Week commencing 30 September 2019

In today's bulletin

• Wind industry group criticises trade restrictions
• Reforming rail fare regulations could reduce the UK’s carbon footprint

• Minister announces plans for ‘green housing revolution’
• How the UK can build 300,000 new homes per year

Property, Planning and Regeneration

How the UK can build 300,000 new homes per year

The government has disagreed with recommendations made by a group of MPs investigating the delivery of new homes in the UK.
The Treasury took issue with several points made by the Public Accounts Committee’s report, Planning and the Broken Housing Market June 2019, including those about affordable housing.

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Minister announces plans for ‘green housing revolution’

New Government measures to reduce the environmental impact of housebuilding will include replacing conventional heating systems with green technology, the Housing Secretary has announced.
Speaking on 1 October Robert Jenrick MP said fossil fuel systems will be replaced by environmentally friendly energy solutions by 2025.

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Construction downturn worsens

Construction activity dropped last month at the second fastest rate since April 2009 with new orders, employment and purchasing all down.
Figures released by IHS Markit / Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply UK also showed weak business confidence by historical standards, despite a belief that output would improve in the coming year.

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Housebuilding falls, but affordable home developments up

Housing industry leaders have attributed a fall in construction to pre-Brexit uncertainty, but they remain encouraged by growth in the affordable and rental sector.
The NHBC noted that an overall year-on-year drop of 20 per cent in the private sector was offset by a 19 per cent rise in affordable and rented registrations.

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Transport

Reforming rail fare regulations could reduce the UK’s carbon footprint

The Rail Delivery Group has published new analysis which suggests changes to fares could form a part of the fight against climate change.
Recommendations based on the study by KPMG include offering a better range of non-advance fares and balancing out peak and off-peak prices. su_column]

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Bus services to get £220 million

The Department for Transport has announced a raft of new proposals for improving bus services.
Low-fare, high-frequency routes and Britain’s first all-electric bus town – to be announced later – are among the recommendations announced.

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New local road schemes to get £100 million

Funding for 18 road schemes has been announced by the Department for Transport.
Four schemes have been fully funded, with seven given money to develop a business case and seven more given approval to bid for money.

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Trust in driverless cars remains low

A majority of UK adults would rather drive themselves than use a driverless car, according to a new report.
The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation report, Public Perceptions: Driverless Cars, called on the government to increase public testing of the technology.

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Energy and environment

Wind industry group criticises trade restrictions

A group representing wind energy developers says it is alarmed by the decision to limit steel imports.
WindEurope said the new policy, which came into force on 1 October, undermined cost and quality competitiveness.

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Greenhouse gas reductions slowing as energy competition intensifies

The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions slowed to 2.5 per cent last year, according to a report by an energy industry watchdog.
OFGEM’s State of the Market study also found that competition in the retail energy market was increasing, with the dominance of the ‘big six’ reducing and switching rates improving.

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Other News

Economy at risk of recession as downturn continues throughout September

Business activity in September fell by the second largest monthly amount since the global financial crisis, according to a study by IHS Markit.
Since 2008, the only period demonstrating a bigger fall in output was the month following the 2016 EU referendum.

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