This week a reader has an idea to help Olympic firms get around the strict marketing rules, while others find fault with energy ratings for rented property and question Balfour Beatty’s recent UK restructure
It’s good to talk
It would appear that the Olympics’ No Marketing Rights Protocol stops companies talking about their involvement. Does it stop them talking about other companies’ involvements? If not, maybe all the affected companies should get together and talk about each other?
AG, Surrey, by email
FIT reductions distort the market
“FIT reduction too far, too fast, says industry” (5 April, page 12). There will be another boom in the lead up to the July 2012 cut-off point, we’re already seeing this. If the proposed rates in July are based on what happens in March and April as proposed by the consultation document, it will reflect a distortion, not a true indication of the market. That said, the market has
been distorted so much by this we may never truly know what “reality” looks like.
Melanie Starrs, via www.building.co.uk
Yet another scathing attack on Euston Station in the columns of Building (Wonders & Blunders, 30 March, page 24), this time by Patricia Moore as her blunder. She says it is “drab, dark, dingy and uninviting”. As a weekly user of Euston as my portal to and from London during my seven-year weekly commute, I recognise none of her adjectives. To me it was what I thought a big rail station should be and it compared well with the other great London termini. A light, airy uncluttered concourse built robustly, with an indicator board that told me instantly if my train was ready. Communication with the Underground and taxi ranks was good.
What was depressing was the claustrophobia inducing bare concrete platform ceilings, which the critics never mention. I hope a re-built Euston will not make the same mistake.
Malcolm Taylor, FRICS
“Balfour’s UK shake-up about ‘positioning for growth’” (5 April, page 16). So paying “redundancy” money etc now and having to pay hiring charges in the future to meet the demand of this alleged future growth, which the firm seems sure will happen, is a sound economic principle?!
Alan Drysdale, via www.building.co.uk
Mental rules for rentals
“Energy ratings: Rented property” (30 March, page 50) - the rules are sustainable in one sense but bonkers in another.
Take a builders merchant. Goods are kept in unheated space usually in a property with low rents and the business is low margin. A trader currently has two choices; work from an old building at rents as low as a couple of quid a foot or move to new/refurbished premises at up to £10 a foot.
In this scenario how can undertaking a major refurb be sustainable when the tenant did not need a space upgrade and consumes no heat? It would mean resources being consumed to refurbish a building that did not need it and with higher rents the company is likely to employ fewer people. Hardly sustainable ideology.
The government has to acknowledge that there are lots of firms out there just surviving and that are happy to trade out of cheap accommodation at low rents
A sense of business perspective is required by the people driving this change. The Federation of Small Businesses should be asked to comment.
The UK economy, especially the SMEs, will drive property rentals for old accommodation underground.
Patrick Murdock, via www.building.co.uk