The government has published its summarised quarterly planning statistics to the end of September 2018. The highlights are:

  • the system processed 110,300 planning permission applications. This is a 6% reduction for the same quarter in 2017;
  • 93,300 decisions were approved which is also 6% down from the same quarter in 2017;
  • a total of 11,800 residential applications were granted, this being another 6% reduction for the comparable period for 2017.

Further details were contained in the report. Gov UK

Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Building’s (CIOB) parliamentary reception, MP Eddie Hughes (Walsall North) has stressed the need for improved standards to be achieved in quality. CIOB’s own analysis has suggested that there is a problem in some sections of building culture and that further education is required. Housebuilder

There are reports forecasting Council Tax increases of around 5% as being “likely” in April 2019. Analysts estimate that this increase will add about £80 to the annual average bill for a B and D home — currently £1,671. Sunday Express

The price of an average 4-bedroom property in London is now close to £1million. Sunday Times

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has revealed its annual summary of trends in the architecture profession and construction sector. The data details architects’ profit and turnover, salaries, and identifies global growth areas for the export of UK architecture expertise. It highlights that salaries have increased faster than inflation, perhaps indicating that architect’s practices are showing evidence of needing to work harder to retain key personnel. RIBA

In other news, RIBA has announced that the Home Office has agreed that architects will be regarded as a “skilled profession” and be able to continue entering the UK after Brexit. There may be requirements relating to confirming that their skills equate to “exceptional talent”. Building

Estate Agent Purple Bricks has reported a doubling of first-half trading losses. Their Chief Executive highlighted difficult trading conditions and commented that the company would emerge from this period stronger and better aligned. The Guardian  

Homes England is reported to be engaging with Coventry City Council’s planning department on ideas to transform a brownfield site into a residential development. The site on London Road was a Victorian pumping station. UK Construction

EPIC (Engineered Panels in Construction) has confirmed that it is offering full backing to the “100% Hackitt’ campaign which has the objective of motivating the industry to take up all of the 53 recommendations from “The Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety’. EPIC General Secretary, Chris Pateman, publicly commented that “EPIC members manufacture highly-engineered, thoroughly-tested building elements which can be relied upon to perform predictably in service”. Building Talk

UK constructor Kier has been selected to build a £50m foot-and-mouth research lab in Surrey. The 4,745m2 facility will be used for scientific diagnosis and research into the foot-and-mouth disease virus in a specialist, high containment environment. Construction Index

RIBA in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), Local Government Association (LGA) and Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), have announced “Future Place”. This is a two-stage plan that will recognise, reward and encourage, exemplary and high-quality “placemaking” in England. CIC

Guy Edwards, the existing CEO of Aggregate Construction Materials (ACM) in the US, has been appointed CEO of Aggregate Industries UK. This transition takes place in January 2019. Building Talk

BAM Construction has been appointed to build another office development at London’s King’s Cross, known as the Canal Reach project. The contractor will put up the Bennett Associates-designed suite of new buildings for the King’s Cross Partnership with completion planned for 2021. Building