Built Environment Networking Blog:

Government action can ensure UK benefits from world-class infrastructure

Ministers have a real and exciting chance to set the course for the UK to have world-leading infrastructure, Sir John Armitt said today. The chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission pointed to the action taken to date to enact the Commission’s recommendations – and the central role that infrastructure plays in the Government’s Industrial Strategy […]

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Caledonian Modular successful in two educational builds

Caledonian have announced that they’ve successfully bid for two new school projects in England – as they continue to drive forward their modular offering to educational institutions across the UK. The projects, valued at £38m, have been named as the Haygrove School in Somerset and The Sir Frederick Gibberd College in Essex. Caledonian, who’ll be […]

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Champions of infrastructure design sought for pioneering new group

The National Infrastructure Commission is today launching the recruitment of members for its new Design Group, inviting champions of infrastructure design to play an important role in ensuring this issue is placed at the heart of major projects. Commissioner, Professor Sadie Morgan, who will chair the Group, said those involved in this exciting initiative will […]

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CERT Property acquires land for significant Manchester development

A joint venture partnership has completed the purchase of land at 86 Talbot Road, Old Trafford for residential development. CERT Property, who’ll be speaking about their future development plans at our Nottinghamshire Development Plans Conference, and Salboy have teamed up to acquire the land which has planning permission for the development of 90 apartments over […]

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Capital & Centric get the green light for Eyewitness Works city centre apartments

Plans by Capital & Centric to create a new community at a former cutlery works on Milton Street have been approved by Sheffield City Council. Councillors voted unanimously to approve the plans welcoming the regeneration of this part of the city. The £21m plans, which were discussed at our Sheffield event last month, include the […]

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£200m Port of Tilbury project given go-ahead

A huge scheme has today been given the green light which could see 12,000 jobs created within the next 10-15 years. The multimillion pound port terminal development, known as Tilbury2, was given the thumbs up by the Secretary of State for Transport after Forth Ports submitted their plans. Forth Ports – owner of The Port […]

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Plans submitted for 8-storey Sheffield office development

Scarborough Group International have today submitted plans for an exciting new office development in the heart of Sheffield. The project, situated in the Sheffield Digital Campus quarter, will reach 8-storeys in height and deliver around 60,000sq ft of office space. Scarborough Group, who’ll be speaking at our Leeds & Yorkshire Development Plans Conference next month, […]

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Route unveiled for major new road and junction at Black Cat

The preferred route for a new 10 mile dual carriageway road set to form part of the Oxford-Cambridge Corridor Expressway has been announced – which will help ease growing congestion and hold-ups on the A1, A428 and A421 – stretching from the Black Cat junction to the Caxton Gibbet roundabout. The announcement comes ahead of […]

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RICS; top tips for commercial mediators

Martin Burns – RICS, Head of ADR Research and Development   In my experience, lawyers and other professionals who become commercial mediators are driven by three things. They want to add a new product to their service offering, they yearn for the challenge of doing something new and intellectually challenging, and they want to get […]

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Warning over automation jobs policy gap

Innovative thinking is required to help society cope with the estimated 2.5m jobs that will be lost during the next decade as a result of automation, the Smart Cities conference’s universities session heard. Dave Carter, Smart City Project Lead at the Manchester Urban Institute, said that an estimated 2.5m jobs are due to disappear in […]

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Turn bus garages into EV top up points – TfL

Transport for London is exploring how its network of bus stations can be turned into top up charging points for emergency services vehicles and even private cars as part of a major revamp of its estate. Peter Elliot, Head of Development at Transport for London told delegates at the Smart Cities Development Conference that the […]

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EV roll out sparks Manchester power upgrade call

Manchester’s power network requires a significant upgrade to cope with the anticipated increase in use of electric vehicles (EVs), our Smart Cities Development Conference has heard. Steve Cox, Engineering & Technical Director at Electricity North West, told delegates that every morning, 223,000 vehicles are driven into Manchester.

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Uber’s exciting rural plans queried by Catapult chief

Moves by Uber to expand into rural areas won’t work, our Smart Cities Development Conference heard. James Kelly, Head of Cities at the app-based ride hailing business, said the company is exploring a roll out of community transport services, recalling how he had used informal ride sharing early in his career to commute into work […]

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Digital natives may quit cities, prop-tech boss warns

The dystopian vison of future cities, painted in recent science fiction film Ready Player One, will come true if current patterns of high-rise development continue, a Crown Estates adviser has warned. Vanessa Lee Butz told our Smart Cities Development Conference that the ‘digital native’ generation will have different digital and human connections to their predecessors, […]

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Plan for tomorrow’s tech, urges Catapult chief

The importance of thinking about emerging technologies when planning development was the key message of the opening keynote presentation at our Smart Cities Development Conference. Nicola Yates, Chief Executive Officer of the Future Cities Catapult – which examines the application of innovation to the built environment, said: “Planners have to imagine a future world. If […]

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Physical interaction to remain important in digitised future

Personal contact will remain prized even as individuals spend an increasing proportion of their time on-line, a leading futurologist has told our London Property Club event. Tom Cheesewright predicted that the next ten years would see the transition to a new world in which the boundary between the digital and physical worlds becomes ‘seamless’.

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Partnerships still on agenda post PFI – Government Property Chief

Whitehall is still keen to pursue partnerships with the property industry despite the ‘unravelling’ of the HMRC’s STEPS property private finance initiative deal, the Chair of the Government Property Unit (GPU) has said. Liz Peace told delegates at our London event that the STEPS deal struck nearly 20 years ago with property company Mapeley, and […]

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Bank to maintain gilt holdings post QE

The Bank of England will continue to hold large quantities of gilts even if it stops the quantitative easing policy of bond buying, the Bank of England’s Agent for London has said. Speaking at our London event Rob Elder said that QE remains a tool that the UK’s central bank uses to support the economy, […]

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Planning in London ‘never more difficult’ – Madelin

The planning system in London has ‘never been more difficult’, veteran developer Roger Madelin told delegates at our London Property Club event. Madelin, who heads the Canada Water development at British Land, said that he could not remember a more difficult time for development since he started out in the industry: “Planning in London has […]

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Convert department stores into retirement homes – says leading developer

Ailing department stores could be reconfigured to create town centre residential communities for older people, a leading retirement developer has said. Lex Cumber, Director of Cardiff-based Castleoak, told delegates at our South Wales Development Conference that big stores like House of Fraser contain a lot of floorspace that could be converted to house older people: […]

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Cardiff leader calls for Plan B if M4 relief road isn’t approved

A Plan B is needed ‘swiftly’ for South Wales’ traffic problems if the proposed M4 relief road is not given the green light, the Leader of Cardiff Council has warned. Speaking at our South Wales event Huw Thomas told delegates that his authority is ‘totally supportive’ of the plans. He said: “It’s a politically difficult […]

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Plea to end hand out culture

South Wales was urged to wean itself off the culture of hand-outs by the Director of the Cardiff Capital Region. Opening the South Wales Development Conference Kellie Beirne said the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will cut off an important source of support for the South Wales economy.

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Office boom in Nottingham

A newly published report has been resulted showcasing record levels of office take-up within Nottingham. The report by Innes England, which also showed a really strong market across the wider East Midlands region, comes at an exciting period for the city – all of which will be discussed at the Nottinghamshire Development Plans Conference next […]

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Planning application submitted for 750 new homes in Ashford

A planning application has been submitted for a new 750-home scheme in Ashford by major developer Quinn Estates. The development will now be looking into by Ashford Borough Council, with a view of starting work on the scheme in late 2019 if the thumbs up are given. Quinn Estates, who’ll be speaking at the Thames […]

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Conference to set out regeneration and development opportunities and major plans within Worcestershire & Herefordshire

On the 5th March, prominent business leaders within the construction and property industry will come together in Worcester for one of the region’s largest business events of the year within the construction sector. The event, hosted by Built Environment Networking, will see some of the region’s leading civic and business leaders discuss the major topics […]

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RICS; What does it take to become a construction adjudicator

Who can become a construction adjudicator? Adjudication is a generic term for a range of procedures by which differences of opinion are referred to independent third parties, known as adjudicators. These adjudicators review evidence and/or make investigations, and then make decisions, which determine the outcome of disputes. Since 1998, when the Housing Grants Construction and […]

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Work begins on Northern Quarter office project

Construction work has begun on an impressive new development in Manchester – brought forward by property developer CERT Property. The scheme, based in the thriving Northern Quarter, is set to deliver much needed office space within the city.

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Gatwick Airport’s railways station set for major upgrade

A transformational development to Gatwick Airport’s railway station is set to be given the thumbs up – with council chiefs at Crawley Borough Council set to give the scheme their approval. The development plans, which have been brought forward by Network Rail, Gatwick Airport, Coast to Capital LEP and the Department for Transport, have been […]

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Cambridge city centre housing scheme gets approval

An impressive new city centre housing scheme is set for the historic city of Cambridge – with council officials giving the thumbs up to starting demolition work on site. The development, brought forward by Cambridge City Council, will see the creation of almost 300 new properties, including 90 council houses, which will be built on […]

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New town in Cambridge given approval by the District Council’s Cabinet

The future vision for the transformation of a former MOD barracks site in Cambridge has been given the backing of the District Council’s Cabinet – paving the way for a new town in Cambridgeshire. The new town – to the north of Waterbeach – will provide a major boost to housing numbers across the region, […]

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Further funding for major Thames Enterprise Park development

Additional funding has been secured to unlock the phenomenal opportunities the Thames Enterprise Park is set to bring to the region. The site, being transformed by iSec and Greenergy, will create upwards of 4,500 new jobs as the strategically placed 415-acre brownfield site is regenerated into a thriving new employment zone.

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Ambitious 1,600 residential scheme to transform Southend

Swan Housing Association are set to enter into a joint venture with Southend-on-Sea Borough Council to deliver a massive residential led project delivering around 1,600 new homes. The announcement that Swan have been recommended to enter the collaborative partnership with the council is an exciting step forward for the development which will help transform the […]

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Placemarque; Smart thinking in smart cities

Placemarque are proud to be badge sponsors of Built Environment Networking’s upcoming Smart Cities Development Conference. It comes at a time when we’re considering the evolution of our wayfinding services in light of digital, virtual and mixed reality technologies and big data. Furthermore, as Placemarque developed the street signage in the centre of Oxford (the […]

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Arteries of opportunity: the storied past and smart future of Scotland’s canals

Ahead of next weeks Smart Cities Development Conference we hear from one of those set to speak at the event – Catherine Topley, Chief Executive at Scottish Canals;   Scotland’s 250-year-old canals were once the thoroughfares that stoked the fires of the Industrial Revolution – transport arteries that carried goods, passengers and life and transformed […]

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Urgent need to scale up delivery of new homes in Birmingham

Developers in Birmingham need to dramatically scale up plans to deliver new homes if the city is to meet demand from workers moving into the region in the coming years. Adam Ratzker, Commercial Director at Galliard Homes, said that the pipeline of homes after 2019 coming onto the market was far less than will be […]

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Thurrock Council make infrastructure pledge

Thurrock Council have promised to ensure that crucial infrastructure is in place to help support and maximise major regeneration projects set to happen across the region. Thurrock Council, who’ll be speaking at the Thames Estuary Development Conference in April, are working in partnerships with a variety of firms across six massive growth areas – which […]

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Avant Homes project gets planning committee backing

A large residential development in Scotland has been given the thumbs up by Midlothian Council’s planning committee – allowing work to get underway on delivering the 544 new homes. The proposals were put forward by CALA Homes and Avant Homes – who’ll be speaking at our Yorkshire Development Plans Conference about their future development plans […]

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Strategic transport body prepares spending review bid

The Oxford-Cambridge corridor’s transport body will present the Treasury with an investment prospectus, its Chief Officer has revealed. Martin Tugwell, Programme Director of the England’s Economic Heartland (EEH) partnership of businesses and councils, told the delegates at the Oxford Cambridge Corridor Development conference that the prospectus is designed to make the case for funds in […]

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Major upgrade planned for Milton Keynes Station Square

The sprawling square in front of Milton Keynes Central railway station is being eyed up for a major upgrade. Speaking at our Oxford Cambridge Corridor Development Conference Maria Curran, Placemaking Executive at the Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP), said that Station Square has been identified as a ‘priority project’. Whilst the square already contains a […]

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CaMKOx Corridor: Academic moots high speed inter varsity rail tunnel

The Chinese would solve the Oxford to Cambridge corridor’s transport problems by building a new high-speed railway tunnel between the two varsity cities, the Vice Chancellor at the University of Northampton has said. Speaking at our Oxford Cambridge Corridor Development Conference Nick Petford said that he was ‘struck by the 20th century approach’ that characterises […]

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Commonwealth Games development takes step forward

A planning application has officially been submitted for an ambitious state-of-the-art swimming centre in the West Midlands. The £60m Sandwell Aquatics Centre is set to be a central point of the Commonwealth Games – which arrives in Birmingham in 2022. The Games is set to see major development across Sporting Venues in the Midlands – […]

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PBA; Reviewing The CaMKOx Conference…

Nigel Fern (Associate) and Warren Cull (Associate) of PBA – now part of Stantec – share an overview of the Oxford Cambridge Corridor Development Conference:   

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Council boss eyes relaxation of North East green belt

The North East green belt may be reviewed, the Leader of Gateshead Council has said. Speaking at our Newcastle event Cllr Martin Gannon told delegates that unless the authority allocates more housing sites it will pick up the costs of population growth without benefitting from the resulting increased council tax revenues. Responding to a question […]

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Scotland’s presence at MIPIM 2019 announced

MIPIM, the world’s leading property market, brings together the most influential players from all international property sectors offering unrivalled access to the greatest number of development projects and sources of capital worldwide, and we’re delighted to confirm that Built Environment Networking are set to be involved – as the primary Conference Organiser for Scottish Enterprise.  […]

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Energy; the huge transformation to underpin Smart Cities

The Smart Cities Development Conference is set to bring together senior leaders at the forefront of the Smart Cities agenda – and Electricity North West are one of those firms. Ahead of the conference we hear exclusively from Steve Cox, Director at Electricity North West:   Electricity North West is responsible for distributing power across […]

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Regeneration around UK Ports needs big commitment to training, says infrastructure specialist dtl

Ahead of the UK Ports Development Conference we hear from Develop Training Ltd – the UK’s leading accredited provide of compliance, technical and safety training.    Develop Training Limited (DTL) is the UK’s leading accredited provider of compliance, technical, and safety training, supporting thousands of firms with their training needs. Clients include some of the […]

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Shoosmiths; the future of Leeds is undoubtedly looking bright

Shoosmiths, a partner for our event in Leeds last November, share an overview of the conference, the outputs and the key topics ahead of the next Leeds Development Plans Conference.   The Speakers The first speaker was Adam Brannen, Head of Development for Leeds City Council. He focussed on how the council was not looking […]

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Scottish Government devising plans to investigate boosting regional connectivity and local economies

Glasgow City Council has said the next generation of transport plans being devised by the Scottish Government are expected to investigate how to boost regional connectivity and local economies. Speaking at our conference in Glasgow, Carol Connelly – Head of City Deal at the Council, said the new National Planning Framework, which is working its […]

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Barking & Dagenham Council business park purchase moves digital hub plans forward

The London Borough of Barking & Dagenham have acquired Londoneast-UK Business & Technical Park today as they drive forward their plans to regenerate the area. The purchase, which currently holds 42 SME firms employing around 500 staff, is said to be a ‘major milestone’ in the Council’s ambitions to transform the area – with an […]

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Bristol’s Global Gateway

UK Ports plays a huge role to play in driving the UK’s economy and there are some major plans to expand Ports and deliver new development and regeneration around Ports to boost the economy even further. With ports playing a crucial role in the future of the economy the inaugural Ports Development Conference is set […]

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