Official statistics reveal that planning applications across the whole of England were down by 4% in the final quarter of 2018, compared to the number received in the same quarter the previous year. 88,600 of the total 107,800 applications have been granted – including 11,900 residential applications, 1,600 for major developments and 10,300 for minor ones. Gov.UK.

The Persimmon Group has announced changes to its standard contracts of sale to allow homebuyers to retain 1.5% of the home’s total value pending the identification and rectification of any building faults found at the point of sale. This amounts to around £3,600 on the current average price of its homes. Property Industry Eye.

A mechanics lien may be an effective way of securing payment on construction projects, explains Building Design and Construction magazine. The lien attaches to the building – rather than its owner – and may prove a way of bringing the two sides together in the event of a dispute. Building Design and Construction.

The Home Builders Federation’s annual policy conference takes place tomorrow (Tuesday the 26th of March) with keynote speakers from the great and good, including James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Christine Whitehead, professor of housing at the LSE, and McCarthy & Stone’s CEO, John Tonkiss. Housebuilder.

An SME housebuilding company has branded government plans to abandon the current Help to Buy scheme by 2023 as devastating for future housing supply prospects unless some transitional or provisional measures are put in its place. Building.

In a multi-agency invitation, government departments have called for applications to manage a project designed to attract, recruit, train and retain a highly-skilled construction workforce to operate within the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP). The deadline for applications is the 24th of June. Gov.UK.

Returns to investors and an increasing incidence of bad loans are driving down average net returns to peer to peer investors, warns an article in the Financial Times, asserting that the whole peer to peer industry is facing very stormy weather ahead and increasingly stringent scrutiny and control by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Financial Times.

Transport for London (TfL) has forecast as much as £600 million in lost revenue because of indefinite delays in completion of the £17.6 billion Crossrail project. The losses are blamed primarily on the late opening of the central section of the line. Building.

Eager to encourage the rehabilitation of offenders, police in Nottinghamshire have donated hand tools to HMP Nottingham. Used in construction courses attended by inmates, the tools are helping in the transformation of prisoners’ lives and contributing to them developing useful skills while incarcerated. Eastwood & Kimberley Advertiser.

Miller Homes – a housebuilder operating throughout England and Scotland – has posted results for 2018 that saw a 14% increase in the number of completions and a 15% increase in its profits over the previous year. The average selling price of one of its homes – at £249,000 – has also risen by 4%. Housebuilder.

A government-backed Social Sector (Building Safety) Engagement Best Practice Group has been launched to encourage social housing tenants and the landlords to explore ways together of improving building and fire safety issues. Eight major social landlords have so far agreed to participate. Inside Housing.

Despite a continued struggle against the fallout from Brexit, which saw turnover for the Wates Group fall by some £1.6 billion, the company remains upbeat about a 1% increase in pre-tax profits, with 7,000 new homes under construction in 2018, and a record order book for the coming year. City AM.

Brentwood Borough Council has announced a partnership with construction firm Morgan Sindall in a £1 billion 50:50 joint venture intended to create new housing, leisure facilities and commercial space throughout the Essex town. The joint venture could last for as long as 30 years. Inside Housing.