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Archive for October, 2014

Firms wanted for £25m Leeds Uni revamp jobs

October 31st, 2014 Comments off

The University of Leeds is on the hunt for main contractors to deliver two major upgrade jobs worth up to £25m.

The biggest job coming up for grabs is the £16m refurbishment of the University’s grade II listed Edward Boyle Library.

The original library building was completed in 1975, and was extended in the mid-1990?s.

Works comprise full refurbishment of the study areas, replacement of M&E plant and roof coverings.

Secondary glazing and some alterations to windows and glazing will be needed.

Planning approval and listed building consent will be applied for in November, with tenders due to be issued to shortlisted contractors in mid-February 2015.

Work on the 18-month programme is due to start at the end of June 2016.

Leeds_Student_Union

The University is also looking to overhaul the 5-floor student union building built in  1930.

Works comprise full refurbishment of the Riley Smith Hall, Raven Theatre, bars and common room, replacing M&E plant and equipment and distribution systems.

Tenders will be issue in mid-February for a start on site date in mid-June on the 18-month programme.

The student union will remain operational throughout the refurbishment works, with spaces being close during dedicated works.

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Construction tax fraudsters jailed for ten years

October 29th, 2014 Comments off

Two Essex businessmen who evaded £2.5m in Corporation Tax and VAT in a fraud linked to the supply of labour to the rail construction industry have been jailed for 10 years.

For seven years Michael Woodward, from Grays, Essex, failed to pay business taxes for the companies he ran.

He lied about his company profits and created false invoices from bogus consultancy firms, controlled by his best friend and co-defendant Richard Ponsford from Ongar, Essex.

Paul Barton, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: “Woodward and Ponsford thought they had created the perfect crime, stealing millions from law-abiding taxpayers.

“They thought their criminal actions would go undetected but they were wrong. They have lost their freedom which has been traded instead for time behind bars.

“We will now seek confiscation orders to recoup the money they stole for the country’s public services.”

The men under-declared their profits to reduce the Corporation Tax due and used fake consultancy invoices to reduce their VAT payments by £2.5m.

The money was transferred to four consultancy firms controlled exclusively by Ponsford.

Between 2004 and 2011 he made 387 cash withdrawals which the men used to supplement the wages of employees and family members.

The fraud was stopped in its tracks when they were arrested in March 2011 and HMRC officers searched residential and business premises in Essex.

The only business records found for the seemingly successful companies controlled by Ponsford were handwritten notes indicating the cash he withdrew was returned to Woodward.

In a three-week trial at Southwark Crown Court the defendants were found guilty of Cheating the Public Revenue.

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Developer submits plans for 100 Vision 2031 homes on Moreton Hall

October 27th, 2014 Comments off

Taylor Wimpey has submitted a planning application for the first stage of a development that will see 500 new homes built on Moreton Hall, in Bury St Edmunds.

The developer is seeking consent for the first of five build phases – for 100 homes north of Mount Road – with no more than 50 to be occupied before the completion of the Eastern Relief Road (ERR).

It wants to build the houses to ‘stimulate funding for the construction’ of the ERR, but concerns remain about not having suitable infrastructure in place before the homes are occupied.

Borough councillor Terry Buckle said: “I actually think the road ought to be put in before the houses and, if they build the houses, no-one should go in before the road is built.”

County councillor Trevor Beckwith said it was naive to think the ERR would prevent the impact of more traffic on the estate’s often heavily congested Sainsbury’s roundabout.

“It’s quite simple. If you’re going to add more cars, you’re going to get more congestion – it’s not rocket science.”

Town councillor Frank Warby said he would like to see the houses and the ERR built at the same time to prevent residents from being inconvenienced by works traffic any longer than necessary, but he is keen for the project to get underway as soon as possible.

“Common sense should prevail but we need it done now – it’s been hanging about for too long,” he said.

Taylor Wimpey’s first build phase would also include a small local centre ‘to meet the day-to-day needs of residents’ and an allotments area.

The application, which also seeks outline planning permission for the remaining 400 houses, is likely to be considered by Development Control early next year and, if approved, building work could start around August next year, with the first residents moving in towards the beginning of 2016. The ERR is due to be completed around April/May of that year.

A spokesman for Taylor Wimpey said: “We are pleased to have submitted our planning application for up to 500 high-quality new homes.

“Our proposals form the residential element of the wider expansion of Moreton Hall which will provide a secondary school, the new Eastern Relief Road and an extension to the Suffolk Business Park.

“Should our planning application be approved, this development will help to fulfil continuing demand for high-quality new homes in the area.”

Cllr Terry Clements, cabinet member for planning, said: “I am very pleased that the in-depth Vision 2031 process is now delivering results. With ongoing community involvement, we have put the framework for accommodating future growth around Bury St Edmunds in place.

“The framework gives the principles of development, a developer led masterplan showing how the principles are interpreted, and now we have the full detail of an application which will be determined by the local planning authority after public consultation.”

Moreton Hall is the second of three sites in Bury with adopted Vision 2031 masterplans to have had a planning application submitted.

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Crane topples over at Canadian wind farm

October 24th, 2014 Comments off

A crawler crane rigged with around 120 metres of boom and a back mast went over on a wind farm south of Lucknow, Ontario in Canada, on Wednesday. The crane fell while moving between turbines and thankfully there were no serious injuries.

Ontario

The crane’s crawlers sank into the soft ground

Six people were working on the K2 Wind site at the time – which is located in a remote area to the west of Toronto – including the crane operator, and a number of ‘spotters’. The crane was moving over the wet and uneven ground when the tracks appear to have sunk at the back causing the crane to overturn backwards. The Ontario Ministry of Labour was notified, and is expected to launch an investigation.

The crane is one of three currently working at the site, but the incident caused all work to be suspended at the location where 140 turbines are being erected.

Thankfully no one was hurt in the incident

Thankfully no one was hurt in the incident

K2 Wind is a consortium between Capital Power, Pattern Renewable Holdings and Samsung, and the main contractor for the farm is AMEC Black and McDonald.

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Measured Surveys Nationwide

October 21st, 2014 Comments off

Measured surveys Nationwide and into Europe!

logowhitebackgroundMobile CAD Surveying Solutions Ltd  can accommodate either a simple single property floor plan for a domestic or private customer to a complete schedule of buildings including whatever type of data collection the customer requires for a commercial customer. If you are an Architects or Surveyor and you require fast turn around building surveys, please give us a try! we currently work for dozens of architects and designers around the UK, where they haven’t the capacity or staff to handle their own surveys or where they just require someone to make sure the job is done right and first time.

Currently we are working on many Commercial surveys around the country, with a number of domestic and Dimensional Property Surveys around the UK and into Europe.  So if you require any type of Measured Building Survey then please contact us.

We can provide Floor plans,  Elevational drawings, or a Topographical survey also Underground Utility Traces and all types of Measured Building Survey with varying levels of detailed work – from simple walls, columns, doors and window surveys, to a fully detailed data set including all 3D information including cill & head heights, stair riser and going details, door heights, ceiling heights, beam details, fitted furniture etc.. As part of our measured surveys, the surveyors can also pick up and highlight other information for example: any electrical and data points, sanitary fittings, incoming mains positions, plant, fire fighting and detection equipment, security equipment, signage and so on.

An accurate  topographical survey or land survey is essential to any project that you are considering and can lessen the possibility of costly mistakes or unforeseen issues later on.  The amount and type of topographical survey data that we collect on site is always based on your specification. However, our experienced land surveyors will use their knowledge of planning and development issues and requirements to provide additional information that might be vital for any future design or planning application. We are also able to gather information from any utility companies which can be added to your topographical survey drawings..

360D Panoramic Photography – We can also provide a 360 degree photographic record of your project to aid with design/construction – Sample – user name and password is  stanley

The ‘as built’ documentation provided by the company is highly detail oriented, every project can be accompanied by 360 degrees photographs to provide better understanding of the plans. Photographs give clients instant visuals which help in picturing the plan in a much better fashion.

We can also provide other additional land surveying services that you may require, for example; underground services tracing ( GPR – Ground Penetrating Radar) and 3D laser scanning enable us to provide you with a one-stop-shop for your surveying requirements.

for more information, please visit:-

Mobile CAD Surveying+

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Go-ahead for phase three of Battersea Power Station

October 20th, 2014 Comments off

Wandsworth Council has granted planning for phase three of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment.

The approval covers the south west corner of the site to create a new pedestrian high street running from Battersea Park Road to the power station building.

It will be the main gateway to site from the south and include entrances to the new Northern Line tube station below.

battersey power stationThe scheme also includes a new pedestrian subway underneath Battersea Park Road, linking Stewards Road with the new power station development and providing another route into tube station.

Phase three will include 1,305 homes including 103 which will be available for Wandsworth residents on low and middle incomes to rent at a reduced rate.

To the  west of the new high street will be a distinctive wave shaped building designed by Foster and Partners.

This 17 storey building will include six large gaps to allow light to pass through and providing views of the power station from the train line on the other side.

The building will include one of London’s largest roof gardens extending the full length of the building.

There will be 617 homes in the Foster’s scheme with the two  lower floors facing onto the new high street providing two levels of commercial space for shops, café, bars and other uses.

The building will also include a 167 room hotel and a health clinic.

To the  east  of the new high street the scheme has been designed by American architect  Frank Gehry and includes five main buildings ranging in height from 16 to 17 storeys.

This side of phase three will provide 688 homes, a gym and more shops, cafes, bars and restaurants on the lower levels.

The target date for completion of phase three is 2020 which is when TfL expects the Northern Line Extension to be up and running.

Wandsworth Council’s planning committee chairman Cllr Sarah McDermott said: “This is quite unlike any of the shopping and leisure destinations we’ve seen built around London in recent times.

“Battersea Power Station will be a unique place and we look forward to this seeing these exciting plans become a reality.
“Both the Ghery and Fosters designs are outstanding. The architecture itself will be great attraction and the new public parks and shopping areas are of the very highest quality.”

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CIOB launches construction photography competition

October 17th, 2014 Comments off

The Chartered Institute of Building is inviting entries for its annual photography competition.

The Art of Building competition has a cash prize of £3,000 for the winning entry which showcases the built environment with the best picture.

You can submit entries between now and November 23 of photos inspired by the building industry.

CIOB spokesman Saul Townsend said: “The breadth of photography we see is amazing.

“From those who are revealing a little known building to those showcasing a familiar icon in a new light.

“Last year Kirsten Quist and her photojournalistic style switched voters onto the serious issue of forced child labour in India.

“It was a fantastic example of the power of photography and its ability to tell a story in any language.”

Each year thousands of professional and amateur photographers take part inspired by the built environment and capturing it in thought-provoking and imaginative ways.

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£40m Old Admiralty Building refit up for grabs

October 15th, 2014 Comments off

The hunt is on to find a firm to refurbish the Grade II listed Old Admiralty Building in Westminster.

admiraltyThe Department for Education is due to move into the building in the summer of 2017 and has signed up Mace as project manager for the 250,000 sq ft modernisation programme.

Mace has just started the search for a fit-out contractor to handle the big refurbishment job, which is due to start in November 2015.

The move is a direct result of the Cabinet Office’s programme to consolidate and modernise the government estate. It will involve providing space for 1,600 staff, who are currently working in leasehold accommodation.

Mace, working with BDP as lead designer and Hoare Lea, will be working closely with the DfE to deliver the project. It will provide CDM, cost consultancy, and full multi-disciplinary design services.

The building is to be designed and refurbished to achieve the BREEAM “Very Good” rating and offer value for money.

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Salaries break £100,000 barrier for construction professionals

October 14th, 2014 Comments off

Soaring pay rates are concentrated in London and the South East for pre-construction professionals like planning and design managers.

Estimators are also seeing wages rocket while the era of £100,000-a-year project managers is approaching.

One recruitment specialist at a major contractor said: “It’s getting crazy out there – we are having to pay director-style wages to get professional staff.”

Another contractor added: “It’s basic supply and demand around London.

“There just aren’t enough qualified people to cope with the construction recovery so we’re having to pay top dollar – but even then it’s no guarantee of filling roles.

“Planners, design managers and estimators are really hard to find.

“And the volume of work coming through means that project managers on big jobs are going to be asking for £100,000 soon.”

One project manager told the Enquirer: “A few years ago I was lucky to be earning forty grand a year.

“I moved jobs for 75 last year and now I could easily ask for 100 and get paid that because of the shortage of talent.”

Soaring pay levels for new staff are also causing headaches for contractors even when they fill vacancies.

One said: “It’s great when you fill a role but if you have to pay these big salaries then everyone else doing a similar job wants a pay rise.

“It’s a bit like a Premier League football team.

“When you sign a new star striker on huge wages then all the other players are knocking straight on the manager’s door demanding more money.”

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Labourer stabbed on Hull housing site

October 13th, 2014 Comments off

The 36-year-old victim was taken by ambulance to Hull Royal Infirmary for treatment after sustaining serious but not life threatening injuries during the attack on Tuesday afternoon.

A 33-year-old man was arrested and charged by Humberside Police with grievous bodily harm with intent, assaulting a person thereby occasioning actual bodily harm and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

The accused is due to appear at Hull and Holderness Magistrates Court on Friday morning.

The victim remains in a stable condition in hospital.

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