Week commencing 9 November 2015

In today's bulletin

• Radical prison overhaul announced
• Year-on-year house building surges

• Regional transport bodies to take central role in Northern Powerhouse
• Renewables make up nearly half of new energy generation

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Radical prison overhaul announced

Prison reform is be at the heart of the government’s crime and justice agenda after Chancellor George Osborne and Justice Secretary Michael Gove announced plans for nine new prisons.
The prisons will replace outdated, town centre Victorian prisons with the first five aiming to open by 2020.

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Year-on-year house building surges

The number of houses built annually in the England is up 25 per cent on last year according to figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government on Thursday.
This is the highest percentage increase in 28 years, with 170,690 new homes being built in 2014-2015. The figures also showed a five per cent increase in Right to Buy sales.

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London construction up but office space still scarce

Construction in central London is at its highest level since 2009, according to a survey released by Deloitte this week. However, the London Office Crane Survey still concluded that 2015 is set to
deliver the lowest number of office completions since 2009 – doing little to alleviate demand for office space in the capital.

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Strong growth in property lease market hints at returning tenant confidence

Research released by Morgan Stanley Capital International showed an increase in new property lease lengths to 7.2 years, matching levels last reached at the market peak in 2007.
There were further strong signs in lease renewal, with an above average 43 per cent of firms renewing at the end of contracts.

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UK house prices continue to rise amid increase in demand

UK house prices have risen for the third consecutive month, according to the UK Residential Survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
New buyer enquiries continue to rise while the rate of demand continues to outstrip supply, all contributing to the price rise.

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Transport

Public invited to suggest South Western rail improvements

Passengers, businesses and councils will get the chance to suggest improvements to the rail network in the south-west as part of a new consultation. Ahead of the new South Western franchise starting in
2017, the Department for Transport is looking for ways to shape the network which handles 14 per cent of all UK journeys. The consultation closes on 9 February 2016.

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Regional transport bodies to take central role in Northern Powerhouse

The government is to kick start its Northern Powerhouse programme by giving regional transport bodies statutory status. The Department for Transport hopes that the change, which would make
them permanent, will support long-term planning and allow the bodies more scope to advise ministers.

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Road spray to turn roads into weapon against emissions

Britain’s roads could play an active role in combating harmful emissions with the arrival of a road treatment that breaks down harmful diesel emissions. By turning nitrogen oxide into less harmful carbon dioxide and water vapour,
American company Pureti believe their product could make immediate impact on inner-city air quality. Putney High Street, a busy urban London street, is the frontrunner for testing.

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Energy and environment

Renewables make up nearly half of new energy generation

The latest report by the International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook 2015, shows that renewable energy installations accounted for nearly half of the world’s new power station generation capacity in 2014. Commenting on the report, Giles Dickson,
Chief Executive Officer of the European Wind Energy Association, said, “This is an incredible shift and shows how far the renewable and wind energy industry has advanced in recent years.”

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Over three quarters of public support renewables, finds DECC

Public support in the UK for renewable energy continues to grow, according to a survey by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
The department’s Public Attitudes Tracking Survey shows an increase in support for renewables to 76 per cent, up from 75 per cent in the last quarterly survey.

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Other News

UK economy soldiers on

In its latest report, unveiled on 9 November, the CBI reported that despite encouraging growth figures over the next two years, stagnant productivity growth and the state of the global economy remains a worry.

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