Haymarket tunnels strengthening paves way for £200m development

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Contractors strengthening Edinburgh’s Haymarket railway tunnels in preparation for a major regeneration project above have released the first images of their underground works.

A team of up to 40 specialist contractors is working through the night over 14 months to carry out the job, avoiding disruption to rail services on one of Scotland’s busiest routes.

The site above the tunnels will be home to The Haymarket, a £200m development of …

Builder’s fine adds insult to injury

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A bodging builder who broke his back on a demolition job has now been fined for his safety failings that could have also put others in danger.

The message from the court could not be clearer: it was your own stupid fault.

William Batten, aged 66 and trading as Bill Batten Concrete Cutting & Demolition Service, was injured when he removed key timber supports at the corners of the roof …

McCarthy & Stone plans expansion

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McCarthy & Stone, Britain’s biggest builder of retirement housing, is opening a new office for north London and northern Home Counties in September.

It will be its first new regional office in 14 years.

The move is part of a planned investment of £300m in retirement housing in the region over next four years. It plans to build 1,800 new homes across approximately 70 new sites in north London, Buckinghamshire, …

Turnover up for Turner & Townsend

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Construction consultant Turner & Townsend saw its UK revenue grow by 11% to £148m for the year ended 30 April 2014.

Globally, gross revenue increased 12% to £357.4m, making it Turner & Townsend’s fourth successive year of growth. Group turnover has grown by 51% since 2011.

Pre-tax profit was up 12% to £33.3m.

Revenue net of subcontract costs was £322.2m, a 12% rise from the previous year’s £286.3m.

The UK …

Improvement across the boards for Travis Perkins

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Builders’ merchant group Travis Perkins saw an 11.5% growth in group revenues in the first six months of the year and nearly 20% rise in adjusted pre-tax profit.

In the six months to 30 June 2014 Travis Perkins made £2,730.5m in revenues (2013 H1: £2449.5m).

Profit before tax, exceptional items and amortisation of intangible assets was £162.5m (2013 H1: £136.1m).

Reported pre-tax profit was £153.7m, up 14% from £134.7m for …

Taylor Wimpey sees 60% profits growth

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The improving housing market continues to lift building companies, with Taylor Wimpey today reporting 18% first-half revenue growth and profits up by more than 60%.

Revenue for the six months to 30 June 2014 reached £1,190.1m (2013 H1: £1,007.1m).

Profit before tax and exceptional items was up 64% to £178.4m (2013 H1: £109.0m). Operating profit was up 45% to £192.1m.

Taylor Wimpey completed 5,766 homes during the period (up 11%), …

Garden leave

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In the future, we’ll all live in leafy, sustainable garden cities… or so some Edwardians believed. Today, that idea is being dusted off and taken out for another airing, to the delight of those in the construction industry. Will it take off this time? Mark Smulian reports

When George Osborne announces that 15,000 homes will be built, complete with supporting infrastructure, at Ebbsfleet in Kent – the nation’s first new …

Boris sets out £1.3 trillion construction plan for London

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Spending on London’s infrastructure needs to double to £38bn every single year for the next 35 years.

That’s according to a consultation document published yesterday by the mayor, Boris Johnson.

The London Infrastructure Plan 2050 provides a £1.3 trillion vision for the long-term infrastructure needs of London. It sets out how the capital will need 50,000 new homes, 600 new schools and colleges, a 20% increase in energy capacity, improved …

Talks over already as Balfour Beatty rebuffs Carillion

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Less than a week after revealing that it had welcomed Carillion’s approach for a merger, Balfour Beatty has walked away from the table and called it all off.

The dispute is over Parsons Brinckerhoff, which Balfour Beatty wants to sell and, it now transpires, Carillion would really rather like to keep.

Balfour Beatty said that it had been surprised by Carillion’s “wholly unexpected decision” to only proceed with a merger …

Construction tax fraud gang jailed

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A gang of 20 has been jailed for stealing more than £8m in a sophisticated tax fraud.

The 17 men and three women were arrested by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) officers during an investigation that revealed construction-related tax offences and money laundering over a two-year period.

Investigators uncovered a large and complex web of illegal activity involving more than 100 businesses. Subcontractors were employed off-record and the gang members …