Week commencing 4 June 2018

In today's bulletin

• Heathrow expansion proposal signed off by Cabinet

• Wylfa Newydd gets boost from Business Sec

• New regulations to increase penalties for emissions cheats

• Councils receive new powers to deliver homes for communities

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Councils receive new powers to deliver homes for communities

On Monday (4 June) the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government announced that councils will be awarded new powers to help deliver the homes their communities need.
Under the new rules councils will be able to establish New Town Development Corporations, following approval from the government, which will be responsible for delivering new towns and garden communities.

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Urgent review of CVA’s needed, says British Property Federation

A recent increase in Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVA) has led to calls from the British Property Federation (BPF) for an urgent government review into their use.
The BPF believes the process is being misused and could even deter investment into town and city centres, in addition to undermining the UK’s global reputation.

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Price increase could mean four million fewer homes qualify for stamp duty relief

Up to four million homes in England could no longer qualify for first time buyer stamp duty relief by 2028 thanks to rising property prices, according to new research by L&C Mortgages. In the 2017 Autumn Budget the government announced that first time buyers would not have to pay stamp duty on the first £300,000 of any home costing up to £500,000.
However, if property prices continue to rise at the rate they have in recent years, the number of houses qualifying for this exemption will dramatically fall over the next decade.

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May see’s soft growth for UK house prices

The Halifax House Price Index issued on Thursday (7 June) showed house prices up by 1.5 per cent in May, partially reversing the 3.1 per cent decline in April.
Quarterly prices showed a small increase, up 0.2 per cent compared to the previous three months (December – February).

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Mayor of London sets out billion-pound vision for Olympic Park

Sadiq Khan, has set out his £1.1 billion plans for East Bank at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, to create a new powerhouse of culture, education, innovation and growth.
The Mayor unveiled the building designs and plans for Sadler’s Wells, London College of Fashion (part of University of the Arts London) and the V&A, he also welcomed a £151 million contribution secured by the government for the development.

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Home of the future

A new report commissioned by the National Housebuilding Council (NHBC) Foundation, Futurology: the new home in 2050, predicts that homes will tap into neighbourhood energy systems, feature flexible layouts and use improved technology to make automatic decision about heating, security and even postal deliveries.
They also predict radical changes in building designs, inspired by climate change and population shifts.

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Heathrow expansion proposal signed off by Cabinet

The proposed Airports National Policy Statement (NPS), which supports a new north-west runway at Heathrow Airport, was set out by ministers on Tuesday (5 June).
Parliamentary debate on the proposals will take place over the coming weeks and will be followed by a vote on the NPS.

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New regulations to increase penalties for emissions cheats

Carmakers seeking to cheat emissions tests in the UK could face fines of up to £50,000 per vehicle under new regulations proposed by the government on Thursday (7 June).
The announcement follows a government consultation on the issue, which the Department for Transport says produced “overwhelming” support for further measures.

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Rail freight continues to decline, but at a slower pace

The amount of freight moved by rail in 2017-18 fell by 1.7 per cent from the previous year, with coal suffering the largest fall at 12.7 per cent, according to Office of Road and Rail figures released on Thursday (7 June).
The total amount of freight moved by rail is now at 17 billion net tonne kilometres.

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Funding made available to develop self-parking cars

Business Minister Richard Harrington announced on Tuesday (5 June) that £30 million of funding will be made available to help the development of self-parking cars
Firms will be invited to bid for the money as part of two new funding competitions, which will also create the first two permanent self-driving test sites in the UK.

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Energy and environment

Wylfa Newydd gets boost from Business Sec

Wylfa Newydd, the new nuclear power station planned in North Wales received a boost on Monday (4 June) as the business and energy secretary, Greg Clark, announced the government has entered negotiations with Hitachi – the parent company of developer Horizon Nuclear Power – over funding for the project.
The government has said the talks will focus on achieving lower cost electricity for consumers.

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New report launched into stopping waste going to landfill

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has launched it’s latest report into the contribution that energy from waste (EfW) makes to UK Economy.
It also sets out how it could prevent up to 60 million tonnes of waste going to landfill over the next 10 years, while producing enough energy to power all the homes in Birmingham.

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Embracing low carbon power could boost British industry

A report released by the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) and RenewableUK (6 June) has looked at the potential for companies to participate in flexible power-use arrangements which could allow them to capitalise on lower cost clean energy.
The arrangement would mean increasing energy consumption during periods with plenty of generation available and reducing it at peak times, or when capacity on the grid is low. The report suggests this would make British industry more competitive while lowering household energy bills for consumers.

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Renewables push required in transport, cooling and heating

Despite considerable investment in renewable power capacity in 2017, annual energy demand and CO2 emissions continued to rise, according to the global energy policy network, REN21, with urgent action required in the heating, cooling and transport sectors. .
Its latest report, released on Monday (4 June), found little progress in the uptake of renewables in heating and cooling with just 48 countries setting national targets for increasing green energy usage in this sector. In transport, only 42 countries have national targets for the use of renewables while the overall sector continues to draw 92 per cent of its energy from oil.

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Other News

Construction skills boost for Londoners

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has announced his new Construction Academy and published London’s first ever Skills and Adult Education Strategy, Skills for Londoners. Both ventures are designed to give Londoners the chance to have the skills, education and training needed to succeed and help boost the capital’s economy.
This will help tackle the risk that the capital’s housing crisis could lead to young talent leaving the city.

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