UK construction and property
- Second staircase | The Government has lowered the threshold for a second staircase in new residential buildings from 30m to 18m. The move had been expected by many after the lower threshold was supported by the Chartered Institute of Housing and the National Fire Chiefs Council. The mayor of London brought the 30m limit in with immediate effect in February this year.
- Mortgage rates | Four of the UK’s largest lenders reduced mortgage rates last week after general inflation fell faster than expected in anticipation of a 0.25% increase in Base Rate from the Bank of England, rather than a jump of 0.5%.
- New home registrations with NHBC fell 42% in Q2 when compared to a year earlier. The North West, North East, and Eastern regions saw the largest falls, and London was the only region to show growth with registrations increasing by 8%.
- T-levels | Ofsted has warned that T-levels need “considerable work” in order to fulfil their ambitions. It reported that the experiences of different students varied “considerably” and that there was a shortage of qualified staff and placements. T-levels were launched in September 2020 and are equivalent in size to three A-levels, and have been developed alongside industry to prepare a student for entry into skilled employment. There is a specific construction T-level.
- Battery park | Planning permission has been given to Carlton Power for a battery energy storage scheme, which it claims will be the world’s largest. It will be built in the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park in Greater Manchester and, subject to a final investment decision, will begin construction next year.