Planning boost for construction group

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Henry Boot says plans to develop a site at Thorne in Doncaster in partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland have taken a major step forward following a deal with Tesco.

The Sheffield-based construction group has exchanged contracts with the supermarket giant, which is acquiring part of the site for a 36,000 sq ft food store and says it is in detailed negotiations with a number of other potential occupiers about adjoining plots.

Boot says in its interim management statement that construction is due to start in the first half of next year.

The Banner Cross Hall-based group says trading conditions continue to be challenging but relatively stable and it is very busy bringing forward land, construction and development opportunities.

Boot says its land promotion business, Hallam Land, has been very successful in gaining planning permission and now has a record number of sites available for disposal.

The group adds that an agreement with Amey has led to a number of small contracts as part of the programme to repair Sheffield’s road network and could result in more opportunities opening up.

Activity levels at Boot’s Banner Plant subsidiary have slowly recovered after a relatively subdued start to the year.

Boot says the number of contracts and turnover achieved by the plant hire business is now in line with its expectations.

In the meantime, Banner Plant’s costs and capital expenditure continue to be tightly controlled while it waits for a sustained improvement in UK construction activity.

Independent accountancy company Shorts has moved to new premises in Chesterfield.

The company, which was founded in 1890, has moved to newly refurbished offices in Ashgate Road.