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July 28, 2022

St. Modwen Homes announced as developer for new canal side community

Plans for a new canal side community have taken a significant step forward this week after the selection of a developer Following a rigorous selection process, Stroud District Council has chosen St. Modwen Homes to take the ambitious project forward in partnership with the council. Initial work will start behind

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Safety checklist launched to help firms cope with new laws

A checklist of key actions has been published to help building owners and operators prepare for the radical health and safety changes contained in the Building Safety Act.  New legislation, which came into force last month, is set to transform the current culture across construction and introduce the most dramatic

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1,487 per cent increase in rental property repossessions

Industry analysis by Landlord Action, housing law specialist and part of the Hamilton Fraser Group, has revealed that the number of rental property repossessions carried out on behalf of landlords across England and Wales has increased by one thousand four hundred and eighty seven per cent annually, following the end

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Utilities work together for big Biggleswade boost

UK Power Networks and National Grid are collaborating to provide the electrical infrastructure that will power thousands of new homes, business growth, and jobs in Biggleswade. The project is part of Central Bedfordshire Council’s initiative to support planned housing growth of around 3,000 homes to the east of the town.

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BDC 318 : Jul 2024

July 28, 2022

DMA wins planning for UK’s first City ID aparthotel in the heart of London’s Victoria

Hospitality design expert Dexter Moren Associates (DMA) has won revised planning permission for a 116-room aparthotel in the heart of London’s thriving Victoria district. The first UK venture for Dutch brand City ID, the eight-storey aparthotel has been designed to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and will showcase a mix of fully serviced studio and one-bed guest rooms, a relaxing bar, food retail, delicatessen, a café and a formal restaurant, available to the public as well as guests. Designed to meet the resurgent demand for tourist and business guest accommodation, the new aparthotel will deliver on City ID’s ethos of stylish comfort and is ideally placed for easy access to major visitor destinations, and within minutes of the main public transport hub of Victoria.  Mark Wood, Partner, DMA said: “We are delighted that the City of Westminster Planning Committee unanimously granted planning approval to our amended scheme for City ID’s first UK aparthotel on Vauxhall Bridge Road. When City ID acquired the site, they asked us to modify our previously consented design to fit their larger guestroom standards and develop the exterior design in line with the interior design concept. “Our façade proposal responds positively to the surrounding area, referencing the architecture of the locale in a contemporary manner, whilst our expertise in space planning and the requirements of modern hospitality environments has allowed us to maximise the building’s accommodation efficiently whilst simplifying and streamlining the planning process. The final design will deliver an eye catching, aspirational and classic building which is welcoming to the public and guests alike.” Located in a prominent position on the eastern side of Vauxhall Bridge Road, City ID wanted a bold and aspirational design to increase the appeal of the building as a whole and lift the aesthetic of the neighbourhood. In response, DMA produced several façade studies, complemented by physical models, enabling the client to explore the options available and make a fully informed decision. DMA’s final design for the main façade facing Vauxhall Bridge Road introduces an arcade of elegant two-storey high arches to the lower floors, creating a base that is as eye-catching as it is welcoming to the public. The design references local historic buildings through the proportions, materiality and overall composition of the façade, enhancing the connection between the aparthotel and its surroundings. Varying shades and patterns of brickwork add a modern edge, whilst deep reveals create a rich and textured perspective. Lush foliage will cascade from generous first-floor planters, adding a little softness and natural greenery to the urban streetscape. To achieve the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating for the scheme, DMA specified materials with excellent thermal properties and included biodiverse green roofs and a number of PV panels. The Energy Strategy for the scheme, devised in conjunction with Hoare Lea, is based on energy-efficient optimised facades, efficient building services systems and controls, and the use of Air Source Heat Pump technology. The strategy will result not only a low-carbon scenario at present, but continuous improvement as the grid decarbonises, facilitating a shift towards clean energy systems, with the associated benefits in local air quality and human health. To improve the quality of the street area to the rear of the aparthotel, DMA worked with the interior design consultants to allow for more public spaces at the rear of the building. Generous glazing and location of specific uses at ground floor provides excellent natural surveillance from within the hotel, whilst the proposed pale brick facing will maximise the light reflection and improve the ambience and atmosphere within the mews.

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Stanhope and Mitsui Fudosan to start phase 2 of £500 Million Television Centre

Mitsui Fudosan and Stanhope, as development manager, today announce that they will start the second phase of the redevelopment of Television Centre, with a total end value of £500m, signalling the success of the first phase and their continued confidence and commitment to White City and the London property market.  Phase 2 comprises a total of 511 homes in four separate plots designed by Stirling prize-winning architectural practices, following the masterplan established by lead architects AHMM, including a modern crescent shaped block of 180 apartments and a contemporary 25 storey tall building of 167 apartments for completion in 2026. The development of phase 2 will complete the masterplan and further open up the site to local residents, visitors and workers by the creation of a second entrance on Wood Lane and pedestrian connection through to Hammersmith Park via interlinking urban streets.  The development of a cluster of new buildings are designed to be distinctive and have a character of their own, complementing each other and the buildings established across the wider estate.  Jonathan Trout, Property & Commercial Director at Stanhope said: “We are delighted to be working with Mitsui Fudosan as development manager for the delivery of a new residential 25 storey tower with 167 apartments and 180 apartments in a crescent block by 2026.  The start of phase 2 demonstrates the commitment of Stanhope and Mitsui Fudosan to the delivery of much needed new housing, including affordable, in Hammersmith & Fulham and our long-term commitment to the area.” Tomoo Nakamura, Managing Director, Mitsui Fudosan UK said: “This announcement underlines our continued commitment to the development of the Television Centre site and the range of opportunities which it offers for the delivery of a number of significant commercial and residential projects. Having recently become the sole owner of Phase 2, we are delighted to be able to continue to collaborate with Stanhope as development manager for the delivery of almost 350 new apartments.  We have already completed over half a million square feet of office space as well as more than 430 homes on the Television Centre site.  We remain focused on ensuring that this development continues to be delivered to the highest standards while we continue to explore other investment opportunities in London.” Construction has already started on 142 new affordable homes for Peabody in two new buildings called Macfarlane Place at Television Centre, with delivery expected in early 2024.  Designed by Maccreanor Lavington Architects, the new buildings will replace the now demolished former BBC multi-storey car park on Wood Lane, W12, opposite Westfield.  1 Wood Crescent is under construction and recently ‘topped out’ and is due to complete in early 2023.  AIMCo, on behalf of some of its clients, and Mitsui Fudosan remain owners of Phase 1 which includes Soho House, the Helios residential building, 2 Television Centre (offices let to Publicis, the White Company and Soho Works) and 1 Wood Crescent (under construction and offices part pre-let to PvH Corp., the parent company to brands including Calvin Klein and TOMMY HILFIGER with Stanhope as Asset Manager.

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St. Modwen Homes announced as developer for new canal side community

Plans for a new canal side community have taken a significant step forward this week after the selection of a developer Following a rigorous selection process, Stroud District Council has chosen St. Modwen Homes to take the ambitious project forward in partnership with the council. Initial work will start behind the scenes next month on transforming the former industrial site into a new waterside community including more than 150 new sustainable homes, 30% of which will be affordable housing.  The development will also include public spaces, commercial, retail, leisure, community, and business facilities and the restoration of the canal basin which was infilled after the Second World War.  “This is an important and exciting low carbon development for Brimscombe, the Golden Valley and the wider district,” said Council Leader Catherine Braun. “The developer will be following Building with Nature standards in line with our 2030 strategy for a more sustainable future.” Deputy Council Leader, Natalie Bennett, welcomed the news: “We want this development to be at the heart of Brimscombe.” She said.  “It should, and will, provide a sustainable community for future generations.” Ward Councillor Beki Aldam said: “Our vision for ‘an exemplar and sustainable community, integrated with the existing surroundings’ is really taking shape now and we are looking forward to seeing all the hard work by so many coming to fruition. I look forward to the upcoming public meeting, and seeing how the developer will further engage with our community as the project progresses.” Jeremy Attwater, Regional Managing Director for South at St. Modwen Homes said they are excited about the next steps: “This is a fantastic project and we are delighted to have been chosen to take this forward.  Even as a brownfield site, we see so much potential to create something truly special for the community and the wider district.  “We will retain the heritage buildings, including the Listed stone-built Port Mill and Salt Warehouse and we are keen to ensure the new development is sympathetic to its surroundings. We have strong experience in the local and wider area and will be ensuring nearby labour is deployed throughout the development.” St. Modwen Homes will now draw up a detailed planning application for the redevelopment proposals which will include public consultation over the coming months, starting with a public meeting on Wednesday 10 August 2022 between 2.30pm and 8.00pm at Brimscombe Port Mill, Suite 5 West Suite, First Floor. To find out more on the Brimscombe Port pages of our website

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Safety checklist launched to help firms cope with new laws

A checklist of key actions has been published to help building owners and operators prepare for the radical health and safety changes contained in the Building Safety Act.  New legislation, which came into force last month, is set to transform the current culture across construction and introduce the most dramatic change to building safety in almost half a century, according to the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).  While much of the national publicity around the Act focused on fire safety and standards of new building work, the implications for all aspects of safe operation of existing buildings are significant. This prompted the Association to prepare a simple five-point checklist that addresses the key responsibilities of those likely to be affected by the legislation.   The Act requires a named individual for each in scope building who can be held legally accountable for actions and omissions in planning, procurement, and operation. The ‘accountable person’ must be competent to “plan, monitor and manage” work, according to the legislation.  SFG20, part of the BESA group, produces the industry’s standard for planned service and maintenance work, and has examined the detail of the legislation and identified the specific implications for those responsible for maintenance. The checklist will help building operators prepare for the digital ‘golden thread’ of information needed to satisfy their new legal obligations.  The new Building Safety Regulator, supported by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), will be carrying out in-depth reviews of 12,500 ‘high risk’ buildings over the next five years to look for safety breaches. He has the power to retrospectively punish past poor quality work making it important for those responsible to have clear records of all work already complete or currently underway – not just future projects. 

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Total commercial property investment set to cool by -24% in 2022

The latest market analysis by Revolution Brokers suggests that the total level of investment into the British commercial real estate sector is set to cool in 2022, having enjoyed a 40% year on year increase between 2020 and 2021.  Last year, just shy of £50bn was invested into the commercial sector, with the revival of a pandemic-stricken London market driving this activity with £21.2bn worth of investment alone. This equated to a 40% increase in commercial real estate investment when compared to 2020, with an average of £4.162bn invested every month.  As of July this year, £22.2bn has already been invested into the British commercial property sector, an average monthly total of £3.172bn. Based on this rate of investment, Revolution Brokers estimates that total commercial real estate investment should stand at almost £38.1bn by the end of the year.  While this is higher than the £35.7bn invested in 2020, it would mark a year on year decline of -24% versus the £50bn invested in 2021.  But what’s behind this annual decline in investor appetite for commercial property? It would seem an oversaturation of stock available on the market may be to blame.  Between 2019 and 2020, the level of commercial real estate listed for sale across Britain fell by -26%, with this heightened demand also pushing up the average asking price of commercial plots by 6%. This trend continued between 2020 and 2021, with available stock falling by a further 14% year on year, with the average asking price this time climbing by a notable 34%.  However, the level of stock available on the market in 2022 has actually climbed by 7% versus last year, with this additional supply also causing the average asking price to drop by -17% year on year.  Founding Director of Revolution Brokers, Almas Uddin, commented: “While the residential property sector has boomed during the pandemic, the commercial landscape has been far more complicated, with Covid restrictions hitting the hospitality and office sectors particularly hard. Despite this, the commercial sector enjoyed a notable level of investment in 2021, as many anticipated the impending uplift that work and leisure spaces enjoyed following a return to normality.  This market activity has remained robust so far in 2022 which is a reassuring sign, however, we estimate that it will sit below the benchmark set last year. This isn’t unusual following a period of particularly high investment and an influx of stock to the market has also reduced the asking prices of these commercial plots.  Of course, this does present a good opportunity for the savvy investor to strike while the price is right and bolster their commercial portfolio for a better price than they would have been able to a year ago.” Data Tables Full data tables available online here.

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1,487 per cent increase in rental property repossessions

Industry analysis by Landlord Action, housing law specialist and part of the Hamilton Fraser Group, has revealed that the number of rental property repossessions carried out on behalf of landlords across England and Wales has increased by one thousand four hundred and eighty seven per cent annually, following the end of the tenant eviction ban implemented to protect the nation’s renters during the pandemic.  Tenant evictions and their wider welfare within the rental market have long been a hot topic within the sector. In fact, the Government released their latest plans to improve rental sector standards on 16 June via The White Paper – A Fairer Private Rented Sector. One of the primary initiatives includes the abolition of Section 21 evictions, which will provide tenants with greater security and prevent landlords from evicting them without establishing fault on the side of the tenant.  The latest government data shows that over the last year (2021-22), some 12,965 rental properties were repossessed on behalf of the nation’s landlords. This marks a 1,487 per cent increase on the previous year, but while this may seem like a concerning trend for tenants, there’s one important fact to consider.  During the pandemic, tenant evictions were banned to safeguard those struggling financially between March 2020 and May 2021. As a result, only cases where it was deemed necessary were processed, meaning that there were just 817 rental properties repossessed during 2020-21. In fact, the 12,965 repossessions seen over the last year is actually fifty six per cent fewer than the 29,347 recorded in the pre-pandemic year of 2019-20.  What’s more, the level of rental homes being repossessed on an annual basis had already been declining steadily year on year, down from 35,046 in 2017-18 to 33,113 in 2018-19.  But it’s not just the total number of repossessions that’s on the slide. The latest data shows that total repossessions account for just twenty six per cent of all initial claims made by landlords.  While this was far lower for obvious reasons during 20-21 at just four per cent, it’s a lower proportion than 2019-20 (28 per cent), 2018-19 (28 per cent) and 2017-18 (27 per cent).    Eddie Hooker, CEO of the Hamilton Fraser Group, who operate industry schemes such as mydeposits, the Property Redress Scheme and Client Money Protect, as well as Landlord Action says: “At first glance, it would appear as though the floodgates have opened where the repossession of rental properties is concerned, but this isn’t quite the case.  Following a year where tenant evictions were banned except for in certain circumstances, there was always going to be a spike in repossessions as a backlog of cases finally started to be processed.  However, we’re yet to see the level of rental homes being repossessed return to pre-pandemic levels and there are also a lower proportion of initial claims making it to this final, last resort stage.  While delays due to the backlog of cases may certainly be one cause, it’s also fair to say that the nation’s landlords have largely acted with empathy and understanding following the pandemic, understanding the problems facing many tenants and looking to help them rather than turf them out on their ear.” Paul Sowerbutts, Head of Legal at Landlord Action “At Landlord Action we have prepared ourselves for the expected spike in property repossessions and are busier than ever. Whilst we expect this trend to continue into both the third and final quarters of this year due to the cost of living crisis, we also expect repossessions levels to remain high into next year as well.” Hamilton Fraser: Landlord possession actions : Landlord possession actions Data relates to landlords of all types across England and Wales. Source: Gov.uk

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Utilities work together for big Biggleswade boost

UK Power Networks and National Grid are collaborating to provide the electrical infrastructure that will power thousands of new homes, business growth, and jobs in Biggleswade. The project is part of Central Bedfordshire Council’s initiative to support planned housing growth of around 3,000 homes to the east of the town. A traditional ‘breaking the ground’ event marked work starting on National Grid’s 400kV substation and UK Power Networks’ new grid substation, that will increase power capacity in Biggleswade and help the community move towards a low carbon economy. UK Power Networks and National Grid looked into various technology solutions to deliver the extra 80 megawatts of power required. This detailed assessment included reinforcing existing infrastructure and providing power from other existing substations. These options were discounted because they either failed to meet the power requirements or presented significant and unnecessary engineering and cost difficulties. The National Grid compound for a 400kV substation will measure approximately 150 metres by 130 metres and have a maximum height of 15 metres to connect to the existing overhead power lines. The UK Power Networks compound (Biggleswade East Grid), will have a footprint of approximately 180 metres by 100 metres and a maximum height of nine metres. UK Power Networks project manager Geraint Hancock said: “The start of construction on site is a significant milestone to achieve and is the culmination of 18 months’ of design, surveys, studies and extensive consultation. We have designed a scheme with National Grid that will make the electricity network for Biggleswade fit for the future. Construction works will take around three years to complete with energisation planned in the winter of 2024.” Mark Beasley project director for National Grid said: “We invest around £1 billion each year in the electricity transmission system, delivering the fastest decarbonising electricity network in the world with world-class reliability. We are delighted to be a part of this project, connecting and increasing power capacity to Biggleswade, supporting investment in the town and enabling a secure supply of electricity to the area for the decades to come.” Councillor Richard Wenham, leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “This new electricity substation will meet the growing energy needs of the local community and provide the essential power to support new homes, business opportunities, and jobs. “As we look to do our bit for the planet, and as more people shift to electric vehicles or clean energy to heat their homes, the new substation will help support the important sustainability agenda.” The Council secured £70million of government funding via Homes England Housing Infrastructure Fund for a number of schemes, including this power project.

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Midlands-based engineering consultancy expands senior management team during period of growth

Civil and structural engineering consultancy, Howard Ward Associates (HWA) has restructured its management team with members stepping up to senior positions, as the company goes from strength to strength with a large pipeline of work and three new hires appointed recently. HWA sees two new buy ins to the senior management team with associates Andy Bowler who has been with the company for six years, and Dave Taylder who has been with the company just under two years, each stepping up to director level. From its head office in Nottingham, HWA delivers construction engineering consultancy services across the country across sectors including education, healthcare, emergency services and residential. The company is experiencing a period of rapid growth, appointing three new team members in recent months – including senior technician Nadeem Chaudhry, administrator and business development assistant Iqra Saleem, and senior civil engineer Theodora Francis. The expansion of the team comes in response to the growing pipeline of projects that HWA is involved in – with an approximate construction value of £100million.  Director Dan Bailey will be also taking on the role of managing director, as the company’s current managing director Giles Ward takes a step back following 26 years at HWA. Dan, who joined HWA in 2013, has more than 25 years’ experience as a civil and structural engineer, working in the public and private sectors on varied projects both regionally and nationally. The firm has recently worked on impressive projects such as the Alfreton Park Community Special School in Derbyshire and the Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service joint headquarters as well as substantial high quality student accommodation schemes in Brighton and Coventry. On the restructure, managing director, Giles Ward said: “During my 26 years with the company I have been delighted to see our client base, portfolio and the range of services we offer continue to grow. We have been involved with a huge array of schemes across the country from pre-acquisition through to project completion – from heritage to healthcare, and the future of the company is positive as we expand our team to manage our strong pipeline of work. “Congratulations to Andy, Dave and Dan on their new positions – It is an exciting period for the team, as we focus on nurturing the relationships that we have with our clients and celebrate the fantastic work that has been achieved to date.” Dan Bailey commented: “I am extremely pleased to be taking on this new role at an exciting time for the company, and to be able to reward Andy Bowler and Dave Taylder for the key parts they have played in the success of the business over recent years. Congratulations to them on stepping up to director level. “I believe that an expanded senior management team gives a solid base for growth and we look forward to further diversifying HWA’s client base and the sectors in which we work.”

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Balfour Beatty join forces with Steps to Hope to raise funds for people in need

Colleagues across Balfour Beatty in Scotland have teamed up with addiction and homelessness charity, Steps for Hope, to raise more than £140,000 to support people in need in Edinburgh through a variety of activities and initiatives. The most recent fundraising initiative, supported by the University of Edinburgh, saw Balfour Beatty and its supply chain partner, Anixter, recycle and sell approximately 8.5 tonnes of redundant materials from the Institute of Regeneration and Repair Expansion project – a flagship project which will see Balfour Beatty construct a new, purpose built, state of the art research facility for the University. All of the proceeds from the sale of the materials were then donated to Steps to Hope. Richard Roncero, Founder & Operations Manager for Steps to Hope said: “We are absolutely over the moon and grateful to have received this sizeable donation from the Balfour Beatty and University of Edinburgh team. “These funds will make a huge impact in allowing us to continue carrying out our vital work for those who need it most here in Edinburgh.” Hector MacAulay MBE, Regional Managing Director of Balfour Beatty’s business in Scotland, said: “Wherever we operate, we always seek to support the local community including its businesses, people and charities, collaborating to create better futures for people and communities most in need. “This innovative fundraising idea was truly a win-win as it saw the recycling of redundant materials from the project raise funds for a fantastic cause.” In further support of Steps for Hope, Balfour Beatty’s Regional Operations Manager, Ray Duffy, completed the “Climb to Hope” challenge, climbing the 3,255 ft Cuillins Rocky Range before abseiling into, and spending a night in, Bastier Nick cave.  The funds raised by Ray were then donated to the “5 Weeks Sleeping Rough” challenge which involved Steps to Hope Founder and Operations Manager, Richard Roncero, sleeping rough for five weeks in five UK cities. Balfour Beatty continued its charitable support of Steps to Hope last month with Senior Project Manager, Mark Reid, walking 50 miles along the East Coast of Scotland, raising over £5,500 for the charity.

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Panattoni sponsor the Kent Press & Broadcast Award which support local journalists and media companies commitment to serving local communities

The county’s top journalists found themselves making the headlines after the winners of the 2022 Kent Press & Broadcast Awards (KPBA) were announced. For the first time in two years, a 110-strong audience of finalists, sponsors and judges met in person for the award ceremony to celebrate the winners across 16 categories. Panattoni joined other leading businesses and organisations from across Kent in sponsoring the awards and helping make them a success. Now in its eighth year, the not-for-profit award scheme is organised by Kent PR and marketing agency Maxim. KPBA recognises and celebrates local journalism and the media’s commitment to serving local communities. The ceremony returned to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, Canterbury on Friday 15 July and was hosted by award-winning journalist Ben Brown. Born and bred in Kent, Ben is a familiar face on the BBC News Channel, the BBC One O’Clock News and weekend news bulletins. Alex Mitchell, Development Associate at Panattoni, presented the Kent Scoop of the Year trophy to ITV News Meridian’s Kevin Harrison on behalf of winner Joe Coshan who was away on assignment. Commenting at the event, Maxim Director Rachel Knight said: “It was so good to be able to celebrate the achievements of Kent’s media in person again. It’s been a difficult couple of years, but we were pleased to be able to keep KPBA going throughout the pandemic. “That wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the KPBA sponsors so we must say a huge thank you to them, and to our independent industry judges who review every single entry.”

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