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Old October 25th, 2010, 02:18 AM   #1961
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Lewisham Regeneration

by SE9.

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Old October 25th, 2010, 08:39 PM   #1962
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Menta Tries Again With Croydon Skyscraper

Menta has unveiled their latest attempts to get a series of buildings underway in the London borough of Croydon that includes a landmark 171-metre tall tower.



The 55-storey skyscraper starts with five levels of basement parking and then ground and first floor retail followed by a single floor offering amenities for residents such as a business centre, a games room, and a craft room plus a meeting room for a residents committee. The rest of the tower is one and two bedroom flats, some 390 or so in total.

There is also the inclusion of sky-gardens, the tallest of which will run six storeys high and be tall enough to accommodate mature trees. On level 43 will be another amenity floor with the upper levels of the building including a double height penthouse terrace.

Over to the south of a new public space will be a new 18-storey hotel building, although the developer has yet to confirm an operator, but it will have 180 rooms and 25 serviced apartments. On the southern extreme of the site will be Billinton Hill, another private residential building with about 65 apartments, and 1,000 square metres of ground floor retail and restaurant space.

Meanwhile, at Cherry Orchard Gardens, a separate site on the other side of Cherry Orchard Road will be 72 apartments from one to three bedrooms for affordable housing, plus a new community centre and town houses along Oval Road.

The Cherry Orchard Road project has been designed by architecture firm, Make as a central part of the East Croydon Masterplan. Overlooking the East Croydon train station, the scheme is only a railway bridge away from the Croydon Gateway scheme 60 metres to its west.

One catch is that the developer promises to completely regenerate the Addiscombe Road area offering the sort of amenities one finds in a city centre. Although a sound idea in theory, in practise only a block away is street after street of suburban housing. To the immediate south of the site however is Croydon's former tallest building, the NLA Tower, showing that the area is clearly split between two worlds.

The scheme had previously featured a cluster of five similarly designed "pointy" buildings by the same architect but this failed to win planning permission.
http://www.skyscrapernews.com/news.php?ref=2681
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Old October 26th, 2010, 02:06 AM   #1963
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Wow, London's sure got a lot going up now that 122Lh and the Walkie Talkie are funded (fingers crossed for Beetham) plus what's the latest with Columbus Tower, is that nothing more than a dead proposal? Having visited the London forum though there seems to be a wee bit of skepticism in relation to the other biggies. The pre-planned Three Spires due to a pompous NIMBY activist, the Riverside Towers possibly left in doubt due to uncertainty from JPM to move to CW a personal fave of mine @ 197m, 1 Park Place in Canary Wharf.

Having said all of that though, there's still a hive of activity.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 06:30 PM   #1964
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The Columbus Tower had been approved as far as I know.

Regarding RS, take a look at recent news: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance...5bn-london-hq/
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Old October 26th, 2010, 06:35 PM   #1965
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Overseas buyers push up sales of £1m homes by 134%

Sales of million-pound properties have more than doubled in the capital in the past year as foreign investors send demand for London homes soaring.

Figures published today show that 1,880 properties sold for £1 million or more in the first half of this year — an increase of 134 per cent on last year.

The research by Halifax, based on Land Registry figures, shows that almost nine in 10 of all £1 million-plus sales in the UK were in London and the South-East.

Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis said: “The sizeable rise in the number of million-pound properties sold over the past year has been driven by a small number of London neighbourhoods that continue to account for the vast majority of £1 million sales.

“The increase reflects both strong demand from wealthy foreign buyers looking to benefit from the weakness in sterling and the relatively strong performance of the housing market in London and the South-East.”

Following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, there was a “half-price sale” of some of London's most sought-after addresses, as values dropped by up to 30 per cent and the pound fell.

Buyers taking advantage of the favourable conditions include investors from America, Europe, Russia, Japan, India, China and the Gulf states — but also Nigeria, Iran, Lebanon and Thailand.

Estate agent Knight Frank said the proportion of foreign buyers soared from 53 to 68 per cent in the 12 months from June last year.

Head of residential research at Knight Frank, Liam Bailey, said: “The weakness of the pound ensures that effective discounts available to foreign buyers are still very significant. Surveys over the summer found that seven in 10 London homes priced at over £5 million are going to foreign investors.”
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/money/...134-percent.do
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Old October 26th, 2010, 06:40 PM   #1966
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It's been a great week for London. News arrived today that makes Riverside South also much more likely to go ahead. Should be an even more interesting year next year
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Old October 27th, 2010, 08:25 PM   #1967
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Opening of One New Change shopping centre heralds revival

It is the shopping centre inspired by the greatest symbol of London's ability to survive in adversity: St Paul's Cathedral. When One New Change opens its doors at midday tomorrow it will be the most tangible sign yet that the economic recovery is under way.

It is the largest retail centre in the City of London, and the first to open in the capital since Westfield two years ago.

Brands such as Banana Republic, Topshop, All Saints and H&M will be in the Square Mile for the first time but the wow factor is provided by new restaurants from Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay.

Oliver's Barbecoa will have its own ground-floor butcher's shop and Ramsay will open the Bread Street Kitchen next year.

Land Securities, the landlord responsible for the £540 million development, has let all but one shop and 45 of the 58 outlets will begin trading tomorrow. The focus is on mid-market stores.

David Atcherley-Symes, retail manager at Land Securities, said: “The misconception of some retailers who come to the City, that everybody is millionaires walking up and down sucking on a big cigar, is totally wrong.”

Nicknamed the “stealth bomber”, the centre's modernist design by architect Jean Nouvel basks in the reflected glory of the cathedral and has stunning views for shoppers and diners.

Unusually for the Square Mile, it will be open seven days.

Mr Atcherley-Symes said: “A lot of the developments in the City had been put on hold two years ago. We carried on for two reasons. One: we had pre-let one-third of our office space to K&L Gates, the US law firm.

"That guaranteed income meant we had a cushion. Two years ago we also had Topshop and M&S. The City was taking a hit and there were redundancies. But it was still a financial powerhouse. The recession didn't change the intrinsic economics of what we were trying to do.”

He added: “The identity of the building is quite low-key. It's meant to be slightly more sophisticated than a normal shopping centre.”

A high street fashion fix to fill the void

REVIEW
Rosamund Urwin

While the City's first major retail centre lacks the Porsche showrooms and Hermès handbags of Mayfair, it should still inject a little style into the (very) Square Mile.

Until now, there has been a shopping void among the office blocks, forcing EC employees either to traipse to the West End or to wait for the weekend for their high street fashion fix.

One New Change has a branch of many of the best-known clothing chains, including Superdry's largest London store.

Its opening reflects an increasingly female City workforce; who can have a blow-dry at Hershesons, be waxed at Strip and pick up a party frock at Karen Millen — all in a lunch-hour. The site doesn't rival Shepherd's Bush's Westfield in size, nor the Royal Exchange for glitz. Instead, it is more like the mall at Canary Wharf. So even though One New Change is open seven days a week, it is hard to see it having appeal beyond City workers and tourists.

Does London need another shopping destination filled with all the same chains? Probably not, but that won't stop the queues forming tomorrow
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...lds-revival.do
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Old October 28th, 2010, 12:34 AM   #1968
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Canada Water Library

by Officer Dibble.

[IMG]http://i53.************/23rpdds.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i55.************/xpsbar.jpg[/IMG]

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Old October 28th, 2010, 06:10 AM   #1969
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I think but with a TGV Duplex
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Old October 28th, 2010, 08:34 PM   #1970
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Nickname buildings march across London’s skyline

The resurrection of the Cheesegrater building project on Leadenhall is just the first in a succession of mothballed office building proposals that will be dusted down and begin construction in the City of London as we slowly emerge from recession.

But why do these projects get such stupid names? The Helter Skelter (on Bishopsgate by KPF), the Walkie-Talkie (on Fenchurch Street, designed by Rafael Vignoly) and Rogers Stirk Harbour's Cheesegrater will join the Gherkin, making today's contribution to one of the most sophisticated urban settings in the world sound like an ugly bug ball. You can't imagine great city buildings from the past, such as John Soane's Bank of England or the Guildhall, revelling in such undignified comparisons. But despite the apparent irreverence of these nicknames, they reveal something about the city's priorities as it continues to grow.

Today's city architecture, whatever the merits of the individual buildings, is conceived as a parade of the weird and wonderful, each piece straining for attention, each more self-consciously iconic than the last. Developers spin the nicknames that emerge as a positive thing — it proves, to them, that people have taken these buildings to their hearts. But it all helps the marketing. Today, you must have a brand for your development. The Shard, for instance, emerging at pace above London Bridge station, was a name invented by the architect and developer. A simple street address isn't enough for such ambition.

These buildings are designed to be perceived as sculptural forms rather than addresses in the city. They look best as computer renderings in a brochure given to potential investors or occupiers in Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong or Moscow. The jolly, lobotomising nicknames they adopt mask a suppression of the qualities of London streets in favour of the skyline, and this trend is the worrying underbelly of all this so-called architectural ambition.

There is another way. The great tall buildings of the world — Empire State and the Chrysler building in New York, the Guaranty Building in Buffalo, New York State — don't get metaphorical nicknames. They're big and brash but they are also part of the city they stand in. They conform to a coherent planning regime that has created a rich and still developing high-rise environment. In contrast, with every big building that arrives in London, the urban environment gets a bit flatter, less rich, with fewer courtyards and mews alleyways, and more branded coffee shops and plazas patrolled by private security.

The recession put the brakes on city development but no one has spent that time reassessing priorities. All these strangely named buildings, conceived at the height of the boom, are to be resurrected, the architectural living dead, symbolising nothing more than our attention deficit when it comes to thinking about architecture, and the ambitions of property developers to aggrandise themselves. We are experiencing the slow death of urban qualities of the city not, as was once feared, through wholesale demolition but through marketing newspeak that is more interested in shapes and nicknames than in the quality of the city's ancient streets.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...ons-skyline.do
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Old October 29th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #1971
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Council gives green light to large Peninsula hotel



Greenwich Council gave planning consent to a huge new hotel next to the O2 on the Greenwich Peninsula last night. The 452 bedroom hotel will be accompanied by a tower of 100 serviced apartments and a 3000 sq ft ballroom.

Hundreds of new jobs are expected to be created at the new hotel which will have more bedrooms than Greenwich’s Holiday Inn, Novotel and Devonport House hotels combined.

The large ballroom will be used as an events space and designers claim it will compete with Park Lane hotels to attract “thousands of events to Greenwich”.

The apartments are residential properties with additional services provided such as laundry and hotel-style room service. The apartments will be sold on the open market and the owners will be able to choose whether or not to add them to the hotel’s pool of properties which it will manage and rent out to guests.

The site of the development is a 3 hectare plot of land directly to the west of the O2, previously known for planning purposes as N0301. It consists of three separate buildings in a stepped profile – the serviced apartments tower being the tallest of the three at 24 storeys.

Local MP, Nick Raynsford, offered a withering assessment of the designs when they were first unveiled earlier this year, describing them as “a complex of not very well related buildings which leave the impression of being a cross between a grain silo and a Soviet-era Palace of Culture”.

Modifications have been made to the design since then but the Greenwich Society and Greenwich Conservation spoke against the plans at last night’s meeting.

Philip Binns from the Greenwich Conservation Group told the meeting last night that the proposal was not the “impressive signature building” originally envisaged in the Greenwich Peninsula Masterplan.

John Franklin from the Greenwich Society said that they wanted to see “the best building with the very best impact” and that the hotel was supposed to have been “the dominant development”.

The Greenwich Peninsula Masterplan of 2004 envisaged a hotel building being the tallest building on the Peninsula and granted outline planning permission for it to be built up to a maximum height of almost 104 metres. The new proposed development will only reach 93 metres and won’t be the iconic tower some had hoped for.

Architect Philip Sandilands from Lifschulz Davvidson Sandilands defended his plans, saying that a taller building “wasn’t feasible”, citing concerns over flight paths and the nearby pumping station. He said that the previous design had been “overbearing”.

Cllr Dermot Poston responded by saying that the hotel was “supposed to be the iconic plan of the Peninsula”. He commented that “the very nature of a tower is that it’s overbearing”. He told Mr Sandilands, “I don’t follow what you’re saying. It doesn’t make sense to me at all”, labelling the project as “an absolute disaster”.

Council Leader Chris Roberts said he was “comfortable” with the designs. He commented that development in the area had already deviated from the Masterplan with the tapered profile of the Ravensbourne College and Mitre Passage buildings to the east of the O2.

The proposal was voted through by the Planning Board on a majority of 5 – 2.

Councillors Chris Roberts, Denise Hyland, Steve Offord, Ray Walker and Jaghir Sekhon voted in favour of the application. Councillors Dermot Poston and Geoff Brighty voted against.

http://www.greenwich.co.uk/news/0412...ng-permission/
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Old October 31st, 2010, 11:07 PM   #1972
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The new shopping centre at One New Change.

by international-one.

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Old November 1st, 2010, 07:55 PM   #1973
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Foreign buyers pushing up central London house prices


Famous residents: Gillian Anderson, Roman Abramovich, Arki Busson and Prince Jefri Bolkiah have all bought in London

Foreign buyers are pushing up house prices across central London, according to property experts.

The proportion of foreign buyers soared from 53 to 68 per cent between June last year and this June, research by agents Knight Frank has found.

At the top end of the market, the proportion is even higher. Research director Liam Bailey said: “The weakness of the pound ensures that effective discounts available to foreign buyers are still very significant. Surveys over the summer found that seven in 10 London homes priced at over £5 million are going to foreign investors.”

Agent Savills found British buyers being outnumbered by foreigners in Belgravia, Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Notting Hill and even Earl's Court.

Huntly Hooper, a Belgravia-based buying agency, says half its clients are international. Director Ollie Hooper said: “Middle Eastern buyers have always had a keen interest in London, but as the global economy grew in the late Nineties Russians and former USSR residents became dominant.

“More recently, the global economic crisis has produced a new type of buyer — the super-wealthy from China, India and Eastern Asia. Central London property is seen as a must-have for the world's wealthy, and national clusters are beginning to emerge.”

Flats are more popular than terraces and townhouses. Hugo Thistlethwayte of Prime Purchase, Savills's buying business, said: “The Russians used to prefer standalone properties, but the new top-end developments which have a concierge service and very high security are also popular.

“Although recently closely associated with Knightsbridge, Russians along with Uzbeks have brought Mayfair back as a residential address. Middle Eastern buyers prefer the north of Hyde Park, Bayswater and Kensington, while Far Eastern buyers are often looking to buy for investment purposes and prefer new developments”.
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/money/...ouse-prices.do
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Old November 4th, 2010, 05:18 PM   #1974
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Olympic Park to rival Silicon Valley in David Cameron's vision for east London


Work continues at the Olympic stadium in east London where David Cameron wants to create a hi-tech rival to Silicon Valley.

David Cameron will today set out a vision of London's East End becoming a hi-tech rival to Silicon Valley on the US west coast, disclosing Google, Facebook and a host of cutting-edge firms have committed to invest in the Olympic Park.

In a speech today, the prime minister will announce that he is introducing a new entrepreneurial visa as well as allowing more intra-company transfers – moves that will blow a hole in his plan for an immigration cap.

Cameron will also disclose that he will look at a potentially far-reaching change to intellectual property rights after Google told him UK laws are far more restrictive than the US.

The prime minister will say he is determined to create the right environment for the thriving start-ups already flourishing in London's Old Street and Shoreditch areas to grow into multimillion pound global businesses.

He will say: "Silicon Valley is the leading place in the world for hi-tech growth and innovation. But there's no reason why it has to be so predominant.

"Our ambition is to bring together the creativity and energy of Shoreditch and the incredible possibilities of the Olympic Park to help make east London one of the world's great technology centres."

Cameron's team, in a round of meetings with hi-tech firms and venture capitalists, has won support for his vision.

Google, Facebook, Intel and McKinsey & Co are among the companies that will commit to invest in the future of the area. Google had told him the company could not have been formed in the UK.

He will say: "The service they provide depends on taking a snapshot of all the content on the internet at any one time and they feel our copyright system is not as friendly to this sort of innovation as it is in the United States.

"Over there, they have what are called 'fair-use' provisions, which some people believe gives companies more breathing space to create new products and services."

In the two main commitments to east London, Google will create an Innovation Hub for its researchers to come together with developers and academics to create the next generation of applications and services. Facebook will create a permanent home for its Developer Garage programme, which brings together the most talented UK developers and entrepreneurs.

Cameron's decision on intra-company transfers will mean that employees of multinationals who move to work in British branches, potentially numbering in their thousands, will be exempt from the permanent immigration cap to be introduced in April. Out of the 36,490 skilled workers who came to Britain from outside Europe last year, 22,000 came on intra-company transfers. More than half of the ICT visas went to three Indian IT companies and the British IT industry has been pressing for them to be included in the cap. The largest single group of unemployed graduates is in IT.

The decision follows fierce lobbying by big employers including Nissan, Toyota and Honda who threatened to close UK plants if they cannot move staff freely.

The announcement is thought to be the result of a deal between the business secretary, Vince Cable, who wanted a more flexible cap, and the home secretary, Theresa May. UK Border Agency officials have been concerned that the route has been used, particularly by Indian IT companies, to undercut British graduate salaries.

Cameron was lobbied by the Indian government on the issue during his recent visit.

The decision means it will be harder for the government to get net migration – 196,000 last year – down to the "tens of thousands" promised by the next general election.

Home Office sources said the formula leaves the door open for a limit to be placed on intra-company transfers outside the formal immigration cap. One option is to limit the visas to 12 months – which would have blocked all but 6,000 of last year's arrivals. Another option is to require a minimum salary of £45,000 which would also curb numbers.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/no...valley-cameron

Quote:
I’ll turn the East End into the British Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is the leading place in the world for hi-tech growth and innovation; the place where companies head if they want to break the mould.

At the moment, there is nothing like it anywhere else. But something exciting is happening in east London — so exciting, in fact, that it means we could create another Silicon Valley. This isn't far fetched — all the elements are here too.

Already the area around Old Street and Shoreditch has more than one hundred technology companies, attracted to the cheaper rents, the great transport links and the cafés and galleries. Add to that the Olympic Park. Just a few Tube stops away, there's the potential for nearly one million square feet of flexible office and research space which our technology companies can expand into.

And then throw into the mix the fact that London has more outstanding universities than any other city in the world, plus a host of venture capital firms that are willing to invest, and east London has all the ingredients to become one of the world's leading technology centres.

Indeed, there's so much potential in the area that after many phone calls and dozens of meetings, we've helped to inspire a huge mobilisation of business and enterprise. Today, a who's who of some of the world's biggest companies and organisations — from Facebook to Google, Cisco to McKinsey, BT to Barclays, plus many, many more — are committing to invest in the long-term future of east London. These companies are putting up everything from free business advice to start-ups, to help with financing and the laying down of super-fast broadband cables.

Perhaps most exciting of all, Intel, Google and Facebook are all creating either research labs or innovation spaces in east London, where the latest technologies can come together with new entrepreneurial ideas to produce the businesses of the future. And Vodafone has committed to bring its global innovation fund to the capital, to hunt out cutting-edge British technology.

There's nothing that says Silicon Valley has to dominate the world of technology from now until the end of time. Other hubs can rise to challenge them. The question is where will they be? I believe if we recognise our strengths, have the confidence to really go for it and understand what it takes — London can be one of them.
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...icon-valley.do
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Old November 4th, 2010, 10:00 PM   #1975
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Boris cable car could be extended to Canary Wharf

The Mayor of London's proposed £25million cable car scheme across the Thames could be extended to Canary Wharf if it proves a hit with fare-paying passengers.

Mr Johnson unveiled plans for the crossing between The O2 and the Royal Docks in July, and is currently waiting to finalise funding with private investors. The Wharf has learned that should that project prove a success there are plans to extend the service to link The O2 with Canary Wharf.

Plans were mooted to build a cable car crossing between The O2 and Canary Wharf in 2005, but were shelved on the grounds of cost, but have now been revived. A source said: "The Mayor is very keen on the project and if the initial link proves a success he wants to build a second one between north Greenwich and Canary Wharf, which would undoubtedly be popular."

Planning applications for the first part of the crossing, which will rise 50metres above the river, were submitted to Newham and Greenwich Councils and the Thames Gateway Development Corporation last week. But one major stumbling block remains the finance for the scheme. The costs of the planning applications were jointly funded by Transport for London and the London Development Agency, but key sponsors are required if the project is to come to fruition.

A TfL spokeswoman said: "Work to secure funding is ongoing and we hope to be able to announce further details about third party funding in due course." Meanwhile, an official notice inviting bids to tender for building the link will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union later this month, with a detailed tendering process to follow early next year.

Mr Johnson hopes to have the new cable car operational before the 2012 Olympics.

These pictures - seen here for the first time - show the proposed designs for the stations in north Greenwich (above) and the Royal Docks (below). They were designed by architects Wilkinson Eyre.




http://www.wharf.co.uk/2010/11/boris...-be-exten.html
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Old November 5th, 2010, 10:02 PM   #1976
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Ocon starts on site at £3.4 million student scheme in London

The new development started on site in mid October and will complete by September 2011. Located on Fulham Palace Road, one of the main arterial routes into London, the scheme comprises 74 studio units on three floors and three retail units at ground floor level. Architects Pascal & Watson were appointed by Ocon to develop the design.

Comments managing director of Ocon, Andrew Barker: “Ocon has built its reputation as a university accommodation specialist and this latest contract win follows completion of three student living schemes over the past couple of months in Dundee, Exeter and Loughborough. We are also currently on site at major student living schemes in Sussex and Nottingham. Our expertise in handing over on time, within budget and with zero defects means that developers can trust us to deliver to the exacting programmes dictated by the academic calendar whilst providing the build-quality and service excellence that has made us a leader in the sector.”

The brownfield site for the scheme was previously occupied by a filling station but has been derelict for some time and remediation works have already been completed. The four storey scheme will be a steel frame at ground floor level with a timber frame construction for the remaining three storeys and masonry and render cladding across the building to remain in-keeping with surrounding properties. Ocon intend to use pre-fabricated bathroom pods to ensure quality, consistency and speed of construction.

Comments Rory Gleeson Director of BHE Property Developments Ltd: “Ocon’s track record in the student accommodation sector makes them the ideal contractor for this scheme and we look forward to seeing the development take shape. We already have pre lets in place for the retail units and a scheme of this calibre in this location is certain to be in demand with students.”
http://www.theconstructionindex.co.u...heme-in-london
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Old November 5th, 2010, 11:06 PM   #1977
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London 2012: Work begins on Anish Kapoor Orbit tower

Building work on a 115m-tall (377ft) spiralling tower in the Olympic Park, designed by artist Anish Kapoor, has begun.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit, costing £22m, will be located between the Olympic Stadium and and the Aquatics Centre.Visitors will be able to climb on the structure to get panoramic views across the Stratford site in east London.

The artwork incorporating the five Olympic rings in a lattice of steel is expected to be built by March 2012.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, Lakshmi Mittal, chairman of the steel company ArcelorMittal, artist Anish Kapoor and Andrew Altman, chief executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, attended the ceremony.

Anish Kapoor said: "I am delighted that construction work has started. "I would like to thank everyone who has shown their support for the project."

Mr Johnson said: "Recognised the world over, the Orbit will not only be an amazing piece of art, but it will draw visitors from every corner of the globe to East London."

The projected cost of the structure has gone up from £19.1m to £22.3m. ArcelorMittal will provide £19.2m, with the remaining £3.1m being funded by London Development Agency.

The Turner Prize-winning artist will work with structural designer Cecil Balmond of engineering firm Arup for the project.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-11693444
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Old November 6th, 2010, 05:33 PM   #1978
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King Street revamp cannot go ahead without tower blocks, says report

-- Link to Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle article --

Contentious plans to build two 14-storey tower blocks in Hammersmith cannot be scaled down without putting a town centre regeneration project at risk, a report claimed this week. Consultants Price Waterhouse Coopers issued the advice after being commissioned Hammersmith and Fulham Council, which hopes to convince critics to get behind its King Street scheme.

A planning application was submitted at the end of last week from King Street Developments, which won a council-run competition to redesign the area around Hammersmith Town Hall.

It wants to knock down the town hall extension and create a new public square in its place, flanked by new buildings containing new council offices shops and cafés, a supermarket and around 320 luxury flats. The Cineworld cinema would also be pulled down along with a row of terraced homes and a Quaker meeting house, and a new pedestrian footbridge would be created over the A4, linking King Street to Furnivall Gardens and the Thames.

Council leader Stephen Greenhalgh has written to resident groups urging them to get behind the plans and setting out the reasons why the town hall extension must be replaced.

He said: "If the scheme does progress, the council will not be spending one penny on the development. However, if the scheme does not go ahead there will be costs. This is because the town hall extension has come to the end of its life and needs to either be demolished or extensively refurbished. If the project does not go ahead taxpayers will need to spend around £18m to move council staff temporarily while the extension is brought up to standard."

The report by Price Waterhouse Coopers said the developer is using a 'reasonable approach' with projected returns which appear 'lower than those that we would typically expect for a project of this type'. It said: "Any reduction in the enabling elements of the scheme would worsen project viability and could potentially make it undeliverable."

Hundreds of residents who have come together to oppose the scheme under the Save Our Skyline (SOS) banner are this week waiting to pore over the planning documents once they are released to the public. Another SOS meeting will be called in early December encouraging people to send their written objections to the council, which will now have to launch a public consultation and act as an independent planning authority despite having commissioned the project.

Chairman John Jones said the group remains concerned about the size of the towers, the lack of any affordable housing, the nature of the footbridge, the loss of the cinema and the impact of a new supermarket on surrounding businesses and congestion, and estimates the land being handed over by the council is worth around £50m.

He said: "All the council is getting out of this is some more office accommodation that it doesn't need, which is not a very happy bargain for the rate payers of Hammersmith. The town hall extension needs refurbishing, but there's nothing wrong with it structurally. If they need more space they can extend it downwards into the void space below."

David Walters, of King Street Developments, said the development would ensure that Hammersmith Town Hall 'remains at the heart of the borough's civic life'. He said: "We are aware that there are people who have concerns about certain aspects of the plans, but we believe that this is the only way of unlocking this site to deliver a scheme which can benefit local residents and business for decades to come."
~~

Controversial King Street scheme goes in for planning

-- Link to www.building.co.uk article --




Helical Bar and Grainger have submitted a planning application for the extension of Hammersmith Town Hall and the development of 320 homes, shops, cafes and restaurants.

The controversial scheme, designed by Sheppard Robson Architects, will involve the demolition of the existing 1960s town hall extension on King Street and will see a pedestrian footbridge created across the A4, linking the development with the river Thames.

David Walters, of Helical and Grainger’s joint venture King Street Developments, said: “The regeneration will also ensure that Hammersmith Town Hall remains at the heart of the Borough’s civic life. We are aware that there are people who have concerns about certain aspects of the plans, but we believe that this is the only way of unlocking this site to deliver a scheme which can benefit local residents and business for decades to come, securing the future of King Street.”

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham will now hold its own statutory consultation exercise on the planning application before it is considered by the Council’s planning committee in 2011. The scheme has met with local opposition because of the inclusion of a 14-storey tower in the plans.
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Old November 6th, 2010, 06:07 PM   #1979
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Old November 6th, 2010, 06:16 PM   #1980
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