Week commencing 10 June 2019

In today's bulletin

  • PM announces 2050 net zero commitment
  • Infrastructure funding will unlock housing development
  • Government awards £7.8 million for innovative railway projects
  • Poor city housing supply is driving wealth inequality

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Infrastructure funding will unlock housing development

Up to 8,500 homes will be built thanks to new infrastructure enabled by funding announced on 11 June.
A total of £142 million has been put aside by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to construct new roads and utility connections for developments in places including Truro and Woking.

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Business rates to be reviewed more often

The frequency of business rate revaluations will increase under new plans published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Local Government Minister Rishi Sunak made the announcement, which will see reviews of property values take place every three years, instead of five.

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Poor city housing supply is driving wealth inequality

An undersupply of housing in cities due to the planning system is increasing property wealth inequality, according to a new study.
The Centre for Cities report also concluded that rising prices caused by rationing of land for homes in urban areas has worsened the north-south and rural-urban divides.

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Mayor is underperforming on affordable housing targets

Mayor Sadiq Khan has been challenged by the London Assembly’s Housing Committee to defend the shortfall of affordable houses in the capital.
The Mayor is currently only achieving 36 per cent of the 2022 target of government-funded newbuild affordable homes.

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Transport

Government awards £7.8 million for innovative railway projects

Drone track inspections and hydrogen powered trains are a step closer to the UK railway network after the government unveiled a £7.8million funding pot for innovation.
The money has been given to the 24 winners of the First of a Kind (FOAK) competition.

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Van operators pledge to use electric vehicles

Increasing numbers of Britain’s van operators are committing to using electric vehicles as part of their fleet this year, according to the FTA 2019 Logistics Report.
The report shows that 71.4 per cent of freight and logistics companies intend to introduce electric vans and reduce carbon emissions.

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Transport for London announces plans to replace 30-year-old DLR trains

The oldest rolling stock on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) will be replaced with new trains by 2023, Transport for London has announced.
The new fleet will feature walk-through carriages, mobile device charging points and real-time travel information, as well as multi-use spaces for wheelchairs, pushchairs and luggage.

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Energy and environment

PM announces 2050 net zero commitment

Theresa May has committed the UK to becoming the first G7 nation to end its contribution to climate change by 2050.
The amendment to the Climate Change Act 2008 was announced on 12 June and will set the UK’s commitment in law.

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Supermarkets sign up to halve food wood waste

More than 100 of the UK’s biggest food companies have signed a pledge committing to halving food waste by 2030.
All the major supermarket chains were among those making the commitment on 13 June.

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Battery storage to back up Grid in Scotland

The Scottish government has approved plans to install one of the UK’s biggest battery storage facilities.
Scottish Power’s 50MW ‘super battery’ at Whitelee, the UK’s largest wind farm, will be the size of half a football pitch and enhance the site’s ability to store energy from wind generation.

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Research shows onshore wind could save money for consumers

Independent analysis of the potential of onshore wind shows household bills could be reduced by £50 per year if more new projects were approved.
The Vivid Economics report commissioned by RenewableUK found that increasing capacity from 13GW to 35GW by 2035 would also triple employment in the industry.

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Other News

Manufacturing fall contributes to GDP dip

Brexit uncertainty contributed to a 0.4 per cent contraction in the UK economy in April, according to a report published by EY on 10 June.
The company found that the biggest contributor to the dip was a 3.9 per cent drop in manufacturing output, including a 24 per cent fall in car production.

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UK manufacturers embrace sustainability challenge

Half of UK companies are aiming to improve their energy efficiency, a new report has concluded.
Make UK’s study, Manufacturing: stepping up to the sustainability challenge, found that businesses were increasingly taking a long-term approach rather than focusing on immediate cost-savings.

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