Week commencing 3 June 2019

In today's bulletin

• Government announces new housing infrastructure rules
• ‘Prioritise fares reform’, say rail passengers

• Increase renewable capacity to fill nuclear gap, says new report
• Warning after slump in retail sales

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Government announces new housing infrastructure rules

Councils will soon be required to report details of infrastructure deals made with housing developers, the Government announced on 4 June.
Builders already have to pay towards roads, schools, GP surgeries and parkland near their new developments. The new rules will mean councils will have to explain exactly how much money is received and how it will be spent.

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Higher rents reducing job mobility

Young people are finding it harder to move for work because of high rents, according to new research published on 6 June.
The Resolution Foundation study found that the number of people aged 25-34 who moved home and started a new job during the previous year was down compared to the equivalent figure in 1997.

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Housing association warns of ‘accessible homes crisis’

New analysis has found that just one per cent of homes built outside London by 2030 will be accessible for wheelchair users. The findings in the report conducted by Habinteg come despite the fact there are 1.2 million wheelchair users in the UK.
The housing association has called on the government to “urgently” tackle the crisis, suggesting that it could hinder moves to increase employment among disabled people.

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Government consults on Hackitt proposals

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has launched a long-awaited consultation into proposals for reform of the building safety regulatory system.
The Ministry will consider the scope of the new regime proposed by the Hackitt Review, including strengthening residents’ voices and stronger sanctions.

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Sharpest decline in construction output since March 2018

Lower volumes of commercial work and civil engineering activity throughout May have led to the sharpest decline in output in the construction industry since March 2018.
The Ministry will consider the scope of the new regime proposed by the Hackitt Review, including strengthening residents’ voices and stronger sanctions

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Labour Party report calls for local people to make planning decisions

A new report commissioned by the Labour Party leadership suggests juries of local people should preside over planning decisions.
Published on 3 June, the Land for the Many report advises that a jury service-type system would counter the problems created by concentrated land ownership, by diversifying engagement with the process and increasing transparency of land ownership.

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Transport

‘Prioritise fares reform’, say rail passengers

More than 80 per cent of rail passengers think changes to the fares system should be prioritised, according to an independent poll commissioned by the Rail Delivery Group.
The stark figures published on 3 June also show only 11 per cent of passengers feel the rail fares on offer fit with their lifestyle and 77 per cent want the changes within five years

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Passenger watchdog measures public trust in rail operators

Southern has been rated the least trusted UK rail operator according to analysis by Transport Focus. On 6 June the independent watchdog published a study which found that only 17 per cent of customers trust the company.
The highest performing operators included Grand Central and Heathrow Express, which both registered trust ratings of above 70 per cent.

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Energy and Environment

Increase renewable capacity to fill nuclear gap, says new report

Boosting Britain’s renewable energy capacity could help plug a possible ‘nuclear gap’ in the country’s low-carbon power supply, according to a new report by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit.
The report, Cracks in the System, was released on 7 June and considers the effect of existing nuclear power stations closing earlier than anticipated. It concludes this would worsen problems caused by the cancellation of new nuclear stations.

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Rubber roads are an ‘encouraging step’ toward sustainability

Construction firm Tarmac has developed new technology enabling them to recycle tyres into road asphalt.
The company announced on 6 that the new sustainable technique is capable of reusing up to 750 recycled tyres per 1km of road laid.

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UK making major progress in emissions reduction

The International Energy Agency’s latest review has praised the UK for its efforts to combat the climate crisis, citing reforms intended to decarbonise the energy sector.
The report released on 6 June notes that in 2017, the UK’s energy-related greenhouse gas emissions reached their lowest levels since 1888.

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Mayor announces £6 million for toxic air clean-up projects

The Mayor of London has allocated £6 million from his Air Quality Fund for 15 new projects designed to tackle air pollution and the climate crisis.
Included in the announcement on 7 June were four new Low Emission Neighbourhoods in Hackney, Dagenham, Southwark and Camden.

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Other News

Warning after slump in retail sales

Industry leaders are warning that the risk of job losses and store closures is increasing after retail sales plummeted in May.
The British Retail Consortium recorded the worst monthly figures since 1995.

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Manufacturers urge against a no-deal Brexit

Manufacturers are urging policymakers to avoid a no-deal Brexit, a survey published on 3 June has revealed.
The Manufacturing Outlook study by BDO and Make UK revealed a weakening trend in the industry as European companies abandon UK supply chains and Asian customers balk at Brexit-related uncertainty.

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