Ministers eye 100,000 modular homes

Reports that the soon-to-be-published housing white paper could contain plans to boost the construction of pre-packed homes feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The government has decided to meet its housing targets by "embracing the first new generation of pre-packed homes since the great reconstruction drive that followed the Second World War", the Sunday Telegraph reports. According to the newspaper, a government white paper expected to be published next month will include measures to encourage banks to lend to small firms that build houses off-site, which are then delivered to a final destination. Government sources said it was hoped that the change would result in more than 100,000 prefabs being built over this parliament, the newspaper said.

The Liberal Democrats have confirmed Sarah Olney as their candidate to run against Zac Goldsmith in the Richmond Park by-election, the Guardian reports. The newspaper says that Olney, "who is relatively unknown", is seen as the main threat to the former Conservative MP in the by-election, which was forced after Goldsmith ditched the Tories to stand as an independent in protest at the decision to give the go-ahead to a new runway at Heathrow.

Writing in the Financial Times (subscription required), John Kay examines why British governments are "so bad" at making major infrastructure decisions. "Politics is central to the answer," Kay writes. "Our adversarial system encourages governments of any complexion to review the policies of any previous government of any different complexion, and the dire consequences of these reversals are particularly obvious in the case of London airport expansion," he says. Kay adds that the "tyranny of the minority" means that "the clamour of the few who fear they may lose a lot drowns the quiet voices of the many who stand to gain a little".

Living next to a wind farm can cause some people to become stressed and lose sleep, but the noise is not completely to blame, according to a government review, The Times (subscription required) reports. According to the newspaper, a "clear link" between the amount of noise emitted by an energy site and irritation experienced by nearby residents has been identified in a report commissioned by the former Department of Energy and Climate Change. But the report found that the prospect of a sleepless night is generally an "indirect" link caused by the frustration evoked from having a loud wind farm in your community, the newspaper says.

UK property funds are no longer trying to sell some of their central London buildings, the Financial Times (subscription required) reports. According to the newspaper, investors have started putting money back into the property sector, "reversing a stampede for the exit that followed the UK's EU referendum". "Several assets worth £100 million or more were put up for sale over the summer to provide the cash the funds needed to let investors take their money out," the newspaper reports. "But agents say many of these buildings have been withdrawn from sale since fund flows turned positive in August."


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