Week commencing 16 November 2020

In today's bulletin

• Have your say on new shared ownership model
• Call for evidence on transport across the UK

• Plan launched for ‘green industrial revolution’
• Manufacturing output declines amid cautious optimism for green-fuelled recovery

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Have your say on new shared ownership model

The government has opened a consultation on the best way to implement its plans for a new model of shared ownership housing.
Changes to the existing model include reducing the minimum initial percentage held from 25 to 10 per cent and reducing fees when buying additional shares in the home. The consultation is open until 17 December.

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Build social housing to boost the economy

Building more social housing would help solve the housing crisis and provide a significant boost to the economy in the aftermath of Covid-19, according to a new report published on 15 November.
Commissioned by the Local Government Association and its partners, Building post-pandemic prosperity estimates that building 100,000 new social rental homes each year would inject £14.5 billion into the economy through investment in jobs and gross value added to the construction sector and its supply chain.

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4.3 million UK homes fail to meet basic standards

A new report claims that £4.3 billion is required to fix common hazards in the UK’s housing supply that are leading to ill-health, but that this investment could pay for itself in eight years through NHS savings.
Published on 19 November by the Centre for Ageing Better, The State of Ageing in 2020 was damning in its criticism, stating one in five excess deaths in winter is attributed to cold housing and only nine per cent of homes in England are visitable by people with accessibility needs.

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UK house prices grow at record rate

Pent up demand, changes in housing preferences since the pandemic, and changes to property transaction taxes saw average UK house prices increase by 4.7 per cent over the year to September 2020 to stand at a record high of £245,000.
Published on 18 November, the monthly house price inflation figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that house price growth is at its highest level since October 2017.

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Call for evidence on transport across the UK

The chairman of Network Rail, Sir Peter Hendy has launched a consultation on the state of the UK’s transport network, and how links within and between the four nations can be improved to meet the challenges of current and future generations.
Open until 30 December, the consultation forms part of the union connectivity review announced by the Prime Minister in June, which Sir Peter is leading to inform future investment decisions.

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Major government projects take longer and cost more than planned

HS2, Crossrail, the Heathrow Expansion programme and other major infrastructure projects are increasingly given over-ambitious cost and schedule estimates that are not being met, according to the National Audit Office.
Published on 18 November, Lessons learned from Major Projects identifies four common problems – scope, planning, managing interdependencies, and oversight – and sets out learning points for the future running of these programmes.

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Energy and Environment

Plan launched for ‘green industrial revolution’

New investment in hydrogen, nuclear and wind power, electric vehicle infrastructure, and carbon capture and storage has been detailed as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan for a ‘green industrial revolution’.
The Ten Point Plan announced on 18 November is intended to support up to 250,000 jobs with a focus in the Midlands, North East and North Wales.

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Increased retrofit investment needed for UK decarbonisation

The government’s Green Homes Grant does not provide sufficient investment to achieve the necessary scale of retrofit and renovation of the UK’s building stock, according to research published on 18 November by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Further retrofit investment is recommended to increase take-up of the grant, in particular by owners of older homes and commercial buildings, which is needed to meet the UK’s climate targets while creating jobs and securing a green economic recovery.

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Decarbonise homes to kick-start the northern economy

A programme of decarbonisation for over five million homes in the north of England is shovel ready and could create 77,000 direct local jobs by 2035.
This economic stimulus package would require a total investment of £2.36 billion each year for 10 years and has been proposed in the Northern Powerhomes report, published on 17 November by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

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Other News

Manufacturing output declines amid cautious optimism for green-fuelled recovery

Manufacturing output has declined at a gradual pace in the three months to November, with the latest CBI monthly Industrial Trends Survey also suggesting a weaker pipeline than average.
Looking ahead, the 19 November survey predicts a sharper decline in output over the next 12 weeks, which should be somewhat buoyed by the government’s green industrial commitments.

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UK still attractive for foreign direct investment (FDI) despite Covid-19 dip

One in four overseas investors is still looking to invest in UK projects in the next 12 months despite a 30 per cent decline in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2020, according to Ernst and Young.
The business consultancy’s latest UK Attractiveness Survey, published on 18 November, reveals that the UK’s ability to handle crises like Covid-19 had a central role in overseas investors’ decision-making and confidence.

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