Week commencing 2nd September 2019

In today's bulletin

  • Low house price growth continues
  • Councils to get new CPO powers
  • Warm mix asphalt to help highways authorities meet climate emergency targets
  • Europe’s onshore wind capacity could power the world

Property, Planning and Regeneration

UK construction output continues to fall

Political uncertainty continues to affect the UK construction sector, as output dropped for the fourth consecutive month and new orders fell at their fastest pace in ten years.
The latest IHS Markit / CIPS UK Construction Total Activity Index shows that business optimism has sunk to its lowest level since 2008 amid Brexit’s impact on customer budgets.

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Low house price growth continues

Nationwide’s latest house price index shows growth remained subdued in August, the ninth consecutive month below one per cent.
The latest figures also show that buyers in major cities will pay extra to be closer to public transport connections.

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Europe’s real estate market needs reform

Change in social behaviours is creating demand for more varied housing solutions, according to a new report on the continent’s urban real estate.
JLL’s study shows modern housing supply needs to evolve as demand increases from retired homebuyers, student tenants and smaller households.

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Councils to get new CPO powers

A new law to extend councils’ compulsory purchase powers over undeveloped sites with planning permission has moved a step closer.
The bill, first proposed by Labour MP Emma Hardy, is intended to help local authorities bring development forward when developers are unable to.

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Inquiry launched into future of social and affordable rented housing

A group of MPs has opened an inquiry to investigate the Government’s current strategies to boost social and affordable rented housing.
At the moment, just three per cent of the 300,000 homes-per-year target is likely to come from council housing.

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Transport

Warm mix asphalt to help highways authorities meet climate emergency targets

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Highways has issued a report on the benefits of warm mix asphalt (WMA).
Findings show WMA can be mixed and laid at much lower temperatures and using existing equipment, leading to lower carbon emissions, energy consumption and with the generation of fewer fumes.

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HS2 viability under review amid major delays and overspends

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has told Parliament that the government expects HS2 to open several years beyond its planned date, with budget overspends above £20 billion.
A cross-party review held over the autumn will assess whether and how the project should proceed.

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Government funding boost for the National Cycle Network

A £20 million spending programme for the National Cycle Network will see 22 new and existing sections upgraded.
The project aims to improve safety, accessibility and connect to other transport networks as part of efforts to promote walking and cycling.

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Energy and environment

Europe’s onshore wind capacity could power the world

Europe has the potential capacity to generate enough onshore wind energy to power the whole world until 2050, according to a new report.
Researchers from the University of Sussex and Aarhus University says the goal could be achieved by covering 46 per cent of Europe’s landmass with over 11 million turbines.

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National waste strategy is restricting councils

Adequate, long-term funding and the freedom for local authorities to tailor their approach are some of the main recommendations from a group of MPs that reviewed the government’s waste strategy.
The Communities and Local Government Committee urges the Government not to dictate how often waste should be collected, the number of recycling bins or what services should be paid for.

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National clean air zones needed

A new report from a group of local government leaders is seeking national support to improve air quality.
The UK100 group wants more support to enhance the Clean Air Fund and create Clean Air Zones to fight illegal levels of Nitrogen Dioxide.

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The future for oil and gas in a net-zero world

The UK oil and gas industry is making plans to be a part of the UK’s transition to a net-zero economy by 2050.
The Roadmap to 2035: A Blueprint for net-zero includes measures such as carbon capture and storage, as well as hydrogen-based technologies.

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Other News

Headline announcements in Spending Review

The Government’s Spending Review covered headline announcements across Whitehall departments including the environment, transport, local government, education and Brexit.
For the first time since 2002 no department has had its budget cut, totting up a spending spree bill of £13.8bn, up 4.1 per cent in real terms.

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Bank holiday heatwave fails to warm the high street

Latest figures from the High Street show in-store spending throughout August was subdued in the UK.
According to accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP, like-for-like sales dropped by 0.1 per cent in August against an already low rate of 2.7 per cent in the previous year.

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