Plans approved for 50 new affordable homes in Callander

50 new affordable homes are to be built in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, as the National Park Authority approves plans This is a significant development for Callander, the National Park’s largest town, as it is the single biggest affordable housing scheme for a number of years and also represents the first phase within the Callander South area. The area was identified as the favoured location for the town’s long term growth through extensive community engagement, from the 2011 town ‘charrette’ (a series of design-led workshops) to the preparation of the Local Development Plan more recently. Financial support has also been identified for the wider site’s development within the St

Social housing construction continues to defy downturn

Work on social housing construction is set to rise from 2019-2020, according to Glenigan’s construction market analysis Increased support for shared ownership developments that were announced in the last Budget is expected to provide a stimulus to social housing construction. While projects disrupted by the 2017 Grenfell tragedy are also expected to begin moving onto site. In the three months to July 2019, the underlying value of social housing construction projects starting on site surged 40% according to Glenigan’s analysis. Glenigan’s economics director Allan Wilén, commented: “A brighter outlook for project starts is forecast for 2019.” After an 11% fall in the underlying value of social

Midlands Connect responds to HS2 review announcement

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps has published the terms of reference and timetable for an independent review into the High Speed 2 project The terms of reference published to confirm that the independently-led government review will look at whether and how HS2 should proceed, using all existing evidence on the project to consider: Benefits and impacts Affordability and efficiency Deliverability and scope It’s phasing, including its relationship with Northern Powerhouse Rail A final report will be sent to the Secretary of State, with oversight from the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, by the autumn. The report will inform the government’s decisions on the next steps for t

Planning stability will drive housebuilding growth

Housebuilding is an emotive issue at the best of times but in the face of a full-blown crisis in supply, the need to deliver many more homes, in the right places, cannot be ignored. Joe Ridgeon, director of Hedley Planning Services, examines the key issues affecting supply As we wrestle with one of the most protracted housing crises in living memory, the government faces calls from many quarters to stop changing the planning system. If it does, it would create the much sought-after stability that is so desperately craved to prevent delay, procrastination and uncertainty in local planning. A damning report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) recently warned MPs that government needs to tac

Building our way out of Brexit

Mike Leonard, CEO of Building Alliance, discusses the construction industry in a post-Brexit landscape As we emerge from Brexit, Great Britain and Northern Ireland have a unique opportunity to build for the future and in doing so, create jobs, inclusive growth, a balanced economy and a greener environment. Now is the time to invest in critical infrastructure, public and commercial buildings and housing to ensure our built environment supports long term economic growth, jobs and social inclusion. Every £1 invested in construction delivers a £2.84 return for the UK economy because we make it here. Current Government and local Policy directly supports offsite construction through grants, fundin

Achieving design freedom with underfloor air conditioning

In practice, incumbent building services can help architects and designers overcome planning and structural constraints Building typology comes in all shapes and sizes, each with its own unique design criteria. Frequently, building services, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, in particular, can be challenging to integrate into a building design but experience shows that this does not necessarily have to be the case. Working with underfloor air conditioning over the past 30 years, we can demonstrate here that such systems have a number of benefits in a design application that ultimately make it the ‘system of first choice’ when compared with alternative overhead and perimeter underflo

Housing benefits cost government over £2 bn a year

A change of policy to shift away from housing benefits to direct provision of council housing is long overdue, it will save money in the long run too, says GMB London In February 2019 there were 196,737 recipients of housing benefits in London. This is 23% of all private rented households in London. With the average recipient receiving around £212 per week, this means housing benefits in London are costing the government £2.17bn every year. The London borough which is home to the most housing benefit recipients in the private rented sector is Brent which has 15,931. This is 45.52% of all privately rented households in the borough. Each recipient in Brent receives an estimated £12,450 a year

Outlook for construction output lowest since November 2012

UK construction output declined for the third month running in July, reflecting lower volumes of work across all three broad categories of activity The latest IHS Markit/ CIPS UK Construction Total Activity Index also revealed a sharp drop in new order intakes, which survey respondents attributed to subdued economic conditions and domestic political uncertainty. Weaker demand contributed to a slide in business optimism towards the year-ahead outlook for construction output, with the degree of confidence the lowest since November 2012. At 45.3 in July, the survey posted below the 50.0 no-change value for the fifth time in the past six months. The latest reading was up from June’s ten-year low

Why are councils returning to direct delivery of housing?

Local authorities are providing housing again on a scale not seen since the early 1990s. Why is this, how is it being achieved and what could be done to support councils more as they focus on housing provision? Professor Janice Morphet of University College London discusses new research looking at these questions The report, Local Authority Direct Delivery of Housing, was funded by the Royal Town Planning Institute. This is the continuation of research undertaken in 2017. We found that some things have remained the same – particularly the motivations of councils – but the number engaging in direct delivery, using a range of methods, has increased. The research is based on a variety of source

Is the planning system torturous in the eyes of a modular developer?

Lesko Modular Group talks about its journey through the planning system as it looks to explore land acquisition and developments using offsite solutions The journey began in August 2017, when Lesko Modular Group was founded and privately invested in by the Pleszko family, who brought extensive knowledge and experience in offsite solutions. Their manufacturing and modular expertise spanning over 70 years. James Pleszko, CEO, says: “I grew up admiring my father as he made a huge success of his family business and knew I would work with him someday. Growing the team at Lesko Modular has been one of my biggest successes thus far as CEO. I am so proud of what we have achieved in under two years.

We finally know the cost of ending the housing crisis

New modelling from the National Housing Federation reveals the government needs to spend around £146bn over the next 10 years to deliver the homes the UK needs. It is a huge sum but, says head of policy James Prestwich, social housing is crucial infrastructure and investing in it will benefit the wider economy This year, we mark the centenary of a landmark piece of legislation, which has fundamentally shaped the housing system in this country – perhaps more than any other. The end of the First World War created huge demand for affordable homes across the country, which led to the passage of the Housing & Planning Act of 1919. Now better known as the Addison Act – after Dr Christopher Addison

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