UK construction and property
- Pollution reforms | Plans to relax regulations around water pollution to enable more housebuilding have been blocked by the House of Lords, which voted against the change by 203 to 156.
- HS2 | The Prime Minister and the Chancellor met last week to discuss the increasing cost of HS2 and its delays. A spokesperson said the government is “committed to HS2, to the project” but confirmed that a further “rephasing” was being discussed. The government refused to comment on the future of the line between Birmingham and Manchester, after photos of documents outlining a “savings table” appeared in the press which detailed each part of the scheme north of Birmingham.
- Sustainability index | The Instant Group has launched a sustainability index that will validate data for flexible workspace providers, and help operators and occupiers track sustainability initiatives. It comes after Incendium Consulting (part of The Instant Group) found that traditionally leased office space created 158% more emissions than flexible office space.
- Loan defaults | Analysis from accountancy firm Price Bailey, shows that 1,084 construction firms have defaulted on Covid loans, and the default rate in the construction industry is higher than in other sectors.
- S106 payments | The Home Builders Federation has claimed that councils are holding on to £2.8bn of unspent S106 payments.
- Pay | A survey by Property Week has found that executive pay packages have fallen, with those in the housebuilding sector seeing the greatest falls.
- Construction output | All work fell slightly (by 0.5%) in July, and new work remained fairly flat, showing a 0.1% increase. New private commercial output grew by 4.3% but remains almost 25% lower than its pre-Covid level.
- Building safety | From next month, the Building Safety Regulator will become the only Building Control body for High Risk Buildings (HRB) and will be responsible for issuing Building Control approval for the detailed design of an HRB.
- Energy | An initiative led by Bam has secured a grant of close to £5 million from the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero to adapt and develop dual-fuel technology and accelerate the development of hydrogen-powered generators for construction.