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porkie

East West rail, Bletchley to oxford line

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Yes, I probably should have said that all parties need to be good at s106.


When I worked in London, we built entire railway stations with s106 money, so it can be used effectively.

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1 hour ago, black and decker boy said:

Housing targets are set by a central government formula and its government policy to expand housing across England. Any councils which fail to do the assessment and then allocate land to meet it will be swamped by developers who will win every planning application at appeal.

 

Welcome to Central Bedfordshire, they made a monumental c*ock up of their local plan 4 years ago and still haven't ratified the updated one, the consequence of this is that small towns such as Potton have taken something like 500 houses with no extra infrastructure. The monies from this has been diverted to Biggleswade to improve what is there.

There is a train of thought that Central Beds haven't pursued their plan vigorously enough, as the onslaught of new developments means they've filled there quota already and they're not the 'bad boys' in the eyes of Joe Public, the developers are.

 

35 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

Section 106 is something of a minefield.

 

But then, there have often been cases where a Council (usually County as Highways Authority) fail to spend the money within the three year period, at which point the developer reclaims the money.

 

The S106 I had was 10 years.

 

We now have 'Community Infrastructure Levy'  (CIL)  This is a defined amount per bedroom with set amounts for things such as education. As usual with such agreements it hasn't been thought out, so while there is monies for health and education there is nothing for things like cemeteries.  This town is typical in that monies have been banked by CBC and sit there for years (CIL is a 10 year agreement) with it unlikely to be used as some services are fully funded but the town is forking out £250,000 on an extended cemetery so that we can bury the increased population. 

 

22 minutes ago, black and decker boy said:

the flip side of this coin is that every single new house has its price inflated to cover these costs. It does not flow out of a developers bank or goodwill, it’s just a cost they pass on. I’ve worked on bypass schemes that were funded to the tune of £30k per house. Everyone )except the house buying public) wins, higher price means more stamp duty, less government grants for infrastructure etc etc

 

This simply isn't true. The prices for houses is the market rate set by supply and demand. If the average 3 bed semi is £100,000 then that is what they'll sell for.  Some buyers are prepared to pay a premium for a new house but that is not usually sufficient to cover S106. 

S106 is just a cost factored in to the build cost and is usually retreived by  reducing the price paid for the land.

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Yep, the market sets the price, and if it swings against a developer during the build period their margins fall/disappear, which is why many developments stopped in their tracks in 2008/09.

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The market sets the price but that price includes all of the infrastructure. No house sold = no contributions 

 

Housebuilders won’t enter into onerous S106 & CIL provisions if the market price won’t support them. They don’t adjust their margins and land value can only be negotiated down so far.

 

As nearholmer says, when sales & prices drop, work stops.

 

its also a reason that Government are having to pre-fund some infrastructure (eg Housing Infrastructure Fund -HIF) as house builders since 2008 have been reluctant to take on big up front infrastructure costs given their profits come from that last 20% of houses built not the first 20%. Councils can opt to build new roads etc by either capital grant or loan and then receive repayment as each house sells.

 

i have delivered several new roads funded in this way, HIF Loan to council, loan repayment per house sold.

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15 minutes ago, black and decker boy said:

The market sets the price but that price includes all of the infrastructure. No house sold = no contributions 

 

I don't like argueing over a point but this simply isn't true.  

 

Take the town I live in, I have built many houses here and all have been sold at the 'Market rate' and this is determined by supply and demand. Any fees such as S106/CIL have a direct bearing on the value of the land not the end value.  I have also built similar houses in the locality and all have sold for varying amounts that relate to the existing housing stock.  You just cannot add to the price of a property because you want more money, as mortgage lenders will not accept a higher valuation than the average.

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I can't say much but It seems a decision from the Secretary of State is imminent on the prefered route from Bedford to Cambridge, the December election meant a delay in this decision. 

 

 

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Can we take it as read that the new route (well, mostly old) will be electrified from day one?

 

Or will it be the usual bodge with further cost later on to bring it up to standard?

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Whilst local television (BBC Look East) has been reporting on the Bedford - Cambridge route via Tempsford and Cambourne today, work has been progressing on Bletchley flyover. Most of the balustrades have now been removed with the exception of the sections over roads (Water Eaton Road and Buckingham Road).

 

The first two images show the removed sections behind the old Telephone Rentals building (now derelict), the car park of which has been turned into a further work compound. 

 

The third and final picture shows how the balustrades used to look. The view is looking towards Bletchley town centre with the former power signal box (now used by Network Rail) on the left above the sign.20200123_111617.jpg.7749dffc40ed7901f96dc1bde96f3bf2.jpg20200123_111647.jpg.9eb2994c9f35fd01162ceb6b490013b5.jpg20200123_111808.jpg.4819f4dff886c2980d72a8729ca5d7cc.jpg

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20 hours ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

Can we take it as read that the new route (well, mostly old) will be electrified from day one?

 

Or will it be the usual bodge with further cost later on to bring it up to standard?

Usual bodge

 

"We're getting it done to budget"

 

Usually means:

 

We got a quote from experienced engineers, but what do they know....we know better so ignored them & stated our own price & we'll jolly well get it done for that & award ourselves a big bonus.

We won't admit that it has no hope of opening on time & will cost twice the budget to fix the sub-standard work than what it would have done if we had listened to the engineers in the first place.

We'll then set up several separate projects for the repairs so we can spread the repair cost across these & nobody will ever be able to work out how much more it cost to put right all the bad work.

Edited by Pete the Elaner
Grammar error.
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8 hours ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

Can we take it as read that the new route (well, mostly old) will be electrified from day one?

 

Or will it be the usual bodge with further cost later on to bring it up to standard?

 

Electrification was de-scoped from EWR and platforms shortened to 4x23m when Grayling asked for savings.

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2 hours ago, 1E BoY said:

Whilst local television (BBC Look East) has been reporting on the Bedford - Cambridge route via Tempsford and Cambourne today, work has been progressing on Bletchley flyover. Most of the balustrades have now been removed with the exception of the sections over roads (Water Eaton Road and Buckingham Road).

 

The first two images show the removed sections behind the old Telephone Rentals building (now derelict), the car park of which has been turned into a further work compound. 

 

The third and final picture shows how the balustrades used to look. The view is looking towards Bletchley town centre with the former power signal box (now used by Network Rail) on the left above the sign.20200123_111617.jpg.7749dffc40ed7901f96dc1bde96f3bf2.jpg20200123_111647.jpg.9eb2994c9f35fd01162ceb6b490013b5.jpg20200123_111808.jpg.4819f4dff886c2980d72a8729ca5d7cc.jpg

Ah, the Telephone Rentals building. I started work in there. Happy days.

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11 hours ago, Edwin_m said:

 

It looks like EWR  were forced into releasing the statement early by individuals (cllrs) who started to tweet information shortly after leaving a meeting. There were supposed to be briefings at 08.15 and 7pm this evening (Thursday) before the press release went out.  

I forgot that for some local Councillors every year is an election year.

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8 hours ago, Christopher125 said:

 

Electrification was de-scoped from EWR and platforms shortened to 4x23m when Grayling asked for savings.

 

I might have guessed.

 

That might be a "saving" in the short term but will ultimately cost a great deal more.

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3 hours ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

 

That might be a "saving" in the short term but will ultimately cost a great deal more.

 

I described a typical project "bodge it up & smear the truth" 5-6 posts ago. :D

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4 hours ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

I might have guessed.

 

That might be a "saving" in the short term but will ultimately cost a great deal more.

How bad will depend on what kind of passive provision is made.

It'll be a real challenge to extend the platforms on the flyover at Bletchley, unless the design allows for it.

 

Electrifying a railway before it opens is much cheaper and quicker then adding it later, and it was clearly not going to happen on EWR once Didcot to Oxford was cancelled, but if the bridges are designed and built to not need modification when the time comes it should be reasonable to do so at least.

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Now that a certain Mr Grayling is no longer involved - electrification is much more likely. The intention is also to have dedicated platforms at Bedford so that the route is more independent from the Midland Main Line. 

 

It would be worth people contacting both the East West Rail Company (who are delivering the scheme) and the East West Rail Consortium (the Local Authority group that provide input) to ensure that the route is electrified and there are decent length platforms, goods loops etc built in the next stage of the project.

 

Nick 

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5 minutes ago, stivesnick said:

The intention is also to have dedicated platforms at Bedford so that the route is more independent from the Midland Main Line. 

 

I wonder how they're going to do that Nick,  the site of Bedford Midland is actually quite cramped now. 

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