Women in Planning to improve inclusivity in the industry

A new networking body which aims to create a supportive environment to encourage greater inclusivity within the planning industry is set to host its first event in the East Midlands next month Women in Planning is an independent organisation that champions diversity and inclusivity in the planning industry through insightful events. To celebrate the launch of its new East Midlands presence, the group is hosting an informal evening of networking at Revolucion de Cuba in Nottingham on 14 November. The inaugural event is open to both men and women looking to build new business contacts and strengthen ties within the region’s planning industry in a relaxed environment. Guests will enjoy drinks u

The upsides of downsizing for the housing market

Incentivising downsizing may provide benefits for young and old generations alike. However, says Phil Harris, director at BLP Insurance, much needs to be done to provide suitable housing options for people in their later years to overcome reservations about making the move Like many western countries, the UK has an ageing population coupled with a housing crisis, rendering the hope for many young people setting foot on the housing ladder a mere pipe dream. Incentivising downsizing may provide an inter-generational, and mutually beneficial, solution that can help free up housing supply for great swathes of younger people. However, much needs to be done, such as providing a more adequate stock

Work on Carlisle flood risk scheme paused

The Environment Agency has decided to temporarily halt construction on phase 1 of the Carlisle flood risk management scheme during the winter months The Environment Agency says the decision to pause work on the Carlisle flood risk management scheme has not been taken lightly. Since construction started in July 2019, the UK has encountered the wettest August and September in the last 30 years according to the Met Office. The wet weather has made working conditions for machinery and Environment Agency teams on the ground difficult. The Environment Agency considers halting the Carlisle flood risk management scheme will be of greater benefit in the long run rather than attempt to carry on throug

Digital Construction Works to simplify digital transformation

Bentley Systems and Topcon Positioning Group have launched a new digital automation, integration, and digital twinning service, Digital Construction Works (DCW), that will help revolutionise the construction industry by simplifying digital transformation DCW solutions span every phase of the project – from planning to construction and operations through to asset management – creating a digital thread that connects technologies and workflows. DCW end-to-end services automate and optimise construction operations through the digital transformation of the asset lowering full-lifecycle asset costs. Through digital twins, you can visualise the asset, check status, perform analysis, and generate in

UK Construction Week 2019 draws attention to future of construction

Over 34,000 construction professionals attended UK Construction Week 2019, with many keen to learn about future construction technologies and how they can be applied to their businesses The future of construction and how it is driving change in the UK was major focus at this year’s event. This topic bought huge crowds to the show at the NEC in Birmingham. Mark Ireland, chief engineer of technology strategy at the Manufacturing Technology Centre, commented: “It was a busy few days and there were a great mix of attendees, from new industry entrants to managing directors and chief executives. “It was really engaging to meet with the next generation and to meet people who aren’t already entrench

Queen’s Speech: New plans on building safety and the environment

The government has unveiled “ambitious” plans on building safety, the National Infrastructure Strategy and environmental principles in the Queen’s Speech Plans for a long-term vision to improve the nation’s digital, transport and energy infrastructure and laws to implement new building safety standards are amongst 26 bills set out during the Queen’s Speech. The Queen announced that new legislation would help accelerate the delivery of fast, reliable and secure broadband networks to millions of homes as part of the National Infrastructure Strategy. While, proposals on railway reform would also be brought forward. In response to today’s Queen’s Speech, Melanie Leech, chief executive of the Bri

Demand for new homes falls to lowest level since 2013, says FMB

According to the latest figures from Federation of Master Builders’ (FMB), the consumer demand for new homes has fallen by 8% to its lowest level since 2013 The figures were taken from the House Builders’ Survey, the only annual assessment of small and medium SME housebuilders in England. Small housebuilders report current buyer demand for new homes is at 2.9 (out of 5), down from 3.14 from last year. This is expected to fall further to 2.75 next year. Almost half of small housebuilders attribute this fall to a lack of consumer confidence. Barriers to small housebuilders According to the survey, the four main barriers to SME housebuilders include availability of land, planning departments, a

Productivity is UK construction industry’s Achilles heel, says report

Confidence amongst UK contractors has reached historic lows according to Turner & Townsend, as construction’s dysfunctional relationship with productivity limits the sector’s future growth The number of new orders reflects levels normally seen only in ‘severe recessions’. While, sentiment in the construction industry saw its third successive quarterly fall in Q2 2019, according to the most recent UK Market Intelligence Report from Turner & Townsend. The report points to falling rates of new orders, highlighted by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), as key drivers behind the crisis in confidence. Figures for Q1 2019 show a decline of 12.8% on the same period in the previous year. At the

Brexit squeeze continues to take its toll on UK construction sector

Building activity in Q3 2019 fell at the second-fastest rate since April 2009, as the UK construction sector remains stuck in a downturn, according to the latest Construction PMI figures According to Construction PMI figures, a historically steep drop in new orders was also registered, while firms scaled back employment at the fastest rate since the end of 2010 due to unfavourable demand, client hesitancy and low confidence. The headline seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Total Activity Index posted 43.3 in September, down from 45 recorded in August, signalling a more severe downturn in building activity across the UK. The Construction PMI deterioration was the second-strong

Garden communities: Still fit for purpose?

The concept of garden communities has been around for many years and with the government announcing funding for five new sites this year, it looks like they are here to stay. However, Dave Pendle, associate director at Marrons Planning, says that close connection between planning and politics could mean that their original aim is being diluted The Garden City movement has been around for many years. This appetite for garden towns is leading to developers of strategic sites increasingly finding that they must align themselves with the political agenda in order to improve their chances of gaining planning permission. Origins of garden communities With origins rooted in the welfare reform of th

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