Week commencing 9 October 2017

In today's bulletin

• Government announces £48bn investment in Britain’s railways
• Government to introduce price cap to try and tackle ‘rip-off’ energy prices

• UK strategy for clean growth
• UK housing market continues to slow

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Drop in repairs causes fall in construction output

The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Tuesday (10 October) have revealed a drop-in construction output. Output fell
by 0.8 per cent in the three months to August, which the report puts down to decreases in repair and maintenance.

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Put emphasis on design to accommodate London population rise

Transport for London’s director of property development has emphasised the importance of design standards in ensuring the capital flourishes while accommodating a growing population. During a speech at a New London
Architecture event on Tuesday (10 October), Lester Hampson said the industry has “an absolute responsibility to ensure that we create an outstanding architectural legacy”.

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UK housing market continues to slow

The housing market suffered a drop in both buyer demand and sales in September, according to the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey, as the market continues to slow. The report released by RICS stated that
the results are “symptomatic of a market lacking momentum at the national level” with London and the South East at the forefront of the decline

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Network Rail looks to unlock more land for homes

Network Rail has speeded up its land for homes programme, with the announcement of its first multi-site land package. The package contains two sites in Bermondsey, a residential and commercial space in Leyton,
as well as other sites in Greater London and the South East. Altogether the package has the capacity to deliver 300 homes alongside commercial space.

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Opportunistic investors look to UK hotels

Latest analysis from JLL, published on 11 October, reveals that hotel investment in the UK increased by 28 per cent in the year to August 2017. Opportunistic investors are cited as driving demand with 57 deals,
worth £1.7 billion, completed by the end of August. London saw the highest level of activity with Manchester expected to show significant growth by 2019.

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Transport

Government announces £48bn investment in Britain’s railways

On 12 October, Transport Secretary, Rt. Hon. Chris Grayling MP, unveiled the next round of rail funding, worth £48bn between 2019 and 2024. The focus
of this spend will be on maintenance and renewals, with the intention of increasing reliability and punctuality for rail users.

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Lord Adonis calls on Government to tackle infrastructure failings

The UK faces gridlock in the air and on its roads and railways unless the Government makes big strides with transport infrastructure, according to the National Infrastructure Commission, chaired by Lord Adonis. Unveiled on 13 October, a new report from the commission, Congestion, Capacity,
Carbon: Priorities for National Infrastructure, highlights the most pressing issue as increasing capacity at Heathrow Airport, and urges the Government to reach a firm decision.

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Energy and environment

Up to £557 million for Spring 2019 clean electricity auction

On 11 October, Energy Minister, Richard Harrington announced that up to £557 million of funding will be made available at the next clean electricity auction in spring 2019. By encouraging less established renewable
electricity projects to bid, the government hopes this auction will help drive down energy costs for consumers, while ensuring Britain’s commitment to a low carbon economy.

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UK strategy for clean growth

The government has set out its strategy for investing over £2.5 billion to support low carbon innovation. Published on 12 October, The Clean Growth Strategy: Leading the way to a low carbon future sets out how the UK intends to continue working towards cutting carbon emissions to combat
climate change, while also driving the country’s economic growth. Announcing the strategy, Business and Energy Secretary, Rt. Hon. Greg Clark, highlighted the importance of nuclear and low carbon innovation, as a key move towards a clean energy future.

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Government to introduce price cap to try and tackle ‘rip-off’ energy prices

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published its plan to give energy regulator Ofgem the power to cap the price of standard variable tariffs (SVTs) and other default tariffs that customers are moved onto at the end of a fixed-term deal.
The Draft Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariffs Cap) Bill is intended to tackle ‘rip-off’ energy prices and could help around 18 million energy consumers in Great Britain.

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National Grid expects to meet electricity demand this winter

National Grid has published its annual Winter Outlook Report, which highlights that it expects there to be sufficient energy to meet demand this winter. The forecast for surplus power margin – the excess supply of electricity – has increased to 10.3 per cent, a rise of 5.7 per cent from last winter.
This winter is the first delivery year for the Capacity Market (CM), which aims to guarantee electricity supply by providing a payment for reliable sources of capacity, alongside electricity revenues, to ensure electricity is available when required.

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