The Week That Was - 2 June 2023

Published on 02 June 2023

Welcome to The Week That Was, a round-up of key events in the construction sector over the last seven days.

Network Rail scraps plans for two new platforms at Manchester Piccadilly station

Network Rail has said that it has withdrawn its planning application for platforms 15 and 16 at Manchester Piccadilly after submitting its original proposal in 2014. 

The Department for Transport advised that "Network Rail confirmed that the withdrawn application did not represent good use of public money after passenger use in Manchester changed and did not solve the problems present today."

Instead, Network Rail is favouring a new approach which will see £72m of investment in rail upgrades across the region.  This includes a third platform at Salford Crescent station being built, with Manchester Victoria station also getting extra platform entry and exit points, and track improvement works across North Manchester to tackle delays and overcrowding.

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Hospitals with hazardous concrete to be rebuilt

The Office of Government Property warned last year that the use of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in public buildings was now "life-expired and liable to collapse", with safety concerns over RAAC having intensified in recent years.

RAAC is a lightweight concrete that was used in roof, floor, cladding and wall construction across the UK from the mid 1950s to the mid-1980s.  Five hospitals (Airedale in West Yorkshire, Queen Elizabeth King's Lynn in Norfolk, Hinchingbrooke in Cambridgeshire, Mid Cheshire Leighton in Cheshire and Frimley Park in Surrey) all contain significant amounts of RAAC.

No decision has been made as yet as to which firms will carry out the works under the Government's New Hospital Programme.  However, the first works are expected to begin in 2025. 

The Department of Health and Social Care has advised that the situation would be kept under review, with everything possible being done to accelerate the completion of the affected hospitals.

To read more, please click here.

CIC publishes second edition of low value disputes model adjudication procedure 

The Construction Industry Council (CIC) has published the second edition of its Low Value Disputes Model Adjudication Procedure. First launched in May 2020 aimed at disputes valued up to £50,000, the Low Value Disputes Model Adjudication Procedure welcomes its second edition. 

One of the key changes in the second edition is that the value of the disputes has increased to £100,000. For disputes exceeding this, the adjudicator may decide the Procedure is appropriate if the issues in dispute are relatively straightforward. 

To read more, please click here

New Government Solar Taskforce commissioned

The Government has commissioned a new Solar Taskforce that is considering a new solar panel strategy that involves installing solar panels on the rooftops of commercial buildings. It is hoped that this will assist the Government with achieving its target of increasing solar capacity to 70GW by 2035.

To read more, please click here.


Thank you to Nikita Austin, Zack Gould-Wilson and Liz Johnson for contributing to this week's edition.

Disclaimer: The information in this publication is for guidance purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  We attempt to ensure that the content is current as at the date of publication, but we do not guarantee that it remains up to date.  You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.

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