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Construction Parliamentary Update - 10 April 2009

A round up of all the construction news from Westminster this week brought to you by the Madano Partnership.

PLANNING
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) published provisions as part of last year’s Planning Act. (08 April)

DCLG published the impact assessment of transitional/savings provisions for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) as part of the Planning Act 2008. (08 April)

DCLG published a circular on costs awards in appeals and other planning proceedings. (06 April)

The Scottish Government appointed Lindsay Lindsey Nicoll as Scotland’s Chief Reporter and Director for Planning and Environmental Appeals (Press Release). (06 April)

DCLG published an updated guide on planning titled Planning Together: practical guide for local strategic partnerships and planners. (03 April)

CONSTRUCTION
The Office for National Statistics published statistics on new construction orders. (09 April)

The Welsh Assembly Government published quarterly statistics for Q4 2008 on Index of Production and Index of Construction for Wales. (09 April)

17 contractors were appointed to Crossrail on the enabling works frameworks. The contractors on each section of the framework were, civils: Balfour Beatty, Carillion Civil Engineering, Costain/Skanska Construction joint venture, J Murphy and Sons, Kier Construction, Laing O’Rourke Construction and Morgan Est. For demolition: Bam Nuttall, Brown & Mason, John F Hunt Demolition, Keltbray, Kier Construction, Laing O’Rourke Construction, McGee Group, PJ Carey. For Utilities: Clancy Docwra, Costain/Skanska Construction joint venture, J Murphy and Sons, Laing O’Rourke Construction, McNicholas and Morgan Est (Contract Journal). (09 April)

Economic consultancy Experian forecasted that the British construction industry will not return to growth until 2011 (Building). (09 April)

The CBI published a series of climate change roadmaps that set out the low-carbon strategy for transport, power, industry and buildings (Press Release). (06 April)

The Campaign the Protect Rural England (CPRE) received and publicised independent legal advice revealed the government’s approach to building eco towns could be subject to judicial review (Press Release). Liberal Democrat Shadow Housing Minister, Sarah Teather called for the Government to listen to local opposition to eco-towns (Press Release). The LGA also called for the Government to revise its Eco-build policy if the Government is to avoid future legal challenges (Press Release). (06 April)

The Construction Products Association (CPA) released industry forecasts that indicate the sector will suffer a 12% fall in construction output in 2009, followed by a further fall of 3.4% in 2010, significant positive growth is only expected in 2012 (Press Release; Building). (06 April)

Kier, Wilmott Dixon and Wates secured spots on the £200 million-plus East Midlands Property Alliance framework (Construction News). (03 April)

HOUSING
Conservative Shadow Housing Minister Grant Shapps published his party’s housing policy paper entitled ‘Strong Foundations’. The proposals included rewards for good behaviour, a ‘Right to Move’, supporting the low-cost housing sector, local housing trusts, freeing up empty government property and increasing local accountability of planning decisions on housing developments (Press Release). Iain Wright, Labour’s Housing Minister, accused the Conservatives of wanting to cut £800m from the housing budget with the proposal of “Right to Move” scheme (The Times). The LGA published a briefing on the paper. Adam Sampson, chief executive of Shelter responded to the Conservative housing paper saying that it didn’t address what Shelter sees as the crucial problem of under supply of social housing in the UK (Press Release). National Housing Federation (NHF) gave a cautious welcome on Conservative proposal on equity share in social housing but criticised ‘right to move’ (Press Release). (07 April)

A report published by property consultancy Knight Frank showed the value of residential development falling by half in 2008 (Financial Times). (07 April)

TRANSPORT
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) published a paper on coming geopolitical, geo-economic and environmental shifts and the national security concerns they raise. It proposed increased investment in infrastructure which it said was not equipped to cope with the challenges to come. (09 April)

Councils opposed to expansion at Heathrow launched a legal challenge to the Government’s decision to approve a third runway in West London (Press Release; Press Release; Press Release). (07 April)

Northern Ireland Regional Development Minister, Conor Murphy delivered a speech at the Transport Ireland Conference in Dublin. The Minister called for radical decisions to be made about the future of the transport network in order to address the issues of climate change, sustainability, congestion and connectivity in rural and urban areas across this Ireland. (08 April)

The Department for Transport (DfT) published the New Approach to Appraisal (NATA) Refresh appraisal for a sustainable transport system report. The document announced changes that are being made to the NATA framework in the light of the Stern Review, the Eddington Transport Study and the NATA Refresh consultation. (06 April)

The DfT published a report on evaluating productivity impacts of transport. (06 April)

Transport Minister, Rosie Winterton published written statement to Parliament on the Local Transport Bill: Draft Regulations and Guidance. (03 April)

The DfT published guide on building sustainable transport into new development: Options for growth points and eco towns. (03 April)

OLYMPICS AND 2012
CLM the organisation in charge of the construction of the Olympic venues was given the contract to oversee the building of the athletes’ village, which was originally run by developer Lend Lease. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and Lend Lease had been in disagreement over how the village is to be paid for (Building). (09 April)

The Communities Secretary Hazel Blears, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, and Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell welcomed the appointment of Baroness Ford as Chair of the 2012 legacy delivery company (Press Release). (07 April)

FLOODING
The LGA issued a warning to the UK Government with regards to the risk of potential flooding for up to 50,000 homes across the UK. The LGA expressed its concerned that the situation which arose in 2007 could arise again for want of sufficient progress on measures to prevent and mitigate flooding and its effects (Financial Advice) (07 April)

WASTE AND UTILITIES
The long-delayed £3.8 billion Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) PFI scheme was signed off following a £120m intervention from the Government’s new Treasury PFI unit. The 25-year deal, which is being undertaken by a consortium of Viridor and John Laing, will involve £640 million of building work to create a network of new recycling plants across the city (Financial Times). (08 April)

POLICE, FIRE AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
The Times ran a report suggesting that increases in prisoner numbers and the continuing of prison capacity nationwide made the construction of titan prisons highly likely. (06 March)


FUTURE EVENTS

‘Early 2009’
Consortium DTZ reports on the potential regional economic impacts of a Severn tidal scheme in Wales

Friday 17 April 2009
DCLG consultation on excluding new council housing from Housing Revenue Account Subsidy and Pooling

Fri 17 - Sat 18 Apr 2009
Homes for Good conference

Monday 20 April 2009
CLG’s consultation on the list of statutory consultees for National Policy Statements ends.