Week commencing 22 June 2020

In today's bulletin

• Covid-19 recovery requires 100,000 affordable homes a year
• £350 million digital signalling announced for rail line

• “Put housing, energy and transport at the centre of a green recovery”
• Businesses failing to deal with reputational threats

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Planning Bill responding to Covid-19 introduced in Parliament

The Business and Planning Bill brought forward on 25 June makes official the need for developers to provide digital planning documents, with online inspection now the default position.
For many aspects of the planning system, such as Compulsory Purchase Orders and Development Consent Orders, hard copies of the documents will still need to be provided on request.

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New guidance for councils claiming central government funding

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government issued guidance for councils claiming neighbourhood planning funding in the 2020/21 financial year.
An additional £10,000 is available for business aspects of new or modified neighbourhood plans and late claims will be submitted to account for delays related to Covid-19.

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Covid-19 recovery requires 100,000 affordable homes a year

Local councils have called on the Government to build 100,000 social homes every year as part of the social and economic Covid-19 recovery package.
Benefits would include a return of more than double the original investment into the wider economy, according to the Local Government Association’s report Delivery of council housing: Developing a stimulus package post-pandemic.

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RICS predicts ‘fundamental changes’ to rental sector

International construction and real estate representatives see an opportunity for residential development in empty retail and office space, according to a new study.
In its economic analysis of the commercial property sector, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors also promotes the new government code of practice for the landlord-tenant relationship.

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Construction costs rise across private housing sector

Housebuilders’ costs rose 2.7 per cent in the year to spring 2020 despite the recent drop-off in construction output across the sector, latest figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors show.
A third of those surveyed reported an increase in both labour and materials costs over the 12-month period to the end of Q1 this year.

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Transport

£350 million digital signalling announced for rail line

The East Coast Main Line’s signalling equipment is set to be replaced by a new digital system costing £350 million.
In its announcement on 22 June, the Government claimed the spending will reduce delays on the line.

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UK needs to up production of electric car batteries

The UK will need to increase battery cell manufacturing by between ten and 20 times to realise the potential of the electric vehicle market, according to a new report.
The study by Advanced Propulsion Centre UK shows that the industry can boost the economy by £24 billion over five years if the right investment in the supply chain is delivered.

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Energy and Environment

“Put housing, energy and transport at the centre of a green recovery”

Making homes more energy efficient, investing in green energy and boosting sustainable transport are among the calls made in a new report exploring potential measures to support the UK’s recovery from Covid-19.
Energy UK and PWC made the suggestions in Rebuilding the UK economy: fairer, cleaner, more resilient.

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Public wants Covid-19 recovery geared towards achieving net zero

The Government must prioritise achieving a net zero carbon economy as part of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
That’s the view of 79 per cent of the members of Climate Assembly UK, a group of members of the public charged with investigating the country’s response to the climate emergency.

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Net Zero needs nuclear

Nuclear power must be part of the UK’s transition to a net zero carbon economy, according to an industry lobby group.
The Nuclear Industry Association has called for quick decisions to kickstart a green economic recovery, including a new National Policy Statement and a new Nuclear Sector Deal.

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Other News

Businesses failing to deal with reputational threats

Only half of businesses facing reputational threats deal with them proactively, according to a new study.
BDO’s Global Risk Landscape Report also reveals that nearly half of the companies surveyed admitted to putting the public perception of having integrity ahead of putting their values into practice.

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