UK construction and property
- HS2 delays | Internal Government estimates show that the delays to part of the HS2 line will add £366 million to the project bill. Overall, the line has already more than doubled its original price tag of £33bn which was set ten years ago. The rail minister Huw Merriman that the current Euston plans are unaffordable at their current costs and could look to partner with the private sector.
- Roads | The plans to link the M6 with south Lancaster have been paused as costs have increased. The original plans were granted £140m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund.
- Infrastructure levy | Construction lobby groups have joined housing providers, charities, planners, and developers to call on the Government to scrap plans for a new infrastructure levy and to reform developer contributions instead.
- Planning figures | Barbour ABI has reported that the number of planning applications in residential, offices, and industrial sectors have fallen. 2,242 projects worth a total of £6.1bn were approved in May 2023, 31% lower than a year ago, and the second successive “very low” month.
- Empty offices | The City of London is planning to fast-track planning applications to convert empty, older offices into new uses such as hotels and galleries (but notably, not housing) as it worries that 20% of the stock in the area could become stranded assets.
- Net zero plans | The Public Accounts Committee is concerned about the lack of transparency over the cost of expanding nuclear, wind, and solar power to meet net zero plans. It called on the Government to pull its numerous decarbonisation plans into one coherent strategy by autumn this year.
- Modular framework | Firms have been named for a £1.2bn framework to build thousands of homes across the UK via a modular approach and delivered under a not-for-profit public sector provider, London Housing Consortium Procurement Group’s new Modern Methods of Construction of New Homes (NH3) Framework. The framework will run until May 2027.