A seismic shift in planning requirements is on the horizon; starting in London and eventually and quickly spreading across the rest of the UK. It will result in the planning authorities asking for commercial buildings to achieve a BREEAM Outstanding rating. The issue with this is that BREEAM Outstanding developments, in comparison to those that are Excellent and Very Good – the most common planning requirements at the moment – is the cost in achieving it is significantly higher.

The scale of our housing problem is immense with a great chasm between demand and supply, escalating prices across the UK to levels way beyond what a first time buyer can ever hope to achieve.  In a bid to reform the market and boost the supply of new homes, the Government’s much-awaited housing white paper, Fixing Our Broken Housing Market, was greeted with cautious optimism by some, but is a much needed step in the right direction.

Following last year’s refreshing announcement that the WELL Building Standard would be aligned with global sustainability standard BREEAM, there is further good news this week with the BRE and the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) publishing a briefing paper which will greatly simplify the process of obtaining both a Certified BREEAM and a WELL Certified™ rating.

There’s no denying the British love of wildlife but when it comes to planning applications, most of us have no idea what species are protected and what an ecology report entails. With planning consents being issued with ecological conditions added by the local authority, many developers, architects and building owners will overlook this aspect until it is too late. To prevent a development being held up, or at worst, a breach of planning consent, it’s vital that you include ecological assessments carried out by a qualified Ecologist at the earliest stage in a project’s development.