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Bloomberg' European Headquarters wins Stirling Prize

Bloomberg' European Headquarters wins Stirling Prize

11 October 2018

The 1.1 million sq ft development designed by Foster + Partners comprises two buildings connected by a bridge, as well as access the Bank Underground station, museum displaying Roman Temple of Mithras, retail and cafes. 

 

Others on the shortlist were Bushey Cemetery by Waugh Thistleton Architects, Chadwick Hall by Henley Halebrown, New Tate, St Ives by Jamie Fobert Architects, Storey's Field Centre and Eddington Nursery by MUMA LLP, and The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre by Niall McLaughlin Architects.

Borrowing caps for local authorities to be lift says PM

Borrowing caps for local authorities to be lift says PM

5 October 2018

In her speech at the Conservative Party Conference, Theresa May has annouced that borrowing caps for local authorities will be lifted in effort to achieve the target of 300,000 new homes a year.  This follows the increase of £1bn on that cap afforded by the Autumn 2017 budget in areas of high affordability.

PM pledges long term funding for housing associations

PM pledges long term funding for housing associations

21 September 2018

Speaking at the National Housing Federation summit, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a £2bn fund to help housing associations build affordable housing themselves.  The fund is intended to provide the sector with long term stability and abillity to leverage private finance.

RIBA Plan of Work updates on fire safety published for consultation

RIBA Plan of Work updates on fire safety published for consultation

19 September 2018

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has updated its Plan of Work to incorporate elements of the Dame Judith Hackitt's post-Grenfell review.  Among the proposed changes are to require consideration of Part B of Building Regulations to in Stage 2, while details drawings are approved in Stage 4 before start on site;  independent inspection of construction works by the principal design and clerk of works are carried in Stage 5; and an inspection of post-rectification works by the same in Stage 6.

 

Consultations close 15 October.  View the consultation documents here>

Carney extends Bank of England tenure to January 2020

Carney extends Bank of England tenure to January 2020

12 September 2018

Mark Carney was slated to leave his post as Bank of England governor until June 2019, but Government says the seven month extension would help smooth the Brexit transition and allow time to recruit his successor.

 

Deputy Governor Sir Jon Cunliffe has been re-appointed for a further five years. 

Government warns developers over unsafe cladding

Government warns developers over unsafe cladding

11 September 2018

Communities secretary James Brokenshire has written to c. 60 developers to remove unsafe ACM cladding from nearly 300 buildings. As well as potentially facing legal action if the steps to avoid penalties are not taken, the government has also warned that they may be barred from government contracts.

 

New construction qualification to be launched

New construction qualification to be launched

11 September 2018

A new Level 3 Applied Diploma in Professional Construction Practice (PCP) is being launched today. Equivalent to an A-Level, the course covers modern construction mangement, including technology and innovation to broaden the appeal of the course and complement STEM subjects.  It provides an early gateway into the profession and prepares students to progression into Level 4 built environment qualifications.

Northern HS2 legislation delayed

Northern HS2 legislation delayed

6 September 2018

The bill to enable the construction of Phase 2B of HS2, which includes the lines between Crew and Manchester and between Leeds and Birmingham, have been delayed by a year, to 2020.

 

The Department of Transport says the lines will open in 2023 as planned.

 

 

House prices dip in August

House prices dip in August

31 August 2018

According to Nationwide, house prices dipped in the last month by 0.5% to soften annual house price growth to 2%.  Overall this remains within the range of 2-3% over the last 12 months.

 

Tracking the impact of Help-to-Buy, figures suggest that the scheme accounted for c. 8% of house purchase mortgages in 12 months to March 2018, with a greater share in the North and East Midlands.

 

Read more here > 

Crossrail opening pushed back to Autumn 2019

Crossrail opening pushed back to Autumn 2019

31 August 2018

The central section of the Elizabeth Line running from Paddington to Abbey Wood was due to open in December 2018, but has been delayed to allow more time for testing, completion of works and software development.

 

It is now estimated to open in autumn 2019.

IPPR calls for land market reforms

IPPR calls for land market reforms

30 August 2018

The IPPR Commission on Economic Justice has published a discussion paper linking wealth inequity, borken housing market, poor productivity, and macroeconomic instabilty to a "dysfunctional" land market.

 

Recommendations including reforming CPO laws, freezing prices at current use value, and ending highest bidder sales.  Further recommendations are made for reforming the housing market, taxation, and finance sector regulation. 

 

Read more here >

Government issues "no-deal" advice

Government issues "no-deal" advice

23 August 2018

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has announced that a series of technical advice will be published to help people and business plan in the case of a "no deal" scenario.  The first 25 technical notices providing "practical and proportionate" advice are available here >  

 

Raab says that c. 80% of the Withdrawal Agreement has been the agreed, and that he is "confident a good deal is within our sights."   Read the full speech here >

Green paper on social housing published

Green paper on social housing published

15 August 2018

The Government has published a Green Paper for social housing reforms for consultation. The proposals aim to address five principles: a safe and decent home; resolution of complaints; empowering residents and strengthening regulation; stigma around social housing; and increasing supply and home ownership.

 

Review the Green Paper here>

 

Consultation closes 06 November.

PMI improves in July

PMI improves in July

6 August 2018

July has seen the fastest rise in construction output since May 2017, according to the IHS Markit / CIPS Construction Market Purchasing Management Index (PMI).  The PMI rose to 55.8 according to data collected in July, in comparison to 53.1 in June, with the fastest increase in residential wokr in 2.5 years. 

 

Respondents have cited catch up from harsh winter conditions, improving demand and higher volumes of new project starts.

 

More info here >

Heatwave report recommends building regs changes

Heatwave report recommends building regs changes

31 July 2018

The Environmental Audit Committee has published a report to address health, wellbeing and productivity for increasing frequency of heatwaves.  Among the recommendations include requiring thermal modelling test and mandatory water usage standards as requirements for building regulations; discontinuing funding for modularisation; requiring SuDS in all new development; and introducing urban green infrastructure targets.

 

Read the report here >

Stirling Prize shortlist announced

Stirling Prize shortlist announced

19 July 2018

Winner will be announced 10 October.   The shortlist comprises:

Housing minister Raab replaces Davis as Brexit secretary

Housing minister Raab replaces Davis as Brexit secretary

9 July 2018

Dominic Raab, MP for Esher and Walton has been appointed Brexit secretary following the resignation of David Davis on Sunday.  Davis and junior Brexit minister Steve Baker resigned over the plan agreed by the Cabinet last Friday.  

 

Raab is replaced with Kit Malthouse, MP for North West Hampshire, who has served as the undersecretary for family, support, housing and child maintenance at the Department for Work and Pensions.

 

Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, has also resigned and has been replaced by Jeremy Hunt.

 

New London Award for 1FA, Broadgate

New London Award for 1FA, Broadgate

5 July 2018

1FA, Broadgate has been named the Unbuilt Winner - Offices for the New London Awards 2018.  The sensitive refurbishment of the Grade II listed building, by AHMM, provides modernised offices and roof terrace within the retained envelope, while improving ground level amenities and permeability.

 

See all New London Awards 2018 winners >

 

Read more about the project >

 

 

 

Homes England agrees affordable housing partnerships

Homes England agrees affordable housing partnerships

4 July 2018

Homes England has announced the first wave of strategic partnerships to boost delivery of affordable housing. The deals with eight housing associations total £590m, to deliver 14,280 additional affordable homes by March 2022 including homes for social rent in areas of high affordability pressure.

 

Read more >

 

MPs vote yes for third Heathrow runway

MPs vote yes for third Heathrow runway

27 June 2018

MPs have voted in favour of the controversial third runway at Heathrow Airport 415-119.  The third runway is forecasted to increase the number of takeoffs and landings to c. 740,000 per year, from the current figures of c. 480,000.

 

The cost of the project is now projected to be c. £14 bn, with expansion of existing terminals rather than a new one.

 

Read the Airports National Policy Statement here >

 

 

Letwin review - draft analysis published

Letwin review - draft analysis published

26 June 2018

The independent review of build out rates headed by Sir Oliver Letwin has ruled out land banking by major developers as a cause for slow build out rates.  It has also suggested that the planning system and infrastructure delays do not prolong build out rates per se, although the latter does delay start on site.

 

Build out rates are slowed by housebuilders holding back delivery to avoid flooding the market and lack of construction capacity.

 

Read the draft analysis here >

Everyman Theatre signs on at 1FA, Broadgate

Everyman Theatre signs on at 1FA, Broadgate

4 June 2018

Everyman Theatre will take 11,000 sq ft across the ground and lower ground floors at 1FA, Broadgate, currently being refurbished. The 3 screen cinema is expected to open in 2019.

 

Read more here >

 

Find out more about the 1FA project here > 

 

The Postal Museum shortlisted for Art Fund Award

The Postal Museum shortlisted for Art Fund Award

2 May 2018

The Postal Museum has been shortlisted for the Art Fund Museum of the Year award.  The museum showcases Britain's postal heritage and features a 15-minute Mail Rail ride exploring the mothballed underground network that once transported mail from Paddington to Whitechapel.  Since its opening in the summer of 2017, the attraction has boosted visitor numbers to the post office archives from 3,000 annually, to an anticipated 185,000 in its first year. Read more about The Postal Museum >

 

The shortlist for the prestigious prize also includes Tate St Ives, Glasgow Women's Libary, Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, abd Brooklands Motor and Aviation Museum in Weybridge.  Winners will be announced 5 July.

 

 

 

Three new food and drink brands at Paddington Central

Three new food and drink brands at Paddington Central

30 April 2018

British Land has signed HUCKSTER, a new dining concept for London, to a 15-year lease for 4,700 sq ft at 4 Kingdom Street; as well as a 10-year lease with Lords of Poke for 840 sq ft and 10-year lease for 1,100 sq ft with Coco di Mama.

 

Since acquiring Paddington Central in 2013, British Land has invested £100 million into the transformation of the campus' public realm as well as the the construction of 4 Kingdom Street. 

 

Read more here > 

James Brokenshire named new Secretary of State at Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

James Brokenshire named new Secretary of State at Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

30 April 2018

The Prime Minister has announced that James Brokenshire, a former Northern Ireland Secretary, will replace Sajid Javid as the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). Javid steps into the role of Home Secretary following the resignation of Amber Rudd.

Year-on-year office take up rises

Year-on-year office take up rises

17 April 2018

JLL has reported a 14% rise in office take up in London in the first quarter of 2018, as compared to the same period a year ago. 28% of the transactions for 1.98m sq ft were on a pre-let basis. 

 

The service industry, which includes serviced offices, accounted for 26% of the transactions, followed by TMT (22%),  professional services (21%) and banking and finance (20%).

Pound at highest level since Brexit referendum

Pound at highest level since Brexit referendum

17 April 2018

The pound sterling has reached its highest level against the US dollar at £1.437 since the results of the Brexit referendum in June 2016. While the pound has been steadily rising since its lowest at £1.2068 in January 2017, the increase is partially attributable to a drop in the value of the US dollar with the uncertainty around their trade policy.

 

The value of the pound is unchanged against the euro. 

Pay deal for SME construction workers

Pay deal for SME construction workers

16 April 2018

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and union Unite have agreed a one-year pay deal that will see a pay rise of 3.1%. The rate increase comes into effect 25 June 2018 for general operatives, NVQ3 advance craft, and apprentices and trainees.

 

Read more here >

 

Built to rent completions surge by 45%

Built to rent completions surge by 45%

13 April 2018

Completions also rose by 47%, compared to a year ago. The number of BTR units in planning stage also grew, albeit at a more modest 19%.

 

According to research by Savills on behalf of the British Property Federation (BPF), the build to rent (BTR) pipeline is growing and diversifying, with 17% of BTR schemes including houses as well as apartments.

 

Read more here>

Councils invest in town centres

Councils invest in town centres

13 April 2018

Research by Revo and Carter Jonas has reported that counils acroos the UK has invested £3.8bn into commercial property between 2013 and 2017.  The investments include nearly half on offices, and c. one-third on retail assets.

 

The primary driver for the investment is to help improve town centres, threats to which were seen by respondents to include online shopping, business rates and reduced demand from retailers.

Construction output falls again

Construction output falls again

13 April 2018

According to ONS figures, construction output has fallen again in the three months to February 2018, with 0.8% overall dip. This was primarily due to decline in repair and maintenance, which was partially offset by growth in infrastructure and housebuilding activities. However, new work in infrastructure decreased by 9.4% in February, and construction as a whole experienced a decrease of 1.6%.  

 

Read more here >

 

 

Consultation on restricting desktop studies for fire performance launched

Consultation on restricting desktop studies for fire performance launched

13 April 2018

The Government has published consultation papers in regards to tightening building safety regulations by restricting or banning the use of desktop studies as a means of asssessing fire performance fo external cladding systems.  The use of desktop studies is being considered as part of Dame Judith Hackitt's independent review of building regulations and fire safety following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower.  The results of will inform amendments to Approved Document B (fire safety).

 

Click here to read the consultation paper >  Consultation closes 25 May.

Store openings on high streets lowest since 2010

Store openings on high streets lowest since 2010

11 April 2018

According to a study by Local Data Company, online shopping has impacted the number of retail outlets on UK's high streets.  It reported 4,083 new openings in 500 towns and cities across the UK, against closures of 5,855 shops - a net loss of 1,772.

 

Fashion outlets closed at the fastest rate, while the number of beauty salans, ice cream parlours, coffee shops and book shops increased.

 

Read more here >

Mimecast signs on to 1FA, Broadgate

Mimecast signs on to 1FA, Broadgate

11 April 2018

British Land has signed Mimecast for a 15-year lease, on 79,000 sq ft at 1FA, Broadgate. The letting equates to 32% of the building's office space.

 

Read more about the letting >

 

Read more about 1FA, Broadgate >

EU & UK agree "large part" of Brexit transition

EU & UK agree "large part" of Brexit transition

19 March 2018

Michael Barnier and David Davis have announced that the EU and the UK have agreed on several key issues regarding the transition period, which has been set to last from 29 March 2019 to December 2020. This includes an emergency "back stop plan" with regards to the Northern Ireland border; rights of the EU citizens currently in the UK and the vice versa, as well as those who arrive during the transition period; and that the UK would be able to negotiate and sign trade deals during the transition period, to come into effort after December 2020.

 

To read the draft agreement, click here >

PM announces NPPF overhaul

PM announces NPPF overhaul

6 March 2018

The Government has published consultation papers to amend the National Planning Policy Framework.  At the National Planning Conference over the weekend, the Prime Minister has signaled the intention to implement up to 80 proposals outlined in last year's Housing White Paper.  Key targets include encouraging delivery of consented schemes and making available land for affordable housing, while protecting the Green Belt.

 

Consultations close 10 May 2018.  See the consultation papers here >

May sets out Brexit negotiation tests

May sets out Brexit negotiation tests

2 March 2018

Theresa May has reiterated UK's intention to leave the single market following Brexit, and the call for a bespoke trade model.  She has set out five fundamentals for future trade relationship: 1) fair and open competition 2) independent arbitration mechanism 3) means for regular consultation with EU  4) arrangement for data protection 5) enable "links between our people".

 

The Prime Minister has also set out set out five tests for negotiations with EU: The agreement must 1) respect the referendum 2) endure 3) protect jobs and security 4) be consistent with the kind of country [the UK wants] to be 5) strenghten the union. 

Read the full speech here >

1 Triton Square starts on site

1 Triton Square starts on site

2 March 2018

Vacant posession has been achieved to enable start on site for the 366,000 sq ft commercial redevelopment, which includes 20,000 sq ft of retail and leisure and 10,000 sq ft of affordable work space.  Construction commences with 310,000 sq ft of office space pre-let to Dentsu Aegis Network.

 

Read more about 1 Triton Square >

Eataly signs at 135 Bishopsgate

Eataly signs at 135 Bishopsgate

1 March 2018

The Italian food hall and market place operator has signed on for 42,000 sq ft on the ground and first floors at Broadgate's 135 Bishopsgate.  The refurbishment underway will increase retail space and improve access from both Bishopsgate and Exchange Square as well as provide high quality office space with roof terraces.

 

Opening in 2020, this will be Eataly's first location in the UK.

 

Read more here >

 

Investor confidence in UK commercial property remains high

Investor confidence in UK commercial property remains high

20 February 2018

According to Savills research, the outcome for 2017 was c. £65.4tn, an increase of 26% over 2016. Industrial property led the way, with volumes of 80% more than the previous year.  Initial data for January 2018 shows a 66% increase over the same month last year across all sectors.  Nearly half of the investment volume for 2017 was by overseas investors.

 

Prime yields have generally remained unchanged from the previous quarter.

 

Read more here >

 

 

World's tallest timber tower planned in Japan

World's tallest timber tower planned in Japan

20 February 2018

Japanese Woods products company Sumitomo Foresty is planning to celebrate its 350th anniversary in 2041 with the construction of W350, a 350 m tall timber tower. At 70 storeys, the tower will be built with 90% wood and 10% steel, in a braced tube structure to withstand earthquakes.

 

The cost is estimated at 600 bn yen (c. £4 bn) - about twice as much as conventional tall buildings.

 

Brock Commons in Vancouver, Canada, is currently the tallest wooden building at 18 storeys and 53 m high. 

Pre-let secured for 160,000 sq ft at 100 Liverpool Street

Pre-let secured for 160,000 sq ft at 100 Liverpool Street

13 February 2018

British Land has signed an agreement for lease with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Limited ("SMBCE") for 161,000 sq ft at the 100 Liverpool Street redevelopment at Broadgate. SBMCE's letting represents 37% of 100 Liverpool Street's office space.

 

Read the press release >

 

Read more about the project >

 

 

Mayor launches Small Sites, Small Builders programme

Mayor launches Small Sites, Small Builders programme

12 February 2018

Ten Transport for London sites have been earmarked as pilot projects, delivering 111 new homes with 68% affordable housing in total. Each site has the capacity to deliver between 2 to 42 homes.

 

A review of the new process will be carried out for the pilot sites to determine how and when the programme can be used by other public sector organisations. 

 

Read more here > 

St Helen's Square opens

St Helen's Square opens

1 February 2018

After 9 months on site, the public realm enhancement works to St Helens Square are now complete, with practical completion accomplished on 31st January 2018.

 

The new square provides an exciting and vibrant public realm space at the junction of Leadenhall Street and St Mary Axe, refreshing the backdrop to Aviva Tower and providing connectivity to the Galleria at The Leadenhall Building, opened in 2014.

 

Read more about the project > 

 

Lord Adonis resigns from NIC

Lord Adonis resigns from NIC

3 January 2018

Lord Adonis served as interim Chairman since the launch of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) in October 2015 and Chairman since April 2017. His resignation comes as a result of "fundamental differences [with the Government] that simply cannot be bridged." These include policies on Brexit and the "indefensible" decision to bail out the Stagecoach/Virgin East Coast rail franchise.