Built Environment Networking Blog:

Greater Cambridge’s aspirations for greener new developments 

Proposals to help make new housing developments as green as possible have been published by South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council – and local people are being encouraged to have their say. The draft guide to sustainable design and construction will, when adopted, give house-builders a clear steer on what is expected of […]

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More than 90 new Council homes under construction across South Cambridgeshire

More than 90 new Council homes are currently being built across six sites in South Cambridgeshire – with around 170 more in the pipeline. A priority in the Council’s Business Plan that was agreed in February this year is to bring forward housing that is truly affordable for everyone to live in – and that […]

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Countryside Properties building new timber panel factory

Countryside Properties is building its own timber panel manufacturing site to remedy shortfalls in its supply chain. Andrew Taylor, Head of Planning at Countryside Properties, told delegates at the Oxford Cambridge Arc Development Conference that the housebuilder has purchased a site for manufacturing timber panels which its plans to roll out over the next year. […]

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Arc university development to focus on new institutions

The next phase of university development in the Oxford to Cambridge Arc is likely to be focused on new institutions rather than the expansion of existing facilities, our event has heard. Both Peterborough and Milton Keynes, currently the largest population centres in England that lack their own universities, are keen to set up their own […]

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Failure to electrify mooted Oxford Cambridge rail line branded a “disaster”

Using diesel instead of electric trains on the proposed line between Oxford and Cambridge has been branded a “disaster” for the development of the surrounding Arc, one of the area’s most eminent planners has said. The Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust’s Jane Hamilton told the infrastructure panel session at Ox-Cams conference, that “backsliding” on […]

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Council Chief downplays role of Ministerial Arc Champion

Progress on the development of Oxford to Cambridge Arc should not be held up by the delayed appointment of a Ministerial Champion, one of the area’s leading local government chiefs has said. The government made a commitment last year to appoint a ministerial champion for the Ox-Cams Arc but has yet to fill the role. […]

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“Disappointment” aired due to lack of emphasis on “blue and green infrastructure” in major UK infrastructure project

Jane Hamilton, Chair of the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust, has told our event that she is “disappointed” about the lack of emphasis on “blue and green” infrastructure, like waterways and parks, in the Arc’s plans. Speaking at our Oxford Cambridge Arc Development Conference she said: “We’ve heard a lot about the Expressway and […]

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Oxford Cambridge Arc’s provision of full fibre broadband and wet labs lagging

The Oxford Cambridge Arc lacks enough of the full fibre broadband or wet lab space that its growth industries require – a Local Enterprise Partner (LEP) boss has warned. Ahmed Goga, Director of Strategy and Programmes at OXLEP, said the rate of full-fibre connectivity in the Arc is “seven to eight per cent” but while […]

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Comment on plans for Huawei R&D facility

Local people are being encouraged to comment on plans by information and communications firm Huawei to build a new research and development facility in Sawston. The technology company has submitted a planning application to South Cambridgeshire District Council that seeks permission to develop the former Spicer’s site on the Sawston Bypass.

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Council calls for strengthened green commitment ahead of A428 upgrade

Councillors are calling for a stronger environmental commitment to be made by Highways England in their plans to upgrade the A428. At a meeting of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet yesterday (Monday), members agreed that they supported the plans to upgrade the road in principle, subject to clarification around several areas – including a strengthened […]

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Masterplan to grow local economy planned by Cambridgeshire towns

A masterplan is being put together to help towns surrounding Cambridge to benefit from the major growth set to happen over the coming years through the ARC Corridor infrastructure scheme. Huntingdon, Ramsey and St Ives Council’s are set to work together to create a district-wide masterplan aimed at boosting the economy and trade within their […]

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University looks to develop PRS homes for staff and post-graduates

The University of Hertfordshire is considering building homes for staff and post-graduates because homes in the local area are too expensive. Speaking at our event in Hertfordshire the Director of Estates at the university – Ian Grimes – said the faculty was looking to address the consequences of unaffordable homes in the region. He said: […]

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“We need your help”

As hosts of the leading built environment networking events, we are always looking at ways we can improve and modernise to ensure we are providing everyone with an outstanding experience. We have recently partnered with Constructing Rainbows to look at ways we can encourage a more diverse audience to our events. We know that by […]

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The moment social value was born

It is 40 years since the British gangster movie, The Long Good Friday, was released and there have been numerous documentaries to mark the cinematic milestone. In the film, the main character Harold Shand (played by Bob Hoskins) gives a stellar speech aboard his luxury yacht moored on the banks of the Thames, presenting a […]

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First Part of New Town Agreed

Plans for up to 6,500 homes at a new town north of Waterbeach have been agreed, along with road, cycle and public transport upgrades, community facilities, schools, parks and woodlands. South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Planning Committee held an extraordinary meeting yesterday (Monday 13 May) and gave the green light to Urban&Civic’s outline plans to develop […]

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The Ridge, Haverhill Business Park – Trebor/Hillwood Submit Planning For Major Industrial Park For Speculative Development

Trebor Developments, working in conjunction with its partner, Hillwood, submitted a planning application at Haverhill Business Park, Suffolk, to bring forward a range of 5 industrial buildings from 12,195 sq ft to 64,734 sq ft, which will be delivered during 2019, once permission has been granted.

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Housing association and council in modular homes joint-venture talks

A major housing association is exploring establishing a modular housing venture with a local authority – which will discussed in detail at our Offsite Manufacture Conference in June. Geoff Pearce, Executive Director for Regeneration and Development at Swan Housing Group, told our Thames Estuary Development Conference that the Essex-based association is in discussions with an […]

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Essex borough challenges Lower Thames Crossing

Plans for the new Lower Thames Crossing are being resisted by the Essex authority where the tunnel will emerge, our event heard. The new crossing, which will carry 14.5 miles of dual to three lane expressway in the UK’s longest road tunnel, is due to emerge on the north bank of the Thames in the […]

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New strategy aims to increase supply of housing that’s affordable to live in…

A new strategy to tackle South Cambridgeshire’s housing challenges has been approved by the District Council – with an emphasis on providing homes that are affordable for local workers to live in. The Council’s Cabinet yesterday (Wednesday 3 April) approved the Greater Cambridge Housing Strategy. This is a joined-up document with Cambridge City Council that […]

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Bid for £150m+ made to unlock Gilston Park Estate

A funding bid has been made to the Housing Infrastructure Fund asking for £151m – which would be used to provide crucial infrastructure to unlock the massive Gilston Park Estate development in Hertfordshire. Hertfordshire County Council – who’ll be speaking about their development projects at the Hertfordshire Development Plans Event next month – are hoping […]

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Cambridge green belt needs a mature debate, says council leader

A ‘’grown up’’ conversation is needed about the Cambridge green belt; the Leader of the South Cambridgeshire Council has said. Responding to a question at our Cambridge event about how the city’s growth is frustrated by tight protections on land encircling it, she said: “We need to start having some grown up conversations about the […]

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How optimised collaboration in construction improves the Cambridge-Oxford-Arc project

An exclusive editorial from Newforma – our Partner for the up and coming Cambridgeshire Future Development Plans Conference:    Humanity as such is only as efficient and successful as its ability to collaborate. Without it, we would be right at where we have started as a species.

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Pagabo and Built Environment Networking announce new partnership

Pagabo and Built Environment Networking – the UK’s leading provider of construction and networking events – are pleased to announce their new partnership which will allow Pagabo to continue connecting valued clients to the very best the construction industry offers – Simply Better Procurement. Pagabo support public sector organisations across the UK by providing a […]

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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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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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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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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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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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CaMKOx catalysts: shaping the vision

Ahead of the Oxford Cambridge Corridor Development Conference we hear exclusively from Gemma Goddard, Senior Associate at Birketts LLP, on maximising the huge potential the proposed Oxford-Cambridge infrastructure presents to the region:   The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has a vision: creating the UK’s own ’Silicon Valley’ in the form of a seamlessly connected hi-tech […]

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Exclusive Q&A; Developing cities to be smart – Siemens

Sarah Handley, Carbon Neutral Programme Manager at Siemens, is set to speak at the Smart Cities Development Conference on the 6th February. Ahead of the event we hear exclusively from Sarah on the exceptional work Siemens is doing within the market as one of the leading smart city providers.    Siemens is at the forefront […]

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WSP on the Oxford Cambridge Arc Corridor – strategic priorities, delivery mechanisms and more

Adrian Hames, Director & Head of Transport Planning at WSP:  The Oxford to Cambridge Arc continues to be a ‘hot’ topic, with many parties discussing the region’s growth potential. Bringing partners together is a must if we are to tackle the challenges and enable delivery, so we’re excited to help drive the conversation at the […]

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Exclusive Developer Q&A: Ed Ellerington, Packaged Living

Packaged Living, backed by Palmer Capital, are a bespoke Build to Rent (B2R) developer and operator at the forefront of the Private Rented Sector (PRS). Having formed last year they’re now looking to develop across the UK – with their first major project at the heart of the proposed Oxford-Cambridge Corridor in Milton Keynes. Ahead […]

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Thames Enterprise Park; ambitious plans for 415-acre brownfield site

A major new development is planned on the edge of the Thames which will create a thriving ‘superhub’ which will create up to 4,500 jobs. The plans, submitted later last year with Thurrock Council, propose the regeneration of the old Coryton Oil Refinery situated in a prime location on the edge of the River Thames […]

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Morgan Sindall; the hallmarks of world-class frameworks

Early contractor involvement, multiple procurement routes, and open communication: the hallmarks of world-class frameworks – by Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure   What are the hallmarks of a world-class framework? What has driven their proliferation over the past decade? And how can innovation shape the framework model moving forward? These were questions put to senior […]

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SmithsonHill Group Exclusive; CaMKOx Corridor

Ahead of the Oxford Cambridge Corridor Development Conference we hear exclusively from Emma Fletcher, Managing Director at SmithsonHill, on the exciting opportunities the OxMkCam corridor presents and the major developments they’re undertaking:   One could argue that the Oxford – Milton Keynes – Cambridge corridor represents the key Innovation Areas in the heartland of the […]

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Conference to drive smart and sustainable development and regeneration

On the 6th February, prominent business and public-sector leaders will come together in Oxford for the inaugural Smart Cities Development Conference – the largest business conference of the year focused on driving and unlocking smart regeneration and development across the UK. The conference, hosted by Built Environment Networking, will see some of the biggest names […]

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UK Construction & Property Events Worth Attending in 2019

The construction and property industry is in a fascinating place. On one side there is major disruption and uncertainty with skills, housing, BREXIT and more creating massive challenges which need to be overcome. On the other hand innovative smart solutions are offering ways to combat barriers, whilst ambitious infrastructure projects including HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail […]

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New year, new construction solution as unique multi-regional framework set for UK launch

From 1st January 2019, the public sector will have access to a gold standard service in a unique framework that offers the very best in standards at a local level – a bundle never before assembled on such a scale to SME construction organisations across the UK. Pagabo, the construction procurement specialists, will launch and […]

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Digesting the Construction Frameworks Conference

Construction frameworks were under the spotlight at a conference held in Sheffield on December 13th in Sheffield by Built Environment Network. Maria Claude Hemming, Director of External Affairs at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), used a keynote presentation at the Construction Frameworks Conference to outline the results of its recent research on frameworks. This […]

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British Ports Association call for review of Government’s freight strategy

Ahead of the UK Ports Development Conference the British Ports Association (BPA) have called on Government to review its freight strategy whilst prioritising port connectivity initiatives to drive economic growth with the UK. Responding to the National Infrastructure Commission’s interim report into the ‘Future of Freight’ BPA’s Chief Executive Richard Ballantyne welcomed the focus on […]

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Digitalisation could save construction industry £30bn

Savings of £30bn could be achieved within the next ten years through greater digitalisation of the construction process. Alexandra Bolton, Deputy Director of the Centre for Digital Built Britain, told delegates that massive savings can be delivered through more widespread take-up of digitalisation: “It depends on the extent that people will adapt digital, but the […]

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Amazon holds talks with UK housing association

Amazon has met an East Anglian housing association to discuss how homes can be delivered more cheaply, its Chief Executive has revealed. David McQuade, Chief Executive of the Norwich-based Flagship Group, told delegates that he had recently held a meeting with the online retail giant: “They’re not only looking to help housing associations on technological […]

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Brexit prompts pharma giant investment pause

AstraZeneca has paused new investment in Cambridge until there is clarity about the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Andy Williams, Vice President for Cambridge Strategy and Operations, told the conference that the pharmaceuticals giant is ‘very much committed’ to the Cambridge area, where it has recently relocated its HQ from the North West of England […]

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Cambridge’s Mayor calls for single plans

The Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has called for a single planning strategy for the county. Under the devolution deal for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, the elected mayor was not given powers to draw up a spatial framework unlike in other areas like Greater Manchester. However, Mayor James Palmer, who was elected to the post two […]

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Report shows need to tackle carbon and congestion caused by ever-greater demands for deliveries

Whitehall and Town Halls should offer greater support to efforts to meet people’s growing demands for fast deliveries while also reducing congestion and carbon emissions, the National Infrastructure Commission warns today. As more and more consumers are looking to get next-day deliveries on their last-minute Christmas shopping this weekend, chairman Sir John Armitt argued the […]

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Planning for a post-car future

Barry Jessup, Director at First Base, will join us in February for the Smart Cities Development Conference – and we hear from him around smart tech merging with development:   Much has been said about the major disruptive elements facing the real estate industry, namely increased government intervention, a changing retail environment and intervention from […]

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