Writing in The Telegraph, Roger Bootle, chairman of economics research consultancy, Capital Economics, says that "the solution to our inadequate supply of housing is the release of more public land, reform of the planning laws to make obtaining planning permission easier, making is easier to switch property usage from office or retail to residential, and a radical reform of the tax system, including a sharp reduction, or even abolition, of stamp duty".
The Guardian’s architecture critic Oliver Wainwright looks at the boom in luxury residential towers in Manchester. Wainwright questions whether the developments are helping to provide affordable homes, saying that "despite the council having a policy of 20% affordable housing in all new developments, none of these schemes provide any".
An article in The Times (subscription) says the High Speed Two (HS2) rail project "is struggling to find the water supply it needs to tunnel through the Chilterns". The paper says that HS2 Ltd, the company behind the proposed high-speed rail link, told it that it was "in talks with Affinity Water, which services the Chilterns area, to supply up to eight million litres a day for about two years". But it adds that "Affinity said it had told HS2 that it was unable to meet its water requirements".
The Times reports that "Leo Varadkar has backed Boris Johnson’s plan to build a bridge from Northern Ireland to Scotland as part of an effort to help trade after Brexit." The paper says the Irish prime minister’s "public support for the proposed structure linking Larne with Stranraer will be well received in Downing Street, although he stopped short of offering financial backing".
The Times reports that "the level of a toxic gas produced by diesel engines has fallen by a third in central London since charges for the most polluting vehicles were introduced". The paper says that "NO2 has fallen from 85 to 57 micrograms per cubic metre at the roadside in central London since October 2017, when Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, introduced a £10 daily toxicity charge". It adds that the results "show that charging can cut nitrogen dioxide and will put pressure on other cities to introduce similar schemes targeting pre-2016 diesel and pre-2006 petrol cars".
An article in The Financial Times (subscription) examines why the East Midlands "has the fastest-growing economy in the UK". Looking at Nottingham, the paper says that "new apartments are aimed at luring young professionals into the city centre, echoing what has happened in the UK’s bigger regional cities such as Manchester and Birmingham".