Week commencing 22 May 2017

In today's bulletin

• New home starts up by a fifth
• Welsh recycling numbers double in a decade

• London continues to draw investors
• Rail freight cuts 64 million miles from lorry journeys

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Voters across political spectrum want more housing

Voters from across the political divide want new housing to be built in their area, according to research carried out by NatCen for the National Housing Federation. Results in the British Social Attitudes survey revealed
that more than two thirds of voters, from all major parties, wanted more housing, particularly if this is affordable. Less than 10 per cent said they wanted no new homes in their area.

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London continues to draw investors

£1.27 billion was invested in central London commercial property in the month of April alone, bringing total investment for the year to a record £5.89 billion, according to Savills.
That total is four per cent higher than the same point last year, with 3.4 billion of the transactions taking place in the City, up 13 per cent from last year.

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Report sets out key recommendations on housing for new Government

A report by the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) and the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) examining how national policy can support local authorities to deliver housing was published on 23 May. The report ‘Building homes, creating communities: Ensuring councils
provide innovative solutions to meeting housing need’ identifies the need for urgent action in seven principal areas and sets out 16 recommendations as the solution to meeting the UK’s housing crisis.

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April statistics show slowdown in property market

The UK Property Transaction Statistics signalled a slowdown of the property market last month in figures released on 23 May. The number of sales fell significantly and fewer people took out mortgages. According to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) the number of residential property transactions in
the UK decreased by 3.2 per cent from March to April, as did non-residential transactions which fell by 7.2 per cent in the same period, signifying an overall decline in demand.

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London should embrace housing density and revise light guidance

London must make better use of its land and develop at higher density to
meet its housing need according to a new report which also recommends revising planning guidance on light.

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New home starts up by a fifth

Official figures released by the government on Thursday show that
construction started on 43,170 new homes in the first quarter of the year, a year-on-year increase of 21 per cent.

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Transport

FTA calls for speedy infrastructure investment

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has told the main political parties further investment in road and rail infrastructure needs to be made quickly following the general election. The comments came after the Conservatives,
Labour and the Liberal Democrats committed to increase investment in these areas in their manifestos, promises which the FTA say the winning party needs to “take immediate steps to implement”.

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Rail freight cuts 64 million miles from lorry journeys

Figures released on 22 May have revealed that rail freight removed the need for 64 million miles of lorry journeys on UK roads last year, almost three times more than previously thought. The Campaign for Better Transport,
which released the figures, has argued that this confirms their belief that integrated road and rail planning is the best way to cut congestion, pollution and collisions on the roads.

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Energy and environment

Welsh recycling numbers double in a decade

The Welsh Government released figures on 25 May 2017 reporting an increase in how much households are recycling. Welsh Local Authorities recycled an average of 63 per cent of their waste in 2016, double the amount
it recycled a decade ago and four per cent more than the previous year’s figures.

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First ‘Global Recycling Day’ to be held in March

The President of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), Ranjit Baxi, has announced that the first Global Recycling Day will take place on March 18 2018. Mr Baxi believes that, alongside the world’s major natural resources,
water, air, coal, oil, natural gas and minerals, recyclables should be recognised as the seventh most important resource.

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