Brexit 'having brutal effect on commercial property market'

A report claiming that the stalemate over Brexit is having a "brutal" effect on the commercial property market features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Telegraph reports on a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) that shows a sharp increase in the number of respondents who believe a commercial property downturn has taken hold. According to the paper, RICS said "uncertainty about Britain's departure from the European Union is having a brutal impact on market activity, with 62pc of respondents saying the commercial real estate market was in decline - up 9pc from the second quarter and the highest level since the series began in 2015".

The Guardian reports that "an influential committee of MPs" has said the business rates system "is broken and the government must undertake an urgent review to find alternatives". The paper says the Treasury committee "said business rates in England and Wales were high, complex and placed an unfair burden on bricks-and-mortar shops and manufacturers compared with businesses that operate online."

The Guardian’s architecture critic Oliver Wainwright says that "architects are taking issue with risk-averse playparks full of sluggish roundabouts and tiny climbing frames". The piece says that Nicola Butler, chair of campaign group Play England, is "concerned that playgrounds had become increasingly risk-averse, as a result of the claims culture of the 1990s and 2000s". She says: "Climbing frames were getting smaller, roundabouts and swings were going more slowly and being designed with more restrictive movement. When playgrounds become really safe and boring, kids climb on top of bus shelters instead because it’s more fun."

The Guardian reports that research has suggested that "more than three times more people are at risk from rising sea levels than previously believed". The paper says that "land that is currently home to 300 million people will flood at least once a year by 2050 unless carbon emissions are cut significantly and coastal defences strengthened, says the study, published in Nature Communications." It adds that "this is far above the previous estimate of 80 million".

The Times (subscription) reports on a row over a Christmas market in Edinburgh which set up in the city’s Princes Street Gardens without first securing planning consent. The paper says that "council officials confirmed that the market would open on November 16 even though it did not have planning permission. Officials said that consent would be applied for retrospectively so that the market could open on time."

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