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The Blog

What land purchase powers will new housing development corporations have?

21 April 2017

The housing white paper is still out for consultation but one key, little-noticed measure has already been incorporated into legislation. An amendment to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill, accepted by the government, will enact the promise to ‘allow locally accountable New Town Development Corporations to be set up, enabling local areas to use them as the… [Read More]


Don’t overlook the role of the European Parliament in Brexit

29 March 2017

As the UK kicks off the Article 50 negotiations, it remains the case that relatively little attention has been paid to the role of the European Parliament, which will accept or reject the agreement between the UK and the EU setting out the arrangements for Brexit. If the European Parliament rejects the agreement, the UK… [Read More]


The Budget showed a lack of industrial ambition

10 March 2017

The Budget was meant to boost the UK’s economic resilience, thereby strengthening the prime minister’s hand in the upcoming Brexit negotiation, and get the UK match-fit for its global role post-Brexit by investing in infrastructure, innovation and skills. The most effective way of achieving these goals would be via a new and fairly comprehensive industrial strategy.… [Read More]


Continuing the EU debate is not ‘undemocratic’

17 February 2017

Tony Blair’s intervention in the Brexit debate today will inevitably invoke anger amongst those who campaigned for the UK to leave the European Union. Already Iain Duncan Smith branded his comments as ‘undemocratic’ and ‘arrogant’. But Blair has not asked for the will of the people to be ignored. He has simply said it is… [Read More]


Speeding up delivery: a quick take on the Housing White Paper

7 February 2017

Much pre-briefing in recent days about the government cracking down on developers culminated in a story in The Sun this morning saying that land would be seized if homes weren’t built quickly enough. The story was then tweeted from the official DCLG account, complete with its ‘fat cat developers’ headline, giving the impression that ministers… [Read More]


The UK needs to reform its trade policies to combat a consumption slowdown

3 February 2017

The UK economy finished strongly in 2016, with the ONS estimating growth of 2.0% in 2016, higher than any other G7 country. Because of the UK’s resilience after the Brexit vote, yesterday the Bank of England increased its forecast for UK economic growth in 2017 from 1.4% to 2.0%. The resilience of the UK economy post-referendum… [Read More]


If new homes are being approved, why shouldn’t we expect them to be built?

27 January 2017

With the housing white paper imminent, it’s squeaky bum time for the major developers who have been on notice for a while now that the communities secretary, Sajid Javid, is unimpressed with the rate at which they build out planning permissions. Last November he told the building industry: ‘I cannot look the other way when I… [Read More]


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