News

The London Borough of Ealing Council has granted outline planning permission for ongoing regeneration of the Borough's largest housing estate. The application includes 1,950 new homes.

Redevelopment of Acton Gardens, formerly the South Acton Estate, began in 2012. This application for the undeveloped areas takes the total number of homes to be delivered to 3,300.

The application includes a detailed application for the next 200 homes to be built, due to be constructed this year. Retail, commercial, community and healthcare, parks, open spaces and allotment spaces will also be provided with a designated bus route.

The planning consultancy was submitted by Acton Gardens LLP, a joint venture between Countryside Properties and London & Quadrant Housing, working with the Borough Council.

Like-for-like re-provision of all social rent homes is included in the application, as well as an increase in the provision of shared ownership properties.

A representative from Acton Gardens LLP added that "London's housing needs have changed considerably since the original masterplan was conceived, so this revised masterplan will deliver a scheme that more closely matches the community's needs and desires".

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) seeks views of the public on the plans to extend the Single-use Carrier Bag Charge to all retailers as well as increasing the minimum charge to 10p per bag.

The Consultation applies to England only and was developed as a part of the implementation of the 25 Year Environment Plan, which includes measures to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste. This goal aims to follow the initial success of the introduction of the 5p carrier bag charge in 2015, which reduced the consumption of such bags by 86%.

Proposal to extend the charge to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

The Government's assessment found that small and micro retail businesses accounted for 27% of retail turnover in England, supplying an estimated 3.4 billion single-use carrier bags free of charge. By extending the mandatory charge to small retailers, the Government predicts a reduction of 80% in consumption of bags after three years following the introduction of the charge.

The Government, therefore, proposes to amend the Single Use Carrier Bags Charges Order SI 2015/776 to extend the single-use carrier bags charge to all retailers employing less than 250 employees from January 2020.

Proposal to increase the single-use carrier bags charge to minimum 10p

The 5p charge on single-use carrier bags has been very successful in reducing consumption of such bags since its introduction. Many of the large supermarkets have ceased to supply such bags or announced plans to withdraw the single-use bags from their stores.

By increasing the charge to 10p the Government forecasts a 90% reduction in the supply of single-use carrier bags by large retailers in the first year. Small retailers are expected to see an initial reduction of 23%, gradually falling to 90% in the third year resulting in total consumption of 521 million single-use carrier bags compared with the current consumption of 4.5 billion.

Responding to this consultation

The Consultation is open for responses from 27 December 2018 until 22 February 2019.

The preferred way to respond to this Consultation is by completing an online survey.

Alternatively, written responses can be sent via e-mail to PlasticBagCharge@defra.gov.uk.

For more information, see the:

The Government has published a Draft of the long-awaited Environment (Principles of Governance) Bill, which contains proposals for how the environment will be regulated once the UK leaves the EU.

At the moment, a significant amount of environmental regulation in the UK comes from shared legislation and principles with the EU. As a result, the environmental performance of the UK is monitored by the EU and the Government can be taken to court by the EU should they fail to meet their legal obligations.

Once the UK leaves the EU, there will be no single body able to keep the Government in check to make sure it is complying with it's environmental obligations. As such, several environmental groups, including IEMA, have been encouraging the Government to legislate for an independent environmental body with the capacity to take the Government to court should it breach its own laws.

The Government has responded positively to these requests, and has announced the proposed creation, through the Draft Bill, of the Office for Environmental Protection which will:

  • be an independent statutory body, designed to safeguard environmental standards;
  • have the power to take the Government to court in order to enforce environmental law.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said, "Our ambition is to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than that in which we found it. We will keep building on our successes by enhancing our environmental standards and delivering a Green Brexit."

Whilst the decision to create a new environmental watchdog may be great news for many, the Bill is not proposed to be debated in Parliament until Easter - which is after the UK leaves the EU. It could therefore be a while before the Office for Environmental Protection is established, and longer before it actually starts to operate.

The Draft Bill also sets out that the UK will follow the same key environmental principles as the EU, including the polluter pays principle which aims to make those who cause the environmental harm ultimately responsible for it. It also contains provisions:

  • requiring the Office for Environmental Protection to advise Ministers about any proposed changes to environmental law;
  • placing a duty on the Office to monitor the implementation of environmental law and report on that implementation;
  • requiring the Office to monitor progress in improving the natural environment, in line with the current environmental improvement plan (which is also provided for in the Draft Bill).

For more information, see the:

Tiles & Tops, a stonework company based in Croydon, has been fined £14,000, ordered to pay costs of £1260 and also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £170 after pleading guilty to breaching an Improvement Notice served by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Employees at the company were exposed to a risk of amputation because the blade of an Elenis automatic bridge was not properly guarded. Following a visit to the company, a HSE inspector served an Improvement Notice on Tiles & Tops requiring a guard to be fitted to the saw. A follow-up visit three months later found that temporary fencing was actually moved to one side so was not offering any protection to those using the saw.

The Improvement Notice cited a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations SI 1998/2306. The company had previously been prosecuted in 2016 for failing to control stone dust.

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Sarah Whittle said, "In this case, the company completely failed to grasp the importance of installing and maintaining basic but essential guards to prevent access to the dangerous parts of machinery. Despite being given several weeks to rectify the situation, the temporary fencing put in place by the company was clearly inadequate.

"Companies should be aware that HSE may bring prosecutions where duty holders continually fail to address risks in the workplace or where they fail to respond to enforcement notices.”

Cedrec Christmas office hours
Published: 21 Dec 2018

Christmas is almost upon us, so we thought we better give you a heads up as to our office hours for the festive period.

We will be closed from 12pm on 21 December 2018, and back in all refreshed on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

All that's left is to wish you all a Happy Christmas and New Year, and we'll see you in January for our Roadshow!

Love, Cedrec x

The Government has said there will be "no hiding place" for builders who fail to protect high-rise residents, as plans to overhaul regulations are revealed following the Grenfell tragedy which killed 72 people last year.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said that a "radically-new system" would be the best tribute for the victims of the fire and that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will establish "stronger sanctions to prevent and punish wrongdoing".

This follows recommendations by Dame Judith Hackitt from her report in May, which she found that indifference and ignorance led to a race to the bottom in building safety practices.

Before the fire, a cladding system using highly flammable rainscreen panels had been installed on the block. In September the Government banned the use of combustible cladding on new high-rise homes, which is due to come into force this week, 18 months after the fire.

Brokenshire confirmed he is taking forward every recommendation in the Hackitt review and the Government have committed to reforming four key areas:

  • introducing more effective regulations and accountability;
  • clearer guidance;
  • prioritising residents;
  • working with the industry to drive change.

They are set to work with firms and tenants to trial more rigorous ways of monitoring developers, contractors and landlords, with an emphasis on public safety. Successful approaches will then contribute to fresh legislation to tighten-up building regulations which will include more punitive sanctions for those who disregard regulations.

Campaign group Grenfell United called it a "long overdue shake up" of the industry but warned against urgent changes being forgotten about and not prioritised.

They stated "we must be vigilant to ensure Government industry, that so badly failed us, do not water down these changes".

"Resident voices must be given weight and Parliament must keep a watchful eye on progress".

The new regulatory framework will apply to multi-occupancy buildings of at least ten storeys, with a consultation in Spring 2019 on whether additional buildings should be included.

The Government will also consult on proposals to create dutyholders, who will ensure resident safety in each stage of building development and strengthen accountability. Their responsibilities will be determined by regulations that would require gateways at key stages, to demonstrate they are actively managing safety risks.

A Standards Committee will be established to advise on construction product and system standards, as well as a Joint Regulators Group that will consist of bodies like the Health and Safety Executive, the Local Government Association (LGA), fire and rescue authorities and local authorities. 

The LGA has welcomed the Governments commitment to implement the recommendations and where necessary go beyond them, as they have with the use of combustible materials.

"The tragedy at Grenfell Tower must never be allowed to happen again and we look forward to working with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to make sure the new system of building regulations work".

Brokenshire pushes for a culture change and confirms "by making people responsible and more accountable for safety, we will create a more rigorous system so residents will always have peace of mind that they are safe in their own homes".

For more information on this subject, see:


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