On our minds

postcards from the edges


Somewhere between the football, tennis, cycling...

Somewhere between the football, tennis, cycling...

Jen | 13 July 2018

.... there was Pimms and T20 cricket on a lovely evening at the Oval...

Letwin plays dodgeball on housing build out rates

Letwin plays dodgeball on housing build out rates

Richard C | 29 June 2018

Sir Oliver Letwin’s preliminary statement dodges the only areas where government can make a difference.

 

In what some are describing as a bold statement, Letwin’s review of housing build-out rates has confirmed that land banking is not happening and that the snail’s pace responsiveness evident in infrastructure provision is not the issue. He will not entertain any review of the town planning process - it seems he has drawn the boundaries of his review to exclude this rather pivotal part of the overall process.

 

Instead, Letwin is laying the solution entirely at the door of the housebuilders. Really?

Congrats to Jen, MRICS

Richard H | 27 June 2018

Congratulations to Jen who has passed her APC and is now a Chartered Surveyor!


Fully deserved, she has put an enormous amount of effort in. Well done Jen!

A worthwhile journey

A worthwhile journey

Alec | 21 June 2018

Will, Elliott and I taking a nice, relaxing 54-mile ride between London and Brighton, and raising £3K for charity along the way...

Investing in our People

Investing in our People

Carrie | 16 March 2018

For an SME, it's not always easy to dedicate time or cost into human resources matters, especially with rapidly changing working environments and practices. Yet, that is what matters most.

 

The past several years have not been easy on our industry. While political and economic uncertainty continues to hang over UK businesses, we carried on as usual. 

 

In terms of investing in our staff, we continued with what we did well - e.g. our successful graduate training programme, formal and informal social events, advancing our CSR programme and recognising personal achievements.  We have also undertaken initiatives to improve - like emphasising personal and professional development in our staff annual reviews; compiling the Compendium, a comprehensive best practice referene guide for our staff; and regularising team afternoons where we find out more about and celebrate what our teammates are doing.

 

There's always room for improvement and we'll continue to focus on the needs of our staff. In the meantime, though, we're very proud to achieve Investors in People - Gold again. 

Focus on helping the homeless

Focus on helping the homeless

Sharron | 13 March 2018

M3 has been supporting the fight against homelessness for years.  We conducted an internal survey to gauge whether this continues to resonate with the M3 team.

 

It was a resounding yes, with 32% voting to focus organisation charitable efforts to help improve the lives of the homeless.  Our team would also like to support environmental, children & youth, and health / disability causes.

 

We are pleased to start right away by:

 

  • pledging to donate a minimum of £5,000 to Land Aid and the New Horizons Youth Centre, an award winning London-based initiative aiming to provide safe tenancies for homeless youth and the security they need to find future employment. We are raising this through the London Development Barometer survey, launching in April, where we would donate £10 for every completed questionnaire
  • fundraising fro the NSPCC

 

Looking forward to doing what we can - and having a bit of fun along the way.

A toast to International Women's Day

A toast to International Women's Day

Lucy | 08 March 2018

Thanks to the Broadgate team for a great event recognising International Women's Day 2018.

 

With the British Land team at the development comprising 50-50 men and women, Broadgate continues to set the standard in many ways!

 

Ready to go at 1 Triton Square

Ready to go at 1 Triton Square

Alec | 26 February 2018

A very worthwhile couple of days spent team building with the 1 Triton Square squad ahead of starting on site this week! A great project and team.

Off to Cannes we go

Off to Cannes we go

Gavin | 13 February 2018

MIPIM is around the corner. This year, Gavin Kieran and Richard Hollingworth will be there to meet, greet and learn.

A good year afterall

Gary | 01 February 2018

Just like that, it's February. 

Thinking back, 2017 seemed to have lasted a long time - with everything that happened around us, and a lot that didn't quite.  

Through a topsy turvy year for many, we carried on with leading teams and projects through significant milestones.  And already this year, we have achieved practical completion for St Helen's Square and assisted in securing a major pre-let. 

Here's to an fruitful 2018.

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Are government policies addressing the industry's concerns?

Gavin | 26 January 2018

The Budget and the Draft London Plan approach the housing crisis from different angles - do they complement each other?

 

Article appears in Planning in London, Issue 104, January - March 2018

Every little does count

Every little does count

Liz | 24 January 2018

Having supported LandAid House through our London Development Barometer survey and their Christmas appeal, it was great to see this brilliant project coming out of the ground. 

 

Thanks to LandAid, City YMCA London and Allenbuild for hosting - and the fantastic work!

Full moon rising over London on New Year's day

Full moon rising over London on New Year's day

Abbi | 03 January 2018

Happy new year!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Everyone at M3 | 21 December 2017

A big smile from the "Little Angel" by Maya Simeon from the Cafe Art 2018 calendar to lead the way.  

'Tis the season

'Tis the season

Liz | 12 December 2017

Lights. Trees. Charity appeals. It’s December in the City.

 

Statistically over the years, the UK has tended to increase their charitable donations and activities around Christmas. We at M3 do as well, and we tend to talk about it more around this time of the year.

 

We have a tradition of supporting a particular charity as part of our Christmas greetings and gift giving. In the past we’ve supported Crisis, Great Ormund Street and Thames Reach to name a few. This year, we’re supporting Ivy Street Family Centre, LandAid and Café Art.

 

But our engagement with charitable and community causes is year round. Sure, we do bake sales and Community Days. Yes, we participate in industry fundraising events. But it’s not about ticking corporate social responsibility boxes. It’s about being responsible as development managers in our everyday advice, actions and decisions.

 

It’s also about supporting and encouraging our team to give back in a way that is personal and meaningful to them – through time allocation, donation matching, salary sacrifices, etc, towards their chosen causes.

 

And charity and compassion from the heart is worth a shout out year round.

Taking time to reach out

Taking time to reach out

Alec | 30 November 2017

Busy period for the 1 Triton Square team, but taking some time to participate in the first 1 Triton Square Community Day. We took part in repair, maintenance and planting at Westbere Copse in West Hampstead, to help reopen the local nature reserve to the public after damage caused by vandalism.

 

Fantastic time for a fantastic cause. 

The Budget and the Industry

The Budget and the Industry

Gavin | 25 November 2017

The property headline for the Budget was, without a doubt, the abolishment of stamp duty for first time buyers for properties up to £300,000.

 

This, along with pledges to right to buy and help to buy, is an issue popular with the electorate concerned with "generation rent" but do not rank highly on the industry's priority list according to our recent London Development survey (LDB).  

 

Let's have a look at how the budget fares for the industry's top three priorities:

 

Green thumbs on an autumn day

Green thumbs on an autumn day

Jacqui | 03 November 2017

Volunteering Day at Abbey Gardens, helping out with the post-harvest tidy up.

 

Interesting to find out about open-access gardens, where the harvest is shared among volunteers and available to the community for donation.

 

What a great way to pull people together.

When the going gets tough... the tough just want to get building

When the going gets tough... the tough just want to get building

Gavin | 02 November 2017

Well we wanted to know what the industry is thinking, with the ups, downs and turnabouts in the current political and economic climate. The London Development Barometer we launched certainly told a story.

 

Some of the findings were expected - like the outlook on Brexit and the general sentiment that the government can do more to enable London development activity.

 

Some of these, we did not - like the maintained confidence in market demand, and that the concerns about skills shortages did not translate into a higher priority for government action.

 

The message we got is that while the uncertainty is likely to go on for a while, the industry is taking the practical view: make it easier and less risky to develop, so we could carry on with the day-to-day business of property development...

 

Read more on LDB results >

 

Thanks to everyone who participated, and very happy to have raised £5,000 towards LandAid House.

Walk some, learn some

Walk some, learn some

Martyn | 01 November 2017

Thanks to the Crossrail team, with whom M3 regularly liaise to coordinate works with the adjacent 100 Liverpool Street, a group of M3 staff got a chance to see the works in progress.  Very enlightening and a real treat, particularly for our new APMs.

Matt and Will, MRICS

Matt and Will, MRICS

Stewart | 02 July 2017

Congratulations to Matt Ibbotson and Will Connolly, who both achieved chartered status last week. Matt recently led a team to securing planning consent for the reburbishment of the Grade II listed 1 Finsbury Avenue while Will started on site with the infrastructure works at Nine Elms.

 

Keep up the good work!

A manifesto a day...

Liz | 26 May 2017

The General Election is almost here, and the manifestos for the participating political parties are trickling in.

 

There are the expected differences in priorities and approach of course, but housing seems to be the one issue many are keen to address.

 

See a comparison of the key issues here >

Brunels-a-blooming

Brunels-a-blooming

Uwe | 14 February 2017

Last Autumn, the 4 Kingdom Street team (see Alex pictured) worked with local students interested in engineering and construction in the Budding Brunels programme, which also offers the students work placements during a school holiday that best suits.

 

Practical and positive - Homes for London SPG

Richard H | 22 December 2016

It’s been a few weeks now since the Mayor launched his consultation on “Homes for Londoners”, the draft SPG on affordable housing and viability which is set to become a central tenet of emerging policy underpinning the revised London Plan, to be published next year.


Essentially the Mayor is seeking to move towards the 50% affordable housing target that underpinned his election campaign, though perhaps with a touch more pragmatism than the campaign rhetoric could afford.


As a forward thinking policy to help increase affordable housing supply it should be welcomed and the draft guidance is to be applauded for the manner in which it seeks to address a very real need for increasing the delivery of housing at a level that is affordable for the majority of Londoners.


The draft policy introduces a threshold approach to viability assessment, with developments achieving 35% or more, fast tracked through the planning process. There is increased transparency around open book viability assessment (albeit the detail and pitfalls of this haven’t yet been fully resolved). It also sets in policy the concept of Existing Use Value plus an appropriate premium as the baseline land value.


It is positive to see the acknowledgement that a multitude of affordable typologies can contribute to meeting housing demand. Build to rent is explicitly catered for - a welcomed move - however the adoption of Discount Market Rent and London Living rent models will need to be examined closely though the consultation.


The document contains the frank admission that the ultimate aim of this revised policy position is to embed the increased requirement for affordable housing into land values. It will take some time to achieve this and those that have already purchased land based on a very different policy landscape will now find themselves struggling to make schemes work. This needs to be acknowledged in the final adopted policy or the Mayor inadvertently risks reducing delivery though the introduction of a policy designed to increase supply.

Three cheers for our new PMs!

Stewart | 13 December 2016

Closing out 2016 in style, the 1st of December saw three members of M3 achieve MRICs status. Through our graduate development programme, Marianne Thomas, Lucy Crosland and David Barnby have seen their hard work pay off as they passed the APC assessment and earned a promotion to Project Manager. Well done!

Sunset from the 13th floor

Sunset from the 13th floor

Rachael | 03 November 2016

Bug hotels for mental health

Bug hotels for mental health

Chris | 21 October 2016

The pictured bug abodes created by a team from M3 took on a range of forms including townhouses, the Leadenhall Building/Channel 4 sign and a challette. The 'bug hotels' were created during a day spent with Core Landscapes - a mental health charity based in Hackney.

Sunday at Leicester Square

Sunday at Leicester Square

Abbi | 21 October 2016

On Farmer and skills

Stewart | 20 October 2016

The Farmer Report has highlighted a number of sensible issues and recommendations for the construction industry.  But, would a proposed levy to help develop skills adequately address the extent of construction-related skills shortages widely experienced now, or the worsening prospects post-Brexit?

 

The lack of home-grown technical skills - as well as interest by young people to pursue them – could probably be traced as far back as the Education Act of 1944.  This had been an attempt to help identify and develop pupils suited to technical or skilled professions in aptitude and preference. Unfortunately, the technical part dropped out of focus and funding early on, in the midst of the still-raging debate between grammar schools and secondary modern schools.  Hardly any technical schools were ever established.

 

Until the Government addresses how the technical training needs of the country are properly funded and procured through our secondary educational system, skills training will continue tinker around the edges.  If Britain is to prepare for greater self-sufficiency in order to mitigate further skills shortages post-Brexit, it needs to value technical training and skilled jobs (including but not limited to construction) as much as pure academic achievement and the services industry. 

 

And quickly. 

Hat's off to Martyn

Gary | 18 October 2016

For great work at 100 Liverpool Street, as recognised by British Land’s Hats Off Award.

4 Kingdom Street team cycle Palace to Palace

4 Kingdom Street team cycle Palace to Palace

Alec | 10 October 2016

Alec, Elliot and Will took part in the 45 mile ride from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle, along with members from British Land, Wates and Allies and Morrison. The team are hoping to raise £8000, which will go to the Prince's Trust.

The Fruitful Garden

The Fruitful Garden

Alec | 14 September 2016

Maylim, Willerby Landscapes and M3 Consulting are working with local disability charity Pursuing Independent Paths (PIP) to create The Fruitful Garden.

Paddington Public Realm Phase 2 Community Day

Paddington Public Realm Phase 2 Community Day

Alec S | 01 September 2016

Yesterday volunteers from M3, British Land, Maylim and their suppliers held a community day at Essendine Primary School where we put the finishing touches to a new sensory garden. 

M3 ran the JLL 5K

M3 ran the JLL 5K

Marianne | 26 August 2016

Enjoyed it too.

Back on the front benches

Back on the front benches

Liz | 28 July 2016

M3’s resident ‘politician’ has been elevated this year back into the Cabinet, to lead on all matters financial at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.  He’s now in his tenth year as the elected Councillor for the Bisham and Cookham Ward, where he lives to the north of Maidenhead.  Before a brief spell on the back benches, he was previously Cabinet Lead for Regeneration and Property. MJ’s local MP is Theresa May, who has also recently risen to the highest of political offices – the UK’s Prime Minister.

 

Wet, but well worth it

Wet, but well worth it

Alec | 27 July 2016

The 4 Kingdom Street dragon boat team got very wet (and possibly over competitive) taking part in a charity dragon boat race, coming 3rd out of 18! The money raised went to the childrens intensive care unit at St Mary's Hopsital. 

JLL Property Triathlon

JLL Property Triathlon

Mike R | 05 July 2016

A top day was had by all. The weather tried very hard to provide us with the impression that it was summer. Unfortunately, patchy rain and an initial stiff breeze early on gave way to more patchy rain and an increasingly stronger breeze as the day progressed.

John's Corner: Prefabricated Smart Pods

John W | 30 June 2016

Prefabricated smart pods have gained significant traction in the construction industry recently. The steel framed, fully fitted out pod modules are delivered complete to site and placed in position by tower or mobile crane.

A new home for Lumpur

A new home for Lumpur

MJ | 21 June 2016

Huge congratulations to this outstanding and dramatically hard working Team who built Lumpur’s new home yesterday. I suspect it’s the first time M3 constructed a residence and settled the tenant in - all on the same day.

 

Lumpur was ecstatic!

Three hours of sun this week...

Three hours of sun this week...

Jo C | 16 June 2016

... and just for the M3 Summer Party!

Introducing Alec Smith, MRICS

Introducing Alec Smith, MRICS

Stewart | 03 June 2016

Following his Final Assessment interview (and circa 3 years of hard slog) Alec has been successful in attaining full Chartered status... well done Alec!

5 Broadgate wins!

5 Broadgate wins!

George | 03 June 2016

5 Broadgate won the LABC award for best large commercial building -  these were the London region awards and hopefully we now get a shot at the nationals in the autumn!

Using local materials

Using local materials

Abbi | 23 May 2016

Observations on a Greek island...

Alex Cycles Vietnam

Alex Cycles Vietnam

Alex G | 18 May 2016

We peddled-out two thousand kilometres in six weeks and saw more of Vietnam than most Vietnamese.

John's Corner: Front end clusters procurement regime

John W | 16 May 2016

Over the past decade cluster regimes, where Specialist Trade Contractors come together to work as a single identity, have been used at various project stages to the developer’s advantage. The various types of cluster regime include front end enabling works, shell and core mechanical & electrical services, external cladding systems, fit-out apartment and external works. Due to its benefits and particular suitability to certain project needs, this is a strategy we can see ourselves offering to clients in projects going forwards.

M3 to help out at Wildlife Heritage Foundation

M3 to help out at Wildlife Heritage Foundation

MJ | 25 August 2015

At the Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF) in Headcorn, Kent, M3 will spend the day giving the Snow Leopards a more comfortable, stimulating and flexible home, including a new link to the Sumatran Tigers paddock nearby.