The government is claiming a significant success in the delivery of new housing. In the 12 months ending this June, a total of 170,000 new homes were completed – the highest number during any such period in the last 11 years and an 8% increase in the number delivered last year, according to official statistics. Gov.UK.

By way of contrast, the statistics for September show a major slump in housebuilding activity. It has fallen at the second-fastest rate in more than ten years. A survey of builders blamed the fall on continued uncertainty about Brexit and an overall weakness in demand. Housing Today.

In response to criticism that fast-track “permitted development rights” (PDR) risk creating “slums of the future”, the government has promised to amend the rules if necessary. PDR allows homeowners to add extra floors to their houses and the conversion of small commercial units to homes without full-blown planning requirements. Housing Today.

Questions are being asked whether the government’s promise of £3.6 billion for a Towns Fund to regenerate 100 “left behind” towns in England has substance or is empty political posturing. Building.

Builders Mace and Skanska are in the running to take over a £300 million development project for British Land at Norton Folgate on the northern edge of the City of London. The project was tipped to be awarded to Kier until it was shelved by them earlier this summer. Building.

As part of an ambitious strategy for growth, housebuilder Miller Homes has appointed from within its ranks Stewart Lynes in a new position as chief operating officer. His role in implementing Miller’s current strategy will focus on housebuilding operations and land acquisitions. Housebuilder.

Two of southern England’s biggest housing associations, Vivid and Radian, criticise barriers to new housing development because of the government’s failure to resolve nitrate pollution. The organisation Natural England has warned that unless this type of pollution is cleared up planning permission should be withheld. Inside Housing.

Flat-pack giant Ikea and partners Skanska are to build 200 homes in Bristol. The homes will be prefabricated at factories in Estonia and Sweden before being shipped to the UK. Trading as BoKlok, the two companies have already erected some 12,000 low-cost homes across Scandinavia during the past 20 years. Housing Today.

Housing for Women and Women’s Pioneer Housing (WPF) have scrapped plans to merge. The two housing associations – which specialise in the provision of affordable housing for women – together own nearly 2,000 homes across London. Merger talks which started in May have now been abandoned. Inside Housing.

Westminster City Council is fast losing patience with developers – led by Interserve – over delays in completion of a £25 million scheme for a Premier Inn in Soho, central London. The project in Berwick Street is now running 18 months behind schedule. Building.

The government is consulting the industry about amendments to the Future Homes Standard, designed to increase the energy efficiency of new homes built from 2020 onwards. The amendments place particular emphasis on low carbon heating, airtightness, and the overall energy performance of future homes. Gov.UK.

Although many housing associations have been moving away from fixed-term tenancies, these represent probably the best way of using their resources. The alternative – lifetime tenancies – need to be a thing of the past, argues a housing insider. Inside Housing.

Cold water has been thrown upon government plans to allow staircasing in steps of just 10% for social housing tenants who want to exercise a shared ownership Right to Buy their homes. Housing experts have said they might be worse off switching from a simple tenancy to leasehold ownership. Inside Housing.

Planning permission is shortly expected for the development of 425 homes and mixed commercial use on the site of the former Electrolux factory at the Merrington Lane Industrial Estate, south of Spennymoor, County Durham. Homes England submitted plans for the 43.5-acre site. Insider Media.

A 1,342-home development in Bermondsey, South London, has been redesigned to include more social housing. The original plans provided for 27% of the new dwellings to be affordable and were rejected by Southwark Borough Council. Developers of the £500 million scheme, Grosvenor, have now increased that proportion. Building.