Built Environment Networking Blog:

BBC slammed over country estate sale

The BBC has been slammed as ‘irresponsible’ for selling off an estate that it owns outside Reading without properly consulting the local authority’s planners. Tony Page, deputy leader of Reading council, speaking at a recent Built Environment Networking event in the town, criticised the way that the public broadcaster was selling the 93-acre Caversham house […]

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Viability impact warning over post-Grenfell Tower building regulation review

Changes to building regulations likely to be triggered by last month’s Grenfell Tower fire disaster will have an impact on the viability of high rise projects, a leading property investor has said. Ed Crockett, ‎director of residential fund management at Aberdeen Asset Management, told a Built Environment Networking event on Birmingham development plans, said the […]

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Glasgow to unveil city centre residential plans

Glasgow council is putting the finishing touches on a city centre residential strategy, a Built Environment Networking event in the city has heard. Patrick Flynn, head of housing and regeneration at the Glasgow City Council, told the Scottish Development Plans event on July 15th that the authority would be publishing its city centre residential strategy […]

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Winter gardens refurb set to restore Blackpool to Conference Premier League

The refurbishment of Blackpool’s iconic Winter Gardens will put Britain’s biggest seaside resort back on the map as a major conference destination, a Built Environment Networking event heard last week. The renowned conference facility is currently about to undergo a £25m revamp, due to commence in September that will enable it to cater for up […]

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New plans unveiled for Leeds city centre expansion plan.

Developer CEG is on the verge of submitting an application to regenerate a 6 acre site on Leeds’ South Bank, which forms a key plank of the council’s plans to expand the city centre, delegates at a Built Environment Networking event heard last week. At the West Yorkshire Development Plans event, which was held in […]

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Huddersfield University set for new developments

Huddersfield University are heavily investing in new buildings to attract students to study in Yorkshire. A new £30m development will see the Barbara Hepworth Building become a start of the art facility for students studying art, design and architecture. Colin Blair, recently made an MBE in the New Years Honours, will be speaking at our […]

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Rising nimby backlash frustrates social housing delivery

Bristol is delivering a tenth of the new affordable housing that it needs. That was the blunt message from a member of the city’s mayoral housing commission at last week’s Bristol Development Plans 2014 event. Oona Goldsworthy, chief executive of the locally-based United Communities Housing Association, said that Bristol mayor George Ferguson’s Homes Commission had […]

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New scheme will put Coventry on the euro map

Coventry’s Friargate development is a scheme of potentially European significance, the scheme’s developer has claimed. Delivering the closing keynote presentation at Built Environment Networking’s Coventry Development Plans 2014 event, Stephen Reynolds said: “I can’t think of another city that can put forward 36 acres of developable land by a railway station. This is at least- […]

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Historic University faces major revamp to meet needs of today’s students

Glasgow University’s historic main campus must be significantly revamped in order to meet the educational needs of today, its director of estates has warned. Ann Allen outlined her organisation’s development plans in the closing keynote presentation at the Glasgow University Investment Plans event organised by Built Environment Networking. She said more than half of the […]

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West Yorkshire vows to secure more devolved powers

West Yorkshire council leaders have pledged to “seize the moment” to secure more devolved powers for the Leeds city region, as all the main political parties wrestle with the devolution issue after Scotland narrowly rejected independence The chief executives of the six councils that formed the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) in April – Leeds, […]

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Reading’s success fuels development demand

Reading’s economic success in recent years is fuelling strong demand for development across all sectors, according to the town’s borough council. Councillor Tony Page, deputy leader of Reading Borough Council, told a Built Environment Networking Event on ‘Reading General Development Plans 2014’ at Reading’s Town Hall, that development investment was sorely needed. “There are major […]

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Broads planner outlines vision of high quality growth

The chief officer of the council covering one of Norwich’s key expansion zones has said the authority wants growth, but not at any cost. Broadland district council chief executive Phil Kirby delivered the opening keynote presentation at Built Environment Networking’s Norwich Development Plans seminar, which took place last Thursday (16th September) in the city. He […]

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Cardiff goes for greenfield growth

Cardiff is allocating 13,000 homes to green field sites in its latest local development plan in a bid to accommodate the booming Welsh capital’s rapid population growth, a senior planner has revealed. James Clemence, planning policy operational manager at Cardiff City Council, delivered the opening keynote speech at Built Environment Network’s Cardiff General Development Plans […]

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New eco-watchdog advocates eco-system planning

Wales’ environmental watchdog is urging developers and councils to work with it in delivering an integrated or eco-system approach to all aspects of the natural environment. Graham Hillier of Natural Resources Wales said: “We certainly want to encourage investment in Wales that supports the Welsh economy while enhancing and protecting Wales’ unique environment.” “We want […]

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Case study: Porth Teigr: a new model for waterfront regeneration

Porth Teigr is one of the last unfilled pieces in Cardiff’s waterfront regeneration jigsaw, according to Mark Hallett development director of Igloo. The company inherited a masterplan for the site from the Welsh Development Agency, drawn up by Sir Terry Farrell, with a big commercial development at the centre and a 4,500 space multi-storey car […]

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Manchester gets building to meet commercial demand

Developers are getting cracking with commercial developments in Greater Manchester to meet increasing demand from occupiers, according to four clients active in the region. Argent, Muse Developments, Bruntwood and Nikal told the Built Environment Networking event on ‘Manchester Major Development Plans 2014’ in Manchester Town Hall that they were each committing to commercial schemes in […]

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Undergraduate numbers rebound fuels confidence in student housing market

UK student accommodation has strong growth prospects but should not rest on its laurels as universities face increased competition for students from overseas countries, according to leading tertiary education residential experts. Speaking at the Built Environment Network’s student residential sector briefing, Campus Development Management executive director Rupert Wyard, pointed to recent UCAS figures showing that […]

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Southampton comes out of the shadows

The city of Southampton is pushing ahead with several major development schemes, putting the city firmly on property and construction firms’ radars, according to four major clients in the city. Dawn Baxendale, chief executive of Southampton City Council, told a Built Environment Networking Event on ‘Southampton General Development Plans 2014’ at the city’s Novotel, that […]

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Ambition returns to Leeds universities

Universities are more confident about investing in capital projects as the predicted volatility from the increase in student fees to £9,000 has failed to materialise, according to the University of Leeds. Steve Gilley, head of estates at the University of Leeds, told the Built Environment Networking event on ‘Leeds Universities and Colleges Development Plans 2014’ […]

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West Mids has ‘no choice but to embrace HS2

The West Midlands region has no choice but to embrace HS2 if it is to tackle its imminent rail capacity problems, Network Rail has warned. David Golding, principal strategic planner at Network Rail, told the Built Environment Networking event on ‘Birmingham’s Transport Development Plans 2014’ at Villa Park that the West Coast Mainline is “approaching […]

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