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A recent revival in detailed planning approvals on major new offices and large hotel/leisure schemes bodes well for future construction work pipelines across a series of cities and regions, particularly London, Manchester, and Yorkshire & Humberside.

Indeed, the latest Glenigan Construction Review shows that despite the mixed economic outlook, the value of detailed planning approvals across all sectors in July-September was up by 12% on the previous three months to stand 32% higher than a year ago.

Approvals for various major projects (worth over £100 million) were particularly healthy, rising by a third on the previous quarter to slightly more than double the level of a year earlier and averaging £7.8 billion per month.

Glenigan data shows solid improvements in planning approvals over the summer on retail work (up 20% in July-September on a year ago) and health (up 96% on a year ago).

Meanwhile, community and amenity approvals (up 37% on the previous three months) and education (up 21% on the previous three months) are also moving in a positive direction.

Green light for major London office projects

The green light for a series of major office projects in London has reinforced the construction work pipeline in the capital’s commercial sector.

Office approvals in the capital were worth £1,417 million in July-September, more than three times the value of the period a year earlier and accounting for 59% of approvals in the sector nationally.

Glenigan data suggests the momentum in the major London office sector is being maintained as the year-end approaches.

Major schemes set to get underway include a £200 million refurbishment of nearly 30,000 sq m of office space at 75 London Wall where the pre-qualification of contractors is due to start in November (Project ID: 23099305).

Meanwhile, demolition is underway for the Lansdowne House Redevelopment in Berkeley Square, a commercial scheme also valued at £200 million, where work is due to start next autumn (Project ID: 20144571).

North West and Yorkshire

The outlook for new office construction in the North West is also looking brighter after detailed planning approvals increased to £253 million in the three months to September, double the level of a year ago.

New commercial development around Manchester is one spur to activity in the region. Detailed plans have been granted and work is due to start early in the new year on 2 & 3 Angel Square (pictured), a major scheme in the city involving two mixed-use office developments with almost 57,000 sq m of new space (Project ID: 15304494).

An upturn in new office construction work is also in prospect in Yorkshire & Humberside. Detailed planning applications for offices in the region were worth £192 million in July-September, triple the level of a year ago.

Work on one major office project, a £61.5 million office scheme at 9 Wellington Place in Leeds, is due to start in November and run for 27 months (Project ID: 22026423).

Brighter times in hotel and leisure

The prospects for new contracts have also improved in the hotel & leisure sector, where the post-COVID revival in conference and business meetings activity has helped drive an upturn in planning approvals, particularly for major projects in the regions.

Detailed planning approvals across the sector were worth £2.3 billion in July-September, up 51% on the previous quarter and 44% on a year ago. Major hotel & leisure projects almost doubled to £1,137 million and were almost three times higher than a year ago.

Significant new hotel & leisure schemes in the North West, North East and Scotland have all been given the go-ahead recently. Planning approvals in the sector in the North West leapt ten-fold in the July-September quarter thanks to a green light for Manchester City’s £300 million Etihad North Stand development.

Other hotel and leisure schemes which should help keep contractors busy in the region include the £28.2 million conversion of The Williamson Hotel in Liverpool, where detailed plans have been submitted and work is set to start next summer (Project ID: 18417046).

Meanwhile, hotel & leisure planning approvals in the North East leapt almost five-fold to £326 million, thanks to a go-ahead for the £150 million Sage International Conference Centre in Gateshead (Project ID: 06021815).

Other projects in the pipeline in the region include an £18.5 million conversion/extension of Dakota Hotel St Ann’s Wharf in Newcastle where detailed plans have been granted and work is due to start next summer (Project ID: 23178997).

Construction activity in the sector is also set to pick up in Scotland, where hotel & leisure planning approvals doubled to £310 million in July-September, compared to a year ago.

One big scheme where detailed plans have been granted and work is set to start next spring is the £105.6 million Project Luna hotel development in Edinburgh’s Princes Street (Project ID: 20291183).

Glenigan customers can see details of all new office and hotel & leisure construction opportunities if covered by your subscription.

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