Week commencing 22 April 2019

In today's bulletin

  • Peers call for action over intergenerational divide
  • Inquiry launched to consider alternative train fuel
  • Experts call for net zero emissions target
  • Five month high for retail sales

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Peers call for action over intergenerational divide

Housing and employment instability must be tackled to bridge the generation gap, according to the Lords Intergenerational Select Committee.
The group’s report found that younger people are not seeing living standards improve at historical rates, while older generations are dealing with a society unequipped for their needs and numbers.

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Communities asked to come forward with housing plans

Local groups that want to build houses are being asked to let the Government know about their plans.
Homes England made the call on 24 April and will use the information to inform the level of investment needed to support the sector.

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Costs rising faster for poorer households

Poorer households are seeing their living costs rise faster than wealthier ones, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The Household Costs Indices report published figures relating to cost rises experienced across income groups, age groups and different housing tenures.

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Demand for industrial property surpasses retail

Demand for industrial space continues to increase despite Brexit worries, according to a new report.
The quarterly RICS UK Commercial Property Market Survey, published on 25 April, contrasts that growth with falling demand among retail investors.

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Garden space being squeezed

A third of homes on sale have no outdoor space, according to a new study of 100 major UK towns and cities.
The survey by HouseSimple found that 90 per cent of properties for sale in Grimsby had a garden, compared to just 29.9 per cent in Islington.

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TCPA welcomes Labour’s commitment to scrapping permitted development

Labour’s proposals to prevent commercial property being converted to homes without planning permission have been backed by the Town and Council Planning Association.
The TCPA said current legislation enabled planning processes to be bypassed, resulting in poorer quality development.

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Transport

Inquiry launched to consider alternative train fuel

Investigating the costs and benefits of electric and bi-mode trains will form part of an inquiry into alternative fuels for the future of rail.
The Transport Select Committee launched its study on 23 April and will look at the most effective way to move away from diesel power.

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New Crossrail timescales announced

The delayed Crossrail project is now scheduled for completion by the end of 2020 according to a new plan published by the company’s board on 25 April.
However, uncertainty over train and signalling systems means that the company can only identify a six-month window for opening the Elizabeth Line, meaning the project may not be finished until 2021.

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Energy and environment

Experts call for net zero emissions target

The Government should set a net zero emissions target by 2050, according to groups including the NFU and CBI.
The comments came at a Committee on Climate Change event briefing, where it was also suggested that the UK should become the first major economy to set a target compatible with the Paris Agreement.

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Government should support carbon capture technology

The Government must adopt carbon capture, usage and storage technology if any future net zero emissions target is to be credible, according to parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee.
However, the group of MPs also says that the policy has lacked support in recent years.

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Wind turbine replacements needed to meet carbon goals

Older wind farms should be replaced by new turbines, according to a prominent energy industry body.
The recommendation came in RenewableUK’s report Onshore Wind: The UK’s Next Generation, which warned that UK could soon face a low-carbon electricity generation gap.

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Change planning rules to decrease drought risk

Planning processes should be changed to reduce the risk of water shortages and drought, according to a new draft policy published on 23 April.
Better use of Development Consent Orders is among the recommendations made by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

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Other News

Five month high for retail sales

Retail sales in the year to April showed an increase for the first time in five months, according to the CBI’s Distributive Trades Survey published on 25 April.
Of 110 firms surveyed, 49 per cent said their sales were above average for the time of year. Analysts said the late Easter was the likely cause.

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Interest rate hike unlikely before 2020

Ongoing Brexit uncertainty and weak global growth means the Bank of England is unlikely to increase interest rates before August 2020, according to a leading think tank.
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research also decreased its 2019 UK growth forecast to 1.4 per cent.

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