Week commencing 12 August 2019

In today's bulletin

• ‘Don’t stop talking about the housing crisis,’ say British people
• DfT to fund more than 1000 new EV charging points

• MPs urge easing of onshore wind restrictions
• Energy cost has tripled in 20 years

Property, Planning and Regeneration

‘Don’t stop talking about the housing crisis,’ say British people

A survey carried out for the Charted Institute of Housing has revealed that British people believe there is a housing crisis and that it isn’t being discussed enough.
Over half of respondents said they expect to be impacted by growing housing costs in the next five years, with 22 per cent concerned about needing to move as a result.

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Falling prices in London and the south reduce nationwide housing inflation

A slowdown in house price growth is being driven by falling prices in the South of England, according to the latest ONS House Price Index.
UK-wide growth remained unchanged at 0.9 percent in June, while prices continued to fall in London – surpassing the period of decline the capital saw during the 2008-2009 economic downturn.

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Falling supply leading to rising rents

New data from the Office for National Statistics shows private rental prices have increased by 1.3 per cent in the past year.
Despite the Government’s efforts to increase home ownership, demand from tenants continues to increase and the supply of private rented housing has fallen.

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Rents rising everywhere apart from the Midlands

Rents are rising in every UK region apart from the Midlands, according to Hamptons International’s Monthly Lettings Index.
The region has seen a 2.7 per cent fall in year-on-year rental prices to July 2019.

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Transport

Gatwick Expansion ‘makes a mockery’ of climate emergency action

Plans to expand Gatwick Airport have been criticised by the Sussex branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).
Councils in the county have declared climate emergencies and made pledges to cut carbon emissions, but CPRE claims the airport’s plans will wipe out those efforts.

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DfT to fund more than 1000 new EV charging points

Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps has announced an additional £2.5 million funding for installing new electric vehicle charging points across the country.
The increase to the existing on-street residential scheme is enough to support the installation of 1,000 more charge points.

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Smart phone technology and sensor beacons to change public transport ticketing

Innovation in the rail industry could herald the end for physical tickets, barriers and ticket machines.
Hitachi Rail is exploring the use of sensor beacon technology, which could be used to detect apps on passengers’ smartphones.

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Energy and environment

Report shows massive potential for new onshore wind in Europe

Research by two universities has discovered that 46 per cent of Europe’s landmass is suitable for new onshore wind farm developments.
The study by academics from Sussex and Aarhus in Denmark revealed that the most suitable areas for new wind farms are in Norway, Russia and Turkey.

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Energy cost has tripled in 20 years

The average cost of gas has risen by 221 per cent in the past 20 years and electricity prices are up by 193 per cent over the same period, according to research by CompareTheMarket.
The report, released on 13 August, notes that average price growth across all industries during that period is 49 per cent.

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Industry experts highlight measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions

Two energy industry groups have released a joint statement calling for better land use and reduced food waste to combat climate change.
The World Biogas Association and the Anareobic Digestion & Bioresources Association claim their industries have the potential to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by a further 10 to 13 per cent.

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MPs urge easing of onshore wind restrictions

An open letter to the Prime Minister signed by more than 150 MPs has called for a change in planning regulations to allow smaller wind farms to be built more easily.
The letter was co-ordinated by campaign groups Power for People and 10:10 Climate Action. Signatories include six Conservatives who lobbied for onshore wind restrictions to be introduced in 2012.

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Paper reveals rise in methane due to fracking

Research conducted by Cornell University and published in Biogeosciences has concluded that an increase in fracking has caused a spike in atmospheric methane, a greenhouse gas.
According to the report, levels of the gas have increased dramatically between 2008 and 2014.

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Water companies to plant 11 million trees to make industry carbon neutral

UK water companies have announced plans to plant 11 million trees by 2030 as part of their wider aim to make the water industry carbon neutral by 2050.
The trees will be planted on 6,000 hectares, with support from local authorities as well as NGOs.

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Other News

Employment outlook at lowest level in over a year

The outlook for employment in the UK has fallen for the third successive month, according to a new report from business advisors.
Following five years of sustained growth, BDO’s Employment Index, fell to 112.76 points in July – the lowest level since May 2018.

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Retailers demand business rate fix as footfall decreases and vacancy rate rises

The rate of empty shops in town centres rose to 10.3 per cent in July, the highest since January 2015.
The British Retail Consortium’s statistics come at a time when footfall has fallen year-on-year, giving retailers a challenging outlook.

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