In today’s news about UK construction industry, we will look into the Midsomer Norton Town Hall transformation, which is now under construction to be part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone. The £40m Jesus College to Cornmarket was launched this month. The historic Royal Clarence Hotel redevelopment is suggested for approval. Britain’s richest people avoid the social housing regulations in the £1.2bn London flats project. The East-West rail link project is called by Liss Truss to speed up the construction. Travel delays because of a fire at a defunct night club that closes roadways in Leicester City centre.
Midsomer Norton Town Hall is under construction for the High Street Heritage Action Zone
The first phase of the Town Hall Transformation Project has commenced as part of grant-funded activities in Midsomer Norton’s town centre.
The first phase will see the modest offices and hallways on the ground floor of the Town Hall opened up to restore the old Victorian Market Hall and provide additional community spaces.
Phase 1 includes building repairs and conservation as part of the £2.2m High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) and High Street Renewal Programme.
The HSHAZ will create a multi-use Market Square on the island, update shopfronts and signage on High Street, and improve the town centre’s public realm and conservation area.
Bath & North East Somerset Council is leading the HSHAZ project in cooperation with community stakeholders. Historic England, the West of England Combined Authority’s ‘Love Our High Streets’ grant program, and Midsomer Norton Town Council are providing funds and support.
Councillor Mark Roper, cabinet member for Economic Development, Regeneration & Growth, stated, “We’re thrilled to assist the Town Hall Transformation Project through the High Street Heritage Action Zone initiative and will continue to work closely with the Town Council.” Community spaces, events, and foot traffic are necessary for thriving high streets, which is why Midsomer Norton’s new Market Hall and restored Market Square are so significant.
Donna Ford, Town Clerk, stated, “After all the planning, it’s nice to hear that work is starting to uncover the actual potential of this much-loved building.” Having the Market Hall returned to the High Street, next to the redeveloped Market Square at the Island, would allow us to operate markets, events, and activities to lure more people to the town centre. Conserving the Town Hall and enhancing its facilities will help 100+ community groups who support some of our most disadvantaged people.
During development, the Town Council and Midsomer Norton Community Trust are housing community groups at Unit 14 Make Space on South Road and other community spaces. Unit 14 is funded by the West of England Combined Authority’s Investment Fund and the Welcome Back High Streets Fund.
Our main streets and town centres are the heart of our communities and the places we’re proud to call home, so I’m thrilled an £895,000 cash injection from the West of England Combined Authority I lead means these critical renovations can get under way. This will improve local life, spread jobs and possibilities and give Midsomer Norton a town centre matching its bright future.
Historic England’s Regional Director, Rebecca Barrett, remarked, “We’re happy that Town Hall construction can commence.” Historic England is sponsoring the HSHAZ initiative and Phase 1 work. Along with The Island, the project will offer a new public space for markets, art, and cultural events.
Cornmarket £40m Jesus College launches this month
Original Source: Cornmarket £40m Jesus College building opens this month
The £40m Jesus College proposal to add stores and student housing to Cornmarket will open this month.
The college’s new Cheng Yu Tung Building will be one of the city’s first zero carbon structures.
The Oxford University college’s largest enlargement since the 17th century has been under construction for three years. There are renovated retail premises.
The structure, formerly Northgate House, will feature postgraduate lodging, teaching spaces, exhibition and conferencing facilities, and a high-tech digital hub.
The building’s energy consumption is zero carbon thanks to ground source heat pumps, photovoltaic panels, and a heat recovery and cooling system.
On October 22, there will be a private ribbon cutting, with the first public function on October 25.
Jesus College property director David Stevenson said, “Environmental sustainability is at the heart of the new building’s design and construction.”
“It’s part of a larger effort to minimise our carbon footprint across all our buildings, infrastructure, and activities, including reducing energy use, embracing renewable energy solutions, and controlling waste and water use.”
When the lights are on, high-efficiency LED lighting is fitted throughout.
Wherever possible, the building uses high-tech, sustainable, and recycled materials.
Recycled aggregates were incorporated into the building’s concrete floor slabs to maximise strength while minimising concrete use. The upper floors’ cross-laminated timber comes from sustainable forests in Germany.
Construction partners BAM implemented best practice waste management methods to reduce construction waste and landfill diversion.
The postgraduate accommodation and new fourth quad are now complete, as are finishing improvements to the Tower Room, a beautiful new events and exhibition space with city views.
In the building’s basement is a new NHS Primary Care Centre that will house three local GP surgeries.
Construction workers toiled through the pandemic to meet deadlines.
Approval requested for Royal Clarence Hotel Exeter
Original Source: Royal Clarence Hotel Exeter: plans recommended for approval
Plans to redevelop a fire-damaged historic hotel are suggested for approval.
At Monday’s planning committee meeting, they will consider a £17 million plan to convert Exeter’s Grade II-listed Royal Clarence Hotel into luxury flats, a restaurant, and a bar.
A 2016 fire destroyed the iconic structure facing Exeter Cathedral.
The site’s planned hotel never materialised.
The 1769 hotel was destroyed by a fire that started in neighbouring structures.
It was sold to James Brent’s Southwest Lifestyle Brands Ltd.
After calling an initial hotel concept “unviable,” his firm proposed building 23 luxury flats with a restaurant and bar.
According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the building will have 15 two-bedroom apartments and eight three-bedroom apartments (LDRS).
According to the planning study, it “retains and showcases as many historical building aspects as feasible.”
Officers recommend permission because the project will “redevelop a derelict site in the city centre while conserving and rehabilitating as much of the property’s designated historic fabric as possible.”
The assessment said “The public benefits of the proposal are deemed to outweigh the harm of partial demolition of some listed structures on the site.”
Rich Brits sidestep social housing regulations in £1.2bn London project
Planning restrictions obliged the UK’s two richest people to provide 98 affordable flats for important staff and low-income workers at their new £1.2bn luxury building in London.
The Hinduja brothers, Britain’s richest people with a $28.5bn fortune, got authority to turn the Old War Office near Downing Street into 85 luxury flats and a 120-room Raffles hotel.
The OWO building, where a four-bedroom flat is sold for more than £40 million, should provide 8,000 square metres of affordable housing, enough for 98 flats.
Westminster city council agreed to let the Hindujas build without affordable housing after their agents said it wouldn’t be “economically possible”
More than 4,000 households are on the borough’s affordable housing list; many have waited more than 10 years. Councils around the country lowered waiting lists by raising eligibility restrictions.
All new residential developments must include at least 30% affordable housing under housing crisis-fighting initiatives.
Planning documents state, “The applicant is offering no on-site affordable housing in this instance.”
If affordable housing can’t be provided on-site, developers must supply it elsewhere in the borough or pay into the council’s affordable housing fund.
Liz Truss wants the East-West rail link rushed
Original Source: Liz Truss calls for building of East-West rail link to be speeded up
Liz Truss wants to speed up the East-West rail link between Oxford and Cambridge.
“One of the difficulties we have, and one of the causes of our poor economic growth as a country, is that we’re not building these things quickly enough.” Ms. Truss added.
“I will speed up key projects.”
Julia Virdee of Bedford’s Protect Poets, which opposes the plan, wondered, “Where will the financing come from?”
Ms. Truss’s government will “set out the details in due course.”
In 2016, the first part of the Oxford-Bicester railway improvement was completed.
Work on the second phase of the £5 billion rail project, from Bicester to Bletchley, began in 2020. Trains between Oxford and Milton Keynes, near Bletchley, will begin by 2024.
It will allow Oxfordshire residents to commute to Milton Keynes by train for the first time since the 1960s.
The latter two portions, Bletchley to Bedford and Bedford to Cambridge, need approval.
When he sought the Tory leader, Grant Shapps, he stated he’d cut the project’s final phases.
Roads closed as city centre wildfire is fought
Original Source: Leicester fire: Roads shut as major city centre blaze tackled
A fire at a defunct nightclub closed many roadways in Leicester’s city centre, causing travel delays.
At 5:15 BST, firefighters were called to an abandoned building in Gravel Street due to smoke.
The city council warned motorists that “disruption would certainly persist all day and night.”
St Margaret’s bus station is closed, disrupting public transport.
Leicestershire FRS supplied 7 engines and 3 aerial ladder platforms.
The fire service said the blaze was in the building’s centre and workers would be there for the day.
Residents are advised to close windows and doors due to smoke.
Several highways were stopped as personnel fought the fire.
While Gravel Street and Church Gate remain closed, St. Matthews Way, Burleys Way, and the flyover are open.
Motorists have been warned of delays entering and leaving the city.
They’re told to leave more time for trips and expect congestion.
Leicester City Council reported that St Margaret’s bus stations were temporarily moved to nearby streets.
National Express coaches leave Lee Circle and Vectare leaves Charles Street.
Director of City Highways Martin Fletcher claimed it was a “serious incident” hurting city centre traffic.
Multiple road closures and street disruptions are expected to continue through Tuesday night and Wednesday.
St Margaret’s Bus Station will stay closed for now, although contingency preparations are being made to provide access to neighbouring streets where safe and to provide minor diversions for inner ring road companies.
He warned folks to “avoid the area”
At 5:30, Leicestershire Police closed Burleys Way, St Margaret’s Way, and ChurchGate.
An hour later, St. George’s roundabout on St. Matthews Way also closed.
City-run Area Traffic Control reported road restrictions were causing “serious congestion.”
Leicester College closed its St. Margaret’s and Abbey Park campuses due to the storm.
The prepared meals for the day were given to emergency services, it said.
When the fire is out, the city council plans to assume possession of the site.
A council spokesperson said, “Our demolition team and equipment will be on site this afternoon to support the fire department by allowing access into the structure if needed.”
“Then we may undertake a controlled demolition to make the region safe.”
Summary of today’s construction news
Overall, we have discussed the construction of a town hall in Midsomertown, and the first phase has commenced as part of a Grant-Funded activity.
The Jesus College proposal to add retail and student housing to Cornmarket, which will cost a total of forty million pounds, will be unveiled this month. Fire-damaged historic hotel redevelopment plans are proposed.
In addition, a £17 million plan to transform Exeter’s Grade II-listed Royal Clarence Hotel into luxury flats, a restaurant, and a bar will be discussed on Monday.
Planning limitations forced the Hinduja Brothers, the UK’s two richest people, to provide 98 affordable flats in their new £1.2bn luxury complex in London.
One of the difficulties and poor economic growth as a country is not building things quickly enough, said Liss Truss. That is why she calls for speeding up the East-West rail link between Oxford and Cambridge.
A fire that broke out in a closed nightclub in the city centre of Leicester forced the closure of a number of roads as firefighters fought the fire.