This weeks updates:

1. Care home operator fined following death of resident.

2. Action needed to cope with 'soaring demand' for homes – Thanks to Mark Montgomery, Hertfordshire for this.

3. English heritage Conservation Bulletin 71

4. Scrap Metal Dealers Responsibilities – Thanks to Paul King, Environment Agency for this.

5. Taylor Wimpey benefits from still healthy market - From Housebuilder News.

6. Barratt boosted by better market - From Housebuilder News.

7. Redrow and McStone make good progress - From Housebuilder News.

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1. Care home operator fined following death of resident
A healthcare firm has been fined for safety failings after a resident suffering from dementia fell to his death from a first floor window of an Essex nursing home. Kenneth Terrey, 74, of Buckhurst Hill, Essex, had been a resident at the Paternoster House Care House in Epping Forest for less than three months when he died on 9 March 2011. The owners of the nursing home, Barchester Healthcare Homes Limited, were sentenced (1st November) after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established that his death could have been prevented had a faulty window restrictor been checked and fixed.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard that Mr Terrey became a resident at the nursing home on 23 December 2011 and had a room within the dementia unit, known as “Memory Lane”. On 6 March 2011 he had tried on a couple of occasions to leave the unit, which was located on the first floor, before he was seen making his way back to his room. Minutes later a visitor outside the home noticed a first floor window was fully open. Mr Terrey was seen to climb out of the window, but as he did so he fell to the ground landing in some bushes. He died three days later as a result of his injuries.
The HSE investigation found that at the time of the incident, the window restrictor that should have prevented it from opening fully was not working. Guidance has been in place since 1989 stating that windows in facilities where there are vulnerable patients should be restricted to a maximum opening of just ten centimetres to prevent falls. Staff had also not been properly trained in how to carry out proper window safety checks and there was no window management safety system in place.

Barchester Healthcare Limited, of The Chambers, Chelsea Harbour, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £175,000 and ordered to pay costs of £22,961. Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Corinne Godfrey, said: “Working in a care home is a specialised job, which involves dealing with vulnerable people. Care homes must ensure that they have the correct training in place for all their employees, and that they work to adequately assess and eliminate all possible risks. “Falls from windows is a particularly important issue in the healthcare sector and every year vulnerable people are killed or severely injured in such incidents. “Any windows that are accessible to vulnerable people should be restrained so that they cannot be opened enough to allow people to fall out.”
More at: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2013/care-home-operator-fined-following-death-of-resident/?ebul=hsegen&cr=9/11-nov-13

2. Action needed to cope with 'soaring demand' for homes – Thanks to Mark Montgomery, Hertfordshire for this.
Chartered surveyors have called for urgent action to cope with "soaring demand" from house buyers. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), also indicated that not enough houses are coming on to the market. Rics said that "rocketing interest" from potential buyers was "dwarfing" the number of properties for sale. In the meantime, official figures out later are expected to show UK house prices hitting another record high. More at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24902895

3. English Heritage Conservation Bulletin 71
Included within is a link to, “The Changing Face of the High Street: Decline and revival”. Available to download at: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/publications/conservation-bulletin-71

4. Scrap Metal Dealers Responsibilities – Thanks to Paul King, Environment Agency for this.
Please see attached.

5. Taylor Wimpey benefits from still healthy market - From Housebuilder News.
Taylor Wimpey is the latest housebuilder to report that favourable market conditions have continued into the second half of the year, with the housebuilder seeing its sales rates in the second half push ahead of last year. During the period of July 1 to November 14 2013, the volume housebuilder’s average net private reservation rate rose to 0.65 sales per outlet per week from 0.57 over the equivalent period in 2012. The firm is fully sold for its targeted 2013 completions. Its current total order book is £1.5 billion in value (2012: £1.1 billion) equating to 7,557 homes against 6,662 in the week ending November 11 2012. Help to Buy has aided 2,403 of Taylor Wimpey’s reservations. It welcomed the mortgage guarantee element of the initiative, saying that this would have a “positive effect” on the wider housing market.

6. Barratt boosted by better market - From Housebuilder News.
Barratt’s private forward sales climbed 47% during the period from July 1 to November 10 2013 against the equivalent period last year, the volume housebuilder reported to the City (November 13). The company’s private forward sales totalled £1,127.4 million, equating to 4,514 plots. Its net private reservations per active site per week rose 31.5% against 2012 to reach 0.71. Barratt said that over the period it had seen a “significant” increase in sales rates across all six of its operating regions. The firm also said that more than 2,800 of its reservations had been made under the government’s Help to Buy equity loan scheme.

7. Redrow and McStone make good progress - From Housebuilder News.
Housebuilders Redrow and McCarthy & Stone are continuing to see good results as the housing market improves. Reporting on the first 19 weeks of its financial year commencing July 1, Redrow said that its reservations climbed 52% against the equivalent period last year to 1,400 homes, with Help to Buy reservations representing 35% of total private sales. Over the financial year to date, the average outlets from which Redrow has operated rose 13% to 94 against 2012. But Redrow’s chairman Steve Morgan said that this "could be better”, given the size of its landbank at just over 15,000 plots. “The regulatory burden involved in obtaining detailed planning permission and clearing conditions is the biggest constraint to the industry increasing production,” Morgan said.

Retirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone saw an 11% increase in apartment sales to 1,527 during the year to August 31 2013 against 2012. Its revenue grew 21% to £310.8 million. The firm’s ceo Mark Elliott said: “Our ongoing strategy to invest in greater numbers of development sites helped deliver a solid set of results and a significant step forward on 2012.”


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