Beautiful, Edible, Affordable
Now officially British Springtime, it’s the time of year many people refurbish their gardens ready for the sunny weather.
But with busy garden centres and tight budgets, it is becoming more and more popular to economise with beautiful and edible plants that can feed all your senses. In the rising era of organic food people are rethinking their ornamental ferns in favour of home-grown produce.
One example is asparagus plants which when harvested as young spears, can be cooked direct from the garden within hours and are supposedly superior to store bought asparagus.
For larger gardens with well drained soil, Jerusalem artichokes which grow beautiful sunflower style flowers can be roasted, steamed or mashed with butter and nutmeg for a gorgeous home-grown potato alternative.
To find out about growing you own edible garden landscape in Belfast, talk to the professionals at Affordable Driveways.
Driveways in Belfast
If you have difficulty visualising what your new driveway might look like in different materials, Marshalls have recently introduced a phone app that will allow you to take a picture of your drive and using the app display it with different materials from their range.
The beauty of this is that you can work with your driveway specialist so that they understand what you have in mind and can then make their recommendations, call today for a quote on your new Tarmac Driveway in Belfast.
New Driveways this spring
When planning a new driveway or patio it is important to commission an experienced and established company to undertake the work for you. Never agree to employ someone that knocks on your door offering a ‘special price’, it should send alarm bells ringing! With so many rogue traders ready to take advantage of others a little time asking friends and family for recommendations will pay dividends.
Look for a well established company that backs their work with a written guarantee and ask for references or to see some of their work; they will be more than happy to supply these for you.
Most reputable companies, like Affordable Driveways in Belfast will talk you through the various options available whether that is tarmac or Block Paving in Belfast and will manage the entire process from original idea through to the finished project.
Lafarge Tarmac plans to sell off former Eastgate Cement Works
Following the sale of Lafarge Tarmac to Ireland's CRH earlier this year, a former Lafarge Tarmac cement works in Weardale, which closed in 2002 with the loss of almost 200 jobs, is also up for auction. Since 2009, the land at the former Eastgate cement works has been earmarked for the construction of an eco-village. However plans for the site, which consists of homes, businesses and leisure facilities, came to a grinding halt due to lack of finance. Now Lafarge Tarmac have decided to sell the site, with the original planning permission secured by the company in 2009 remaining in place.
The potential development, which planned to use five forms of renewable energy to power the site, has not been welcomed with open arms by local residents, with many thinking that it's unlikely to ever get off the ground. Despite exploration of a geo-thermal water source early in the project stages, no further work or development has been carried out since. Currently the quarry area situated to the rear of Eastgate is the location of the ITV series Beowulf, and this is likely to remain the case for the next 5 years, even if the sale goes ahead.
Durham County Council have expressed their interest in working with the new owners, especially as they were part of the original consortium which put forward the plans for the eco-village, and have stated that any future potential development opportunities should be in line with the existing planning permission.
While here at Affordable Driveways, we would relish the opportunity to be involved in such a project, as one of the top providers of groundworks Belfast has available, our schedule currently keeps us busy in Northern Ireland. And of course, with Spring in the air, we're also busy with all kinds of domestic construction projects, including building some of the best driveways Belfast residents could add to the properties.
2014 Contractor Of The Year Winner
Contractor of the Year title has been awarded to Kier Construction for the third consecutive year. Kier's ‘Its Rochdale Interchange project’ was also named Regional Project of the Year for Lancashire, and Gary Wintersgill, MD of Kier Construction commented: "I am absolutely delighted to have won these three fantastic awards. The Contractor of the Year category recognises companies that exceed requirements, reduce cost, time and defects on projects and, importantly, continuously demonstrate performance improvement. Winning this award for the third consecutive year shows that we are constantly delivering and exceeding expectations. I'm very proud of our Rochdale Interchange team, who I know demonstrated the highest levels of technical achievement, innovation and best practice on the project, including integration with the project's stakeholders. And I'm delighted for Natasha; she has achieved exceptional accomplishments already and I'm confident she has a fantastic career ahead of her."
M62 technology improvements
The Highway Agency has announced it is to start major technology improvements along the M62 between Rothwell and Castleford in West Yorkshire, next month, the improvements are designed to improve safety for all drivers and will also relieve congestion and stimulate growth in the local economy. The work, which will cost in the region of £20million, involves installing electronic loops (known as MIDAS loops) in the carriageway to detect traffic speed and flows meaning it can set up warning messages to advise drivers of queues ahead. These messages will then be displayed on 13 verge-mounted electronic signs and tell motorists of advisory speed limits to ensure drivers adjust their speeds according to the traffic conditions. There will also be nine new CCTV cameras installed to allow the Highways Agency’s Regional Control Centre in Wakefield to monitor and manage any incidents as necessary; these cameras will not be used for speed enforcement.
Lafarge Tarmac swoops for £480m roads deal
Lafarge Tarmac has won a highways contract with Norfolk County Council worth up to £480 million over the next 10 years with an option for a two-year extension. Under the contract, which will start in April 2014, Lafarge will carry out all highway surfacing, bridge and structures maintenance, gully cleansing, grass cutting, patching, surface dressing, and integrated transport schemes across Norfolk. Lafarge Tarmac said its commitment to safety, quality and partnering helped to win the deal as well as the company’s existing infrastructure of operations within Norfolk which includes over 10 asphalt plants, railheads and quarries. This contract follows Lafarge Tarmac’s recent contract wins with Halton and Warrington Borough Councils, and Nottinghamshire County Council.Lafarge Tarmac Contracting managing director Paul Fleetham said: “We have a strong presence in the region, supporting local jobs and local industry, and we’re looking forward to partnering with the teams at Norfolk to deliver highways excellence for all of the county’s road users.”