Week commencing 29 February 2016

In today's bulletin

• NHS to build healthy housing
• Property sector confidence high for the next 12 months

• Government launches competition for heritage and community railways
• Energy security to benefit from market reforms

Property, Planning and Regeneration

NHS to build healthy housing

The NHS has announced ten housing developments it will work with on the Healthy New Towns scheme. The programme intends to improve the health
of communities and change how health and care services can be delivered.

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Two thirds of London’s brownfield sites already used

New analysis of London’s land by planning consultancy Quod for Shelter (When Brownfield Isn’t Enough, February 2016) argues that there is no single solution for the capital’s housing crisis. It identifies that two thirds
of the capital’s brownfield land is already used for housing and the majority of the rest for other essential infrastructure.

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Construction output hits 10-month low

According to the latest figures from the Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), residential building is now the worst performing sector within the construction industry
The new data shows the slowest rise in overall construction output since April last year.

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Property sector confidence high for the next 12 months

A survey of British Property Federation (BPF) members has shown a positive short-term outlook for the UK real estate sector. Eighty eight per cent of
members have expressed confidence in the sector for the coming year although long-term forecasts from members are less favourable.

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Transport

Government launches competition for heritage and community railways

On Tuesday 1 March, the Department for Transport launched a £1 million competition targeting community and heritage rail operators. The competition will award grants ranging from £25,000 to £75,000
for innovative ideas and trials, such as improved disability access, cycle facilities or ticketing offers. It is designed to encourage more visitors to travel around the UK by rail.

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Network Rail seeks investment in electrical infrastructure

Network Rail is assessing interest in its electrical power assets from potential global investors and electricity network operators. The move forms part of a
strategy to benchmark its competitiveness against the market and maximise commercial opportunities.

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Energy and environment

Energy security to benefit from market reforms

Energy Secretary Rt. Hon Amber Rudd MP has announced a series of reforms aimed at guaranteeing long-term energy security and tackling the legacy
of underinvestment.

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Investor confidence threatens new energy projects

Sudden cuts to UK renewables subsidies have spooked investors and could lead to higher energy bills, the Energy and Climate Change Committee has said. A new report from the Committee (Investor confidence in the UK
energy sector, 3 March) warns lenders demand a higher premium on future investments in clean energy.

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Government to offer shares in UK Green Investment Bank

Private investors have been asked to register their interest in the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) as the first stage in the sale of the public share
of the bank by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

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UK should get smart with power to save billions – National Infrastructure Commission

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has called for a ‘smart power revolution’ to save the UK billions each year. In its first report (Smart Power, 4 March), the NIC suggested that focusing on three innovations
– interconnection, storage and demand flexibility – could result in savings to consumers of £8 billion by 2030.

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Other News

Growth slowdown in services sector

The latest Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers Index (3 March), found UK services growth at its weakest for three years. Employment in the sector
also rose at its slowest pace for two-and-a-half years.

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