Week commencing 19 October 2015

In today's bulletin

• Billions lost each year through consumer anxiety over tradespeople
• Britain’s struggling housing market failing to compete with Europe

• Campaign launched to alert drivers to Britain’s deadliest countryside roads
• Hinkley Point C deal confirmed with CGN

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Billions lost each year through consumer anxiety over tradespeople

One in five consumers find reasons to delay required building or repair work to their properties due to concerns about using poor-quality tradesman, according to figures released by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
The research suggests that as a result the UK economy is missing out on more than £6 billion a year in lost consumer spending for home improvements.

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Britain’s struggling housing market failing to compete with Europe

According to a report by the Policy Network, Britain is trailing behind its European counterparts on housebuilding with the resultant shortage forcing house prices and rents to soar. The report found that high rents have also made the country’s
housing benefit bill far higher than other northern nations and almost ten times more than Germany. It suggests that this is in part because of a focus on investing in land and existing housing; which yields high profits and offers little incentive to invest in new development.

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TfL releases 300 acres of land for London housing

More than 300 acres of land will be released by Transport for London (TfL) to help create space for more than 10,000 new homes across London.
Sixty seven per cent of this land is situated in travel Zones 1 and 2 and will be used over the next decade for residential and commercial development around the capital.

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Industry report highlights growing burden of business rates

A new report issued by the Property Industry Alliance has shown business rates are becoming a growing burden on businesses compared to rent charged by UK landlords. The Property Data Report shows rental values,
on the whole, have increased at a much slower rate than other business costs over the last decade, much slower than business rates and the rate of retail price inflation (3.1 per cent).

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‘City in the East’ plan to create homes and jobs for thousands

On 22 October, the Mayor of London’s office released a new framework aimed at rejuvenating East London and providing more than 200,000 new homes. The ‘City in the East’ plan brings together a number of existing developments known as
‘Opportunity Areas’, brownfield sites which have been earmarked as having enough capacity for new homes and businesses. The plan is also expected to create over 250,000 jobs over the next 20 years.

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Transport

National Training Academy for Rail now open

Rail Minister, Claire Perry MP, opened Britain’s brand new National Training Academy for Rail on 20 October. The academy in Northampton, which cost £7 million to build, will train the next generation of highly skilled rail technicians, engineers and managers using the latest digital, 3D and virtual reality equipment – giving them the skills they need to work in the rail industry.

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Campaign launched to alert drivers to Britain’s deadliest countryside roads

A new THINK! Campaign has been launched to encourage the UK’s drivers to take more care on country roads. Figures published by the Department for Transport (DfT) on 22 October, revealed country roads are the deadliest in the UK, resulting in 1,040 deaths and 9,051 serious injuries last year.

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Energy and environment

Hinkley Point C deal confirmed with CGN

During last week’s Chinese State Visit, EDF and partner China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) committed to invest in Hinkley Point C, confirming the funding for the first new nuclear power station in the UK for a generation. EDF will take a 66.5 per cent stake in Hinkley with CGN taking 33.5 per cent.

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Low-carbon electricity is way forward for UK’s 2020s power sector

According to the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), a low-carbon electricity supply is the most cost-effective way to meet the need for more generation in the 2020s. A report from the Commission, Power sector scenarios for the fifth carbon budget, sets out a range of future options to reduce the UK’s emissions from electricity in 2030.

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Other News

Extension creates largest area of National Park land

A Environment Secretary, Elizabeth Truss MP, has announced the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District will be extended to create the largest area of almost continuous National Park land. The extension will see the Yorkshire Dales grow by nearly 24 per cent and the Lake District by three per cent, virtually joining the two spaces.

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