Manor designed by creator of Buckingham Palace up for sale

Oswestry Surveyors – Aston Webb’s most famous work may be Buckingham Palace in London, England, but he also created other masterpieces, of which the Manor at Yeaton Peverey is one. A Grade II* listed masterpiece of the 19th century, with 6 acres, 12 bedrooms, a swimming pool, tennis court and wine cellar, this property is almost unique in its grandeur and is located just East of Oswestry, Shropshire. (Follow the link to a local Chartered Building Surveyor)

On the market for £2.9m, this truly is a surveyor’s dream.

Council Spends unbelievable £26,000……on coffee……in one year

Stoke on Trent Surveyors – In the latest in revelations over ridiculous council spending, Stoke on Trent council has recently been shown to have spent a startling £26,000 last year….on coffee and other hot beverages. Its 44 councillors consumed 10,800 drinks in the year and drinks were also bought for guests and visitors.

Broken down, that is £500 a week for a council tasked with achieving £35.6m of savings.

Brighton & Hove Council Awards Contract to Clear Up Traveller Sites

Brighton Building Surveyors – Tim Jordan Grounds Maintenance will provide collection, disposal, recycling and reuse of waste at unauthorised travellers sites in Brighton and Hove. The contract will run for three years with the option of an extension of up to one year subject to performance.

According to documents posted on the South East Business Portal website the total value of the contract is in the range of £350,000 to £500,000.

More information is available here.

Plymouth’s tallest building up for £35m refurbishment

Plymouth Surveyors – Plymouth’s tallest building is to be sold for a £35m revamp. The 15 storey civic building is located in the heart of the city and may be converted to flats or a hotel, or refurbished for council use.

Some Chartered Surveyors specialise in commercial, high rise buildings. Find such a surveyor here.

Four New Residential Construction Schemes Set For Manchester

Manchester Surveyors  – Four new residential construction schemes on the fringes of Manchester City Centre could be ‘shovel ready’ as soon as the end of this year, following up to £11m of Government funding through the ‘Get Britain Building Initiative’.

The developments could be a valuable stimulus to Manchester’s property market and wider economy, although some of the designs have not be met with overwhelming support.

Ashford to be One of the First Councils to Receive Section 106 help

Ashford Surveyors – It has recently been announced that Ashford Council will be one of the first to receive assistance from the Government’s new team of negotiators, tasked with mediating in stalled 106 negotiations. An estimated 1400 construction projects across the country have been moth-balled and this scheme hopes to get them up and running once again.

This could be a valuable stimulus to the economy and to the construction sector in particular. Read our newsletter this month for more information by signing up here.

China’s ‘white elephants’ litter the landscape

Property Surveying

Much has been made of the failed construction projects in Ireland and Spain that lie dormant for lack of funding of consumer interest, but the scale of those failures is nothing compared to the huge undertakings that have been left mothballed in China.

Whole theme parks, shopping centres, cities and even a town made to look like old England (cobbled streets and Tudor housing included, in the style of Ashford or Canterbury) are more reminiscent of the tumbleweed occupied ghost towns of the wild west than the thriving  hubs they were designed to be.

Read about the many projects that growth orientated China has consigned to the history books here.

Planning Changes to Navigate the Burden of 106 Arrangements

London Surveyors

Fears are mounting that the planning system will struggle to deliver affordable housing as the government this week proposed allowing developers to tear up planning agreements.

On Monday, the government published plans to make it easier for section 106 deals to be renegotiated to help restart stalled sites, and acknowledged that contributions to affordable housing would be the first casualty.

The Communities and Local Government department maintained that it would deliver more affordable homes in the long term and many market commentators are applauding the moves. Quite simply, any housing is better than no housing and affordable housing has to take a back seat for now in the interest of the wider economy. Of course, a simple economic argument would be that more houses would bring down prices across the board regardless, but opinion is split on the subject.

Read more on the subject here

Race starting for Portsmouth Student Tower Tender

Portsmouth Surveyors – A £30m plan for a student accomodation tower in the City of Portsmouth, previously put on hold, has now been restarted pending the university’s ability to find a new partner. Original developers Watkin Jones pulled out of the 300ft development, dubbed ‘The Blade’, over planning issues.

Read more here.