The Week That Was - 3 November 2023

Published on 03 November 2023

Welcome to The Week That Was, a round-up of key events in the construction sector over the last seven days.

Homes England provides updated guidance for its Cladding Safety Scheme

Homes England has updated its guidance for organisations taking part in the Cladding Safety Scheme (CSS). The CSS (formerly known as the Medium Rise Scheme (MRS)) was set up to meet the cost of addressing life safety fire risks associated with cladding on residential buildings over 11m in height.

The latest guidance, published on 1 November 2023, provides detailed information about the scheme and outlines the full process for making an application to the CSS.  From 1 November 2023, in order to be eligible for funding, a Fire Risk Appraisals of the External Wall Construction must be provided by a Fire Risk Assessor from the Homes England accredited panel.

The full guidance is available here.
The Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill receives Royal Assent

The Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill received Royal Assent on 26 October and will become the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act 2023 (LURA).  LURA aims to reduce regional inequalities in the UK and increase private sector investment. The Act will impact on planning, environmental, property and public law.

The wording of the Act is not currently available, but the wording of the Bill can be found on the Government's website.

Click here to access it.
Government response to Climate Change Committee report

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) has published a report criticising the UK's progress in meeting its carbon reduction targets.

The Government has responded by saying the UK's targets were ambitious and the country was progressing along the metrics set out in the Government's Net Zero strategy. However, the Government's response makes clear they will not be taking on board the CCC's recommendations, which would see UK families make "costly and burdensome" changes to their lifestyles.

The CCC's concern appears to be justified in light of the Government's recent green-lighting of new oil field projects.

Click here to read the CCC's report and here to read the response
The Procurement Act 2023 receives Royal Assent 

The Procurement Act 2023 (PA 2023) received Royal Assent on 26 October 2023.

The PA 2023 will introduce a new public procurement regime, with the aim of producing a simpler and more transparent framework for procurement that supports small businesses and innovation. Contracts which were previously awarded under separate procurement regimes for the award of general public contracts, utilities contracts and defence and security contracts will now all be governed by the PA 2023.

Under the PA 2023, the objectives for contracting authorities will include: maximising public benefit; acting with integrity; and delivering value for taxpayers. The new regime is expected to come into force in October 2024.    

You can read more here.
6,000 construction companies close to collapse

Almost 6,000 construction companies are close to collapse, according to a recent report on business health published by Begbies Traynor. The report also states that 1 in 5 construction companies in the UK are in a less precarious, but nonetheless significant, state of financial distress, which has likely been caused by companies taking on significant debt at low interest rates prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. While many business were propped up by government support during the pandemic, more recent economic challenges,  such as rising interest rates, inflation and decreased consumer confidence, have contributed to the current climate of financial distress in the construction industry.   

You can read more here.
New director code of conduct

The Institute of Directors has launched a commission to draft a voluntary code of conduct for directors to improve standards.  The membership body, which is comprised largely of those from a legal, financial and regulatory background, flagged the findings of the consultation (here), which concludes that trust in UK business is lower than in many other countries.

The commission, headed by the former Labour Party general secretary Lord (Iain) McNicol, will run until March 2024 and report its findings in the following month. 

For further information, please click here.
Japan's biggest housebuilder enters UK market

Daiwa House, Japan's biggest housebuilder, has entered into a joint venture with Lendlease to develop a 259-home scheme in Elephant & Castle, South London.  The Elephant Park project is the first time Daiwa has been involved in residential development in the UK.  Daiwa House, which has an annual turnover of £30.5bn, will hold a 75 per cent stake in the joint venture.   

Lendlease’s European chief executive, Andrea Ruckstuhl, said: “We’re very pleased to be able to bring Japanese investment here and it’s another illustration of the desire that international investors have for high quality opportunities across our global pipeline of projects.”  

Read more here.

Authors for this week's edition: Emily Snow, Laura Sponti, Ciara Stewart, Charlie Underwood, Dom Barnes.

Authors for this week's edition:  Liz Johnson, Helen Thomas, Zack Gould-Wilson and Hannah Kendall

Disclaimer: The information in this publication is for guidance purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  We attempt to ensure that the content is current as at the date of publication, but we do not guarantee that it remains up to date.  You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content

Stay connected and subscribe to our latest insights and views 

Subscribe Here