headlines and more

Points based immigration plan published

19 February 2020

The point system favours highly-skilled migrants, students and academics, and treats EU applicants on the same footing as the rest of the world.  No route is proposed for low-skilled labour or self-employment.  The salary threshold has been reduced from £30,000 to £25,600. 


Read more here >




British Land’s 1 Triton Square Shows the Commercial Value of Circular Economy Leadership

14 February 2020

The 313,000 sq ft refurbishment project provides a car savings of 56% over a typical new build and 43% operational savings over a typical commercial building.  


Read article here >


Find out more about the project here >

National audit office recommends review of commercial investment by local councils

14 February 2020

The NAO has published its review of the prudential framework that has enabled £6.6bn of investment in commercial property by local councils, in efforts to generate income and local regeneration following reductions in funding since 2010-11.  The report considered the management of risks and has recommended that the government reviews how risks are evaluated and reported, framework compliance is measured and interventions are arranged.

Read more here >

New cabinet, new housing minister

14 February 2020

The cabinet reshuffle has led to the appointment of Christopher Pincher, MP for Tamworth, as housing minister, 10th in the last 10 years. He replaces Esther McVey, who took on the post in July 2019.  Robert Jenrick remains in his post as the secretary for housing, communities and local government.


The most high profiles departure is former Chancellor Sajid Javid, to be replaced by Rishik Sunak, while George Eustace is the new environment secretary.  Alok Sharma and Grant Shapps remain as the business and transport secretaries, respectively.  Read more here >

Boris Johnson announces green light for HS2

12 February 2020

The long delayed railway project provides high speed links between London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.  The project, costing more than £106bn, is expected to be delivered as three projects and fully operational by 2040. 


Read more here >

Migration Advisory Committee recommends mixed post-Brexit immigration system

28 January 2020

The MAC has recommended retaining the existing system for Tier 2 (General) work visa for those entering the UK with a job offer, but modifiying the points-based system for Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) to reflect promise rather than track record. It has also recommended reducing the general salary thresholds to £24,600 rather than £30,000 per annum, further reducing that for new entrants, and enabling different thresholds for different occupations. 


Read more here >

Housing secretary recommends combustibles ban

24 January 2020

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has announced a number of proposals relating to fire safety, including a ban on Aluminum Composite Material with polyethelene core on buildings of any height and reducing the threshold for sprinklers and combustibles from 18 to 11m. 


Read more here >

Mayor issues Intend to Publish London Plan

19 December 2019

The document has taken on board a number of recommendations by the Inspector's report, including targets for new housing delivery, but has retained on issues like restrictions on Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land and fracking.  The draft is with the Communities Secretary to comment or approve.  


Read the responses to the Panel's recommendations here > and the Intend to Publish version here >

Conservatives retain power with largest majority since 1987

13 December 2019

The Conservatives have secured a majority of at least 76, with 364 seats. This is the largest majority since 1987. Meanwhile, Labour suffered its worse results since 1935, with 203 seats. 


The Scottish National Party won 48 out of 59 seats - a gain of 13 over the 2017 general elections  This could lead to a second referendum on independence. Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson lost her seat for Dunbartonshire East to SNP and has announced her resignation as party leader.

Number of high court cases increases

9 December 2019

The Technology and Construction court has heard 397 in 2018/19, slighlty higher than the previous year.  This follows and spike up from 311 in 2015/16, following the collapse of Carillion. 


Read more here >  

British Property Federation publishes Accelerated Planning Manifesto

6 December 2019

Following its general elections manifesto, the BPF has launched its more specific manifesto for reforming the planning system.  These include better resourced local authority planning departments, more effective intervention by Planning Inspectorate, and publishing good practice guidance for use of Planning Performance Agreements.


Read the manifesto here >


British Property Federation publishes manifesto

29 November 2019

The manifesto outlines the policy changes the BPF would like to see following the general elections, including reducing o removing VAT on refurbishment, investing in local authorities to help speed up planning processes, and using business rates to incentivise investment in green technologies.


Read the manifesto here >


Parties pledge investment for housing and construction

25 November 2019

The Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats have published their manifesto, each pledging investment to address housing, infrastructure, and sustainability issues.


Here is a summary from Building  >


Here are the published party manifestos in full: 

Read more >

Confidence in overseas inward investment falters

18 November 2019

The autum 2019 London Development Barometer survey reveals that only 42% of the respondents believe the level of investment will increase or remain the same, compared to 64% just six months ago.


Read the Property Week article here >


Click here for the press release and summary of results 



Crossrail delay to "as soon as practically possible in 2021"

8 November 2019

Otherwise known as Elizabeth Line, Crossrail was originally intended to open in December 2018.  The latest announcement pushes the operational date back from the previous projection of Q4 2020- Q2 2020.


The projected costs has also increased to over £18bn, well in excess of the £17.6bn agreed among the Mayor, the Government and Transport for London.  TfL is in talks with the Department for Transport to discuss how the additional costs will be funded.


Read more here >



No Starter Homes built under 2014 government pledge

6 November 2019

The National Audit Office has published a report on its Investigations into Starter Homes, revealing that no starter homes have yet been delivered despite having earmarked £2.3bn in the November 2015 Spending Review.  An estimated £250m has been spent buying land and preparing sites. However no legislation or planning guidance has been passed to support the programme.  Policy shifts has also meant that funds allocated to Starter Homes have been expended more generally on housing delivery.


Read more here > 




Mandatory registration for drones

6 November 2019

Drone operators are required to register drones between 250 gram and 20kg with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), set to become law 30 November 2019.


The new regulations required drone operators to pass an online test to obtain a flyer ID, register for an operator ID, and register any drones or model aircraft for which the oeprator is responsible.  Children must also pass the online test to fly a drone. 


Members of five model aircraft associations are exempt.  Read more here >


MPs vote for 12 December general elections

30 October 2019

Following EU's agreement to extend the Brexit deadline to 31 January, Parliament has voted to hold general elections 438-20.  More than 100 Labour MPs did not vote.


This is the first December general elections since 1923.

Private purpose-built student accommodation to surpass university beds in 2020

23 October 2019

According to StuRent's Annual UK Student Accommodation Report 2019, more than 34,000 private beds will be added in 2019, with more than 120,000 beds approved or awaiting a decision. 


Read more here > 

Government response to housing committee report regarding building safety reforms

22 October 2019

The Government has stated that making changes will take time, but cites actions undertaken and underway. These include the conclusion of consultations for ‘Building a Safer Future: proposals for reform of the building safety regulatory
system’ in July 2019; consultations on building height thresholds for sprinklers closing at the end of November, and funding for private building owners to replace ACM cladding systems.


Read the full response here >

Queen's speech outlines 22 bills

15 October 2019

A number of bills revolve around crime, NHS and Brexit, including the EU bill itself and bills on trade, agriculture, fishing and immigration. 


The speech sets out the intention to bring forward a National Infrastructure Strategy covering digital, transport and energy infrastructure; a white paper to "unleashing regional potential in England", building safety standards and an Environmental Bill. 


Read the Queen's speech here >

Goldsmith Street wins Stirling Prize

10 October 2019

The 100-home energy efficient council housing scheme for Norwich City Council was selected over London Bridge Station by Grimshaw; Cork House by Matthew Barnett Howland with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton; the Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience by RSHP, Nevill Holt Opera by Witherford Watson Mann Architects and The Weston, Yorkshire Sculpture Pak by Feilden Clegg Bradley.


The scheme was the winner of a numer of 2019 RIBA awards, inlcuding the RIBA East Award, RIBA East Sustainability Award and the Neave Brown Award for Housing. Read more here >

Supreme Court has ruled that suspension of Parliament was unlawful

24 September 2019

The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the Prime Minister's advice to the Queen to prorogue Parliament from week of 9th September until 14 October was unlawful, void, and of no effect, on the basis that:

  • The Court has the juridiction to rule on the existence and limits of prerogative power
  • The advice to the Queen to prorogue if it prevents Parliament to conduct its duties without reasonable justification is unlawful
  • Justifications for the "extreme effect" of the prorogation has not been put forward

Parliament is expected to reconvene 25th September.   Read president of the court Lady Hale's statement here >

Bank of Montreal takes 60,000 sq ft at 100 Liverpool Street

18 September 2019

Furthermore SMBC has committed to a further 22,000 sq ft, taking 184,000 sq ft in total at 100 Liverpool Street.


Read more here > 


Read more about 100 Liverpool Street here >

Parliament passes law to prevent no-deal Brexit

8 September 2019

In the run up to the prorogation, Parliament has passed a law to require a deal or parliamentary for no deal by 19 October. Otherwise, the prime minister must request a further extension to 31 January.


Opposition parties have also rejected the call for a general election before 31 October.