Week commencing 2 May 2017

In today's bulletin

• Small housebuilders’ output damaged by delays and rising costs
• RTPI makes recommendations for a prosperous society through planning

• BEIS committee warns Brexit could jeopardise UK nuclear industry
• Three quarters support renewables while just four in 10 favour nuclear

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Small housebuilders’ output damaged by delays and rising costs

Small companies are being discouraged from housebuilding because of delays and rising costs in the planning system, according to research published on 2 May by the National House Building Council’s (NHBC) research foundation. The NHBC’s report (Small house builders and
developers: current challenges to growth) shows that the output of small housebuilding companies continues to decline and accounted for only 12 per cent of market share in 2015 compared to 28 per cent in 2008.

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RTPI makes recommendations for a prosperous society through planning

Ahead of the general election, the Royal Town and Planning Institute has released its planning recommendations (Planning for a successful future)
to the prospective ruling parties, calling for the next government to create an inclusive, economically successful and resilient society through planning.

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Report argues against developing new garden towns and villages

A report by pressure group Smart Growth UK (Garden towns and villages: unwanted, unnecessary and unsustainable) published this month, argues that
the government should withdraw its support for what they see as low density, low sustainability garden towns and villages.

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Are smaller housebuilding companies key to a competitive housing market?

According to a Communities and Local Government Committee report (Capacity in the homebuilding industry) published on 28 April, housebuilding is over-reliant on a small number of large companies that are currently
dominating the sector. The report states that a successful housing market is one that’s competitive and diverse, with meaningful contributions from companies of different sizes.

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Civil engineering projects lift total construction output to new heights

The UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) published on 3 May by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply and IHS Markit, shows that civil engineering projects expanded at their fastest pace for 13 months.
At 53.1, up from 52.2 in March, the seasonally adjusted PMI showed that civil engineering helped total construction output make its sharpest upturn of 2017 so far.

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RICS predicts good news for UK construction’s workload

UK construction’s workload expectations continue to improve with a net balance of 27 per cent reporting increased workloads, an increase of 17 per
cent on Q4 2016, according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Construction and Infrastructure Market Survey, Q1 2017.

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Housing land in regional cities sees double digit growth

Residential land values in some of the UK’s largest regional cities are rising at nearly twice the rate of house prices, according to research published by Savills this month. Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester have seen land
values rise at 15 per cent, compared to house price growth of 6.3, eight and 9.4 per cent respectively.

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Energy and environment

BEIS committee warns Brexit could jeopardise UK nuclear industry

The Leaving the EU: negotiation priorities for energy and climate change policy report published on 2 May by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee warns the Government that any interval between the UK
leaving the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and entering into secure alternative arrangements would severely inhibit nuclear trade and research and threaten power supplies.

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Are Small Module Reactors key to the UK’s post-Brexit energy mix?

A new report published on 2 May by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) (Leaving the EU, the Euratom Treaty Part 2: A Framework for the Future) has called on political parties to plan for the future of nuclear power in
the UK post-Brexit. According to the report, the UK must focus on Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) to meet future energy demand, develop skills, improve local employment and build future export business.

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Government consults on illegal nitrogen dioxide emissions

Under a new government plan, clean air zones are to be implemented by local authorities where nitrogen dioxide emissions are above legal limits.
The government is now holding a consultation, which closes on 15 June, on a number of ways to reduce emissions and improve air quality.

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Three quarters support renewables while just four in 10 favour nuclear

An Energy and Climate Change Public Attitude Tracker (PAT) survey of 2,180 households, conducted by the Department for Business, Innovation and Industrial Strategy, found that 79 per cent of people support renewable
energy. The survey, which took place from 29 March to 2 April 2017, also found that four in 10 people are in favour of nuclear energy.

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Other News

Cost of living pushes London down quality of life table

Deutsche Bank Markets Research, Mapping the World’s Prices 2017, published on 3 May, ranked mega cities in a quality of life index, informed by factors such as cost of living, house prices, pollution and climate change
(among others); London placed 33 out of 47 and was also revealed as the fourth most expensive place to rent.

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