UK construction and property
- National Planning Policy Framework | The Government is to delay the new NPPF until autumn. It was expected in spring. The new timeline means that it will be published after the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill becomes law. Developers have blamed policy changes for a hiatus in planning, with many local authorities putting local plan developments on hold.
- Planning delays | Data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities shows that planning decisions have fallen by two-thirds in 10 years. The number of major planning applications that councils had made decisions on within the required 13-week time period fell from 57% in 2013-14 to 19% in 2022-23.
- Planning reforms | British Land and Landsec have together called for urgent changes to planning in order to stimulate regeneration in town centres and unblock the redevelopment of brownfield sites. Although questions could be asked of the capacity within the planing departments.
- Construction output fell 0.2% in May 2023, following a fall of 0.9% in April. The fall was led by private new housing and non-housing repair and maintenance, and partly caused by the additional bank holiday.
- Office to labs | Plans to convert an office building in Canary Wharf for life science and technology use has been approved.
- Infrastructure | Plans for the Stonehenge tunnel have been approved by the Department for Transport.
- Hospital spending | The National Audit Office has warned that the Government will miss its target of building 40 new hospitals by 2030. It reported that most of the major project element has been programmed for 2025 but so far, has not standardised the designs to modularise and reduce costs. Combined with the lack of cost-cutting on design and inflation, the plan looks in ill health. It also warned that if the throughput of projects is not managed correctly, capacity at the four named contractors could be seriously constrained.
- Unlocking housing | The Prime Minister and the Housing Secretary are reported to be working on a nutrients crisis plan as the development of more than 100,000 homes is being held up in the planning stage by the requirement for nutrient neutrality.