Output drops off in August as house-building slows

Construction industry output fell in August 2014, with a marginal decline year-on-year but a more pronounced drop on the July 2014 figures.

It was the first year-on-year decline for since May 2013 after 15 months of growth.

August’s 3.9% decline on July, as estimated by the Office for National Statistics, was made worse by a revision to the July figure. Previous estimates had July’s growth as flat but it is …

Domestic sales still rising for construction products

Latest data from construction products suppliers provide a more upbeat picture of the health of the industry than the latest government figures.

The Office for National Statistics estimates that construction output in August 2014 was down by 3.9% on the previous month and by 0.3% on August 2013. However, the latest Construction Products Association (CPA) state of trade survey reports continued growth in UK sales of construction products in the …

Balfour calls on shareholders to support Parsons sale

Balfour Beatty shareholders will meet on 28th October to vote on the board’s proposal to sell its US engineering subsidiary, Parsons Brinkerhoff.

Last month Balfour Beatty’s board agreed to sell Parsons Brinkerhoff to the Canadian-owned consulting engineer WSP for £820m. (See previous report here.)

But the deal still requires shareholder approval to complete and given all the recent turmoil at Balfour Beatty – with successive profits warnings and …

Blockage removed for Wilton Park housing

A judicial review of the Ministry of Defence’s decision to sell a site in Buckinghamshire for house-building has been withdrawn.

The Wilton Park site in Beaconsfield, the former home of the MoD School of Languages, has been allocated for development in South Buckinghamshire District Council’s Local Plan for more than 300 new homes.

Wilton Park Developments Ltd (WPDL), a company controlled by funding partners of Inland Homes, purchased the site …

New owner for Bridon Ropes

Bridon, British producer of wire rope for bridges, cranes, elevators and mine shafts around the world, is changing ownership once again.

Turnaround specialist Melrose, which acquired Bridon as part of the FKI engineering conglomerate in 2008, has agreed to sell it to a Canadian pension fund – Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan – for £365m.

Bridon began life as British Ropes Ltd in 1924 and became Bridon in 1974 as a …

FMB elects new president

New national president of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is Dave Bentley from Sheffield.

Mr Bentley takes over from Jim Gilmour. Gary Lewis has been elected as the FMB’s new national vice-president.

The new president said: “It is an honour to be given the chance to help lead the FMB and I’m looking forward to meeting and representing FMB members across the UK. My theme during my two year …

Director picked for Poplar project

United House Developments has appointed Jeff Knowles as project director for its £300m regeneration of Chrisp Street in Poplar, east London.

He joins from Orbit Homes, where he set up the residential development arm of the business in 2008. Before this, he held senior positions at Wolsey Residential Finance, Barratt Developments and Berkeley Homes.

For United House Developments, Jeff Knowles will lead delivery of the new mixed use scheme, developed …

CRASH seeks your Christmas card cash

CRASH, the construction and property industry’s charity for homeless people, is calling on companies not to send Christmas cards but donate their budget instead.

This year alone the charity has helped more than 7,000 vulnerable people throughout the UK get back on their feet and build a future. 68 projects across the UK benefitted from CRASH’s provision of pro bono professional expertise, donated and discounted materials and cash grants totalling …

Skanska sets up wind farm business

Skanska has set up a joint venture, called Skylark, with green energy company Ecotricity to build wind farms in the UK.

Skylark has a target of putting 350MW of new green energy projects into the planning system in its first five years, which would represent a potential investment of £500m should the projects be consented. 350MW is enough to supply 200,000 homes.

Three development sites have already been identified for …

Breddon buys two asphalt plants

Breedon Aggregates’ acquisitions trail continues with the purchase of asphalt plants in Suffolk and Essex from Hope Construction Materials.

Breedon has bought an asphalt plant located in an Allen Newport sand and gravel quarry in Cavenham, near Bury St Edmunds, which has a capacity of approximately 200 tonnes per hour.

In Essex, it has bought an asphalt plant in Lafarge Tarmac’s Wivenhoe quarry near Colchester. It is rated at approximately …