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NCE Live News Updates Wednesday 22 January: Social impact of skyscapers to be probed

In-depth study finds need for further work into effects of tall buildings on those who live and work in and around them.

5pm: Ringway has secured a council deal worth up to £200M.

The contractor was named as preferred bidder for Milton Keynes Council’s highways, street lighting and network term service contract.

The deal, worth in the region of £10M to £20m per annum, will see start this spring and run for seven years with a possible extension of three years.

Ringway will manage, maintain and improve highways-related assets and the authority’s street lighting stock as well as advising on a capital asset upgrade of the local network.


1.30pm: Campaigners have pledged to take their case against High Speed 2 to the European Commission and the United Nations.

The UK’s Supreme Court today followed its Appeal Court in rejecting claims from the HS2 Action Alliance over the £43bn rail link.

But the campaign body said it would lodge complaints about the decision with the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee and the European Commission.

It insists that the UK government should be made to comply with the Strategic Environment Assessment Directive when planning HS2.

HS2 Action Alliance director Hilary Wharf said: “We always knew this would be a long fight.

“We will continue to press the government to meet its environmental obligations. The government should be safeguarding our environment for future generations and the simple fact is HS2 is an unnecessary and hugely damaging project environmentally.”


1pm: Amey has scooped a local authority infrastructure deal that could be worth £1.6bn.

The contractor was announced as preferred bidder for Staffordshire County Council’s infrastructure+ contract.

It will manage and maintain the county’s highways infrastructure and could be given a wider range of work by the council and other local authorities in the region.

The deal, worth up to £80M per annum, will run for 10 years with the option of a further 10.

Amey chief executive Mel Ewell said: “We will place a strong focus on supporting and investing in the local community for many years to come, to promote prosperity and skills across the county.”


12pm: London-based architects Tonkin Liu and consulting engineers Arup have won a contest to design a pedestrian bridge over the River Irwell in the North-west.

The team won a contest for the bridge connecting the Irwell River Park with a £650M redevelopment of central Salford.

Salford City mayor Ian Stewart said: “The winner’s entry clearly stood out for its bold design. It could become an iconic centrepiece for the area.

“We will now be working with our partners to find the funding to create this stunning new bridge in the heart of Salford that will add to the city’s global reputation.”


11am: Legal attempts to block the building of the £43bn High Speed 2 scheme appear to have reached the end of the line.

The Supreme Court today unanimously dismissed claims against HS2 brought by a campaign group and some local authorities.

It comes after a Court of Appeal decision in favour of the government last summer.

Transport minister Baroness Kramer said: “We welcome that the Supreme Court has unanimously rejected the appeal, which addressed technical issues that had no bearing on the need for a new north-south railway. The government’s handling of the project has been fully vindicated by the highest court in the land.

“We will now continue to press ahead with the delivery of HS2.“


10.30am: Proposals to ensure the Walkie-Talkie tower in the City of London does not bounce intense light on to local streets will be submitted to the council in February.

Light reflecting from 20 Fenchurch Street was last summer blamed for damage to a car and disruption to local businesses.

Land Securities, which is jointly developing the tower with Canary Wharf, said in a statement this week that the building was almost two-thirds pre-let.

It added: “A planning application for the solution to the solar glare issue will be submitted next month.”


10am: Football’s governing body has given a Brazilian city less than a month to prove it can prepare its stadium for this summer’s World Cup, according to reports.

Reuters said FIFA had told officials in Curitiba they had until 18 February to get the Arena da Baixada refurbishment project on track to host four group games in June.

FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke is quoted as saying: “The current situation of the stadium is not something we really appreciate. The stadium is not only late, it is very, very late.

“If you don’t have a stadium you can’t have games. It is an emergency situation.”


9.15am: Researchers have identified the need to improve the impact of skyscrapers on communities.

A report put together by three trade bodies named social sustainability issues as a lead priority for further investigation.

Roadmap on the future needs of tall buildings was put together by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

It said: “A significant group of responders believe research to improve the social impact of tall buildings on both surrounding communities, and on those who live and work at height, is a significant research priority.”

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