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 Falkirk Council has agreed to the creation of up to 1,500 new houses (including 225 affordable homes), a brand new Primary School and community facilities. The project is known as Yours Whitecross has already won a Scottish Sustainable communities award from the Scottish Executive. A study of the proposed community carried out by consultants Roger Tym and Associates found that when complete the “employment generating space” within the development will provide around 2,200 jobs and add around £90 million to the economic output of the local economy.


 Global house prices increased by 1.8 per cent in the year to March, the lowest annual rate of growth recorded since Q4 2009, according to the latest Knight Frank Global Index. House prices in 25 of the 50 countries included in the index remained flat or saw negative growth in the first three months of 2011, compared to only 18 countries a year earlier. Asia remains the top-performing continent, recording 8.4 per cent growth over the last 12 months. The weakest region was North America which saw a fall of 0.4 per cent in values in the year to Q1 2011. While house prices in Europe were static in Q1, this represents an improvement on 12 months earlier when house prices on average had fallen 4.1 per cent in the preceding 12 months.


 Bellway has reported a strong spring selling season and growing consumer confidence. The UK’s fourth biggest housebuilder said uncertainties in the autumn period had diminished as a more normal reservation pattern returned. The company recorded a nine per cent increase in its sales rate in the 17 weeks to May 31, to 111 units per week, as the average selling price increased four per cent per cent to £182,000. It reported pre-tax profits of £24 million in the half year to January 31, up from £19 million a year earlier.


 A Surrey housebuilder has donated £20,000 for a new initiative which sees school children nominating their favourite charities. Ian Vincent, co-director of Vincent Homes, founded MTG Youth for Charity to raise awareness about the work charities do and how they can be better supported. The initiative asks participating school teams to research their chosen charity and provide reasons why they should be helped and what they would do with the money if they won.


Record entry expected at industry


sailing event Construction industry regatta The Little Britain Challenge Cup (LBCC) received a record number of entries on the first day of opening the on-line booking service, and housebuilders are being urged to get their entries in early to ensure their place in this year’s event – the LBCC’s 24th staging. David Smith, marketing manager of luxury housebuilder Octagon is in his second year as chairman of the LBCC organizing committee. He said: “The LBCC is more than just a jolly, as it continues to support a number of charities, which, more than ever, need help and support. Not least the GBR Paralympic Sailing Team. This is our last big chance to raise funds for these most magnificent of sailors to ensure they enter the 2012 Olympics in winning style. Already well into serious training on the Olympic waters ofWeymouth, these seven young individuals are determinedly gearing themselves towards victory, despite their varying degrees of disability,” said David Smith. “The LBCC money really does make a huge difference, as these sailors, all professionals and regatta champions, get nothing in the way of handouts from government or councils. This is the time that costs start to soar, as the team require more boats, which come hand in hand with higher maintenance bills. As well as actively overturing sponsors themselves, to help keep their boats in prime condition and in the water, they rely on the generosity of people like the contestants and guests who attend the Little Britain Challenge Cup.” The 2011 LBCC is taking place at Cowes, on the Isle ofWight, from September 8-11. For more information visit www.littlebritain.co.uk or call 01983 248140.


Chelsea Barracks redevelopment finally gets green light


The redevelopment ofthecontroversial Chelsea Barrackssite in London has been given outline planning consent twoyears after the Prince of Wales intervened over plans for the site. Westminster Council has given the green light toanoutline master plan forthe13-acre site which includes 448 houses and apartments, a sports centre, shops and ahealth centre. It will also include 123 affordable homes, with £78 million being contributed to the council’saffordable housing fund. The plans will now be referred to the Mayor of London before detailed designs are submitted.


The site was famously the subject of a public row between PrinceCharles and the scheme’s original architect Lord Rogers.In 2009 developer Qatari Diar Real Estate withdrew its planningapplication for the site after the Prince wrote to the prime minister of Qatar, saying that his “heart sank” when hesaw Rogers’ designs. Dixon Jones, Squire and Partners and Kim Wilkie are the architects behind the revised plans. Cllr Alastair Moss, chairman of Westminster Council’s planning and city development committee, said: “Chelsea Barracks is the most significant residential


development we have seen in Westminster in recent years. It is aworld class site, in a historic part of the capital and it is vital that its redevelopment helps improve the area. Weshouldbeproud ofthis scheme and the hugeamount of effort put into it by all parties. The masterplan has widespread support among local residents, community groups and businesses.” “It will also provide much needed new affordable housing on site and hundreds more affordable units across the city through the substantial contribution made to our affordable housing fund,”he added.


showhouse July 2011 | 09


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