IRA plans to Knockout power supply in England Homes

The IRA planned to knock out the power supply to the south east of England in the final years of its bombing campaign, a former insider has claimed.

Details are revealed in the final episode of the BBC series Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History.

Insiders describe a battle of wits between the IRA and British intelligence.

When the British Government refused to admit Sinn Féin to peace talks in the mid-1990s, Canary Wharf was bombed.

IRA-bomb

Two people were killed and damage was estimated at £150m in the attack in February 1996.

In June of the same year, the IRA exploded what was reported as the largest bomb to be planted in Great Britain since World War Two.

More than 200 people were injured in the blast in Manchester and significant damage to infrastructure caused.

The final programme in the landmark BBC series, presented by Darragh MacIntyre, includes first-hand accounts of the campaign in Britain after the IRA ceasefire was temporarily abandoned in 1996.

Source: BBC News

2019 UK Award winning House in the Garden

Located in the back garden of a 19th Century townhouse, House in a Garden replaces a dilapidated 1960s bungalow with a contemporary home that places attention to detail and manipulation of natural light at the heart of the scheme.

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Overshadowed by houses on three sides and a large plane tree within the garden, 3-D modelling techniques were used from the outset to test ideas and evolve the building’s architecture.

Upon arrival through a narrow entrance route to the side of the townhouse, you are immediately struck by the wonderous single storey pavilion-like structure that sits within the pocket garden. A series of light wells are discreetly integrated within the landscape setting to maximise natural light to the floors below.

The primary architectural feature comprises the sculptural copper roof made up of prefabricated glue laminated timbers exposed internally that appear to float above walls of full height glazing. Rising up within the centre of the living area, the complex double curvature of the tent-like structure concludes in a glazed OCUIUS that enables sunlight to track across the immaculate internal environment. Externally, the funnel-shaped copper roof is visible from adjoining properties providing a welcome addition to the neighbourhood while respecting surrounding apartment owners’ privacy and access to daylight.

From the ground floor living and dining space a suspended wooden staircase leads down to the bedrooms below. These spaces receive light from the two generous greenery-filled light wells that permeate through the two floors below ground. The lowest floor provides a 10m swimming pool and gallery-style sitting area for exercise and relaxation.

At every turn, the quality and refinement of the materials palette and deftness of detailing is apparent. From the extensive use of grooved panels of grey Carrara marble and Douglas fir timbers to the impeccable kitchen comprising copper cabinets and splash backs, these combine to give a strong sensual quality to the interiors.

In conclusion, the building offers a clever response to a unique set of circumstances, where natural light has been enthusiastically embraced to inform and direct the development of an accomplished piece of architecture.

Internal Area 253 m²

Contractor New Wave

Structural Engineer Built Engineers

Environmental / M&E Engineer Pearce and Associates

Landscape Architect Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

Quantity Surveyor / Cost Consultant Leslie Clark

Lighting Design Isometrix

 

 

 

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Source: RIBA London Award 2019

For property investment in the UK from start to finish, Please Contact me

Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

Residents in London approve regeneration plans

The Brent council in London Borough held a residents’ ballot in South Kilburn in autumn 2019 to make sure that the community continued to support the award-winning regeneration of the estate.

The result saw residents overwhelmingly back the council’s plans to rebuild the neighbourhood. 84% of residents voted Yes in the ballot, with 72% of residents taking part in the vote.

The South Kilburn regeneration is a 15 year programme that is almost half way through. It aims to transform the area into a sustainable and mixed neighbourhood and create a real sense of place and belonging.

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The Masterplan aims to deliver the following:

  • 2,400 new high quality homes of which around 1,400 will be made available to existing South Kilburn existing secure tenants
  • A new larger high quality urban park and improved public realm
  • A new primary school and health facilities
  • New retail facilities
  • Improved environmental standards and a site-wide energy solution

It means 17 housing blocks will be knocked down and rebuilt.

SK Brent

Councillor Shama Tatler said: “It is only right that local people had the final say on the future of their neighbourhood.“

All current tenants are guaranteed a home on the rebuilt estate, while leaseholders can choose to leave the estate with a market value payment for their home or stay with a share of the equity in one of the new homes.

Those living in temporary accommodation will be entitled to a secure tenancy in a new home on the estate when one becomes available the council said.

Source: Brent Council

For property investment in the UK from start to finish, Please Contact me

Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

Grand Designs Presenter’s Property firms faces liquidation

Investors who put money into two businesses started by Grand Designs star Kevin McCloud face the prospect of losing almost their entire investment.

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HAB Land Finance, named after Mr McCloud’s Happiness Architecture Beauty brand, raised £2.4m from 280 people.

But investors could be almost wiped out after the company and its owner, HAB Land – which was set up to buy sites for housing estates in Oxford and Winchester – called in liquidators.

Mr McCloud had advertised 8% returns.

However, according to KPMG, which has been appointed to liquidate the two companies, the firms were hurt by a period of “difficult trading”.

In 2017, Mr McCloud had told potential investors his company was delivering “triple bottom line returns with progress on energy positivity”.

Those potential investors were pitched so-called “mini-bonds” with 8% returns to crowdfund the projects in Oxford and Winchester.

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Almost 300 people put their money in to lend HAB Land Finance £2.4m to build the estates.

But they have not seen a return on that investment.

In August, the firm wrote to bondholders to inform them that they could lose up to 97% of their investment.

A letter, published by the Guardian, said: “After final completion of the projects at both Kings Worthy and Cumnor Hill [in Oxford], the net return available to bondholders would be expected to range from £606,000 (best case) to £69,000 (worse case) which, in each case, is equivalent to 26 pence and 3 pence for every £1 of bond monies invested.”

Mr McCloud resigned from both firms in March last year.

Since then directors of HAB Land have reviewed the firm’s finances and reached the conclusion that “they may not be in a position to repay” bondholders, according to KPMG.

It said the directors wrote to the bondholders “putting forward proposals in order to repay them” but those plans were rejected.

As a result, the firm’s board decided to put the company into liquidation.

In a statement, one of the liquidators James Bennett said: “The directors have reported that higher than anticipated design and project management costs, coupled with delays to the delivery of the sites, resulted in the companies experiencing significant liquidity issues.”

He said the directors decided to liquidate the firm after they were unable to raise further finance or renegotiate existing debts.

Source: BBC News

For property investment in the UK from start to finish, Please Contact me

Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk