Posts tagged New report

New Trade Jobs as Cameron and Clegg Boost Planning Reform

“Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says on TV that the Government’s planning changes are boost to solo traders in the trades”

The government is easing the planning rules on extending homes in England as part of a package to boost housebuilding and stimulate economic growth.

The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have announced a major housing and planning package which is set to build 70,000 new homes and create up to 140,000 construction jobs.

Speaking to BBC News this morning Nick Clegg said that people will be allowed to build up to 8-metre larger extensions to their houses without needing a planning permission. He argued that the relaxation of the planning regulations will create jobs and boost those professionals who are already working in the trades.

Clegg said: “The planning changes mean that people will get the local builder to extend their kitchen or conservatory which will create jobs and stimulate economic activity.”

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the package announced today includes investing hundreds of millions of pounds into building more affordable homes as well as a £40 billion guarantee for infrastructure projects to support the building construction industry.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said in a statement that the Government’s announcement will help people to build new homes and ‘kick-start’ the economy.

Mr Cameron said: “We’re determined to cut through the bureaucracy that holds us back. That starts with getting the planners off our backs, getting behind the businesses that have the ambition to expand and meeting the aspirations of families that want to buy or improve a home.”

Housing stimulus package includes:

  • Removing restrictions on house builders to help unlock 75 000 homes currently stalled due to sites being commercially unviable. Developers who can prove that council’s costly affordable housing requirements make the project unviable will see them removed.
  • New legislation for Government guarantees of up to £40 billion worth of major infrastructure projects and up to £10 billion of new homes. The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill will include guaranteeing the debt of Housing Associations and private sector developers.
  • Up to 15,000 affordable homes and bring 5,000 empty homes back into use using new capital funding of £300m and the infrastructure guarantee
  • An additional 5,000 homes built for rent at market rates in line with proposals outlined in Sir Adrian Montague’s report to Government on boosting the private rented sector
  • Thousands of big commercial and residential applications to be directed to a major infrastructure fast track and where councils are poor developers can opt to have their decision taken by the Planning Inspectorate.
  • Calling time on poor performing town hall planning departments, putting the worst into ‘special measures’ if they have failed to improve the speed and quality of their work and allowing developers to bypass councils. More applications also will go into a fast track appeal process.
  • 16,500 first-time buyers helped with a £280m extension of the successful ‘FirstBuy’ scheme, which offers aspiring homeowners a much-needed deposit and a crucial first step on the housing ladder.
  • For a time limited period, slashing planning red tape, including sweeping away the rules and bureaucracy that prevent families and businesses from making improvements to their properties, helping tens of thousands of home owners and companies.

 

Green Industry Offers Jobs Growth

The scale of green employment and low-carbon infrastructure investment has been rising, employing a significantly larger workforce than other UK industry, a major report by the Green Alliance think tank revealed today.

According to the report, the current state of the Green Economy, which is worth £122 billion, has been consistently growing by 5 per cent since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008.

The Green Economy currently forms almost 10 per cent of the total economic activity in the UK, employing 939,600 people in low-carbon and environmental jobs.

The Green Alliance said the UK’s top 20 infrastructure projects in 2012-13 will deliver a £23 billion investment which will bring further employment opportunities for people in the trades.

Speaking to Business Green today, report author Alastair Harper, said that some of the biggest projects in the pipeline are in the offshore wind industry as well as in public transport, nuclear and other renewable programmes.

He said: “All you are going to get with more road, gas and airport infrastructure is the same level of capital investment we’ve been bumping along with since the 1970s.

“In contrast, the green economy is about new projects that can attract new investment, and provide a source for exports.”

Mr Harper said that despite negative language from some ministers, the green industry has been able to get major international investors “to open up their wallets” and invest in the low-carbon sector.

What is your reaction to the low-carbon investment which led the green economy to succeed in crating hundreds of thousands of green jobs? Do you agree with the current trend which is forecast to continue in future? 

Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

A social way to raise £4.5bn 340,000 New Trade Jobs

Many Victorian homes across England which were used for social housing in the slump are to be sold off to raise a £4.5 billion investment to fund the largest social house building programme in England since the 1970s.

Selling social houses worth more than £177,000, the median house price in England, will raise billions of pounds that could be used to build  more than 100,000 new  homes every year, creating up to 340,000 new jobs in the building engineering industry, a new report by the UK’s leading think tank, Policy Exchange, revealed today.

The think tank says that selling off social housing worth more than the average property in each region* could create an unprecedented housing building scheme which will generate thousands of jobs for trade professionals, including electricians, plumbers and gas-engineers.

According to the report, named “Ending Expensive Social Tenancies”, urging the sale of social housing in more expensive areas and the reinvestment of funds to build more homes will bring economic growth and raise significant financial investment each year.

The scheme is set to reduce the housing waiting list by between 250,000 to 600,000 households in five years.

The report found:

  • Expensive social housing accounts for over a fifth (21.8%) of the total social housing stock in the UK.  This equates to 816,000 out of a total of 3.78 million properties.
  • London has the highest proportion of stock (30.7%) and the North East contains the lowest (14.8%)*
  • The total value of expensive social housing is £159 billion. London contains social housing worth £71.9bn while the North East has £4.4bn worth of expensive social housing stock
  • Approximately 3.5% of this stock becomes vacant a year due to people moving out or dying. This means that the government could sell a total of 28,500 properties on the open market each year. This raises £5.5 billion a year.
  • After paying off the debt held against the stock, the total figure raised is £4.5billion.

*The percentage of expensive social housing above the median value varies by region (adjusted by bedroom size)

Region Total Number Percentage Value of properties above median
North East 40,552 14.8 £4.44bn
East Midlands 43,924 15.8 £5.4bn
West Midlands 70,290 16.5 £9.73bn
North West 103,044 18.6 £11.8bn
Yorkshire and the Humber 79,516 19.3 £9.23bn
South West 56,883 20.1 £8.83bn
South East 97,019 22.1 £19.bn
East of England 97,760 26.0 £17.bn
London 227,794 30.7 £71.97bn
Total 816,000 21.6 £159.3bn

What is your reaction to the new proposals to sell off expensive social housing and build hundreds of thousands new homes every year? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

LED Street Lighting Could Generate 85% of Energy Savings

LED (Light Emitting Diode) street lighting can generate to up to 85% energy savings, a new report by electronics giant Philips and the Climate Group found. 

The results of a major two-and-half year study looking to improve energy efficiency in some of the world’s largest cities, including New York, London and Sydney, have indicated significant potential for the green economy by replacing traditional light bulbs with highly efficient LED technology.

Lighting is estimated to be responsible for nearly a fifth of global electricity use and around 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The report shows that LED lighting technologies could double lighting efficiency and have a climate impact equivalent to eliminating half the emissions of all electricity and heat production in the European Union.

Mark Kenber, CEO of the Climate Group said: “This report clearly highlights that LEDs are ready to be scaled-up in towns and cities across the globe. LED technology is energy efficient, scalable and positively impacts on the public; it is the Clean Revolution in action. We are now calling on Governments to remove policy obstacles and enable a rapid transition to low carbon lighting.”

It has been estimated the LEDs could save 670 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year. The report showed that citizens of pilot cities preferred LED lighting because of social and environmental benefits.

A recent reportby the International Labour Organization concluded that the green economy could create up to 60 million jobs; the Climate Group, Philips and partners who participated in the report are urging the government to improve LEDs in cities and make a green investment that will create millions of high-value jobs across the world.

What’s your reaction to the significant savings that could be made from LED street lighting? Would you consider replacing traditional light bulbs at your home with LED lighting to cut energy cost? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:  

The Government Will Ease Building of New Homes

A new report published today by MPs has identified enough public land, such as empty offices, unused storage and empty public service buildings, to build more than 100,000 homes.

The report which was prepared by the Commons Communities Select Committee has found that 230,000 households are forming each year, but in 2011 only 110,000 new homes were built, showing that demand had outstripped supply of newly built houses.

Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, welcomed the findings of the committee and agreed that the government needs to take decisive action to support the building of more new homes over the next coming years.

The Conservative Minister commented that the government is the biggest public sector owner of public land and as such, it is fair to make the best use of its assets to help the building of more homes across Britain.

Mr Shapps said: “We’re already on track to smash the Prime Minister’s ambition to release previously-used public land for housing: enough land has already been identified to support more than 102,000 homes. But we’re not stopping there – I’m determined to continue looking for more sites suitable for housebuilding.”

To help developers make the most of the sites on offer, Mr Shapps will also look to extend the use of the innovative “Build Now, Pay Later” deal to as many previously-used sites as possible, allowing them to start work on thousands of new homes without the initial expense of buying the land, the Deportment for Communities and Local Government said today.

The report also states that ministers are committed to make information about surplus public land freely available and help local people see the opportunities which exist in their area.

What is your reaction to the government’s commitment to help the building of more homes across Britain? How would you or your business benefit from these proposals? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

New Report Says the UK Renewable Sector Could Create Millions of New Jobs

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) published a report today  showing that meeting the UK’s renewable energy targets by the end of 2020 could create 400,000 jobs in the renewable energy sector.

The report ‘Renewable Energy: Made in Britain’, looks at employment figures for the entire UK’s renewable sector. It has estimated that the renewable industry was worth £12.5 billion in 2010/11 and supported 110,000 jobs.  The new report suggests that employment across the renewable sector would rise significantly, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs by the end of this decade.

Launching the report, REA’s Chief Executive Gaynor Hartnell welcomed the findings of the report by saying that it is vital for the UK to keep on track with its commitments to meet the renewable energy targets by the end of 2020 as well as encourage economic growth and create more green jobs.

Ms Hartnell said: “Harnessing our renewables creates employment and means that rather than spending money on energy imports we can keep it circulating in the UK economy. Government needs to take steps to build the skills base and keep the UK on track to meet its renewables targets. When it comes to the employment, economic and energy challenges we face, the answer is clear – make it renewable and make it in Britain.”

Gregory Barker, Minister of State for Climate Change, said: “Renewable energy not only provides us with clean and secure energy that cuts our reliance on imported fossil fuels – it generates billions of pounds of investment and potentially hundreds and thousands of jobs and is a key growth sector for the UK economy.”

What is your reaction to the report by the REA which suggests plenty of employment opportunities for people in the renewable industry? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:  

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