000 per annum from a combination of rental income, business rates and car parking. Up to 400 jobs in the construction sector will be created during the development of the Brightwells scheme, with a further 400 permanent jobs in the leisure, retail and hospitality sectors once fully complete. Chris Tinker, Board Director at Crest Nicholson, explained: “We are pleased to have cemented our agreement with Waverley Borough Council and look forward to breaking ground on this significant development. Once complete the scheme will regenerate an important location in the centre of Farnham and deliver much needed new homes to the area. “We will continue to work closely with Waverley Borough Council and other stakeholders throughout the building phase.” Councillor Julia Potts, Leader of Waverley Borough Council, said: “The agreement means that our vision to deliver a scheme that will reinvigorate Farnham for residents, shoppers and visitors can finally now get underway. “This partnership with Crest Nicholson will transform Farnham town centre for future generations.”

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Expert Calls for New Approach to Scheme Failures

Matt Dunham, a leading insolvency expert, from Dunham Dean Advisory is calling for a new approach to deal with property development firms that collapse and leave schemes unfinished and investors lacking money. He thinks a solution similar to the ‘London approach’ of the 1990s, under which creditors held off pursuing their own claims while attempts were made to restructure or refinance the business, would be useful. He argues that the buy-to-let funding model is now used in other types of development, such as care homes, student accommodation, and self-storage units. “In effect, these investors are buying a unit, flat or a room in a care home off plan,” says Matt Dunham. “The money isn’t always held separately but is used to build the block which is fine if all goes to plan. However if it doesn’t then the developer goes bust, a ‘fire sale’ is held and the unfinished building is sold at a discount.” Banks lose money, developers lose money, and private investors lose money. When a developer runs out of money, the bank decides whether or not to put them back into administration. Instead of relying on the bank, Matt thinks investors should work together and raise a ring-fenced pot of money to complete the development and appoint a restructuring officer or accountant to monitor the process. “This would allow them to achieve a much higher value for the development and much better returns for themselves,” says Matt. “It would also help to contain any panic within the property market.” “We have seen a couple of schemes collapse recently and we believe there are several more teetering on the edge. In the 1990s we had the London approach, now we need to pioneer a new approach. Certainly it’s time we found a way for all parties to sit down together and come up with a pragmatic and consensual solution,” Matt concluded.

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