Week commencing 3 August 2020

In today's bulletin

• Planning for the Future: an overhaul of the planning system
• £1.3 billion allocated for transport and housing projects

• Offshore integration key to 2050 net-zero
• Construction grows amid fears of autumn difficulties

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Planning for the Future: an overhaul of the planning system

Radical planning reforms to speed up housing delivery, make developments more attractive and improve sustainability were put forward by the Government on 6 August.
The Planning for the Future white paper proposes simplified local planning and housing need formulae, more government oversight, a change to developer contributions and a digitised planning process. The Government is consulting on the proposals until 29 October.

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Planning for the Future: councils and campaign groups urge caution

The Local Government Association, County Council Network and CPRE fear the Government’s proposed planning reforms could lead to a loss of local control over permissions.
The Royal Town Planning Institute has welcomed an emphasis on sustainable housing delivery, but is cautious about any overhaul of the planning system at a time of economic instability.
Read more from the LGA, CCN, CPRE and RTPI

How broken is the housing market?

A consultation has been launched by a group of MPs seeking to answer the question: “exactly how broken is the housing market?”
The All-Parliamentary Group for Housing Market & Housing Delivery is also asking for feedback on the challenges of meeting current and future housing demand. The consultation closes on 4 November.

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Medium and long-term planning crucial to housing market recovery

Addressing the immediate challenges facing the housing market should not happen at the expense of longer-term policymaking, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has warned.
On 4 August, the industry group called for intervention in planning and development, renters’ rights and buying and selling homes.

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Housing high boosts recovery hopes

Average UK house prices rose to their highest ever level in July, according to a high street lender.
The Halifax House Price Index recorded an average of £241,604, strengthening hopes of a quick housing-led recovery amid increased demand and stamp duty cuts.

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£1.3 billion allocated for transport and housing projects

The Government has allocated almost £1.3 billion to fund new transport infrastructure and other ‘shovel-ready’ projects aimed at boosting growth, jobs and housing delivery.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government confirmed a raft of local projects that would receive funds through the Getting Building and Brownfield initiatives.

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Consultation launch: commercial spaceflight regulations

Draft regulations governing commercial space flight from the UK have been announced by the Government.
The Department for Transport made the announcement to support the Space Industry Act 2018 and create the framework needed for licensed, commercial launch operations.

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Energy and Environment

Offshore integration key to 2050 net-zero

Offshore energy integration technologies could contribute 30 per cent of the reduction in emissions needed for Britain to achieve net-zero by 2050, according to a new industry report.
The Oil and Gas Authority’s study argues that such schemes can support the expansion of offshore renewables, taking the industry’s contribution to 60 per cent of the net zero target.

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Calls for a local approach to energy efficiency

A localised approach to retrofitting energy efficiency measures should be adopted to help the UK meet its net zero targets, according to an industry group.
The Association for Decentralised Energy’s Zoning for Heat and Energy Efficiency paper was published on 5 August and calls for a zoning approach to policy that looks at opportunities and strengths.

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Other News

Construction grows amid fears of autumn difficulties

Construction firms reported an increase in activity in July but there are warnings of a difficult autumn as furlough schemes come to an end, according to industry data.
The latest IHS Markit / CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index showed that civil engineering and commercial activity were expanding again, but the trend of falling staffing levels continued.

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