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Local Chartered Building Surveying Practice “Linchpin Ltd, have been appointed to project manage the construction of a new £10M Retail Park and Booths Supermarket at Ringtail Retail Park, Burscough.

The 4.2ha (10.38 acre) site, (a former Royal Naval Air Station – HMS Ringtail), is being developed by Bentley Investment Incorporated, and funded by Investec Bank.

The 3,023 sq m (32,540 sq ft) store and associated infrastructure represents Phase One of the development with further retail units, offices and a possible petrol filling station planned as future phases.

Phase One also includes the construction of a new roundabout off the A59 Liverpool South Road.

The proposed Booths supermarket at Ringtail Retail Park

Ian Summersgill, Linchpin’s Managing Director said,

“We are delighted to have been awarded such a prestigious instruction, and look forward to working with Bentley Investment Incorporated, Barnfield Construction and Booths estate management team during the development of the design and construction of this store.”

“HMS Ringtail were based on the site during World War Two, and this is why the name has been given to the Retail Park.”

“Given the sites historic past, the store has been designed to resemble one of the historic aircraft hangers on the site but to a very high and energy efficient standard.
Indeed we are aiming to achieve a BREEAM Excellent standard for the building, together with Secured by Design Accreditation.”

Barnfield Construction Ltd have been appointed to build the store.

Tim Webber, Managing Director & Chairman of the Barnfield Group commented,   

“We’re delighted to have been awarded the contract to build out Phase one of what promises to be a prestigious retail park, and look forward to working with Linchpin again, as we have a history of delivering successful development projects with them throughout the North West Region.”

Graham Booth, Property Director for Booths said,

“We look forward to commencing phase one of developments to bring a vibrant and modern retail destination to Burscough. We will be working closely with the developers to ensure a food store of the highest quality is delivered.”

“Our ethos in designing stores is to complement the architecture and character of the surrounding landscape, and we’re very excited about giving this supermarket the look and feel of an aircraft hanger, which will suit the needs of a supermarket very well indeed.”

The development will employ “rainwater” harvesting and will incorporate best practice guidelines on sustainable drainage. The site will also include an additional area to the north provided as a wetland area for wildlife.

The store is expected to be complete and trading March 2015.

Few people would disagree that we need to do something to stimulate the economy, particularly in the construction industry.

And though battles are currently being fought to stimulate this sector, such as reducing the VAT payable on building projects to 5% (surely 5% of something is better than 20% of nothing), and removing business rates on empty properties, by far the greatest struggle now taking place in the British economy is the battle to stimulate the housebuilding industry.

House building has so often proved to be one of the first things to pull the UK and the construction industry out of recession, so in some respects we should be encouraged that the politicians recognize this and are actively looking for places and ways to build new housing stock. And the statistics clearly show there is a housing shortage.

It would appear however that our current career politicians have little clue about what's happening in the real world, and typically seem to want the easiest solution to this problem.

Recent headlines suggesting our Government want to cover somewhere between 2 and 3% of England's green fields with new houses - or, amounting to the same thing, expand our villages by a third - shows a would-be policy nothing short of ludicrous and a Government eager to choose the easy way out.

Talk of greenfield building is premature, at best. There is no shortage of derelict and empty buildings in the UK, while large numbers of units already allocated planning consents for residential development on brownfield sites have been mothballed due to the economic climate.

The real opportunity however for future housebuilding lies not so much there, but more in the declining retail sector, particularly the high street and its associated bricks and mortar.

The High Street we once knew, is, quite simply "past its sell-by date". The recent demises of HMV and Jessop's are, it now seems increasingly certain, the first of many more to follow.

Take out the coffee shops, mobile phone purveyors and charity outlets from your typical high street and, I think you'd agree, there wouldn't be many shops left.

Nobody is to blame for this - it's just changing times. We love convenience. We like to shop in the big supermarkets. We enjoy getting everything in Peter Kay's "big shop" or - and this is the killer - online.

HMV died (as a bricks-and-mortar shop at least) because we've become a nation of browsers - we go to see what we want, and then we buy it online.

So what has the demise of the traditional high street to do with the housing market? In planning terms it's referred to as "a change of use".

We've all driven through town centres that seem to go on for miles, with intermittent or run-down shops amongst the many boarded-up ones. By concentrating all the shops into a central core, could the peripheral or just portions of our typical unloved high streets and retail districts be converted to housing?

Could we come to see the many benefits of a wholesale change of use in our city centres?

Many of the shops were built in residential areas anyway.

The buildings were previously houses and could relatively easily be returned to their former use.

Residential buildings would attract more people into town centres and stimulate further activity - as already happens in many cities.

Greenfields and villages would be preserved.

They say change is good - so let's embrace it. Let's make the death of the old be an opportunity for the birth of the new. Because green pastures and our great villages are a key part of our heritage. And that's worth preserving, surely.


Harrogate's supermarket car parks

Written by Ian Summersgill on 02 November 2012.

Ian Summersgill of Chartered Building Surveyors – Linchpin Ltd takes a look at consumer habits such as the weekly bulk shop at your local supermarket are hard to change, and despite the governmen’s current initiative to promote walking, cycling and public transport, the car remains fundamental to the food retailers current business model.

The majority of us go to do our weekly shop in the family car, and the ability to park that car in the supermarket car park , access and egress easily, and load up the shopping is a basic expectation.

However, more and more cars are being damaged whilst parking, or left parked, in these car parks (notice all the disclaimer signs where the supermarkets accepts no responsibility for loss or damage), and you almost need to be a limbo dancer sometimes to physically get out of the car door.

No need to get steamed up about condensation

Written by Ian Summersgill on 25 October 2012.

Chartered Building Surveyors – Linchpin Ltd state that condensation has the greatest potential for misdiagnosis, and subsequent inappropriate and ineffective remedial work.

More significantly, condensation has the greatest potential impact on human health, so an understanding of what it is and how to resolve it is vital.

What is condensation?

All air contains varying amounts of water vapour. The warmer the air temperature, the greater the amount of water vapour the air can hold. Condensation occurs because the moisture in the air can no longer be held as a vapour and returns to its liquid form. This occurs when warm moist air comes into contact with either cooler air, or more importantly, a cooler surface.

After the floods - some practical advice

Written by Ian Summersgill on 25 October 2012.

Russell Crowe focusing on his next major film role as Noah, stated in the national press that “I am off to build a boat, will be gone some time. No sails, no engine, runs on faith…”

Ian Summersgill, Managing Director of Chartered Building Surveyors – Linchpin Ltd states that “given the recent torrential rain and local flooding problems, I’m sure many people would have loved the assurance of living in an ark, sleeping sound in the knowledge that their home and contents were safe and protected.

To survey or not to survey?

Written by Ian Summersgill on 09 October 2012.

Something struck me recently – why do some homebuyers feel that it's safe to buy a home without an independent survey, but understandably think it ridiculous to buy a car without an MOT?

Many people fall foul of this trap; because the house is so beautiful and couldn't possibly have an issue with damp (not a visible one, anyway). I have lost count of the number of times a couple's dream has turned into a financial nightmare – something that could be avoided if you know the right people to ask.

Carrying out a professional building survey with a reputable company can help alleviate potential pitfalls or hidden problems, saving thousands of pounds in the process.

Bat Facts

Written by Ian Summersgill on 09 October 2012.

Bats have been getting so much bad press recently that you might be forgiven for thinking that their numbers are on the increase. Sadly, this is not true – however you might be wishing it were if you are one of the many unfortunate homeowners who find themselves with an unwanted flying friend swooping down on you as you sleep.

Many people will be aware that bats and their roosts are protected by law, and as bats return to the same roosts every year, they are protected whether bats are present or not. It is illegal to kill, injure or take a wild bat, or intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to a bat roost. So what does this mean for homeowners?

Taking the pain out of Party Wall negotiations

Written by Ian Summersgill on 04 June 2012.

Chartered Building Surveyors – Linchpin Ltd were recently engaged to act as party wall surveyors for a small extension that required foundations to be built within 3m of the neighbour’s (adjoining owners) foundations.

We were asked if the building owner had an explicit right of access onto the adjoining owner’s property, to erect scaffolding, point brickwork etc. said Ian Summersgill, linchpin’s managing director.

Symptoms, sources and solutions – how to deal with dampness

Written by Ian Summersgill on 04 June 2012.

Chartered Building Surveyors - Linchpin Ltd, are often asked to undertake dampness surveys on properties to identify the “lead source” of moisture in order that we can recommend actions to terminate the source and remedy the dampness problem.

A survey can save you thousands

Written by Ian Summersgill on 04 June 2012.

Why do House buyers think it is okay to buy a home without an independent survey, but won’t buy a car without an MOT?

Finding out whether your prospective dream home is a potential financial nightmare, is strongly recommended and can save you thousands of pounds.

“No need to get steamed up about condensation” – An expert suggests

Written by Ian Summersgill on 18 May 2012.

Chartered Building Surveyors – Linchpin Ltd state that condensation has the greatest

Linchpin Ltd RicsIf you would like to know more about our services or to discuss whether we could help you with a particular matter please contact us by telephone on 0113 3884802, or by e mail on
Linchpin Ltd, West One, 114 Wellington Street, Leeds, LS1 1BA / The Old Rectory, Thornton in Craven, Skipton, BD23 3TN