Week commencing 12 October 2015

In today's bulletin

• PM gives councils local plans deadline
• Major English cities suffer arrested development

• Network Rail taking immediate action on delivery and planning of rail enhancements
• Housing Bill will unlock door to more home ownership, says Housing Minister

Property, Planning and Regeneration

PM gives councils local plans deadline

On Monday 12 October, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he expects councils to deliver local plans for new homes by 2017, or the government will intervene to produce plans for them.

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House prices up 5.2 per cent in year, says ONS index

The Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) latest House Price Index (HPI) shows UK house prices up 5.2 per cent in the year to August 2015. This monthly index, published Tuesday 13 October, says figures remain unchanged from 5.2 per cent in the year to July 2015

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Planning shake up to tap into potential of unused buildings

On Tuesday 13 October, Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis announced new measures to speed up the process of converting underused office buildings into new housing.
The measures mean councils will be able to utilise underused or neglected buildings to provide thousands of new homes without encroaching on the Green Belt.

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Major English cities suffer arrested development

England’s biggest cities are taking over six months to determine major new planning applications, according to The British Property Federation. Developers and local authorities have identified a lack of resource within planning departments as the biggest obstacle in granting development permissions.

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Savills says solid final quarter for shopping centre market

Q4 set to be strong for the UK shopping centre investment market with total transaction volumes for 2015 set to match last year’s £6.4 billion total, predicts international real estate advisor, Savills.

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Housing Bill will unlock door to more home ownership, says Housing Minister

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has hailed the government’s new Housing and Planning Bill as marking the start of a ‘national crusade to transform generation rent into generation buy’ on 13 October.

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Transport

Partnership formed to make capital’s streets safer

A partnership between Transport for London (TfL), the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the Metropolitan Police Service and the City of London Police has been announced to improve safety for London’s road users.
The partnership is intended to build on the work of TfL including the Industrial HGV Task Force and Commercial Vehicle Units. The organisations will continue to tackle unsafe HGVs, and crack down on non-compliant and unsafe commercial vehicles, drivers and operators.

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Network Rail taking immediate action on delivery and planning of rail enhancements

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has concluded Network Rail is acting to improve planning and delivery of rail enhancements.
The confirmation comes after the regulator’s completed investigation into Network Rail’s delivery of a multi-billion pound programme to enhance Britain’s railways. The company committed to rolling out £13 billion of improvements during its current funding period to 2019.

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Energy and environment

We’ve taken steps to keep the lights on, says National Grid

In the latest report from the company, National Grid said it has taken appropriate steps to support the security of electricity supply and ‘keep the lights on’ this winter.
Its Winter Outlook report, published on Thursday 15 October, gives an insight into the balance of supply and demand for both the gas and electricity systems for the coming cold season.

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DECC launches Capacity Market consultation

On Thursday 15 October, the Department of Energy & Climate Change launched a public consultation on proposed changes to its Capacity Market mechanism.
The consultation invites stakeholders to comment on the future of the Capacity Market and feed back on how the UK can deliver higher levels of security in its electricity supply.

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