PBC Today July 2016

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Welcome to the July 2016 Edition of PBC Today.

As I write this, we are just one week on from a referendum result that has plunged the country into political turmoil. Right at this moment, the Tories and Labour are in political meltdown as they try to adjust to the new landscape in which the UK now lies – a UK that is to leave the EU – whatever that may mean.

For the construction industry, there are positives and negatives, and a whole lot of uncertainty. We may see more UK construction firms investing in British products and the real estate market in central London is also expected to see the benefits of an exit. However, we have already seen a skills shortage in the sector, so now there is even greater concern that we could see a more damaging shortfall in workers as our migrant workforce is under threat. Brian Berry of the FMB has urged the government to “ensure that the free-flowing tap of migrant workers from Europe is not turned off”.

For now, we are still part of the EU, and the construction sector needs to show resilience to the inevitable changes in the face of existing challenges, including those currently affecting the lack of housing.

We open this edition with the first of a two-part article from Dr Christian Hilber, Associate Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics discussing the UK’s serious housing affordability crisis. He argues that the UK planning system has serious flaws and delivers benefits only at excessively high costs which mainly hurt the young. He provides evidence to support the argument, and will provide three proposals for reform and provide a glimmer of hope for the UK planning system in our next edition in October.

I would also like to draw your attention to an article from David Edwards, Director at Place-Make, who provides his thoughts on DCLG’s second wave of garden settlements. He believes that it hits the right notes but still falls short on specifics that will guide and inform stakeholders to deliver proposals that will adhere to DCLG’s vision of a garden village or a garden town. It’s certainly an interesting read.

Further on in this edition, we again have a wealth of articles from our experts that examine the successful implementation of BIM, the latest in some of the issues affecting the building control sector, and how energy efficiency is being addressed in our buildings. As is always the case, there is too much to highlight here, so please do read on and respond with any comments you may have.

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