In today’s construction news, we will look into the £40 million mansion known as Hamilton Palace in East Sussex, which is located in the rural British countryside, and has been left uninhabited for the past two decades. Meanwhile, according to the Lib Dems, the budget for forty new NHS hospitals might see a reduction of seven hundred million pounds in real terms. Additionally, Hunt has pledged £6 billion to the insulation initiative, while RIBA has called for an “accelerated” refit program. On the other hand, the construction of the Brighouse retirement facility has officially begun. On the site of a former nursing facility, Brighouse is currently constructing residences for retirees.
£40m home abandoned for 20 years in UK countryside
A £40 million home in the British countryside has been abandoned for 20 years. Hamilton Palace, in East Sussex, has a longer façade than the royal palace and was formerly considered one of the UK’s most valuable private mansions under development.
After decades of neglect, a country property is now surrounded by unnerving warning signs, writes the Mirror. The mansion was designed for British property mogul and convicted felon Nicholas Van Hoogstraten, but it has been unfinished for over 37 years.
Signs warn of CCTV, “Danger – Shooting in Progress,” and “Warning, liberate dogs” After images of the abandoned property surfaced last year, urban explorers ignored these signs.
The photographs show a massive unfinished staircase that seems like it was designed to be the manor’s centrepiece. The palace’s discarded scaffolding acts as a prickly armour to keep trespassers out, while the empty exterior tarmac has overgrown with weeds.
The latest drone photographs of the home rumoured to be named after Bermuda’s capital show little alteration inside. Locals dubbed the 1985-built mansion the “Ghost of Sussex.”
In 2000, when the home was two years from completion, a reporter saw a massive central staircase and reception hall. Inside were lift shafts, stone balustrades, and pillars.
A tomb and a whole level were planned for van Hoogstraten’s art collection. The affluent owner, who called his neighbours “moronic peasants,” is alleged to have argued with architect Anthony Browne over the property’s glacial growth over the past two decades.
Some cars glimpsed inside the mansion’s gates raised hopes that construction might resume. The inside looks the same as it did 22 years ago, according to urban explorer pictures.
Many adventurers have recorded YouTube recordings of themselves approaching the manor but being scared off by gunfire or finding shotgun ammunition in the grounds. In 2002, estate owners, Ramblers, and East Sussex County Council argued.
The council rerouted a 140-year-old, poorly maintained walking path across van Hoogstraten’s land. Ramblers took legal action against this decision, and in 2003, after six courses, the right of way was cleared with industrial-sized fridges, six concrete mounds, barbed wire, and other barriers removed.
Six years ago, angry neighbours requested for the site to be utilised for the homeless, but nasty van Hoostraten termed this concept “ludicrous” and stated most homeless people were there “by their own will or idleness.” He called rough sleepers “one of society’s dirtiest responsibilities.”
He also said Hamilton Palace grounds work was ongoing. The owner denied charges that his big mansion-building project had stalled, saying, “Even the most dumb peasants could see from the images that we’ve been beautifying the royal grounds.”
Hamilton Palace was meant to withstand 2,000 years and is not decaying. The scaffolding is part of a property’s routine upkeep till completion.
Van Hoogstraten, who changed his identity to Nicholas Adolf von Hessen, was initially imprisoned in 1968 for hiring goons to throw a grenade at a former business associate’s home. His four eldest children oversee his previous £500m business empire as Messina Investments.
In 2005, a civil court found that the former tycoon hired hitmen to kill a Pakistani landlord and estate agent. In 2018, a judge found van Hoogstraten unable to pay the amount. In 2003, van Hoogstraten was acquitted of manslaughter in 2002 for killing Mr. Raja.
Lib Dems believe £700m will be withdrawn from 40 new NHS hospitals
The Tories’ assertion that 40 hospitals will be built or rebuilt in England may be in jeopardy.
New study suggests the health and social care department’s capital spending budget might be cut by £700m next year, according to the Liberal Democrats.
The health minister twice refused to affirm Sunday that the NHS was running well, instead admitting it was under “serious pressure.”
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has been granted £12bn for its capital budget in 2022-23. This money is used for research and development as well as long-term investment in NHS buildings, services, and equipment. Next year, £11.7bn is promised.
Using the Office for Budget Responsibility’s “GDP deflator,” which gauges predicted inflation, the Lib Dems calculated a real-terms capital budget decline of £700m in 2023-24.
Daisy Cooper, the party’s health spokesman, said it may stall hospital construction or renovation, reinforcing NHS chiefs’ summer anxieties that the initiative was “going at a glacial pace.”
She stated the Conservatives “appear certain to reduce financing for 40 new hospitals by 2030.” “Our nation’s hospitals are in serious need of repair,” she said. “There are too many horror stories of leaking roofs, crowded corridors, and overheated intensive care wards.”
The government said it would deliver hospital development and upgrades by 2030, calling it “the biggest hospital building programme” that would “strengthen the NHS’s future.”
DHSC is designing designs that can be shared across projects, preparing the construction sector, and building hospitals simultaneously to speed up hospital site construction.
Steve Barclay, the health minister, maintained the government hadn’t given up on its vow to “address social care” despite delaying cost-capping until October 2025.
Boris Johnson’s plans to boost the amount of assets a person can hold before seeking state assistance for social care from £23,250 to £100,000 and cap lifelong care expenses at £86,000 were delayed by two years, he said.
540,000 people in England need social care, financial evaluation, or review.
Barclay said hospitals have an “immediate concern” with backlogs and increased ambulance wait times.
The number of people waiting more than a year for a surgery rose from 1,300 before Covid to 400,000 presently, he said. Delaying these measures allows us to rectify problems in A&E and ambulance services, he said.
Barclay didn’t respond yes when asked if the health service was operating. Instead, he said the NHS was “under serious pressure” and that despite “very real obstacles” in drafting Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement, the NHS would gain an extra £3.3bn in each of the next two years and £4.7bn will go to social care.
Barclay told Sky News that NHS targets have a place, but if everything is a priority, nothing is.
Local governments can “tailor priority to local requirements,” he said.
Barclay met with the Royal College of Nurses and Unison this week as nurses prepare to strike for the first time.
Gary Smith, GMB general secretary, was “ecstatic” over the health minister’s pledges. He said Barclay was “deluded and dishonest” about productive meetings to end the strike.
He urged for the government to scrap non-domicile status for roughly 70,000 super-rich people who live in the UK but pay no tax on offshore income and reintroduce the bonus cap to support the NHS.
Hunt commits £6bn to insulation, but RIBA wants ‘rapid’ retrofits
RIBA president Simon Allford said the spending must be ‘expedited’ to fight the UK’s poor energy efficiency.
Jeremy Hunt indicated in his Autumn Statement on Thursday (17 November) that £6 billion will be spent to improve home insulation in 2025, on top of the £6.6 billion already committed to energy efficiency savings in the current parliament.
An insulating task force will be created to lead the project and encourage homes to switch to heat pumps or biomass boilers. The government plans to lower built-environment energy use by 15% by 2030 to stop being at the mercy of international gas costs’
Allford applauded the ideas but said ‘time is of the essence’ and energy efficiency efforts should be pushed.
Allford welcomed the chancellor’s statement that energy efficiency must be improved. Extra funding is appreciated. To tackle the challenge and help individuals and our economy, assistance must be rushed.
Allford said the new task force must ‘learn from past failures and develop a competent, professional supply chain’ to meet the government’s commitment to insulate homes. Boris Johnson scrapped a £2 billion green housing award last year due to issues.
RIBA will continue to interact with and support the government as it retrofits our building stock, the president stated.
ADAM Architecture director Darren Price questioned Hunt’s objectives given the government’s legal obligation to get the UK net zero by 2050. Buildings and construction account for 40% of world emissions.
He added, ‘We support this but wonder if it’s ambitious enough.’ Energy efficiency for the individual family or business is important for cost savings and climate change, but the climate emergency requires a much broader reaction.’
Assael Architecture’s Félicie Krikler echoed Allford. She said, ‘A decade of low insulation installation rates means energy efficient house retrofits need a boost, and today’s announcement of money is a major start in the right direction.
How can we afford to delay addressing our home stock’s poor energy efficiency until 2025?
Britain has some of Europe’s least energy-efficient dwellings. Greenpeace reported that 1.8% of new English homes get the top efficiency rating.
10% of homes built between 1919 and 1939 have an energy performance rating above band C, according to a RIBA report. Improving energy efficiency in these households alone would reduce carbon emissions by 4% and help the government attain its net zero target by 2050, according to the institute.
Brighouse retirement community construction begins
Original Source: Work on Brighouse retirement complex gets underway
Brighouse is building retirement apartments on the site of a former care home.
Burghley Retirement, part of Torsion Care, is building 37 one- and two-bedroom apartments at Wood Lane.
Calderdale Council gave the company permission in December to demolish the former Elm Royd care home to build apartments.
Torsion confirmed on social media that construction had begun, and this week amendments to approved plans were passed.
This includes rotating the building, removing Juliette balconies, and updating stair window positions.
Council planners approved the changes, saying, “The proposed amendments, individually or cumulatively, do not materially alter the nature or effect of the originally permitted development, and the amended scheme would still comply with all relevant development plan and national policy guidance, as identified in the original permission.”
In a design and access statement accompanying the original plans, it says: “The site is currently occupied by a two-story redundant care home facility that has received ‘add on’ extensions, losing its original form and character.
The care home closed in 2017 and is in disrepair.
The layout follows the same principles as a residential scheme approved the year before by a different developer, including the same orientation and site access, and the new building’s footprint in line with the care home.
The company’s website describes the development as “safe and luxurious homes built to last.”
The “modern and stylish” apartments will have thoughtful features like higher-level plug sockets, ultra-low-profile shower trays, and anti-slip floor tiles.
Every apartment will have a video doorbell, intruder alarm, and 24-hour emergency call system.
The Telegraph & Argus reported in 2017 that the nursing home had been advertising bedsits.
The owner, B&H Vincent LLP, wanted to turn it into a HMO with 42 bedsits.
The home had a £700,000 price tag.
Summary of today’s construction news
Overall, we have discussed a mansion in the British countryside valued at £40 million that has been sitting empty for the past two decades. Hamilton Palace in East Sussex, once considered one of the UK’s most valuable private houses under construction, has a longer façade than the royal palace.
Additionally, the promise of 40 new or renovated hospitals in England, made by the Conservatives, may be in peril. According to the Liberal Democrats, recent research shows that next year the capital spending budget for the health and social care department could be reduced by £700m.
Furthermore, to combat the United Kingdom’s poor energy efficiency, RIBA president Simon Allford has urged swift action. On Thursday (17 November), in his Autumn Statement, Jeremy Hunt said that an additional £6 billion would be spent on home insulation improvements in 2025, bringing the total expenditure on energy efficiency improvements in this parliament to £6.6 billion.
On top of that, at Wood Lane, Burghley Retirement, which is a part of Torsion Care, is now constructing 37 apartments with either one or two bedrooms. Torsion verified on its social media accounts that building had begun, and this week revisions to the plans that were accepted were voted on and approved.