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Construction sees sharp slowdown

July 6th, 2009 Comments off
Construction Slowdown

Construction Slowdown

The UK construction sector is forecast to shrink by a record amount in 2009.

The CPA (Construction Products Association) will say on Monday that it expects the sector to contract by 16% this year.

The CPA said the long lead time for contracts meant the commercial property slowdown was only just starting to show, it predicts a 5% fall in 2010.

In April, the group had forecast a more moderate fall in output of 12%.

The group, which represents the UK’s manufacturers and suppliers of construction products, components and fittings, added there was a risk that growing public debt could threaten public sector construction as well.

Aggregate Industries chief executive Bill Bolsolver said the outlook for the sector “was bleak”.

CPA economics director Noble Francis said the number of new build homes is expected to fall this year to its lowest since 1924, excluding during World War Two.

New build offices are set to drop by 38% compared with last year and, and by 2010 new build offices are expected to decline by more than 50% compared with 2008.

Both the industrial sector and the private housing sector have felt the pinch of the downturn quickly as factories and warehouses have closed, and individuals buy fewer homes.

“But the contraction in the commercial property sector, worth £16.7bn in 2008, tends to move into recession more slowly,” added Mr Francis.

Work finishing off large offices and retail complexes – which have a longer lead time – tends to continue even during a recession.

Last year, office and retail projects dating back to 2006 were still in the pipeline, said Mr Francis. He said greater access to credit and a wider economic recovery was needed to boost private sector construction, adding that it would take time for low interest rates to feed through, but he said there was a concern that the public sector – which amounts to one third of all construction – could contract as government borrowing reaches record levels. He added, if this happened before the private construction sector recovered this could prolong the slowdown in the sector.

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Site crane crashes through Liverpool apartment block

July 6th, 2009 1 comment

Bowmer and Kirkland site crane crashes through Liverpool apartment block

A 200 foot crane at the Bowmer and Kirkland construction site crashed through the roof of an apartment block in Liverpool city centre earlier today, sparking a massive search and rescue operation, the Liverpool Echo reported.

The Royal Liverpool hospital was put on standby amid fears of casualties, the newspaper reported.

The man driving the 100 tonne crane was thrown from the cab on impact and  his condition at present is unknown

A number of residents are trapped inside the apartment block.

The crash happened at 12.05pm in Tabley Street, behind Park Lane, on the outskirts of the city centre.

Police, fire and ambulance crews were called to the scene. Merseyside Fire and Rescue service described it as a “major incident”.

A builder working on the Bowmer and Kirkland site told the Liverpool Echo: “We heard a massive rumble which sounded like a plane taking off or a clap of thunder and we all turned round and watched as the crane fell into the building.”

Maria Toolan, who lives in the apartment block opposite, said: “I heard a horrendous noise and ran to the balcony. I watched in horror as a massive red crane tumbled into the apartment block.

I was in complete shock as all I could think of is what if it had fallen the other way and landed on me.”

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