Marijana No Comments

Garage sites considered for new homes across Solihull

Much-needed new homes could be built on sites in Solihull currently used for garage buildings.

Solihull Community Housing (SCH) is currently looking at the possible options for creating more affordable units in the borough.

Increasing the housing stock is often complicated by the fact that there are a limited number of sites where it would be possible to build new dwellings, particularly given the expense of buying land on the open market.

An initial survey of 304 garage sites in Solihull has now been carried out and seven have been earmarked for possible development. It is estimated that up to 40 units could be built on these parcels of land over a three year period.

A report set to be presented to councillors on Thursday argues that it makes the most sense financially to make use of those locations where the greatest number of properties could be built.

Although the document warns that it is important to bear in mind that some sites will be unsuitable for development, with more detailed feasibility studies set to be carried out.

“The caveat in respect of developing garage sites for new-build is that the sites can be problematic and can often ‘throw up’ issues with regard to planning services and underground conditions,” the report says.

Aside from its focus on garage sites, Solihull Council has already set the wheels in motion to develop the Meadow Centre, in Faulkner Road, and Green Acres Day Centre, in Wagon Lane. It is hoped that there will be room for up to 53 homes across the two locations.

The need to create more homes is made all the more pressing by the fact that properties continue to be sold to tenants under the ‘right-to-buy’ policy.

Every six months, the cabinet members responsible for managed growth and housing receive updates on the progress that has been made in trying to offset these losses.

Source: Coventry Telegraph

Marijana No Comments

New UK strategy to accelerate home-building with technology

The UK government has announced a new partnership with the construction industry which will accelerate home-building with technology.

The country is currently facing a housing shortage, and the government has already indicated its intention to deliver 1.5m additional homes by 2022. The newly announced partnership will accelerate home-building with technology, support clean growth in the construction sector, and pursue energy efficiency strategies to reduce the environmental impact of new buildings.

According to the UK government’s figures, almost half of the country’s economy is directly reliant on the built environment and its services, meaning that higher energy efficiency and better productivity in construction could deliver a big economic – as well as environmental – impact.

What will the partnership involve?

The deal aims to deliver a £420m (~€475.5m) investment in order to transform the ways in which construction is undertaken. This will include the improvement of digital building design technologies and the development of new approaches to manufacturing – in particular, offsite manufacturing, which could cut the time it takes to construct a new building by 50%.

As well as aiming to accelerate home-building with technology, the government will contribute to this effort by bolstering employment in the construction sector, through offering 25,000 construction apprenticeships by 2020. This will also involve a £34m investment in new and innovative training methods.

How will the transformation of construction affect homeowners?

The most immediate benefit to homeowners in the new strategy is its commitment to energy efficiency, which could help to save money on bills and in turn reduce the impact of these new homes on the environment. Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark the new partnership by explaining some of these benefits.

He said: “The construction industry is fundamental to growing our economy as we build to invest in our future. Major infrastructure projects… mean that we need a construction sector that can drive innovation, delivering homes and infrastructure quicker. As buildings account for around 30% of total emissions, we also want to ensure that we are at the global forefront in designing and building smart, energy efficient and affordable homes.”

Source: Government Europa

Marijana No Comments

£22 million investment in Shropshire revealed in boost to homes and jobs pledge

Shropshire is benefiting from a £21.9 million investment in the region thanks to the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.

The Marches LEP has promised to create thousands of new homes and jobs over the next 20 years, a pledge re-iterated at the launch of its annual report in Westminster.

It says it will also invest £7.7 million in the roll-out of superfast broadband to give 77,000 extra homes and businesses high speeds by the end of next year.

Projects in the pipeline include the Newport Innovation and Enterprise Package, bringing 1,070 houses and 954 jobs to the area and the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings.

It also helped lever in money for improvements to the A5/A483 junctions on the Oswestry bypass to help the town’s house building schemes.

MPs were at the launch of the annual report along with senior Government officials and leading civil servants.

Chairman of Marches LEP, Graham Wynn, said the partnership had driven economic growth across the region over the last 12 months and had ambitious plans to build on its success over the next year.

“We are pinpointing the key areas which will help the region sustain and develop growth and drawing up a new, Local Industrial Strategy to underpin this plan,” he said.

The partnership has already helped attract £285m of Government, European, public and private sector funding to Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

“In the past 12 months we have secured a fresh grown deal which will see £21.9 million invested in projects to boost the region’s skills,” Mr Wynn said.

“We want to ensure we create a culture of innovation and train our people in the skills needed to deliver on our promise to create thousands of new homes and jobs over the next 20 years.”

Marches LEP is calling on the government to support an integrated transport system. It is contributing £6 million to the Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Package, and supporting the Telford bus station scheme.

 “Transport connectivity is the ‘glue’ that binds our communities and the economy together,” Mr Wynn said.

North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson, one of those at the launch, said the partnership had gone to Westminster in force.

“I am pleased the plans include working with the Welsh Government to improve the A5/A483 corridor that crosses the Shropshire/Welsh border and to improve train services not only between Shropshire/Wales and the Midlands but also the Shropshire to London service.”

Source: Shropshire Star