Tony’s taken up running. Again.

This vainglorious little page records my personal triumphs and disasters as I plod around the dark wet streets and over the windswept moors to try to get back into shape.

Sheffield to deliver more new homes

Sheffield to deliver more new homes

Sheffield like many other major cities has a growing population and a growing demand for new homes.

Around 2000 homes are needed in the city per year over the next 5 years for the young, older people, families and those who are vulnerable. These homes need to be either homes for sale or to rent.

The new homes delivery plan, launched this week, aims to meet these needs which will mean that people in Sheffield will live in good quality, affordable, safe and secure homes.

The plan will:

  • Maintain the current level of homes being built and improve the range on offer.
  • See the building of these 2,000 new homes, which will include over 725 new affordable homes per year for the next 5 years to meet housing need.
  • See the council working with the public and private sector to deliver the much needed homes.
  • Support the council’s intention to prioritise brownfield land to bring back into use land that has not been used for many years.
  • Bring existing empty housing back into use.

Building more homes will mean that it will be easier to free up and make the best use of the city’s existing stock. Many people are struggling to afford to live in a home that they can afford across all types and tenures of housing. The council will work with the private and public sector to address the significant shortfall in affordable homes for rent and the under-occupancy in many areas.

The plan can be downloaded from the SCC website.

Living With Buildings Exhibition

Living With Buildings Exhibition

4 October 2018 – 3 March 2019 at The Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE.

How does our built environment affect us? This major exhibition about health and architecture examines the positive and negative influence buildings have on our physical and mental health.

Architects, planners and designers can have a powerful influence on our health and self-esteem, as well as ideas around community and society.

We spend more time than ever within the structures of our cities, and more people than ever live in metropolitan areas. The recent tragedy at Grenfell Tower in west London, in which 72 people lost their lives, draws urgent attention to the connections between our homes and health, as well as to wider social and political priorities.

In this exhibition, examine some of the ways in which architecture and the built environment interact with concerns of health and wellbeing. From the slums of 19th-century London to the bold experiments of postwar urban planners to therapeutic spaces for people affected by cancer, look anew at the buildings that surround us and shape us.

The exhibition includes works by Andreas Gursky, Rachel Whiteread and Martha Rosler, buildings designed by Lubetkin, Goldfinger and Aalto, and a new commission by artist Giles Round exploring the role colour can play in making us feel better. You’ll also be able to see an innovative mobile clinic developed to provide effective, adaptable healthcare in emergency situations.

View the Wellcome Collection website for further information.

National Housing Summit 2018: Opening speech from Prime Minster Theresa May

The Prime Minister Theresa May has announced £2bn of new funding for housing associations to build homes. In an address to the National Housing Summit on 19 September 2018, she put social housing at the heart of the nation’s priorities – and housing associations at the heart of delivering them.

The funding will be available as far ahead as 2028/29, which the Prime Minister said would give housing associations the long-term certainty they need to plan ahead and secure more, and larger, sites for development.

National Housing Federation Chief Executive David Orr welcomed the £2bn of new funding, adding that “the really big news here is the Prime Minister’s long-term commitment to funding new affordable homes.”

Plan of Work update brings forward fire safety measures to earlier stages in design process after Grenfell Tower tragedy

Plan of Work update brings forward fire safety measures to earlier stages in design process after Grenfell Tower tragedy

Full article at Building Magazine

RIBA has floated an update of its Plan of Work process bible for architects, developers and the wider construction industry that incorporates the Hackitt Review’s recommendations to improve fire safety in tall buildings.

The institute supported many of the proposals in Dame Judith Hackitt’s post-Grenfell Tower tragedy review, published in May. But it pulled no punches over Hackitt’s decision to focus on the regulatory system and not suggest specific changes, such as banning desktop studies, insisting on the use of sprinklers in tall buildings and the introduction of secondary escape routes.

Now RIBA has mapped the Hackitt Review’s key recommendations against the Plan of Work to produce a clearly defined programme of fire safety actions for clients, designers and contractors at each of its seven stages.

In its Plan of Work for Fire Safety update, published for consultation today, RIBA proposes bringing forward consideration of design decisions related to Part B requirements of Building Regulations to Stage 2 (concept design) of the process to ensure that fire-safety design is complete and signed off prior to the start of construction. Architects will need to submit detailed drawings for full plans approval at Stage 4 (technical design) before work can start onsite.

Aberdeen Standard Investments buys £68.8M Covent Garden student accommodation

Aberdeen Standard Investments buys £68.8M Covent Garden student accommodation

The Standard Life Pooled Property Pension Fund has acquired Grosvenor House,  a student accommodation block on Covent Garden’s Drury Lane – from GH Partnership Limited for £68.8 million.

Savills acted for GH Partnership Limited. Bidwells has advised Standard Life Pooled Property Pension Fund

Grosvenor House is currently let to the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) until September 2027.

Comprising 46,627 sq ft over a basement, ground floor and six upper floors, Grosvenor House serves as accommodation for graduate students of the university.

Colin Summers, Partner, Capital Markets, Bidwells, said: “We were delighted to be involved in the acquisition of this ultra-prime student accommodation let to the London School of Economics. Located adjacent to Freemason’s Hall and a stone’s throw from the Royal Opera House, in our view, this is as prime as student gets.”

David Stewart, Fund Manager for Aberdeen Standard Investments, said: “The purchase of Grosvenor House is aligned with the fund’s strategy of increasing its exposure to alternatives through the acquisition of high-quality assets in prime locations with the potential for active asset management.”

Gaming pods and private cinema rooms – the demand for student luxury is rising: Yorkshire Post

Gaming pods and private cinema rooms – the demand for student luxury is rising: Yorkshire Post

Full story at the Yorkshire Post

Many people will remember opening the door of their student halls bedroom for the first time to be greeted with a narrow single bed, an MDF desk and a durable carpet.

There was nothing luxurious about student accommodation but over the last decade the scene has shifted and for many students, the days of sharing a bathroom with four others are long gone.

With fees over a three-year degree course approaching £30,000, it appears that students are no longer prepared to accept poor quality accommodation.

According to property agent GVA, the latest generation of student accommodation typically includes fast broadband and wi-fi, shared study areas, plus flexible communal facilities in a secure environment. However, there is also a growing appetite for the top of the market with buildings featuring fitness suites, gaming pods and even private cinema rooms.

Deluxe student accommodation is increasing in cities like Leeds, Sheffield and York, which attract thousands of international students to study there every year.

However, a quick search throws up some eye-watering options for 18-year-olds today. One of the most expensive in Leeds is a studio apartment at YPP’s new Oasis Residence on Cookridge Street, which will set you back nearly £300 per week – more than double the average student rent in Leeds of £141.

According to the 2018 Leeds Crane Survey, the introduction of luxury student accommodation “recognises the need to provide high quality accommodation with additional amenity space and services beyond the traditional private bed student accommodation cluster flats”.

Read more at:

SPH buys 14 UK student accommodation buildings for $321m

SPH buys 14 UK student accommodation buildings for $321m

Reported by Singapore Business Review

They have a total capacity of 3,426 beds.

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) acquired a portfolio of student accommodation buildings in the United Kingdom for $321m (£180.5m) from developer and operator Unite Group PLC, an announcement revealed. The transaction was carried out through its subsidiaries Straits One (Jersey), Straits Two (Jersey) Limited and Straits Three (Jersey).

The 14 Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) buildings are located across six towns and cities in established university towns including London, Birmingham, Bristol, Huddersfield, Plymouth, and Sheffield. With a total capacity of 3,436 beds for student accommodation, the properties include 10 freehold assets and 4 leasehold assets.

“The acquisitions will boost our real estate asset management portfolio, establish us as an overseas owner of PBSA in the U.K, and allow us to pursue other growth opportunities in this sector,” SPH CEO Ng Yat Chung said.

SPH noted that student accommodation in the UK stands at the national average of 2.8 students to each bed. With said data, they believe that it poses growth potential, with demand expected from both domestic and international students.

In May 2014 somebody went and entered me into the 2015 London Marathon, putting both reputation and knees at risk.

How long to Marathon day?