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Read the latest news on Commercial construction expansion, Whitsbury Green home development, CLC wants to cut UK diesel, Stone HS2 route protests, and the Carmarthen Hwb project

In today’s news, we will look into the commercial construction sector that is expected to continue its expansion this year. Meanwhile, the housing complex known as Whitbury Green gets the construction ball rolling. On the other hand, CLC has set a target of reducing diesel use on UK sites by 78% by 2035. Furthermore, objections raised regarding the proposed building path for HS2 in Stone. Moreover, construction companies are in discussions to begin work on the Carmarthen Hwb project at the location of the former Debenhams store.

Commercial Construction Will Expand This Year

Original Source: Commercial construction sector set for further growth this year

New analysis predicts significant increase in the UK’s commercial building construction sector this year, following the epidemic decrease.

Sirius Property Finance examined the commercial building construction sector’s income, growth, and future performance.

In 2021, the sector shrank by 20.2% to £16.17bn due to the pandemic. This was the sector’s highest year-on-year fall and weakest in 10 years.

Commercial building construction market size rose 15.6% to £18.69 billion in 2022.

The market is predicted to grow 2.8% to £19.21 billion in 2023.

However, conditions for the UK construction sector remain severe, which is projected to have a mid-term negative impact on sector size, but less than expected.

After multiple Bank of England rate hikes, commercial building construction is being impacted by higher interest rates.

Work-from-home culture has affected commercial property demand, particularly office space. In recent months, construction firms’ fears of a recession have subsided.

Despite these obstacles, the commercial building construction sector is expected to shrink by 0.9% in 2024 and 0.5% in 2025.

Sirius Property Finance Corporate Partnerships Head Kimberley Gates said:

“The pandemic hit the construction sector hard, so it’s heartening to see a further uptick in activity in 2023, following a very strong recovery in 2022.

The property market, including the commercial sector, is encountering challenges.

“Rising interest rates have made financing new projects harder, and the pandemic has affected commercial property demand for office space, in particular.

“With material and labour shortages, we expect a slight sector retraction in the coming years. However, the good thing is that it will be significantly more marginal than prior years and, when the global environment stabilises, there will be a strong base for future growth.”

Whitsbury Green Home Development Begins

Original Source: Construction starts on Whitsbury Green housing development

Phase one of a big housing development that might add 342 dwellings has begun.

The controversial Fordingbridge project to build dwellings of various sizes and greenspace west of Whitsbury Road has begun.

After hundreds of objections, the massive project was approved last year, and phase one would build 64 new homes at Whitsbury Green.

Pennyfarthing is building two, three, and four-bedroom houses, apartments, and bungalows on the site for first-time buyers, second-steppers, families, and downsizers.

New Forest District Council narrowly approved the modified 403-property application in September last year because of infrastructure and traffic concerns.

District councillor Maureen Holding predicted “enormous impact” on traffic and travel in the market town and “chaos for people trying to move around”.

A new bridge over Sweatford Waters and a Whitsbury Road roundabout will address this.

Plans include a huge Alternative Natural Recreational Greenspace, two play areas, a boardwalk, and a viewing platform.

Pennyfarthing Homes sales and marketing director Sheetal Smith said: “As you would expect from this sought-after location and quality new development, we have been inundated with enquiries since we secured the land over two years ago.

“Prospective buyers will now be able to view the detailed plans for the first time, take home a brochure, and even secure an off-plan reservation on phase one, for plots that will be available this winter.”

The developer promises energy-efficient, high-spec homes with low maintenance expenses.

Whitsbury Green will provide 30% off First Homes, a government-backed program. Home discounts are permanent.

Pennyfarthing expects to open its four-bedroom show home in October.

CLC wants to cut UK diesel by 78% by 2035

Original Source: CLC aim to reduce diesel on UK sites by 78% before 2035

Construction Leadership Council (CLC) proposes a “clean fuel strategy” to reduce diesel use on UK construction sites by 78% by 2035.

The Building Leadership Council (CLC) announced a 2035 diesel ban on most UK building sites. Over the past decade, construction representatives have collaborated on the Zero Diesel Sites Route Map, a major component of the CLC’s decarbonization initiative.

The Route Map’s realistic initiatives may lower diesel volume by 78% during the next decade. This will ensure the building meets the Sixth Carbon Budget.

Cleaner power to cut diesel use

UK construction uses 300,000 non-road mobile machinery. Last year, HS2 made the Canterbury Road Vent Shaft site diesel-free and pledged to make all its sites diesel-free by 2029.

After consultation on a draft plan late last year, the Route Map affirms the industry will encourage hydrogen, electricity, and other cleaner power sources and ask enterprises to cut diesel generator use to increase efficiency.

Hydrogen fuels are predicted to replace diesel on work sites, but industry-wide research is needed. McKinsey noted that net zero rules would boost hydrogen and biofuel markets and zero-emissions electricity. 

Low-carbon primary energy could help equipment and service suppliers grow. Construction businesses should engage with fuel suppliers to meet demand early and make realistic plans to transport low-carbon hydrogen to site.

The Route Map promises that it would actively help businesses establish their own diesel reduction programs by working with clients to ensure diesel bans and tracking diesel usage data.

“The carbon challenge we face is significant and can only be overcome if we show real determination in a push for change,” said Neil Wait, HS2 Ltd Head of Environmental Delivery and Chair of Zero Diesel Route Map Working Group. HS2 Ltd developed the Route Map and contains 19 diesel-free building sites. 

“This launch shows the industry’s shared commitment to drastically reduce diesel use. Companies should support cleaner, greener construction.”

Stone HS2 Route Protests

Original Source: Objections over HS2 construction route for Stone

Residents near HS2 building sites worry about site access.

40 heavy vehicles a day may use a residential street in Stone, Staffordshire, to access the project.

Residents worry about air quality and noise.

HS2 said it was rethinking its construction traffic plan with Staffordshire County Council.

A railhead near Yarnfield and the Yarlet building compound are under consideration.

Walton residents strongly oppose Pirehill Lane being part of the plan.

“I’m concerned about people’s safety – it’s a residential area with schools and shops,” Neil Jenkins told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

“What’s 40-odd trucks a day going to do to the foundations of my property?”

Carol Wise stated, “It’s hard enough to get out on Eccleshall Road now we have all the extra housing.”

“Pirehill Lane in Stone hasn’t been removed from our construction plans,” HS2 added.

“HS2’s Schedule 17 application has been amended, removing the request to use Pirehill Lane, while this work is carried out.”

Staffordshire County Council told HS2 Ltd that Pirehill Lane was unsuitable for heavy lorry traffic and requested its removal from the plans.

Construction Firms Negotiate the Carmarthen Hwb Project at the Former Debenhams Shop

Original Source: Construction firms hold talks to work on Carmarthen Hwb project at former Debenhams store

The ambitious scheme’s engineering company met with local builders.

Construction firms from throughout the region have discussed turning Carmarthen’s former Debenhams store into a health, leisure, and learning hub.

Carmarthen Hwb will be the county’s first hub.

Work on St Catherine’s Walk’s former department store can begin after March’s planning approval.

After two years, Carmarthenshire Council, Hywel Dda University Health Board, and University of Wales Trinity Saint David are delivering the project with over £15 million from the UK Government’s Levelling Up grant.

Bouygues UK will deliver the programme and conduct a “meet the buyer” event for construction businesses interested in renovating the building.

Leisure, culture, exhibition, health, a gym, tourist information, customer services, and access to higher and further education will be included.

Carmarthenshire Museums will also showcase items.

After Debenhams entered into insolvency in May 2021, it will reopen the town centre’s largest store at St Catherine’s Walk.

The project should finish in spring 2024.

Chris Carson, Bouygues UK’s Carmarthen Hwb Project Manager, said: “It was great to chat to local suppliers in hopes of getting them involved in this state-of-the-art centre.

We need more local vendors for this prestigious department store makeover. We talked about the scheme and their business potential.It’s a terrific initiative to be part of because the hwb will be a key building in town and hopefully boost footfall to adjacent stores and cafes.

Bouygues UK will collaborate with local subcontractors on the Carmarthen Hwb project as it did at Pentre Awel in Llanelli.

“Refurbishing rather than rebuilding this former department store ties in with Bouygues UK’s commitment to climate and the environment,” said John Boughton, managing director of Wales.

“This unique development brings together health, education, and public services under one roof, serving the local community at an easily accessible base, and will be an amazing resource for all who use it.”

Summary of today’s construction news

Overall, we discussed after a sharp decline due to the epidemic, new research forecasts a substantial uptick in the commercial building development industry in the United Kingdom this year. Sirius Property Finance analysed the commercial building construction industry’s profitability, expansion, and projected performance. Meanwhile, Construction on the Fordingbridge development, which will add homes of varying sizes and green space west of Whitsbury Road, has begun despite some opposition. The enormous project was approved last year despite hundreds of protests; phase one would construct 64 new dwellings. On the other hand, in 2035, the Building Leadership Council (CLC) mandated a diesel ban on most UK construction projects. Over the past decade, members from the construction industry have worked together on the Zero Diesel Sites Route Map, a crucial part of the CLC’s decarbonization initiative. Furthermore, nearby residents are concerned about construction site access during the HS2 project. It is estimated that 40 heavy vehicles per day will use a residential street in Stone, Staffordshire, to gain access to the project. Pollution and noise are major concerns for locals. On top of that, the engineering firm behind the massive undertaking got together with area contractors. Construction companies from all around the area have considered transforming the former Debenhams in Carmarthen into a community centre for health, recreation, and education. The first hub in Carmarthen County will be located in Carmarthen Hwb.