Manchester City Council has submitted fresh plans for enabling works and infrastructure to create a 5,500 home neighbourhood on old railway sidings in the Red Bank area of the city.
The Government has granted nearly £52m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to overcome infrastructure constraints needed to bring about delivery of new homes and green spaces, including the first phase of a new City River Park within the Red Bank neighbourhood – part of the wider Victoria North programme of development.
Red Bank is one of seven neighbourhoods that make up the Victoria North regeneration area – one of the biggest renewal projects the city has ever undertaken.
The planed Red Bank neighborhood plan will transform the disused 25-acre former Red Bank carriage sidings which has been been blighted by fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour.
Preparing the site for development will kick-start a wider programme of investment to create a new green neighbourhood.
Further planning applications will be submitted next year seeking permission for the main infrastructure works, improvements to St Catherine’s Wood and the first elements of the City River Park.
These will be followed by applications for residential development.
Victoria North is a joint venture programme between Manchester City Council and developer Far East Consortium (FEC).
Over the next 15 to 20 years, the Victoria North project will deliver more than 15,000 new homes (at least 20% of which will be affordable housing), with each neighbourhood connected by high quality green spaces and 46-hectare City River Park, which will open up and celebrate the Irk River Valley for the first time in decades.
A builder’s merchant has been fined £180,000 after a worker suffered multiple injuries when he was struck by a reversing vehicle.
Mold Magistrates’ Court heard how on 6 June 2019, a skip lorry driver drove into the waste management yard area of Thorncliffe Building Supplies’ Abergele site and parked his vehicle.
As he was removing the net from the skip, a loading shovel from the same company reversed into the driver, trapping him between his vehicle and the loading shovel. He sustained life changing injuries including fractures to his pelvis and a crushed bowel.
An HSE investigation found that the system of work to control risks from transport was not fully adequate and not monitored; and as a result, was not being followed therefore exposing workers to risks.
At the time of the incident the inner banksman, who is responsible for managing traffic at the site, was not present at his station and there weren’t any measures in place to prevent new vehicles from accessing the site.
Thorncliffe Building Supplies Limited of Rhyl pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,856.
Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Sarah Baldwin-Jones said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply following correct control measures and safe working practices.
“Monitoring of the safe working practice and CCTV evidence would have highlighted risks created when the banksman left the yard area. A rising barrier fitted at the yard entrance, or relief cover for the banksman during the day, would have prevented this incident occurring.
“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
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GMI Construction Group has lured Gary Oates back to the business to take up the newly-created role of North East operations director.
Oates left GMI Construction just over five years ago to join specialist industrial contractor TSL Projects where he became project director.
He previously spent more than 16 years with GMI, starting as a site manager before progressing to contracts manager.
He returns to lead the north east growth strategy from a new Teesside office. He is also joined by new North East commercial manager Paul Raine, who joins from Leeds-based Torsion Group.
Gary Oates (left) takes north east operation director role supported by Paul Raine, new commercial manager.
Lee Powell, divisional managing director, said: “Both these appointments underline our commitment to the North East and we are resolved to play a greater role in creating jobs and generating economic prosperity.
“Gary is highly experienced and committed and, as such, is the right person to lead our North East division and grow this business in a region that is already enjoying the benefits of the levelling up agenda. We’re also delighted to welcome Paul to the team, who brings with him extensive commercial knowledge.
“GMI Construction Group has a long association with the North East and has been involved in several high-profile developments, allowing it to build a strong relationship with local suppliers and sub-contractors.”
This month, GMI will start work on a £30m contract to construct 362,600 sq. ft of commercial units as part of the first phase of the Hillthorn Business Park development at Washington, near Sunderland.
Appointed lead contractor by client Legal & General, GMI is due to complete the seven units, ranging in size from 21,000 sq. ft to 83,000 sq. ft, by September 2022.
It is part of a £60m two-phased development designed to stimulate economic growth by supporting the needs of industrial, advanced manufacturing, storage, and distribution businesses in the area.
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The National Federation of Builders has slammed government plans to require all new homes to have electric vehicle (EV) chargers as another “stealth tax” on construction.
The federation fears the construction industry will foot the bill for chargers while electricity companies benefit.
It said that to achieve planning permission builders are required to fund substations so that electricity companies can provide enough load to new and old developments.
Costs are considerable – upward of £50,000 for a handful of homes – and neither the builder or homeowner profits from this infrastructure because the electricity companies receive revenue in perpetuity from someone else’s investment.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB said: “We support the green industry and a green transition because it is a necessary part of change but due to how infrastructure investment works in practice, once again, the Government is seeking to grow its political capital and advance big business, at the expense of the construction industry and taxpayer.”
Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing at the House Builders Association (HBA), the housebuilding arm of the NFB, said: “This Government has only been in power for two years and has already introduced four new and stealth taxes on the construction industry. EV charging will be the fifth.
“It’s a disgusting way to treat a sector who worked throughout the Covid-19 lockdown to help pay for furlough and the impact of Covid-19.
“The Government needs to think very carefully about how it achieves a green revolution. It must require electricity companies to shoulder this cost, as they will be profiting from these investments in perpetuity.
“Or perhaps it is time to bring services into public ownership because the Government is not proving able to regulate the sector in a way that doesn’t cost the taxpayer.
“As we told the Prime Minister during COP26 in relation to retrofitting and onshore renewable energy, it is time the Conservatives began risking some of their own political capital and not simply expecting taxpayers and business to risk their financial capital. The Governments green legacy is looking like taxation and flawed policy, not revolutionary change.”
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