Revised plans in for Sheffield 960 co-living flats scheme

Designed by Staniforth Architects, the latest application for the site at the junction of Wellington Street and Rockingham Street has been down-sized because of rising construction costs from a previously approved 1,380 flats scheme that would have risen to 38 storeys.

The scaled-down 960-flats scheme will include a cinema and gym split across three connected blocks rising from 12 to 26 storeys.

The latest re-engineered plan for a smaller 36,560 m2 building comes after attempts to reduce affordable living and £1.5m CIL contributions were rejected.

Previously consented scheme, designed to have been Yorkshire’s tallest building, has been downsized due to rises in the cost of borrowing and construction

Since the first 2019 application, build costs have jumped 22% to £2,092 m2. This has taken the building cost of the revised project to around £76m, and the total project cost before finance to £97m.

Under the new

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Buyers report construction “stuck in the mud”

The bellwether S&P Global/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index was 48.8 in December, down from 50.4 in November and below the crucial 50 no change mark for the first time since last August.

Commercial construction was the only rising sector at 50.3 on the index while civil engineering and house building contracted at 46.8 and 48.0 respectively.

Sentiment among firms towards the year-ahead outlook for activity dipped into negative territory for only the sixth time on record, reflecting fears around the near-term economic outlook.

Dr John Glen, Chief Economist at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, said: “The construction sector was stuck in the mud in December with the steepest fall in activity since the beginning of the pandemic in May 2020 and a similarly fast drop in pipelines of new work.

“House building saw a notable change of direction, with a mix of higher inflation

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Sir James Wates to step down as Wates chairman

He will be succeeded by his cousin Tim Wates, who is currently deputy chairman.

Sir James said: “I have enjoyed my 10 years as chairman enormously, and the time is now right to pass the baton over to my cousin Tim.

“I look forward to continuing to serve on the board and being actively involved in the business, including representing Wates in external forums.”

Tim Wates said: “It is an honour to be named the next Chairman of our 125-year-old enterprise and continue our tradition of maintaining a long-term perspective and commitment to business as a force for good in society.”

Tim joined Wates in 1993 after starting his career in banking with Cazenove & Co, and has served on the board from 2006 to 2008 and since 2011.

He was appointed deputy chairman in October 2022 and has served as the lead family director on

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Tilbury Douglas poaches Ferrovial commercial chief

With more than 25 years of experience, most recently as commercial director at Ferrovial, Smith has extensive knowledge of the sector and industry.

Prior to Ferrovial Construction, Smith also held senior positions at other leading construction companies including Kier, Costain and Vinci.

Paul Gandy, CEO at Tilbury Douglas, said: “Martyn will be responsible for the development and implementation of the business’ commercial strategy, which supports the sustainable growth of Tilbury Douglas.”

Smith said: “I am very excited to be joining Tilbury Douglas at such an important stage of the company’s development, having become a standalone major contractor in 2022. I look forward to playing an active part in delivering growth for the business.”

Aaron Morby

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BAM Nuttall names new chief

He replaces Ian Parish who retired as senior director of BAM Nuttall at the end of 2022.

John Wilkinson, COO, BAM UK & Ireland, said: “Following a detailed recruitment process I am delighted to announce Huw Jones as the new executive director for the BAM Nuttall business.

“Huw has brought huge success to our rail division over the last decade and he brings a fresh approach and a real appetite to deliver for our stakeholders, as he takes up his new role leading our civil engineering business.”

Jones, a chartered civil engineer joined BAM in 2009 following previous roles with both contracting and client organisations in construction.

He initially joined as a project manager in the South West of England before moving on to various roles across the rail division.

Jones subsequently became the division director for rail in 2017 before being promoted to his current

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Plasterboard prices set for major New Year hike

The Enquirer understands that major manufacturers have been informing the industry of price rises of more than 15% in the New Year.

That is on top of a near 100% rise during 2022.

One concerned contractor said: “The excuse for the price rises this year has been soaring demand and raw material price rises.

“But that’s not the case any more.

“We were expecting prices to actually come down but have now been hit with this.”

Another construction director added: “You only have to look at raw materials prices to see that virtually everything bar gas is coming down in price while container shipping rates are at all time lows as supply chain pressures ease as demand slows across the economy.

“This has left me angry and bemused so now I’m looking at sourcing board from abroad.

“The big players dominate the UK market and this

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Balfour Beatty backs US mini nuclear reactors for UK

The US firm is presently working with Hyundai Engineering and Construction to advance projects using its SMR-160 pressurised water reactors in the UK, which generate 160MW.

Under the new agreement, Balfour Beatty will act as the main UK construction partner and collaborate with HDEC on the civil construction and installation of the mechanical, electrical and heating, ventilation and cooling systems.

The design is a smaller rival to Rolls Royce’s small pressurized water reactors. The British engineering giant is also aiming to build SMR power stations and has teamed up with a consortium including BAM Nuttall and Laing O’Rourke.

It aims to complete its first 490MW unit in the early 2030s and build up to 10 by 2035.

Now Holtec International is planning to start its UK regulatory acceptance process of its SMR-160 reactors in 2023. When granted, this could enable the start of the construction of the first UK unit

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Top Ten best read stories of 2022

The website will be updated with any major breaking stories during the holiday season with the full daily news service returning on January 3.

It has been another eventful 12 months and a busy news year for construction as the Enquirer keeps the industry up to date with what is really going on.

These were the best read stories during the year:

Our most popular stories in 2022

(Number of times they were read)

Demolition starts on half-built £48m Taylor Wimpey flats – (78,069 page views)

Barefoot builders found on Manchester housing site – (74,111 page views)

Cash-strapped Roadbridge stops work on HS2 – (63,225 page views)

Faults found on giant HS2 green tunnel segments – (49,280 page views)

Workers told to leave NRS Group sites – (45,852 page views)

University in £14m legal battle over brickwork with Laing O’Rourke – (45,603 page views)

Average site labour rates approach £1,000

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Mace seals its biggest London office refit for a decade

The £120m green refit of Goldman Sachs’ former European HQ on Fleet Street is getting underway for a mid-2024 finish.

Mace Interiors will remodel the 11-storey Peterborough Court building to create nearly 300,000 sq ft of Grade A workspace and ground floor retail.

The design strategy for the refurbishment of the iconic building has been driven by focusing on retention of fabric and structural elements, maximising lettable area and improving the energy efficiency of building operations to create a market leading offer for tenants.

It will feature transformed Fleet Street and Shoe Lane building entrances, a long gallery entrance with new glazing, and redesigned interiors aligned to the highest sustainability standards, health and wellness and dual-feed, 100% ‘All-Electric’ technology.

The focus on wellbeing will see the creation of outdoor spaces for office staff. (Picture courtesy of property agent JLL)

Stewart Ward, managing director of Mace Interiors, said the building would

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Developer and builder sentenced after wall collapse kills labourer

Jakub Fischer, a self-employed labourer, was hired as a subcontractor by North West Facilities Limited to work on a house refurbishment project for Thorndyke Developments Limited on Mansell Road, Liverpool.

The 41-year-old, who was originally from the Czech Republic, was tasked with demolishing a rear yard wall dividing the property from the neighbouring house on 5 June 2019.

That day, other workers on the job left the site at 3.30pm but when a neighbour returned home from work at around 5.40pm they saw Fischer trapped between an outer kitchen wall and a collapsed section of the yard wall. He was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency services.

An HSE investigation found the demolition work was not planned nor accounted for in the construction phase plan. No risk assessment or method statement was provided and Fischer was not trained to carry out safe demolition.

There was also a lack of

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