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TerraQuest News

- May 2021

Welcome to the latest edition of the Planning Market Insight Report

Throughout newspapers over the last week, there have been fantastic reports about the UK economy’s growth rate with the Bank of England predicting it will see the fastest growth it has seen in 70 years. It is expected to grow by a rapid 7.25% this year with government spending on schemes, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, helping to limit the number of job losses. This growth has been preceded by a severe contraction of 9.9% throughout 2020 and Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England, likened the recovery to “more of a bounce-back” and stated that we still have a way to go before we are back to where we should be.

Economic recovery has been seen to be in line with the easing of lockdown restrictions. People have flocked back to restaurants, bars and shops over the last month, making the most of the ‘new normal’. The BBC reported that households have put aside over £150 billion in extra savings over the last year (predominantly the higher earners), with the bank predicting that about 10% of this extra cash will be spent throughout the coming months.

In a survey carried out by the Bank of England however, more than half of those surveyed suggested they would hold on to their savings. Perhaps this indicates how many people are remaining cautious regarding the state of the UK economy.

Of course, the pandemic is not the only major factor currently affecting planning and building as well as the wider economy. We’ve already seen in previous reports that as the pandemic has progressed, homeowners have been driving the marked increase in planning applications and based on the data, this looks likely to continue. However, further challenges may hamper this recovery such as the material shortages reported last month, and issues regarding certification.

At the beginning of the year, we discussed the impact of Brexit on the construction industry and the effects that changes to acquiring staff and materials have had on the industry. One of the changes that has emerged from this is the fact we can no longer accept the CE mark as a sign of conformity and companies will have to show a UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark for products to be accepted. Could necessary changes to these supplies, coupled with the struggles already being faced regarding access to materials due to both Brexit and the pandemic, hinder further the recovery of the market, or will we see this help us make huge strides going forward in setting a new global standard for products?

April 2021 is the first month this year where we have not seen a month-on-month increase in the number of applications submitted. This report covers the reasons behind this reduction in numbers, discusses recovery on a regional basis and compares these figures to 2019. We delve in detail into activity in the South East, the region with the highest number of applications submitted throughout April. We also have an inclusion from Outsmart, the organisation championing Out Of Home advertising. They have seen dramatic changes to the advertising industry over the last year and explain the new and inventive ways companies are reaching audiences, despite the country being kept at home. 

We hope you enjoy this month’s edition!  

Sarah Chilcott  

Managing Director – Planning Portal  

The above article was provided to us by the Planning Portal.

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