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Two more 1m sq ft warehouses for the UK

Europe’s largest developer Panatonni is planning to build a mega warehouses of more than 1m square feet in Avonmore. A couple of weeks after we heard about ‘Big K’ which was then the largest speculative warehouse ever, the Avonmouth development would surpass that and become the UK’s largest logistics site. The other site in Rugby will be built by developer Tritax Big Box in Symmetry Park with construction set to start later this year.

7,500 green homes at £2.1bn

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Weston Homes is starting construction on 20 new sites across London and the South-East to develop 7,500 new homes. The homes will be MMC (modern methods of manufacturing) manufactured offsite and assembled onsite by British Offsite. The development is eco-friendly focused with all homes featuring solar panels, EV charging points, low water usage, eco-friendly heating, high EU energy efficiency ratings & green rooves. There is no more natural gas.

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HS2 M-shaped tunnels

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HS2 have opted for green tunnel construction with m-shaped engineering rather than traditional box-shape which uses less concrete. This is the first time this shape tunnel has been used in the UK. 5,000 pieces are being pre-cut in Derbyshire and the difference is so light weight it halves carbon consumption. They will be covered in trees and shrubs to blend into the surrounding woodland once built.

The Northampton tunnel where the idea is being pioneered in the UK is 1.5 miles long. The idea was originally developed in France and developed by the JV main contractor consisting of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall. Construction will complete in 2025. HS2 trains will run on zero carbon electricity.

Smith+Nephew £80m new centre

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Pharma giant Smith + Nephew are planning to build a new research centre on a 23-acre site in Melton West. It has operated its wound management centre in Hull for more than 160 years. Hull was the birthplace of the pharma company. Politicians have voiced concern over loss of jobs in the move which is due to take place in 2024.

The global pharma company now has more than 16,000 employees globally and started as a pharmacy in Whitefriargate. At one point it was going to move to Malaysia and shut down the entire operation in Hull but the site at West Melton won.  

£150m to bid for in Community Ownership Fund

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£150m has recently become available as part of the Community Ownership Fund which invites community groups to save local amenities such as pubs and historic venues. Bury Football Stadium received £1m in the first round which went towards reviving the Gigg Lane Football Ground.

The fund’s goal is to support local communities to grow.  Community groups (trusts and voluntary groups) can bid for up to £250,000 matched funding to revive local at-risk amenities. View the prospectus and how to apply here.

30-year rail strategy report

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A new 30-year rail strategy has been published by new body Great British Railways as it seeks to take over the rail networks called the Whole Industry Strategic Plan. The report announces some a lot of rather obvious points such as ‘72% of respondents think passenger needs need to be better understood’ and the fact that the railways have social and economic value. It also highlights the march towards decarbonisation. You can read the report here.

HSE inspectors turn spotlight on site dust risks

Dust kills credit HSE

From this week The Health and Safety Executive will be focusing on dust throughout June 2022. It will specifically focus on respiratory risks and occupational lung disease. Many workers do not realise the risk of long term silicosis from exposure to dust and are often not protected against the dangers of this slow killer. Most of the time dust particles can’t be seen but exposure can lead to sever breathing difficulties and early death. More awareness actually occurred historically as training used to take place regarding the dangers of dust, but training nowadays often doesn’t take place. 12,000 workers die annually from lung diseases from past exposures.

More info here.