The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) says there is space for more than one million new homes on brownfield sites.
The State of Brownfield 2019 report, published on 25 March, features an analysis of councils’ brownfield land registers and argues for building on derelict and vacant land to meet housing needs while limiting development on greenspaces and the countryside.
Local plans lagging behind in areas constrained by green belt
Council areas where more than 50 per cent of the land is green belt are struggling to keep their local plans up to date, according to new analysis.
The report by Savills published on 27 March contrasts the approaches taken by different areas across London and the South. Tensions between the National Planning Policy Framework, support for the green belt concept and the challenge of delivering housing targets continue to exercise politicians.
Social rent homes delivered by housing associations hit record levels
Statistics from the National Housing Federation show the number of social rent homes completed by housing associations in the final three months of 2018 was the highest since records began in 2016.
Survey results released on 26 March showed London and the South East were the best performing regions, while the North East and Yorkshire and Humber were delivering the fewest new properties for social rent.
New home owner satisfaction rate highest since 2006
Satisfaction among new home owners is at an all-time high, according to the Home Builders Federation (HBF).
The industry body released survey results on 26 March showing that 86 per cent were satisfied with the quality of their new home and 87 per cent would recommend their builder to a friend. Launched in 2006, the National new home customer satisfaction survey is one of the largest studies of its type in the UK.
House price growth remains subdued according to the March Nationwide House Price Index.
The building society’s tracker found a 0.2 per cent rise from February and only a 0.7 per cent annual rise. The index also showed that London was the weakest performing region in Q1, with prices 3.8 per cent lower than the same period in 2018.
‘Patch and mend’ approach to potholes is ‘not value for money’
The Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) has warned that 40,000 miles of Britain’s roads are at risk of crumbling within five years, despite an increase in highway maintenance budgets.
AIA chairman Rick Green said that using budgets to patch and mend potholes will not provide value for money. The AIA says investment is still falling short and that £1.5 billion extra is needed every year for the next decade to solve the problem.
There is ‘significant uncertainty’ over the cost to taxpayers of work to decommission offshore oil and gas assets, according to an influential group of MPs.
The Public Accounts Committee also raised concerns that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has no plan in place to take advantage of the potential economic benefits of decommissioning.
European Parliament votes to ban more single-use plastics
The European Parliament has voted to ban more single-use plastics among a raft of new rules aimed at reducing marine litter.
The new rules also include measures to reduce consumption of single-use plastic, and schemes giving producers responsibility to clean up litter caused by their plastic products. The move marks the latest step in the EU Plastics Strategy which aims for all plastic packaging in the EU market to be reusable or recyclable by 2030.
Increases in solar and wind generation took renewable energy production to a record high of 33.3 per cent for the UK in 2018, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
A report on 28 March also showed that low carbon sources of electricity generated a record of 52.8 per cent. In contrast, coal now provides 13 times less output than bioenergy and waste, wind, solar and hydro production.
Infrastructure delivery problems could cost the economy £19bn by 2030
Poorly planned and badly executed infrastructure projects will cost the economy £19 billion by 2030, according to Mace.
The construction consultancy’s report, A Blueprint for Infrastructure, states that 80 per cent of projects world-wide experience cost or project overruns. The report assesses the flaws that hinder the planning and delivery of successful developments and gives ten practical and policy solutions.