Week commencing 6 July 2020

In today's bulletin

• Factor health policy into planning, say planners
• Ofgem announces a £25billion green energy investment programme

• Affordable Homes Programme extended by a year
• First Net Zero Board meeting kickstarts transport decarbonisation talks

Property, Planning and Regeneration

“Factor health policy into planning”, say planners

Better collaboration and engagement can help create healthier places, according to a Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) report published on Friday. Informed by local, national and global planning practices,
the document concludes that health policy should be better integrated into placemaking and planning decisions, with more regard for communities’ input.

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Affordable Homes Programme extended by a year

The Government is extending the deadline for its Affordable Homes Programme by a year, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced on 6 July.
The decision follows encouragement from the National Housing Federation, which urged the Government to place social housing at the heart of its Covid-19 recovery plans.

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Residential construction output at highest level in five years

The steepest rise in housing construction for nearly five years took place in June, according to latest industry data.
Published on 6 July, the figures reveal that a phased return to sites helped boost output and business confidence.

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Tentative recovery of UK housing market

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) suggests there are early signs of recovery in the housing market, with its survey for June showing increased sales.
Publishing the findings on Thursday, RICS also warns that a decline in sales is expected over the next year.

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New partnership promotes sustainable active neighbourhoods

Promoting sustainable design and active living is top of the agenda for a new partnership of third sector organisations. The Design Council and Sustrans are calling for the design of streets and public spaces to prioritise walking,
cycling and sustainable transport, while considering the unique needs of diverse communities.

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Transport

Network Rail backs innovation competition winners

Innovative approaches to footbridges, flooding and connectivity are among the ideas being rewarded as part of a competition to improve the UK’s railways.
Network Rail is supporting a total of 11 projects as part of a £9.4million investment resulting from the 2020 First of a Kind contest.

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Transform the transport system for Covid recovery, says pressure group

Putting transport at the heart of the UK’s Covid-19 recovery could lead to a new world-leading system that improves connectivity for all, according to the Campaign for Better Transport.
The pressure group’s report recommends sustainable transport, funding reform and more involvement from local transport authorities as long-term priorities.

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Net Zero Transport Board and public consultation launched

A new national-level group aiming to cut carbon emissions in transport met for the first time on Wednesday. The Net Zero Transport Board was chaired by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and comprises experts in policy and behavioural change, as well as industry leaders.
A public consultation on decarbonising transport has been launched by the Department for Transport.

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Energy and Environment

Green New Deal offers lifeline to economy

The renewable energy industry has produced a six-point plan to aid the economic recovery featuring investment in offshore wind, increased use of hydrogen and greater electrification.
Published on 7 July, RenewableUK’s manifesto for a green economic recovery recommends that the Government lifts green capacity caps and upgrades ports so they can accommodate larger turbines.

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Environment Agency sets out five-year plan

Increasing resilience to climate change and promoting cleaner air, land and water are among the Environment Agency’s objectives set out in a new five-year plan.
The EA2025 report outlines how the Agency will use the opportunity of a green recovery from Covid-19 and work with businesses and government to protect infrastructure against climate change.

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New Ofgem investment programme unlocks £25billion for greener network

A £25billion investment programme was announced by Ofgem on Thursday to help networks provide more clean energy and stimulate green growth and employment over the next five years.
The energy regulator has also asked the sector to come up with low-cost ideas for green investment, which it said could lead to an additional £10billion of funding.

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Other News

UK GDP will take five years to reach pre-coronavirus levels

The UK economy will take five years to recover to 2019 levels even if there is no second Covid-19 lockdown, according to research published on Tuesday.
Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO and economic consultants Cebr predict that UK GDP will contract by 11 per cent in 2020, but that a second lockdown could lead to a 19 per cent drop.

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Electoral registers potentially missing millions of voters, says Lords committee

Democracy is being damaged because millions of people are not on the electoral register, a House of Lords Committee has warned.
Peers say the 2013 changes to electoral registration mean that regular home movers, young people and ethnic minorities are most likely to be missing from the register.

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