Week commencing Monday 8 July 2019

In today's bulletin

• Government’s Green Strategy for homes
• Commission highlights importance of placemaking

• Time to tackle particulate matter and microplastic pollution
• Government falters over climate change policy

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Government’s Green Strategy for homes

A £5 million fund to help the development of green home finance products has been unveiled by the Government.
The initiative, announced on 11 July, includes mortgages which give customers discounts for improving the energy efficiency of their house.

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Commission highlights importance of placemaking

The Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission has published its interim findings into the quality of developments, including a call for builders to put more emphasis on mixed use communities.
The report, published on 9 July, calls for retail parks and supermarket developments to also include homes.

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Listed buildings face demolition

The Twentieth Century Society has highlighted several Grade II listed buildings under threat of demolition.
The group’s “Top 10 Buildings at Risk List” includes a power station, a civic centre and a library conservation centre.

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Transport

Time to tackle particulate matter and microplastic pollution

Action is required to reduce plastic particles from tyres, brakes and road wear, according to a new report published on 11 July by the Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG).
While nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide emissions have fallen by 29 per cent and 62 per cent respectively, the group predicts that the impact of particulate and plastic pollution from vehicles will rise to ten per cent of national emissions by 2030.

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“Charging up the transport revolution”

As part of its efforts to achieve zero emissions from road transport, the Government has announced that it is investing £37 million to develop electric charging infrastructure.
Projects set to receive investment include solar-powered forecourts, underground charging systems and wireless charging systems for electric vehicles.

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Centrica workers to get EV training

Centrica is offering its customers a new electric vehicle charging installation service.
The company has also committed to training its workforce for the EV transition, which is expected to add 30 per cent to the country’s current peak energy demand.

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TfL to invest in station cycle parking

TfL plans to spend £2.5 million on improving cycle parking outside 10 stations, along with 1,400 new spaces in residential areas.
The announcement comes after the company found more than half of Londoners are put off cycling because of a lack of parking.

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Access for all? Inclusive Transport Strategy update

Money for accessibility improvements at stations and proposed extensions of the blue badge scheme are among the actions taken in the first year of the Government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy.
Other items to be achieved by 2030 include improvements to loos and changing facilities, as well as better signage.

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Energy and environment

Government falters over climate change policy

The Committee on Climate Change has warned that the Government risks falling short of its legal obligations to address climate change.
In two reports published last week, the Committee scrutinises performance on reducing emissions and preparing for the effects of global warming.

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Air pollution costs Birmingham £470 million a year

A study of air pollution in Birmingham has found it costs the city £470 million every year and takes seven months off the life of an average eight-year-old.
The overall annual cost of air pollution to the UK is estimated at between £8.5 billion and £20.2 billion.

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Deposit scheme could give £2 billion boost

A deposit return scheme for drinks cans and bottles could give the UK economy a £2 billion boost, according to the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
The pressure group pointed to analysis by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which shows a scheme covering both plastic and glass would maximise economic benefits.

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Other News

Online shopping will soon account for more than half of retail sales

Online shopping will make up more than half of all retail sales in the next decade, according to a new report commissioned by law firm Womble Bond Dickinson.
The report, The Digital Tipping Point, argues that the online shopping habits of Generation Z and Millennials will become increasingly dominant.

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Government must improve digital capabilities and leadership

Following its inquiry into the Government’s digital capabilities, The Science and Technology Committee has concluded that more must be done to enhance the relationship between people and the Government.
The report recommends the appointment of a ministerial digital champion in every department.

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