BDC

Search
BDC Magazine

November 26, 2020

PAGABO HITS £3 BILLION SOCIAL VALUE ENABLED MARK

FRAMEWORK provider Pagabo is celebrating hitting its latest social value milestone, marking £3bn in social value being enabled by works procured through its frameworks since 2017. This marks another milestone in a hugely successful year for the firm, which saw the launch of its new Major Works and Professional Services

Read More »

Leedale grabs another pair of MirrorCam-equipped 8×4 Arocs from Mercedes-Benz Dealer Rygor

Ambitious construction support services specialist Leedale became one of the UK’s first customers for Arocs tipper-grabs equipped with Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ ground-breaking MirrorCam technology when it commissioned a pair of eight-wheelers in January.  The family-owned business also purchased two tipper-grabs by another manufacturer at the same time. But it was to

Read More »
Local Regeneration Completed in Nottingham

Local Regeneration Completed in Nottingham

Housing developer, Keepmoat Homes, along with their development partners Nottingham City Council and Nottingham City Homes, are celebrating the completion of their most recent development, The Edge, situated on the outskirts of Nottingham city centre, in The Meadows. The development has transformed the area through the provision of 110 new

Read More »
Show Home Opens at Carterton Development

Show Home Opens at Carterton Development

A new show home has opened to the public at a luxury housing development in Carterton, West Oxfordshire. Linden Gardens, a sought-after residential scheme comprising 32 homes, is due for completion in summer 2021, with first completions in February 2021, and will feature two bed apartments, three and four bed

Read More »

More work needed on Building Safety Bill in order to protect leaseholders

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee released their report on the draft Building Safety Bill this week outlining their concerns that the draft does not do enough to protect leaseholders. The report states that, in its current form, the draft legislation does not provide adequate protection against leaseholders paying

Read More »

Most common workplace accidents 2019/2020

The emphasis on safety in the workplace has been moved onto social distancing and regular hand cleaning in light of the current pandemic. While clean hands will help you avoid Coronavirus it doesn’t do much for other workplace hazards. Recent numbers from HSE have shown that for 2019/2020, close to

Read More »

Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

November 26, 2020

Construction commences on Fiera’s landmark office redevelopment project in Leeds Central Business District

Fiera Real Estate (“FRE UK”) and Opus North are delighted to announce that construction has started on site at 12 King Street, having received planning permission for the premier Grade A office building in September 2020. The property, which occupies a prime position in the heart of Leeds’ CBD, was acquired in January 2020 on behalf of Fiera Real Estate Opportunity Fund V UK (“FREOF V UK”), the latest fund in Fiera Real Estate’s programmatic venture series with CBRE Global Investment Partners (“CBRE GIP”). FREOF V UK is targeting £250m of value add and opportunistic transactions and FRE UK are actively seeking similar city centre redevelopment opportunities in the £5-£25m range. Opus North have appointed GMI Construction Group to undertake the renovation of the landmark Leeds City Centre office building which is being developed speculatively and will deliver 54,500 sq. ft. of super prime office accommodation once complete by the Autumn of 2021. The building has been carefully designed by DLA Design to take into consideration the rapidly evolving office market and with tomorrow’s occupier in mind, boasting cutting-edge ‘smart’ building technology alongside market leading sustainability and well-being features credentials. The transformation includes a striking new façade, complete replacement of the fifth and sixth floors, a state-of-the-art cycle spa and two new floors boasting an unrivalled communal sky lounge with extensive roof terraces. The project will bring much needed high-spec office accommodation to Leeds and serves to be one of the most high profile office redevelopments, proving investor confidence in the city’s office market. The project is central to FRE UK’s investment thesis to create best in class sustainable buildings in markets with strong fundamentals, which is more important now than ever.  Knight Frank and Fox Lloyd Jones are representing FRE UK and Opus North in seeking occupiers for this game changing development.  Andrew Duncan, Managing Director of Opus North commented “We are creating the post Covid-19 contemporary workspace in the heart of Leeds, where technology, open spaces, roof gardens, fresh air, air-conditioning, combined with an exemplary approach to customer service, ensure we are the best-in-class office product in the city. We have challenged our design team of market-leading consultants to innovate and think outside to box to ensure we’re not just ploughing the same old furrow and doing what’s been done before. We have embraced the current climate, rolled with the changes and now we are close to launching the future of the post-pandemic workplace. Watch this space. “ Lee Powell, GMI Divisional Managing Director said: “12 King Street serves as one of the most-high profile and iconic developments within Leeds Central Business District and this landmark redevelopment project is drawing a lot of interest. Having undertaken the extensive refurbishment and redevelopment of the award winning ‘33 Wellington Street’ in Leeds for Walker Morris’ new office, it feels befitting that we have now been entrusted to embark on breathing life into Walker Morris’ previous office in the heart of the city centre and we’re planning on this project being just as successful” We are extremely happy and proud to be awarded this contract and entrusted by both Opus North and FRE UK to deliver the renaissance of this specular building. We look forward to working closely with Opus and FRE UK and the full professional services team”.

Read More »

Hörmann UK supports St.Modwen Industrial & Logistics in largest ever speculative logistics build

As St. Modwen Industrial and Logistics’ largest ever speculative logistics build, the industrial unit on the second phase of its flagship Tamworth site stretches an impressive 321,204 sq. ft and features the greatest innovations in building components, including Hörmann UK’s high quality portfolio of loading solutions. Building on its impressive industrial growth strategy, the latest construction is its highest specification to date and will act as a showcase scheme for future projects. Phase two, named T321, spans almost 480,000sq. ft and is strategically located at the heart of the Midlands’ motorway network, just off junction 10 of the M42. It’s prime positioning was chosen to meet the gap in supply for industrial units within the region, comprising of the highest standards in manufacturing, storage and distribution solutions. Building on its longstanding relationship with St. Modwen Industrial & Logistics, Hörmann UK was chosen to supply and install its market leading loading bay solutions, including single and double deck shelters, to ensure the site adequately fulfils the ever-changing needs of prospective clients. Its innovative Level Access Doors, Loading Bay Doors, Dock Bumpers, LED Traffic Lights and LED Dock Lights were also selected to provide a complete and complementary offering. Richard Carter, Senior Director – Construction for St. Modwen Industrial and Logistics’, said: “The construction of the first and second phases at St. Modwen Park Tamworth is a significant milestone for St. Modwen Logistics & Industrial as we successfully complete the construction of our largest ever speculatively built logistics building. “The impressive site will bring up to 1,700 jobs to the region, demonstrating our commitment to creating sustainable commercial developments that benefit all individuals involved. Phase two sets the bar for operational success, health and wellbeing, featuring our highest specification to date. “This includes over 150 of Hörmann’s innovative loading solutions, which have been installed throughout the site to support occupiers in achieving the highest standards in operational efficiency, safety and security. St. Modwen Park Tamworth sets the precedent for our growth strategy as we look to increase our output of commercial sites throughout 2020 and beyond.” The warehouse’s external design features single sided loading with 27 of Hörmann’s loading bays, which can be in operation 24/7 for maximum output. 23 of the bays include Hörmann’s popular single deck loading bay doors, dock levellers and dock shelters, while the remaining four bays feature its double deck dock shelters and dock levellers. This enables the site to adequately meet the needs of a diverse fleet, from standard heavy goods vehicles to double deck trucks. For increased thermal efficiency, the double deck docks are fitted with secondary electric roller blind top flaps to provide an efficient seal on smaller vehicles when using the bay, minimising any potential transfer of heat loss. This supports the site in achieving its BREEAM ‘Excellent’ accreditation, while the standard deck loading bays also offer outstanding thermal efficiency, with the insulated sectional panels enabling the doors to achieve a U- value of 0.5/Wm².K. The loading bays are also equipped with Hörmann UK’s LED external arrow traffic lights to signal to drivers when they can safely pull off from the bay. Its functional LED dock lights have also been installed on each bay to provide outstanding levels of safety during the unloading and loading process. Hörmann’s first class dock bumpers have also been fitted across each bay to provide additional protection. The bumpers are spring loaded to absorb the impact caused by heavy loads if they make contact with the bay, providing enhanced operational efficiency and safety to minimise any potential downtime due to damage. Three Level Access Doors were also installed throughout the warehouse for enhanced functionality, whilst also providing comprehensive thermal efficiency with a U-Value of 0.5/Wm².K due to its composite construction and insulated sectional panels. The electronically operated doors are fitted with an anti-lift device and an interlocked heavy duty shoot bolt to provide first class security for additional peace of mind. Paul Tulley, Key Account Manager for Hörmann UK, said: “Our presence at St. Modwen Park Tamworth is part of our wider commitment to provide £1million of loading bay solutions to St. Modwen Logistics & Industrial to support its impressive UK growth strategy. “We are very proud to have been selected by St. Modwen Logistics & Industrial as one of the prime suppliers on its expansion journey and it reflects our continued commitment to ensure we manufacture, supply and maintain the most innovative and quality loading solutions for supply chain operators. We look forward to working together throughout 2020 to see the completion of an impressive number of sites across the country.” To view Hörmann UK’s complete offering for the industrial market, visit https://www.hormann.co.uk or call 01530 516868.

Read More »

Goodman given green light for M25 340,000 sq ft prime e-commerce and deliveries site+

Green light granted for one of the largest warehouses available within the M25, meeting demand for quality logistics space close to the Capital Customers to benefit from access to a skilled workforce, including 1.6 million qualified locals1 Planning has been granted for a high specification 338,267 sq ft single unit warehouse at Purfleet Commercial Park, Essex.  Available to pre-let with the ability for an immediate start on site, Purfleet 338 is just 16 miles from Central London and at the heart of the M25 and A13 corridors, providing excellent connectivity across Greater London and the South East.  This location has prime access to the national motorway network, only half a mile from junctions 30 and 31 of the M25. This sees it able to efficiently service potential e-commerce, retail and third-party logistics customers, with capability of reaching 21 million consumers, with a combined purchasing power of £453 billion per annum2, within two hours.  Purfleet 338 also benefits from a sizeable base of potential employees – with 9,300 job seekers within a 30-minute radius and access to 1.6 million locals with qualifications relevant to logistics and distribution.     The warehouse will be developed to a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ specification and will include more than 29,000 sq ft of high quality office space. Sustainably designed and energy efficient, the property will feature electric car charging points and infrastructure for future electric vehicle fleets, solar thermal heating and hot water, and carbon neutral cladding. The wider park has been designed to meet the business, health and wellbeing needs of Goodman’s customers with outdoor seating alongside a pond, mature landscaping, and a delineated running track. George Glennie, Development Director at Goodman, said:  “Purfleet 338 sees Goodman continuing our commitment to provide critical infrastructure for delivery of essential goods and services.  “With this new development, we will further connect our customers with their consumers both in the Capital and wider South East region, helping them meet growing expectations for faster deliveries.” Purfleet 338’s plans also include an 18 metre clear internal height, 55 metre yard depth, 4MVA of power and a cladding system designed to meet chill-store requirements – offering customers flexibility in usage while maximising operational efficiency.   Glennie continued:  “Goodman focuses on securing key sites for properties that stand the test of time. We know that well located, designed and managed properties are better prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. Our Purfleet investment allows for rising demand in flexible, high-specification spaces that support supply chain efficiencies.”    To find out more about Purfleet Commercial Park, please visit the website for further details. Joint agents marketing the scheme are Cushman & Wakefield and JLL.

Read More »

PAGABO HITS £3 BILLION SOCIAL VALUE ENABLED MARK

FRAMEWORK provider Pagabo is celebrating hitting its latest social value milestone, marking £3bn in social value being enabled by works procured through its frameworks since 2017. This marks another milestone in a hugely successful year for the firm, which saw the launch of its new Major Works and Professional Services frameworks go live in April, the appointment of several members of staff and the announcement of a transformational research collaboration with The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre to name but a few.  The figures have been enabled through Pagabo’s full suite of frameworks. As well as figures relating to the financial benefit to local economies, the measurement includes the creation of more than 2,750 jobs and the safeguarding of more than 11,000 jobs, as well as 900 work placements and more than 700 apprentice roles.  Simon Toplass, chief executive officer at Pagabo, said: “Driving positive social impact for individuals, communities and businesses up and down the country is one of our core business values at Pagabo, so hitting this landmark £3bn enabled figure is a really proud moment for us. “Social value is firmly at the heart of everything we do, and we make a conscious effort to be as directly involved as possible in order to help our clients generate the best social return possible from their projects. And there is of course no doubt that social value is set to play a bigger part than ever in the future following COVID-19 – especially when it comes to job safeguarding, job creation and the development of employment opportunities in the immediate future.” Pagabo generates its figures using Social Profit Calculator (SPC) – the market-leading online tool accredited by Social Value UK and Social Value International. SPC uses robust government data and methodologies to help organisations understand, evidence and measure the social impact of their work.  Simon said: “Most organisations will already be delivering some form of social value through their employment of staff, skills development programmes and through working with local supply chains. The important next step is knowing how to measure these things and how they equate to true benefit for local communities. This is something that SPC is perfectly placed to do, accurately calculating the financial value of social, economic and environment impact of work. “It’s highly likely that we are going to see a significant push over the coming years regarding industry standards of data collection for social value – especially when it comes to regional differences. Tools like SPC will continue to grow in importance – as will the need for cross-industry collaboration to build a picture of what good social value looks like around the country for clients.” Pagabo is set to announce the successful applicants for its brand-new developer-led framework – worth £47bn – in December. For more information on how Pagabo enables social value, please visit https://www.pagabo.co.uk/social-value/

Read More »

WorldGBC and global leaders call for historic Built Environment Day at COP26

The World Green Building Council joins nine international organisations to sign a letter to COP26 President, Alok Sharma, requesting a Built Environment Day at the climate summit in November 2021. The day at COP26 would be dedicated to the action pathways to accelerate the decarbonisation of the built environment, and it will demonstrate how business and governments are catalysing solutions to the climate crisis. This comes a few days after WorldGBC took part in the UN’s Race To Zero Dialogues, discussing how policy, finance and industry leadership can accelerate decarbonisation and ensure the resilience of built environment assets. Cristina Gamboa, CEO, World Green Building Council: “It is essential to have a full day to recognise the building and construction industry at COP26. The sector accounts for nearly 40% of global energy and process-related emissions, up to 10% of global employment and around 50% of global wealth. Despite this, our sector often remains a blind spot in global climate negotiations. WorldGBC has signed a letter to COP26 President, Alok Sharma, together with nine fellow international organisations which are working to decarbonise and make more sustainable the built environment across the world. We look forward to his reply and discussing how we can work together to make COP26 the success it needs to be.” The letter argues that a Built Environment Day at COP26 would spotlight the sector’s unique capability to deliver powerful zero carbon solutions and serve as a rallying point for the sector’s diverse stakeholders. The day would allow the sector to collaborate with governments and policymakers and catalyse action towards ambitious targets for 2030 and beyond. List of signatories: Martina Otto, Head of Secretariat, Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40 Cities Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group Andrew Higham, Chief Executive, MISSION 2020 Cristina Gamboa, CEO, World Green Building Council Peter Bakker, CEO, World Business Council Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Maria Mendiluce, CEO, We Mean Business Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute Julie Hirigoyen, CEO, UK Green Building Council Marco Caffi, Executive Director, Green Building Council Italia The letter urges the COP26 organisers to recognise the central role the buildings and construction sector can play in overcoming the key societal challenges we face: The sector can offer solutions to the climate and economic crisis caused by COVID-19 by driving a green recovery and support a climate-resilient future.  It can deliver short-term jobs and growth by improving and retrofitting existing built assets, as well as ensuring new ones do not contribute high levels of greenhouse gasses. Read the full letter.

Read More »

Leedale grabs another pair of MirrorCam-equipped 8×4 Arocs from Mercedes-Benz Dealer Rygor

Ambitious construction support services specialist Leedale became one of the UK’s first customers for Arocs tipper-grabs equipped with Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ ground-breaking MirrorCam technology when it commissioned a pair of eight-wheelers in January.  The family-owned business also purchased two tipper-grabs by another manufacturer at the same time. But it was to Mercedes-Benz Dealer Rygor Commercials that it has just returned for the latest couple of additions to its fleet. So impressed is Leedale with the 8×4 Arocs, and with the rapid turnarounds achieved by Rygor, that the Dealer is now firmly established as its preferred construction truck partner.   The muscular, high-riding Arocs is purpose-designed for operation on rough sites. Like their predecessors, Leedale’s new trucks had been pre-built for Rygor’s WorkReady programme, so were supplied from stock. They have ClassicSpace M-cabs and, as 3240K variants, employ 10.7-litre ‘straight-six’ engines which produce 290 kW (394 hp) and drive through smooth and efficient 12-speed Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated manual transmissions. The trucks’ steel Loadmaster bodies are by Thompson, and their Palfinger Epsilon M125L Classic cranes work with Kinshofer clamshell buckets. Safety equipment, meanwhile, includes a 360-degree camera and side-scanning system to protect vulnerable road users, as well as LED strobe lighting front and rear, and a roof-mounted LED beacon bar. Fast-growing Leedale is based in Alfreton, Derbyshire, and operates a fleet of 50 trucks, 20 of them sweepers. Of the remaining tippers, tipper-grabs and flat-beds with Hiab cranes, 17 now wear three-pointed stars – Rygor also delivered six WorkReady 8×4 Arocs tippers with wing mirrors late last year. Established in 1989 by Lee Walkup, Leedale is a well-established supplier to main contractors, consultancies, developers and public sector clients in the East Midlands. The company provides a comprehensive portfolio of muckaway, aggregates, demolition and general haulage services, as well as waste management, and vehicle and plant hire. It has also seen a surge in demand during the Covid-19 pandemic from homeowners, garden designers and landscapers, for deliveries of one-tonne bags of materials. Led by Managing Director Oliver Walkup, the founder’s son, Leedale has now embarked on a major expansion programme, its aim being to tender for and win new contracts on a national basis. To this end, it has set its sights on upgrading its current Bronze FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) accreditation to Silver at the earliest opportunity, and has just appointed its first National Sales Manager. Kim Smith joined the company in August and brings an impressive record of achievement in the earth moving sector to her new role. “The construction sector is in full flow and Leedale is extremely busy right now,” she said. “This explains why we needed more new vehicles, and quickly.” She continued: “We’re committed to a strategy of growth, and to winning new business beyond our East Midlands heartland. Many of the prospective customers we want to target require their suppliers to be accredited to FORS Silver standard. Health and safety, and compliance, are therefore at the very top of our agenda. “Not only have our Mercedes-Benz trucks proved to be more reliable and cost-effective to operate than other marques on the fleet, but they are also ahead of the rest when it comes to safety. MirrorCam, for example, has been a huge hit with the drivers who are using it. So much better is the level of visibility the system offers that not one of them would want to be without it now.” MirrorCam’s compact, roof-mounted cameras relay images to screens mounted inside the cab, on the A-pillars. Not only does this pioneering technology provide much-improved rearward vision, but it also eliminates the forward-facing blind spots created by conventional mirrors. As previously, Leedale took advantage of competitive funding support from Mercedes-Benz Finance to acquire its latest Arocs. Ms Smith observed: “Leedale has built a great reputation and excellent client relationships over more than 30 years, by offering a first-class service. “That’s also what we’ve received from Rygor Commercials. Its Truck Sales Executive Marcus Cahalin has been both efficient and responsive in delivering our Arocs within a couple of weeks of the orders being placed, while the vehicles are also perfectly specified for the job.” As well as tippers and tipper grabs, the broad selection of pre-built trucks that Rygor offers under its WorkReady banner includes hookloaders, mixers and skiploaders. Marcus Cahalin added: “Leedale is a business that’s clearly going places, and it wants to get there as quickly as possible. For customers like this, who need their new trucks with minimal delay, Rygor’s WorkReady programme has all the answers.” www.leedale.com

Read More »
Local Regeneration Completed in Nottingham

Local Regeneration Completed in Nottingham

Housing developer, Keepmoat Homes, along with their development partners Nottingham City Council and Nottingham City Homes, are celebrating the completion of their most recent development, The Edge, situated on the outskirts of Nottingham city centre, in The Meadows. The development has transformed the area through the provision of 110 new homes and apartments along with a variety of social value initiatives delivered in the community. Shaun Fielding, Regional Managing Director at Keepmoat Homes said: “I am very proud of the development and what we have achieved and delivered for our customers, partners and the local community. As a Nottingham based business, The Edge has enabled us to make a positive local impact and is an excellent regeneration example and truly reflects Keepmoat’s vision of Building Communities. Transforming Lives.” Cllr Linda Woodings, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage at Nottingham City Council said: “The new homes are one of a number of recent redevelopments in the Meadows area, aimed at providing a range of different styles of housing to suit different needs: from council homes; affordable rent and shared ownership; to market sale and rent.  “These new homes and the improvements to the roads, pavements and landscaping have once again made Arkwright Walk an attractive and safe route into the city for cyclists and pedestrians and continue to enhance the reputation of the Meadows as an area where people choose to live”. Supporting the availability of affordable private rental properties in the city, Nottingham City Homes have expanded their portfolio by purchasing both apartment blocks on the development.   Nick Murphy, Chief Executive of the Nottingham City Homes Group, said: “Our LiviNG subsidiary acquires and offers homes for rent across Nottingham and lets them live responsibly with the aim of developing communities and offering private renters the benefit of security of tenure for as long as they like. “We’re delighted to be adding these properties to our portfolio, for the benefit of Nottingham people for whom private rental offers a real alternative to buying.”

Read More »
Show Home Opens at Carterton Development

Show Home Opens at Carterton Development

A new show home has opened to the public at a luxury housing development in Carterton, West Oxfordshire. Linden Gardens, a sought-after residential scheme comprising 32 homes, is due for completion in summer 2021, with first completions in February 2021, and will feature two bed apartments, three and four bed semi-detached homes and three, four and five bed detached homes, all of which will be finished to the finest quality with high spec fixtures and fittings, and landscaped gardens. Prices will range from £250,000 to £800,000 and the opening of the new show home will give prospective buyers a glimpse into the luxury development, with visitors welcome to view the show home by booking an appointment with selling agent Connells. To comply with current COVID-19 restrictions, measures will be in place to ensure the safety of visitors – including a health and safety questionnaire for all guests prior to viewing the show home and a limit on how many people may attend per household. For interested buyers who do not wish to visit the show home in person, a virtual video tour will be available upon request. Located just a mile south of Carterton town centre, Linden Gardens is set in a stunning location adjacent to both Kilkenny Lane Country Park and Kilkenny Lane allotments surrounded by a range of leisure facilities and local amenities. Neighbouring towns include Witney, Cheltenham, Burford and Swindon, with the city of Oxford and the Cotswolds situated less than 20 miles away. The development’s closest train station – Long Hanborough – is also ideally located 10 minutes from Oxford, 40 minutes from Reading and just one hour from London Paddington. Co-founder and chief executive officer of Taggart Homes, Michael Taggart, said: “We are extremely pleased to be opening the new show home to interested buyers, so they can really immerse themselves in this beautiful family development. “As with every property by Taggart Homes, Linden Gardens will be finished to the highest standards, featuring excellent workmanship and materials for the build, interior fixtures and landscaped gardens. The development is located in a prime position for families and commuters, with convenient road and rail links to nearby towns, cities and places of interest, including London and the Cotswolds. The development also benefits from proximity to the country park, with open fields beyond, making it a wonderfully peaceful place to live, nestled in West Oxfordshire. “We have taken great care to ensure that the show home is a COVID-safe environment, whilst still providing visitors with the chance to see all that the property and development has to offer. For anyone who is self-isolating or uncertain about visiting in person, we have ensured that video tours of the property are available.” Kerry Rees, Connells new homes sales advisor, said: “There has already been significant interest and excitement for this development, and we are pleased to be giving prospective homebuyers the opportunity to see inside the show home. One of the scheme’s biggest selling points is its location – tucked away in a peaceful setting, with plenty of amenities, fantastic schools and convenient connections to neighbouring cities nearby. “The development’s variety of properties makes it the ideal location for so many different buyers from first timers to city workers and families.

Read More »

More work needed on Building Safety Bill in order to protect leaseholders

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee released their report on the draft Building Safety Bill this week outlining their concerns that the draft does not do enough to protect leaseholders. The report states that, in its current form, the draft legislation does not provide adequate protection against leaseholders paying the bill for work to remedy fire safety defects, this includes the removal of dangerous cladding. Among the 40 recommendations contained within the report was a review of ‘Building Safety Charges’, a new type of service charge that will be introduced to help fund future fire safety remedial work. However, the report states that these new charges will make long leaseholders of higher-risk buildings liable to pay, making the charges a mechanism for ensuring residents foot the bill, rather than funding the cost of future work. What is the Building Safety Bill? The Building Safety Bill is a new piece of UK Government legislation aimed at reforming the regulations surrounding the safety of high-rise buildings in the UK. A major part of the UK Government’s response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, it is currently being scrutinised while in draft form, but is expected to be brought to Parliament early next year. In September, Propertymark responded to the pre-legislative scrutiny of the Draft Building Safety Bill with a number of concerns, including the way in which the Building Safety Charge is structured, which will make it much easier for building owners to pass the costs of remedial work to leaseholders. ‘Propertymark response to draft Building Safety Bill‘ Lack of detail forces urgent question The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee also highlighted in their report a lack of detail and an over-emphasis on legislation and regulation that has not yet been published, making it ambiguous as to how the new regulations would work in practice. In light of the concerns the Committee provided in their report, Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Committee, tabled an urgent question to Government on Tuesday 24 November on whether leaseholders are expected to pay for the removal of dangerous cladding, with the Housing Minister Christopher Pincher MP taking the despatch box to represent the Government. During the session, MPs repeatedly outlined concerns their constituents had about letters requiring them to pay for the removal of cladding and extreme service charges while the UK Government delayed their response. The Minister stressed that the UK Government writing a blank cheque to developers sends the wrong signal and costs for removing unsafe cladding should fall on those responsible, which includes developers, building owners and other stakeholders. However, he could not guarantee costs will never fall to leaseholders in some circumstances. The Minister was keen to highlight the recent ‘win’ of ensuring that External Wall Fire Review forms (EWS1) are no longer required for buildings without cladding, however, one MP highlighted that this had not been formally agreed, with UK finance and the Building Societies Association not yet backing the announcement. It is pleasing that the Committee has agreed with Propertymark that there needs to be greater protections for leaseholders, including reducing administration and costs, as well as more clarity for those involved in managing property. In particular, greater guidance and support will be needed for Building Safety Managers and Accountable Persons to deliver the new regime as well as the need for the Building Safety Charge to be incorporated into existing Service Charge arrangements. We will continue to press for a holistic approach to ensure that the New Homes Ombudsman works alongside existing, and proposed, regulation of home buying and selling to deliver consistency for consumers moving between property on the existing market and purchasing new build property. Mark Hayward NAEA Propertymark Chief Executive

Read More »

Most common workplace accidents 2019/2020

The emphasis on safety in the workplace has been moved onto social distancing and regular hand cleaning in light of the current pandemic. While clean hands will help you avoid Coronavirus it doesn’t do much for other workplace hazards. Recent numbers from HSE have shown that for 2019/2020, close to 700,000 workers sustained injuries on the job. Of those, 65,427 were serious enough to be reported to RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations). According to these findings, the most likely causes of non-fatal workplace accidents were: Slips, trips and falls on the same level Handling, lifting or carrying Being struck by a moving object Falls from height Workplace violence Fatal accidents have steadily been decreasing over the years but we are still in triple figures, with 111 recorded for 2019/2020. Falls from heights are the leading cause of fatal injuries, affecting mostly individuals in the construction industry, followed by forestry, fishing and agriculture. While there is no denying that certain industries are more dangerous than others, it may surprise you to find that across the board, construction is, in some ways, one of the safest professions. In fact, hairdressers are one of the most at-risk groups of workers when it comes to non-fatal accidents in the workplace – those scissors are sharp after all. Hairdressers are 7 times more likely to have an accident than a carpenter. We should also spare a thought for personal trainers who are considered to be three times as likely to hurt themselves on the job as a bricklayer. Following procedures and safety precautions should help you avoid the more common workplace accidents. It can be easy to forget proper lifting techniques when you are in a hurry, but you do so at your own risk. Similarly, falls from heights can be prevented thanks to safety harnesses. You have a right to be safe at work; effective safety equipment is also a right, not a privilege.  The majority of the accident at work claims that Thompsons Scotland deal with are down to negligence on an employer’s part. So it is truly in their best interest to improve safety standards. If your workplace is unsafe your employer has a responsibility to make it better. You, as an employee, also have a responsibility to report unsafe working conditions. Your first step should be to report your concerns to your immediate supervisor. Most businesses will have a procedure for safety concerns so this may mean that you are asked to submit a written report outlining the unsafe conditions. If you are part of a union, then find out who your safety representative is and report the situation to them. If none of these avenues is successful you can reach out to HSE either online or by telephone. They will need to take your details, but you can ask them not to disclose this information to your employer if they contact them. Coronavirus has certainly brought new challenges to the workplace this year but we cannot allow it to make us complacent to the other dangers that exist. Hopefully, the number of accidents in the workplace will continue to fall and the statistics for 2020/2021 will be even more encouraging.

Read More »