Week commencing 21 October 2019

In today's bulletin

• Bus funding cut by 40 per cent in the last decade
• Wind and solar energy markets forecast for major growth

• End of the road for new smart motorways
• Fracking progress delayed and risking climate change targets

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Release data to boost UK PropTech sector, says Minister

Housing Minister Esther McVey has announced plans for a digital revolution in the property sector to unlock new development.
The £6billion UK PropTech industry will now have access to Compulsory Purchase Order data held by local authorities, as well as a new national index of all brownfield data.

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Strong growth in build-to-rent

The build-to-rent market has grown 20 per cent in the past year, data released by the British Property Federation (BPF) has revealed.
Coupled with consistent growth across London and the UK’s other regions, the report also highlights a steady increase in the size of developments as evidence of growing investor confidence.

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New heritage preservation campaign looks to reignite local interest

British communities will have more influence over the preservation of local heritage sites under a new campaign announced by the Government.
Councils will be able to apply for the £700,000 funding and heritage guidance being made available through the scheme.

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Construction tech could be key to northern growth

The North of England can be a future world leader in Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) including modular housebuilding, according to the Housing Minister.
Esther McVey told industry leaders in Sheffield on 24 October that businesses and academics will be encouraged to collaborate on new ideas and solving skills and labour shortages.

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Transport

Bus funding cut by 40 per cent in the past decade

Local authority funding for England’s buses has declined by 40 per cent in the last decade, with over 3,000 services being lost or reduced.
The Campaign for Better Transport’s report, published on 25 October, calls for a new funding settlement and more money for zero-emissions bus fleets.

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End of the road for new smart motorways

Stretches of motorway where the hard shoulder is sometimes open to traffic are too complex to use and no more ‘dynamic hard shoulders’ will be added to the network.
That was the verdict of the chief executive of Highways England, who told the Transport Select Committee on 23 October that the system was too confusing for motorists.

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‘Improve transport links to increase support for new homes’

People who oppose new homes being built in their area would be more supportive if transport links were improved, according to a new Government report.
The MHCLG study released on 24 October shows that improved medical facilities would also increase local support for house building.

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Energy and environment

Fracking progress delayed and risking climate change targets

Progress in the fracking industry has been slower than planned and the technology needed for ensuring it can meet climate change objectives hasn’t been developed, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).
A report published on 23 October says the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is confident that fracking will enhance energy security but that it has not analysed its long-term cost or benefits.

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Wind markets forecast for major growth

Two reports from the International Energy Agency (IEA) this week have highlighted the investor potential offered by renewables.
A study on global offshore wind capacity has revealed the industry could attract $1trillion of cumulative investment by 2040.

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Solar markets also forecast for growth

The publication of the IEA’s annual market report on 21 October was good news for solar energy generation.
Two-thirds of the 50 per cent growth forecast for the renewable energy market is set to come from the installation of that technology.

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Environment Agency to consult on river management

People, businesses and environmental groups can have their say on how the UK’s eight river basin districts are managed under a new consultation launched by the Environment Agency.
The ‘Challenges and Choices’ consultation, launched on 24 October, focuses on the challenges faced by the UK’s waters in a changing climate.

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Labour report calls for ‘green industrial revolution’

The Labour Party says a new report it has commissioned will kickstart plans for a green industrial revolution.
The 30 by 2030 report identifies reducing waste, decarbonising heat, boosting renewables and balancing supply and demand as the vital goals for meeting the party’s zero-emissions pledge.

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Government’s Environment Bill ‘not fit for purpose’, say MPs

The Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee has written to the Environment Secretary to query key aspects of the Environment Bill.
Mary Creagh MP has asked questions about the new Office for Environmental Protection, including the lack of accompanying policy statement and the ‘needlessly long timeframe’ for targets in the legislation.

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Other News

Celebrating 25 years of the Nolan Principles

A new film has been produced to mark the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the seven guiding principles for people serving in public office.
The committee on standards in public life released the production detailing its work as the Government’s advisory body.

Watch the film