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June 24, 2021

Yorkshire Housing to trial building inspection with drone technology

Connected Places Catapult has brought together Yorkshire Housing and Vantage UAV as part of the Government Drone Pathfinder Catalyst Programme. The programme is sponsored by the Department for Transport (DfT), and supported by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Together we aim to accelerate the safe adoption

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Housing plan is milestone for former colleagues

Plans for 73 new high quality homes in Sheffield will complete a memorable circle for two men involved in removing properties from the site over a decade ago. Steve Birch, then working with the council’s housing department, was involved with local Cllr. Tony Damms, in finding better homes for those

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Purfleet 338 contract secured for Matrix

Matrix Networks has been appointed by Goodman to design and install multi-utility connections for the new Purfleet 338 logistics development at Purfleet Commercial Park in Thurrock. The Independent Connections Provider has been commissioned by its long-standing client following a competitive tender process to supply electricity, gas and water connections for

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Help-to-buy demand surges amongst first-time buyers

The New Homes Index has tracked new home buyer searches across England during May, its findings reveal that first-time buyer demand for help-to-buy properties has surged by 19% since the new scheme came into effect 1 April 2021.  A sign that the new help-to-buy scheme, which requires new entrants to homeownership to put down a 5% deposit, is helping first time buyers to make the most of lockdown savings to get on to

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Selco Forest Paves Route To Sustainable Future

Selco Builders Warehouse has stepped up its commitment to delivering a sustainable future for the business, its customers and colleagues by planting a new forest. In what is believed to be the most significant development of its kind in the builders merchant industry, Selco has directly supported the planting of

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BDC 318 : Jul 2024

June 24, 2021

Yorkshire Housing to trial building inspection with drone technology

Connected Places Catapult has brought together Yorkshire Housing and Vantage UAV as part of the Government Drone Pathfinder Catalyst Programme. The programme is sponsored by the Department for Transport (DfT), and supported by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Together we aim to accelerate the safe adoption of drones across UK business sectors by engaging with industries and showcase the benefits of integrating drone services into existing workflow.  Drones are not new to property management but, despite their benefits, drones are not yet widely used across industries. This collaboration with Yorkshire Housing aims to catalyse step-change improvements and provide the evidence to encourage more use of drones to drive safety, productivity, and efficiency for other housing providers. For example, a drone building inspection can offer faster diagnosis and improved service for maintenance repairs at customer properties.   Often the management, repair and maintenance of properties are major costs to housing providers. Traditionally physical inspections at height use scaffolding or mobile work platforms to inspect the condition of properties. These can be labour intensive and expensive to set up. Depending on the location, they can also result in disruption, intrusion, and security issues with unauthorised access. This is where drones come into their own, improving safety and productivity by providing visual access to difficult to reach and hazardous spaces, reducing the use of elevated work platforms. Drones can capture high-quality aerial imaging and 3D models. This leads to quicker and more effective diagnosis whilst saving the cost of inspection expenditure and reducing disruption for customers. Ultimately, drones can support more targeted maintenance and move towards a more preventative maintenance regime in the long term.  Aviation Minister, Robert Courts said: “We’re pioneering a golden age of aviation innovation in which drones will play a huge role in not only transforming the future of transport but providing solutions to global issues. Yorkshire Housing’s trial is the latest in a string of exciting new trials which harness the benefits of drones to provide quicker, cheaper and more effective services for the public.” Commenting on the programme, Andy Gamble, Executive Director Growth & Assets at Yorkshire Housing, said:  “It’s really exciting to play a part in the national Drone Pathfinder Catalyst Programme. Yorkshire Housing look after some 18,000 properties across Yorkshire, so drones offer us a real opportunity to improve our service.  Not only does it make real savings by reducing the need for expensive scaffolding and using heavy machinery to carry safety checks, but it also means our customers can have problems at their homes diagnosed and fixed far sooner.” Hannah Tew, Director of Air Mobility, Connected Places Catapult said: “We are delighted to be leading the Drone Pathfinder Catalyst programme on behalf of the Department for Transport and our first demonstration with Yorkshire Housing and Vantage UAV has really shown how drones can be adopted in different sectors to improve existing services.” Many drone solution service providers are already available on the market, which is expected to grow significantly over the next few years. They can provide end-to-end services even for organisations with little or no experience of using drones.  The results from the demonstration with Yorkshire Housing will be published towards to end of this month and showcased in a webinar on the 29th June.     Find out more by registering for Driving productivity using drones in the Housing Sector webinar co-hosted by Connected Places Catapult and Disruptive Innovators Network.

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Housing plan is milestone for former colleagues

Plans for 73 new high quality homes in Sheffield will complete a memorable circle for two men involved in removing properties from the site over a decade ago. Steve Birch, then working with the council’s housing department, was involved with local Cllr. Tony Damms, in finding better homes for those living on the site. The 1950s pre-fabricated Malthouses homes, that once stood in Mansel Crescent, Mansel Road and Mansel Avenue, Parson Cross, were built as part of a national drive to develop large numbers of new homes after the second world war.  The temporary properties were approaching the end of their safe life and were no longer fit for habitation in the long term.  Whilst Cllr. Damms still represents the Southey Ward on Sheffield City Council, Steve is now Interim Project Director with Sheffield Housing Company (SHC), a joint venture company established by the council with private sector construction partner Keepmoat Homes and Great Places Housing Group, to deliver regeneration projects on 23 sites around the city. This month the company has applied for permission to build new homes on the Malthouses site, as part of a 15-year plan to deliver 2,300 spacious, high quality and adaptable homes for sale and rent in Sheffield. Steve said: “This area is significant to me as, when I worked in housing regeneration at the council, I spent a lot of time supporting the residents who lived in the prefabricated properties to find new, suitable homes.  It is rewarding to now be involved in plans which will help to revive the area and if the planning application is successful, bring much needed housing to this part of Parson Cross.” Councillor Paul Wood, Executive Member for Housing, Roads and Waste Management said: “This is another important step in Sheffield’s journey towards providing much needed new homes for Sheffield families. We’re very pleased to see these plans for this area of the city and it’s so good to see that currently underused land will be used for this development.” Once complete, the Malthouses site would offer a mixture of two to four bedroomed homes.  At present these are all expected to be for private sale to address a shortfall in the neighbourhood, though SHC continues to consider options to deliver affordable homes where possible. Due to current restrictions regarding public consultation events and gatherings, SHC is initially inviting local residents to comment on or ask questions about the plans by emailing customerservices@sheffieldhousingcompany.co.uk  or visiting its Facebook and Twitter pages SheffieldHousingCompany @Sheff_HousingCo.  However, other means of engagement during the planning process are being explored, including public face-to-face drop-in sessions, if safe to do so. An image of the new homes is available on the SHC website www.sheffieldhousingcompany.co.uk/home/developments/?id=2433&Malthouses Click the PDF icon towards the top right of the page to see the development layout.  In addition, the application, once validated by the council, will also be available to view by visiting www.sheffield.gov.uk scrolling down to the planning and development tab, then the search tab, scrolling again  to search, view of comment and down again to enter the reference number – 21/02598/FUL. Since it commenced building, six years ago, SHC has completed nearly 1,000 homes across the city, around 80% of which have been sold to first time buyers and families.  It has created 75 apprenticeships, over 800 jobs and spent more than £80 million with local supply businesses. Over £50,000 has been pledged to public art and community initiatives; £20,000 has been spent supporting local schools and backing for open pathways to work for students, while university links provide graduates with work experience.  There has been sponsorship for, or attendance at, many community events.

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Purfleet 338 contract secured for Matrix

Matrix Networks has been appointed by Goodman to design and install multi-utility connections for the new Purfleet 338 logistics development at Purfleet Commercial Park in Thurrock. The Independent Connections Provider has been commissioned by its long-standing client following a competitive tender process to supply electricity, gas and water connections for the eight-hectare site located within half a mile of junction 30/31 of the M25. Matrix Networks will be installing a 11kV, 4MVA metered electricity supply, medium pressure gas main and a 1l/s water supply for the new commercial park, which will comprise 338,267 sq ft of strategically-located logistics space. The highly sustainable development will be delivered to a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ specification and will include roof-mounted solar photovoltaics (PV), solar thermal hot water, rainwater harvesting, infrastructure for electric vehicle fleets and smart metering, helping customers to achieve energy and cost savings. Rob Sparkes, Matrix Networks Group CEO, said: “We’ve worked with Goodman since we were first established in 2007. We value our long-standing relationship with them and continue to work hard to deliver on our promises, working closely with their consultant team. “Purfleet 338 is a fantastic win for us, and we’re pleased to be associated with a development which so clearly has sustainability at its heart. While we’re responsible for installing the multi-utility infrastructure required to bring this development to life, we’ll be doing so in the knowledge that on-site energy consumption will be considered by all users.” George Glennie, Development Director Goodman UK, added: “Purfleet 338 represents our commitment to delivering sustainable infrastructure for a growing industrial and logistics market. “Designed for those operating across e-commerce, retail and third-party logistics, where connectivity is crucial in distributing products to increasingly time sensitive consumers, it will provide high-quality and well-located space to serve customers across London and the South East.” Matrix Networks is due to start utility-infrastructure works on site in the Summer, working to achieve energisation by Spring 2022. www.matrixnetworks.co.uk @matrix_networks

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PLANNING SECURED FOR PHASE TWO OF TUNSTALL ARROW DEVELOPMENT IN NORTH WEST

Scheme will deliver further 109,250 sq. ft industrial space on popular development along with 200 jobs Network Space has secured unanimous planning approval for the second phase of its Tunstall Arrow development, providing an additional 109,250 sq. ft of industrial workspace on the 7.3-acre plot, and bringing an additional 200 jobs to the region. Tunstall Arrow is a 28-acre former colliery site adjoining the A527 (James Brindley Way) in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, which was acquired by Network Space in 2013. The site is within close proximity of the A500, with access to Junction 16 of the M6 within minutes.  This second phase will provide five detached, self-contained, units ranging from 13,000 up to 30,000 sq. ft. and bring the brownfield land back into long term employment use. The site transformation will include significant remediation work needed to address historic coal workings and disused mine shafts. Works should begin in Q3 this year. The development will deliver high-specification business premises for industrial or distribution uses, building on the success of Phase One which opened early in 2019 and is fully let. These five units are already supporting hundreds of jobs within the 130,000 sq. ft development; home to international businesses including: Dutch tool and equipment hire company Boels Rental, German global delivery service DHL Express, Australian fleet management company SG Fleet Group, Italian generator & equipment hire specialist Pramac-Generac and German balustrade manufacturer Q-railing. Tunstall Arrow is being developed in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, as part of the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone covering 3.3 million sq. ft of commercial space across six key sites along the A500 corridor. Simon Peters, Development Director at Network Space, said: “We are delighted to have secured planning for Phase Two of the Tunstall Arrow Enterprise Zone site. Our principal objective is to build on the success of Phase One that has enjoyed full occupancy since it opened. Demand for high quality, modern, employment space across the region certainly shows no sign of abating in the short to medium term. He added: “Stoke-on-Trent City Council continues to be forward-thinking, recognising the potential of Tunstall Arrow to attract further inward investment and provide job opportunities for the city. This will help to secure the region’s reputation as one of the most sought-after areas for the industrial and logistic sectors and help address the acute shortage of employment space.” Cllr Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “Working with a number of partners, we have created one of the most successful enterprise zones in the country, generating hundreds of jobs and improving the local economy by £18.55m in gross value added. “Development and business has continued at pace through the pandemic and today’s news for Phase Two of the Tunstall Arrow Enterprise Zone site further re-enforces that Stoke-on-Trent really is on the up. We continue to work to support businesses in the area and show them that this city is the place to base your business. It also very much fits with our ambitions through the Stoke-on-Trent prospectus which talks about one plan and one conversation to bring forward investment in key sectors. “I look forward to seeing this next phase come forward and I believe it will be as successful as phase one, not only for the benefits it brings to the local community but for the jobs it directly creates in the area.” Network Space has been providing industrial workspace and warehousing for almost 40 years and intends to deliver 2.5 million sq. ft of industrial property over the next five years. The agents are Mounsey Chartered Surveyors, based in Stoke-on-Trent.

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Help-to-buy demand surges amongst first-time buyers

The New Homes Index has tracked new home buyer searches across England during May, its findings reveal that first-time buyer demand for help-to-buy properties has surged by 19% since the new scheme came into effect 1 April 2021.  A sign that the new help-to-buy scheme, which requires new entrants to homeownership to put down a 5% deposit, is helping first time buyers to make the most of lockdown savings to get on to the property ladder.   Help-to-buy new home demand searches jumped during May by 19%.  Average help-to-buy property prices across all regions continue to stay below the government’s help-to-buy scheme price caps. This provides reassurance to first-time buyers now able to benefit from the scheme.  Daniel Hill, Managing Director, WhatHouse? comments:  “Spring is traditionally the new housing markets busiest time. This year, it comes after months of lockdowns and restrictions when many would-be first-time buyers have had time to knuckle down with saving for a house deposit.  The help-to-buy scheme’s requirement of 5% deposit seems to be making all the difference, and we’re seeing high-volumes of first-time buyer searches as home ownership becomes attainable”.  Region  Price Cap  Average help-to-buy new property price  East Midlands  £261,900  £240,213  East of England  £407,400  £292,456  London  £600,000  £427,800  North East of England  £186,100  £134,543  North West of England  £224,400  £161,113  South East of England  £437,600  £316,620  South West of England  £349,000  £281,996  West Midlands  £255,600  £180,529  Yorkshire & The Humber  £228,100  £169,170        Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman, House Builders Federation said:  “Even with a lower proportion of homes being purchased with Help to Buy, builders in all price brackets are reporting very high levels of interest from consumers, demonstrating confidence in the product and the industry with consumers increasingly recognising the benefits of new homes over older properties.” 

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Selco Forest Paves Route To Sustainable Future

Selco Builders Warehouse has stepped up its commitment to delivering a sustainable future for the business, its customers and colleagues by planting a new forest. In what is believed to be the most significant development of its kind in the builders merchant industry, Selco has directly supported the planting of more than 100,000 trees across 100 acres at a site near Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders to create the Selco Forest. The trees will offset around 8,000 tonnes of carbon during their lifecycle, the equivalent of almost two years of Selco’s customer deliveries, and forms part of a wider package of measures designed to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. Howard Luft, chief executive of Selco Builders Warehouse, believes it is vital the company accelerates its sustainability programme as it looks to its long-term future. He said: “We are proud to be a forward-thinking organisation and there is no doubt in my mind that tackling climate change is the next major global challenge we will face. “Our resilience as a business has been demonstrated throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, during which we have delivered a response built around protecting our customers and our people, the two mainstays of our business, and we will adopt the same strategy around sustainability. “The effect our operations have on the environment has been on the agenda for a number of years but we recognise there is more that needs to be done. “The current priority is to address our carbon emissions. Planting the Selco Forest marks a step change in our actions on this front and we will be planting many hundreds of thousands more trees across the UK in the coming years to extend this project. “However, work on lowering our carbon footprint doesn’t end there.  We have already taken steps towards achieving that, including installing LED lighting and a new gas management system across our entire branch network. “We are also overhauling our transport fleet by utilising alternative fuel vehicles – including Compressed Natural Gas and fully electric – in our fleet and removing single fuel petrol and diesel cars from our company car list. “This sustainability journey is a long-term vision and isn’t restricted to the local communities in which we operate but also incorporates the wider Selco family, including manufacturers and suppliers.” Selco has joined forces with the landowner and key timber supplier BSW Timber, together with BSW Timber’s subsidiary companies Tilhill and Carbon Store, to make the Selco Forest a reality. Carine Jessamine, Selco’s marketing director and head of sustainability, added: “The Selco Forest is an important milestone for our sustainability strategy and there will be more announcements on the wider programme in due course. “What is without doubt is that we are committed to continuing our investment in the future by playing our part in protecting our people, the environment and the planet.” With hundreds of trade brands always in stock, Selco’s 70 UK branches are firmly focused on helping tradespeople complete their jobs as quickly and effectively as possible. As well as offering trade services, Selco also has a strong digital presence including Click & Deliver, a Click & Collect service and a new website. For more information on Selco visit www.selcobw.com

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HLM Architects launches ‘HLM_Healthcheck’, a new environmental design tool that measures wellbeing

From May 2021, all HLM Architects’ concept designs will be enhanced by utilising a new digital tool to ensure they are creating healthy environments After more than three years in development and testing, HLM Architects has launched HLM_Healthcheck, a digital tool that assesses how emerging building design concepts are likely to perform by measuring the  quality of the environment for the people that use them. The software provides designers with desktop access to projected environmental sustainability knowledge over a building’s lifetime. It enables very early design concepts to be tested for their impact on people’s health and wellbeing without complex three-dimensional modelling. HLM_Healthcheck uses best practice from a range of established environmental design guidelines, including CIBSE, BREEAM, and WELL to instantly identify if design adaptations are needed to ensure that the places and spaces we create will have good access to views and daylight, not overheat or have poor air quality, mitigate noise pollution and provide a connection with nature and to other people. It will be available to the HLM team from today and it marks a significant step in the business’s campaign to achieve RIBA 2030 Sustainable Outcomes on all  projects by 2025. HLM_Healthcheck is one of three digital tools that make up the Thoughtful Design Toolkit which has already been shortlisted for Innovation of the Year at the BCIA Awards. Together this toolkit provides data-driven analysis that puts people at the heart of design decision-making. Philip Watson, Director and Head of Design, said: “The Thoughtful Design Toolkit addresses universal challenges that clients and designers face in the creation of the built environment. We asked ourselves the question: what if we had a tool that quickly enabled us to test whether early-stage concept designs would support people’s health and well-being and create environmentally sustainable buildings? We now have the answer: HLM_Healthcheck.” For more information about HLM_Healthcheck and our Thoughtful Design Toolkit, go to our Digital Innovation page at: Digital and Innovation – HLM Architects

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