Week commencing 24 July 2017

In today's bulletin

• Government to overhaul leaseholds and ground rent
• Credit crunch still shaping UK housing market a decade on

• Crossrail 2: fair funding plan announced
• Government launches plan to give homes and businesses more control over their energy use

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Government to overhaul leaseholds and ground rent

‘Unfair’ leasehold charges which double every decade and make properties impossible to sell could be banned, Communities and Local Government
Secretary Sajid Javid announced on 25 July.

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Credit crunch still shaping UK housing market a decade on

While much of the UK’s housing market has recovered peak values, other sections continue to feel the reverberations of the crunch, according to research from Savills. Notable features include the continued reliance on “the bank of mum and dad”, the difficulty to get on and move up the housing
ladder and a focus on long term private rental. The report also highlighted regional variation in the recovery, with house prices in London far exceeding 2007 prices, while values in the north east remained nine per cent down on their pre-crunch prices.

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Regeneration will create the ‘town centre’ Thamesmead never had

A new £1 billion town centre development will rejuvenate the much-maligned area of Thamesmead in south-east London, which will soon boast 20,000
new homes, thousands of new jobs and a new rail line.

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Planning restrictions and demand for national park homes inflates prices

Restrictive planning regimes coupled with high demand is pushing average house prices in Britain’s national parks well above their regional averages, according to real estate firm Knight Frank. The South Downs, in Sussex, is the most expensive national park, with properties nearly double the price
of similar houses outside the park. The New Forest, the Peak District and the Lake District similarly saw highly inflated prices within the park boundaries.

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System to compare worldwide construction project costs launched

The International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS), a new system which allows comparisons of construction projects around the world, was launched on 25 July. The ICMS aims to make it easier for investors and
governments to assess whether projects are good value for money, in an effort to improve investor confidence and attract more private sector funding for public infrastructure projects.

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Transport

£255m fund for councils to tackle diesel vehicle emissions

On 26 July the Government announced its new £3 billion clean air strategy. Key features of the strategy include a ban on all new diesel and petrol
vehicles by 2040 and a new £255 million fund to help local authorities tackle emissions from diesel vehicles.

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Crossrail 2: fair funding plan announced

The Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling MP, and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, last week published a joint statement on
Crossrail 2, outlining plans to fund the project during construction. .

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Energy and environment

UK on track to reach 2020 renewable energy targets

The latest figures released by the Government, on 28 July, show that the UK generated 8.9 per cent of its entire energy consumption from renewable sources in 2016. This marks Britain’s latest step towards meeting the EU’s
Renewable Energy Directive target of 20 per cent renewable energy generation by 2020.

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UK to be established as world leader in battery technology

Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark MP, has announced the launch of the first phase of a £246 million Government investment into battery technology as part of the modern Industrial Strategy. It includes the
launch of a £45 million ‘Battery Institute’ competition to establish a centre for battery research aimed at making the technology more accessible and affordable.

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Government launches plan to give homes and businesses more control over their energy use

Another feature of the newly launched Industrial Strategy is the plan to bring smart energy technology into homes and businesses. The strategy aims to transform how homes and businesses store and use energy, with more flexible energy systems removing barriers to smart and battery technology.
The fully implemented plan could save the country up to £40 billion over the coming decades, according to research conducted on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy by Imperial College and the Carbon trust.

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Plastic bag usage down 83 per cent from 2015-16

The Campaign to Protect Rural England welcomed the Government’s recent announcement that plastic bag use across England has fallen 83 per cent
(totalling 9 billion individual bags) since the introduction of the 5p plastic bag charge 18 months ago.

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Government reviews planning system for future energy storage

A review of the planning system is to be carried out by the Government to allow the development of local energy storage facilities. The plan outlines
the need to prepare for new storage technologies and make the most of the opportunities they offer.

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