Posts tagged BBC News

New Trade Jobs as Cameron and Clegg Boost Planning Reform

“Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says on TV that the Government’s planning changes are boost to solo traders in the trades”

The government is easing the planning rules on extending homes in England as part of a package to boost housebuilding and stimulate economic growth.

The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have announced a major housing and planning package which is set to build 70,000 new homes and create up to 140,000 construction jobs.

Speaking to BBC News this morning Nick Clegg said that people will be allowed to build up to 8-metre larger extensions to their houses without needing a planning permission. He argued that the relaxation of the planning regulations will create jobs and boost those professionals who are already working in the trades.

Clegg said: “The planning changes mean that people will get the local builder to extend their kitchen or conservatory which will create jobs and stimulate economic activity.”

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the package announced today includes investing hundreds of millions of pounds into building more affordable homes as well as a £40 billion guarantee for infrastructure projects to support the building construction industry.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said in a statement that the Government’s announcement will help people to build new homes and ‘kick-start’ the economy.

Mr Cameron said: “We’re determined to cut through the bureaucracy that holds us back. That starts with getting the planners off our backs, getting behind the businesses that have the ambition to expand and meeting the aspirations of families that want to buy or improve a home.”

Housing stimulus package includes:

  • Removing restrictions on house builders to help unlock 75 000 homes currently stalled due to sites being commercially unviable. Developers who can prove that council’s costly affordable housing requirements make the project unviable will see them removed.
  • New legislation for Government guarantees of up to £40 billion worth of major infrastructure projects and up to £10 billion of new homes. The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill will include guaranteeing the debt of Housing Associations and private sector developers.
  • Up to 15,000 affordable homes and bring 5,000 empty homes back into use using new capital funding of £300m and the infrastructure guarantee
  • An additional 5,000 homes built for rent at market rates in line with proposals outlined in Sir Adrian Montague’s report to Government on boosting the private rented sector
  • Thousands of big commercial and residential applications to be directed to a major infrastructure fast track and where councils are poor developers can opt to have their decision taken by the Planning Inspectorate.
  • Calling time on poor performing town hall planning departments, putting the worst into ‘special measures’ if they have failed to improve the speed and quality of their work and allowing developers to bypass councils. More applications also will go into a fast track appeal process.
  • 16,500 first-time buyers helped with a £280m extension of the successful ‘FirstBuy’ scheme, which offers aspiring homeowners a much-needed deposit and a crucial first step on the housing ladder.
  • For a time limited period, slashing planning red tape, including sweeping away the rules and bureaucracy that prevent families and businesses from making improvements to their properties, helping tens of thousands of home owners and companies.

 

PLANNING MAJOR CHANGES TO CREATE NEW JOBS

The Government is planning to re-write planning rules to boost “nationally significant” infrastructure projects and build new homes, Chancellor George Osborne unveiled yesterday.

The Chancellor said that developers would be allowed to build on the Green Belt around towns and cities if an equivalent area of land is safeguarded elsewhere.

Mr Osborne said: “I think we can speed up planning. It is absolutely ludicrous that it takes years to get planning decisions in this country. The country, in the current economic environment, cannot afford to wait years for development.”

A £10 billion Treasury package will guarantee the debt of housing associations and private developers in bid to create jobs and revive housing market.

The Chancellor said that the Government will do more in order to make it easier for local authorities to grant planning permission for developers in the future.

Mr Osborne announced a Small Business Bank to bring together what he called an “alphabet soup” of Government schemes to help small firms and encourage economic growth.

What are your thoughts about George Osborne’s announcement? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Perth is given a £650, 000 Grand ahead of the Queen’s Visit

As reported by the BBC and the Press Association today, Scotland’s newest city has been awarded £650, 000 to restore and repair its historic buildings.

The grant has been given after Perth was granted a city status, which will be officially recognised during a visit by the Queen in July this year.

The funding granted to Perth will be spread over a period of three years. It will aim to safeguard and enhance city’s historic environment whilst contributing to the creation of new jobs and sustainable economic growth, Historic Scotland said.

Making the announcement, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: “The grant from Historic Scotland will help secure Perth’s outstanding built heritage, enhancing the city and preserving a sense of place.

“Improving the historic properties will also encourage tourism, promote the use of traditional building skills, and make the city of Perth a better place to live, work and invest in.

“Using sustainable materials to adapt existing buildings will also help support the historic environment’s transition to a low carbon economy.”

What’s your reaction to the future renovation which will take place in Perth? Can you name other similar cities which need such investment?  Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.

Housebuilder Redrow to Boost the Building Construction Industry

As reported by BBC News today, homebuilder Redrow has announced plans to raise £80 million of new shares to fund its expansion plans, which will create growth opportunities for the building construction sector.

Redrow has secured planning for more than 3,000 plots across the UK and acquired new sites totalling £50 million which are likely to create more employment opportunities for trade professionals. The housebuilder told the Financial Times that it intended to acquire more land ‘as and when opportunities arose’, as well as developing land bought cheaply during the recession.

Steve Morgan, Executive Chairman at Redrow, outlined the significant growth opportunities for the London area and other regions by saying that the firm will continue to follow its existing strategy for growth.

Mr Morgan, who is also the owner of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, said Redrow has made good progress in selling high-quality family homes and that the firm will continue to pave the way for more work in the future, increasing confidence in the housing market.

He said: “We now believe the time is right to accelerate that strategy by taking advantage of the development opportunities we see.”

What is your reaction to the announcement by housebuilder Redrow to raise significant investment and boost the housing market? How do you think trade professionals could benefit from this?  Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:  

Gas Fitter Jailed Over Woman’s Death

 

BBC News reported today that gas fitter, Andrew Hartley, who had botched the installation of a boiler in Lansdow, Bath, which caused the death of 24-year-old woman, has been jailed for three years over her death.

Andrew Hartley was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence in Bristol Crown Court yesterday. He admitted breaching gas safe regulations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 by failing to secure the boiler flue pipe with screws.

The tragic death of Zoe Anderson, who was overcame by carbon monoxide in the shower room of her father’s home, was result of a ‘rushed’ and ‘botch’ job, the prosecution in Bristol Crown Court concluded.

Miss Anderson died within 30 minutes of being exposed to the carbon monoxide after fumes leaked from the flue pipe connected to the boiler of the house, The Daily Mail reported.

Detective Inspector (DI) Neil Beament, who led the investigation, said that despite the fact Andrew Hartley was a professional tradesman with the relevant qualification, he carried out sub-standard work which led to the death of 24-year-old Zoe Anderson.

DI Beament said: “The verdict and sentence reflects the severity of his failings and sends a clear message to all tradesmen in relation to the duty of care they owe all their customers.

“The case also highlights the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and I would urge all householders to consider the installation of appropriate devices.”- added Mr Beament.

It is a legal requirement for trade professionals who carry out gas work to be registered on the Gas Safe Register. Gas engineers are re-tested on every five years in order to comply with Health and Safety regulations.  They have to provide proof of their technical expertise, including the required qualification and relevant certificate of competence.

In a statement about Mr Hartley’s case the Health and Safety Executive said: “The householder in this case did the right thing – they employed a registered gas engineer who is legally allowed to work on gas appliances.

“However, the engineer failed to apply their competence and expertise, which has led to tragic consequences.

“It is vital that registered gas engineers always apply their knowledge and skills on every gas job they carry out and make sure gas work is left safe for people to use.

“If engineers cut corners they can expect to be held to account for their actions.”

What is your reaction to the tragic incident caused by the poor job of gas fitter Andrew Hartley? Do you think professional standards could be improved in future? How? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

Hinckley’s Redevelopment to Boost the Construction Sector

 

The Building Construction Industry will receive an £80 million boost as the government approves Hinckley’s regeneration scheme which will be a major source of work for contractors and people in the building engineering sector. 

The news about the significant redevelopment of Hinckley’s town centre, Leicestershire, comes after 12 years of discussions about the future of the project.

As reported on BBC News today, the regeneration scheme will build 24 new retail and restaurant units, 111,000 square foot Sainsbury’s store and a new bus station.

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council welcomed the decision of the government to give the green light for the project which will encourage future economic growth and create new jobs.

Stuart Bray, the leader of Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, said: “This is fantastic news for the town and means we shall soon start to see things happening. The exciting new shopping and commercial scheme will give the town centre a further boost, thanks to a superstore, cinema, fashion shops, family restaurants and a major new shoppers’ car park alongside a re-designed bus station. We are now looking forward to working with the developer on the construction programme.”

Although, an exact date wasn’t given for the start of the projects, the two developers behind the scheme, Wilson Bowden Developments and Ashcroft Estates, are to complete construction work in 2014.

Director for the joint venture, Tony Baker, said: “This is a crucial step in securing the delivery of this important project for the future of Hinckley. It will not only improve the retail provision in the town centre but provide much-needed new employment. Whilst there are a number of steps to be completed before work starts on site we are now able to move forward with confidence knowing that the entire site can be delivered.”

What is your reaction to the £80 million regeneration scheme for Hinckley? How beneficial the development is going to be for you and your business? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

Four Builders Hurt in Police Station Blast

 

As reported on BBC News today, four builders have been injured in an explosion at a police station in Croydon, South London.

One of the builders remains in a critical condition with serious burns after the explosion took place in the basement of Croydon Police Station – the local media has reported. The four injured builders are understood to be contractors who have been carrying out work at the premises.

Health and safety officials are investigation the cause of the explosion which still remains unknown. Police officials have confirmed they are reviewing the case as a “non-terroristic” incident.

A police spokesman for Croydon Police Station said in a statement that people from the building were evacuated whilst the police force remained “fully operational”. However, they were unable to specify what building work was taking place involving the contractors.

What is your reaction to the incident taken place at Croydon Police Station leaving four builders with serious injuries? What do you think might be the cause for the explosion?  Share your thoughts be leaving a comment below: 

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