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Watts Bulletin (Issue 130)

Welcome to the September issue of the Watts Bulletin. The summer is over, holidays long forgotten and the industry is getting down to the business of preparing for some of the legislative and regulatory change that will be introduced in the coming months.

In this issue we look at the impact of changes to construction contracts as a result of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 (LDEDCA) coming into force in October. We also take a look at the proposed new property lease accounting rules and report on the way in which changes to the rules on capital allowances will affect anyone thinking of installing solar power. There is also a new government consultation underway, which may change how squatters are dealt with in law. Last but not least housing reform may mean an increase in construction employment. It’s about time the industry had cause for optimism and an estimated 200,000 new jobs can only be good news. See below for more on this story.

Watts Bulletin (Issue 130)

Planning reform could create new industry jobs

The Government is considering planning reforms that will make house building easier. If the proposed changes are implemented, planning authorities would be obliged to take account of the economic impact of the schemes, encouraging them to give the green light to developers.

Main Bulletin Sep 11

According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), raising the supply of new housing would have a major knock-on effect on the economy as a whole and could create nearly a quarter of a million new jobs. Increasing new housing from the 2010 level of 95,000 to 300,000 by 2015 would boost supply and reduce rents by around an estimated 11%, “with potentially larger effects later”. This would not only have an impact on the wider economy by boosting spending power but would also have a “direct impact on GDP as it did in helping drive the recovery from the depression in the 1930s,” said the CEBR.

The CEBR has a housing market model that estimates if house building were to increase gradually to 300,000 dwelling starts between 2012 and 2015, some 201,000 extra permanent jobs in the construction sector would be created, which in turn would provide an extra £75 billion contribution to GDP over the same time frame.
The Government has called an inquiry into the financing of new housing supply, which will look at both the private and affordable housing sectors.

More information is available from the Centre for Economics and Business Research at www.cebr.com

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