Here at Plastic Surgeon we are behind the Government’s attempt to boost the economy by allowing people, for a three-year period, to build larger extensions on their homes – up to eight metres long in the case of detached houses. While for shops and offices, planning laws will also be relaxed, as will the requirement to include affordable housing on new developments.
Working across the sectors as we do, any fresh impetus is good news, but new-build work has yet to recover to the same level we enjoyed in the boom years before the Credit Crunch. There is undoubtedly a housing shortage to be addressed, and our snagging service can help developers achieve those handovers on time and on budget.
Without a shadow of doubt, though, the predicted spike in the erection of relatively unregulated additions will involve its share of collateral damage. So while the new work is changing the appearance of our streetscapes – our Finishers may well also be called in to repair gouges in wooden or uPVC windows on Victorian terraces; or conceal the chunks someone has taken out of stone cills in an Edwardian villa, or repair the render on an art deco edifice. Whatever the challenge, our Finishers are up to the task.
Also in the papers at the same time as the Coalition’s plans for us to “Build our way out of recession” was another story of changes to our built environment.
Network Rail has announced it is replacing the remaining 800 Victorian signal boxes with 14 ‘route operating centres’ as part of an overhaul to the system. While, surprisingly the concrete box outside of Birmingham New Street Station is listed, most of the tall timber structures dating from the 1900s are not, though English heritage is to conduct a review into the situation.
And again our Finishers will be on standby to lend a hand if any of the old signal boxes are to be preserved: offering their skills in repairing timber cladding, scratched glass or even the patinated metalwork found across much of the interior.
At Plastic Surgeon we have been involved on our fair share of heritage work, even within art galleries and some of the country’s most famous museums. And using our expertise in matching paint colours the Finishers have actually been involved on saving the decorated facades of buildings such as a former cinema, in conservation areas.
Change is an inevitable part of life and, in particular development, but we can help clients to ensure that the finished appearance of any project is as sound and as attractive as possible.