Galliford Try scoops £69m Thames resi job

Galliford Try has reached agreement with Frasers Property on the next phases of the Riverside Quarter residential development in Wandsworth.

Frasers has appointed Galliford Try to construct the next three phases of the project, worth £69m in total to the business.

The firm has already built earlier phases of the huge residential project overlooking the River Thames.

Phases 5C and 5D consist of two new blocks, which will include 99 apartments for sale and an additional 50 affordable homes.

Phase 6A will create a 13 storey block providing 51 new apartments for sale and 36 affordable homes together with additional commercial units and extensive landscaping, in a much sought after residential area in South West London.

Galliford Try Executive Chairman Greg Fitzgerald said: “Long-term relationships with valued clients are a key part of our construction strategy and we are delighted to have been able to reach agreement with Frasers to continue our partnership on such a prestigious residential development in a prime London location.”

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Asian trio buy planned £1bn London flats scheme

Investment group Carlyle has sold it Bankside site on the south side of the Thames in London for a major cluster of residential towers.

The 1.4m sq ft scheme will see demolition to two major buildings next to Blackfriars Bridge to clear the way for nine buildings ranging from 5 to 48 storeys in height.

These will be split between 492 luxury apartments and 450,000 sq ft of offices and 25,000 sq ft of retail space, which were granted outline planning last year.

Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek, Hotel Properties, run by Singaporean tycoon Ong Ben Seng and Amcorp Properties, run by one of Malaysia’s richest men, have scooped up the site in a deal worth over £300m.

The bidders using Native Land as an investment vehicle have been in talks for several months and now plan to build the Bankside Quarter.

Alasdair Nicholls, Chief Executive of Native Land, said on behalf of the consortium: “The development of the Bankside Quarter will set the seal on London’s finest emerging location.

“By unblocking routes through this strategically important site as well as significantly enhancing the public realm the area will become even more popular for residents, businesses and visitors from across the globe.

“The project will also deliver much needed private and affordable housing in the borough, where there is a shortage of supply.

“The consortium which has been assembled to deliver the project represents the best in international development and funding expertise. We are confident that we can deliver a major new destination for London, adding to the strong foundations already laid in the Bankside area.”

Native Land Bankside

Native Land intends to deliver the project in a series of phases, with the first phase including a 49-storey tower comprising 211 apartments fronting the River Thames.

The subsequent phase will deliver a Grade A office building, with later phases including the redevelopment of Sampson House, which is currently leased to IBM until 2025 but with a mutual break option in June 2018.

The tallest tower will stand opposite developer St George’s bevelled One Blackfriars tower, now under construction, to form a high-rise gateway on the south side of Blackfriars Bridge.

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£200m deal to kick-start London’s vast Wood Wharf

Enabling work on the 4.9m sq ft Wood Wharf scheme next to London’s Canary Wharf Estate will start in a matter of months thanks to a £200m government loan.

Under the terms of the deal, the Canary Wharf Group will use the loan to fund infrastructure needed to unlock the new phase of Canary Wharf – formerly called Wood Wharf – to the east of the present estate.

The development will deliver 3,500 homes, including 607 affordable homes, as well as 2.8m sq ft of offices, shops and leisure facilities in 30 new buildings.

Proposals have already got planning permission, so work will be able to start within months. Basic enabling works will include relocation and upgrading of utilities for the site.

Completion of the first phase of the plans will coincide with the arrival of Crossrail in 2018.

Wood Wharf Herzog De Meuron

The centrepiece of the scheme will be a 57-storey cylindrical residential skyscraper facing the waters of South Dock, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the Swiss architects behind the Tate Modern and the “Bird’s Nest” Olympic stadium in Beijing.

Canary-Wharf wood wharf

Sir George Iacobescu CBE, chairman and chief executive officer of Canary Wharf Group said: “This crucial contribution by the Homes and Communities Agency, towards the infrastructure needed to underpin the next phase of Canary Wharf will enable the group to fulfil its ambition of creating one of the most exciting and vibrant places to live and work in London.

“This is just the type of targeted and practical assistance that our sector needs to help deal with the housing shortage in London.” he added.

Canary Wharf Group, will also be contributing in excess of £60m towards Crossrail and an additional £28m for other infrastructure needs.

This will include over £10m for local transport improvements, some of which will be used to improve the nearby Preston’s Road roundabout.

Masterplan details

  • 3,610 homes (2.5m sq ft)
  • 1.9m sq ft of commercial offices
  • 420,000 sq ft of retail and leisure
  • Two hotels
  • 8.9 acres of interconnected public spaces

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 12.42.09Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 12.42.53


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Comments on The Budget

Help to Buy ISA


A new scheme for first time buyers. Features include for every £200 saved, the government will top it up by £50.


The government hopes that this will enable more first time buyers to join the property ladder and further stimulate the entire market.


Pension Freedom Scheme


The Chancellor revealed the possibility of extending pension freedoms to allow existing retirees to `cash in’ their retirement fund. The Pension Freedom Scheme comes into effect as of the 6th April, allowing newly retired people to draw their pension out in its entirety and re-invest elsewhere.
Some of these funds may find there way into the property market.


Employment and Interest Rates


High employment and low interest rates may encourage home ownership.

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£120m scheme approved for London School of Economics

Westminster City Council has given the green light to the largest London School of Economics development project in its 120 year history.

The £120m Centre Buildings Redevelopment project is designed to create a new focus for the central London campus.

It will involve constructing 200,000 sq ft of academic buildings rising up to 14-storeys arranged around a public square.


The redevelopment involves the demolition of the existing LSE owned buildings along Houghton Street, known as Clare Market, The Anchorage, the East Building and part of St Clements.


Demolition is due to begin at the start of this year’s summer break with the building due to be completed in late 2018.

The contest for a main contractor will start shortly to appoint a firm early next year.

Director of Estates Julian Robinson said: “This is a major milestone in our ambitious programme of improving facilities and accommodation at LSE.  We are a world class university and the Centre Buildings Redevelopment will provide a new building and public spaces which will reflect this.  ”

Architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners designed the project. Their team includes ChapmanBDSP as MEP consultants, AKTII as structural engineers and Gillespies as landscape architects.  Turley are LSE’s planning consultants for the scheme with Deloitte as cost consultants.

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McLaren swoops on £130m north London job

city north
McLaren Construction is due to start on site this month after winning the race to build a £130m mixed-use scheme near Finsbury Park station in North London.

Construction information specialist Glenigan confirmed McLaren as main contractor with Dunne Building & Civil Engineering due to carry out groundworks plus the foundations and frame.

United House Developments is the client in a joint venture with land owners the Business Design Centre.

United House’s own contracting arm was originally lined-up to deliver the scheme back in Spring 2013.

But the project start was delayed and United House construction suffered losses during the year to 2012 after an ill-fated foray into private sector work.

The construction division has since been merged with Bullock and refocused back on its traditional social housing market.

The City North scheme will see construction of of 308 one – four bedroom private apartments in two 21 storey buildings.

Works will also include 47 affordable homes and 10,776 sqm of retail, office, restaurant and leisure space.

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New schemes at Kings Cross

Argent development has named Kier preferred bidder for two contracts worth £130m at the King’s Cross Goods Yard development in London.

The two projects, currently badged R7 and R8, will provide a mixture of housing, retail, leisure and commercial office space.

Both schemes are due to start next year.

Kings Cross R7

R7 (above)  is a new development of 150,000 sq ft. Its West tower will have 13 storeys of offices above a cinema and retail units while the East tower will hold 11 storeys of offices above retail space at ground level.

R8 is a 200,000 sq ft scheme to construct a mixture of private and affordable housing together with office accommodation and retail space.

The contracts are the latest in a long line of projects that Kier is involved in at King’s Cross.

Kier is currently redeveloping the Grade II listed Midland Goods Shed and East Handyside Canopy for supermarket chain Waitrose with offices above for the Guardian Media Group.

Kier recently completed both the £42m ArtHouse scheme, a housing development providing 143 homes for the area; and 5 Pancras Square, the £65m public services hub for Camden Council, heralded as one of the greenest public buildings in the UK.

Haydn Mursell, Kier chief executive, said: “As the London market grows at pace, we are establishing ourselves as a delivery partner of choice on major projects, regeneration schemes and in high-rise development.

“We look forward to continuing to increase our presence in the market.”

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JP Morgan gives up on new HQ in Canary Wharf

JP MORGAN is set to scale back its ambitions in London by selling a site in Canary Wharf once earmarked for a new £1.5bn headquarters.

The American investment bank is close to appointing agents to market Riverside South, where it has planning permission for two huge office towers designed by the architect Richard Rogers.

JP Morgan emerged from the financial crisis relatively unscathed but suffered a trading scandal and heavy fines over allegations of historic mortgage abuses. Like other Wall Street banks, it has felt the pinch of falling trading revenues.

It bought Riverside South from Canary Wharf two months after Lehman Brothers’ collapse in 2008 and is thought to have spent tens of millions of pounds getting the site ready for construction. The bank moved its staff into Lehman’s former docklands headquarters, 25 Bank Street, in 2010 but said it was still committed to building the statement headquarters.


Source: Sunday Times

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Carbon monoxide and smoke alarms to become law for landlords

New measures announced by housing minister Brandon Lewis require that landlords must now by law install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their rental properties.
The move has received strong support and is expected to come into effect in October 2015. The government claims that the new measure will help to prevent up to 36 deaths and 1,375 injuries every year.
Support will be provided by England’s fire and rescue authorities in their own areas, with government funding and free alarms available. The suggested changes to the law would include landlords being required to install regularly tested smoke alarms on each floor of their property. Carbon monoxide alarms would also need to be installed in high risk rooms such as where a solid fuel heating system is installed. These devices would need to be checked prior to each new tenancy.
Failure to follow these guidelines would lead to a £5,000 civil penalty.
Lewis said: ‘In 1988 just 8% of homes had a smoke alarm installed – now it’s over 90%. The vast majority of landlords offer a good service and have installed smoke alarms in their homes, but I’m changing the law to ensure every tenant can be given this important protection. But with working smoke alarms providing the vital seconds needed to escape a fire, I urge all tenants to make sure they regularly test their alarms to ensure they work when it counts. Testing regularly remains the tenant’s responsibility.’

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