Week commencing 23 November 2020

In today's bulletin

• £11 billion boost for levelling up agenda and National Home Building Fund
• Making the case for HS2 phase 2a

• Consultation: proposed changes to supply chain plans
• National Infrastructure Strategy to target the regions

Property, Planning and Regeneration

£11 billion boost for levelling up agenda and National Home Building Fund

Last week’s spending review saw the government add much-needed clarity and substance to its ‘levelling up’ agenda. The Chancellor announced a new £4bn Levelling Up Fund designed to take a ‘place-based approach’ to ensuring Britons are proud of the place they call home.
The Chancellor also announced a new £7.1bn National Home Building Fund, designed to “unlock up to 860,000 new homes”.

Read More

Greater detail required on Building Safety Bill

The government’s draft Building Safety Bill requires further detail to plug legislative gaps and properly address flaws in the current building safety regime, according to a report by the House of Commons Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee.
The findings, published on 24 November, call on the government to remove any doubt over the scope of the legislation and the responsibilities on building operators, including being clear that leaseholders should not be left to cover remediation costs.

Read More

New guidance offers ‘glide path’ to net zero

The UK Green Building Council has identified 17 barriers to delivering net zero buildings and set out how these can be overcome in a new report published on 26 November.
The registered charity argues for innovation across the delivery process with net zero at the heart of design development, engagement with key stakeholders and decision-makers, and how buildings are financed.

Read More

Major government boost needed for more affordable homes

The government must ensure the full, efficient and rapid use of the Affordable Homes Programme to speed up affordable housing delivery and the significant contribution these homes make to the economy.
The CBI’s All for Affordable report, published on 24 November, calls on the government to purchase unsold or undeveloped land from private developers and to launch a new investment vehicle with the capability to link private finance to housing associations.

Read More

Investment yields for flats exceed terraced houses

Q3 2020 has seen investment yields for flats exceed those of terraced houses across seven of the ten regions in England and Wales, the latest data from Hamptons has shown.
The residential property company reports that the average gross yield on a flat increased to 5.6 per cent in the last quarter, with the relative stability of rents contrasting with a fall in house prices in key regions.

Read More

The end of new London offices

London office real estate is changing with a decline in new builds and two-thirds of new project starts being refurbishments, according to a survey of developments in the capital.
Published on 23 November, Deloitte’s Winter 2020 London Office Crane Survey suggests office development seems to be losing its attraction to speculative investors as a larger proportion of new starts are now pre-let.

Read More

Transport

Making the case for HS2 phase 2a

The government set out its case for phase 2a of the High Speed 2 rail link in an update to the House of Lords published on 24 November.
Having considered alternatives to phase 2a, which would connect the West Midlands and Crewe, the government says it remains committed to the project, citing economic benefits across the UK in addition to improved reliability and capacity on the rail network.

Read More

Government consultation on rural transport strategy

The Department for Transport (DfT) is calling for those with an interest in rural connectivity and innovations in the transport sector to contribute to a consultation on its Future of Transport: Rural Strategy.
Running until 16 February 2021, the consultation is intended to help the DfT assess the latest rural travel trends and deliver a strategy that connects communities effectively in more remote areas.

Read More

Energy and Environment

Consultation: proposed changes to supply chain plans

The government is proposing detailed changes to its Supply Chain Plans and Contracts for Difference schemes, which are aimed at delivering a more efficient energy supply chain and better clarifying and measuring developers’ low-carbon commitments.
The consultation is open to anyone involved in developing, trading, or supplying low-carbon electricity systems and runs to 18 January 2021.

Read More

Mixed success for the government’s flood defence programme

242,000 homes have been better protected from floods by 728 government-funded schemes, although only 16 schemes have accounted for more than 50 per cent of the benefit, a new report from the National Audit Office has claimed.
Published on 25 November, Managing flood risk identifies a range of areas for improvement in the government’s flood defence strategy, including how funding is secured, where it is used, and how recent policy commitments will be implemented in practice.

Read More

Addressing the UK’s e-waste problem

The UK fails to collect or treat much of its e-waste despite being the second largest producer in the world, according to a new report published on 26 November by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee.
Electronic Waste and the Circular Economy proposes a range of measures to address this, including banning the practice of intentionally shortening the lifespan of products and ensuring that online retailers and marketplaces are obliged to collect electronic waste from customers.

Read More

Other News

National Infrastructure Strategy to target the regions

The government’s new National Infrastructure Strategy promises to target the regions and ensure the delivery of the UK’s new infrastructure is ‘fairer, faster, greener’.
The new strategy, published on 25 November, was launched as ‘the first step of a multi-year process’ for infrastructure in the UK and is intended to play a key role in the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda.

Read More