Our autumn round-up of articles written by colleagues highlights a wide range of issues affecting businesses in the UK construction industry.
To find out more about these issues and their effect on your business, please contact one of the team listed on the right, or your usual UK Construction team contact.
- For our latest round-up of new and proposed legislation affecting the construction industry, see the New and proposed legislation summary, August 2019.
Energy and renewable energy
- Laura Mackett discusses the new UK statutory emissions target of Net Zero by 2050, including its background, amendments to the Climate Change Act, wide-reaching changes required to achieve Net Zero and what businesses should be thinking about now. See: The government's net-zero emissions by 2050 target will ensure a changing climate for business and society.
- Following the enactment of a "net zero" target for UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2050, the outgoing Conservative government published a large number of energy policy documents, covering everything from funding new nuclear power stations to energy efficiency. If you would like to know more, register for our seminar on 5 November 2019 here: Dentons Energy Breakfast: Aiming for net zero: Is the UK making the right energy policy choices?.
- The UK's insatiable appetite for ever-cheaper food has had a hugely detrimental impact on our environment, the public's health and food security. This is not sustainable. Annabel Hodge discusses what happens when your ethical food policy is no longer flavour of the month and suggests that businesses plan carefully for legal changes when they invest in sustainability. See: Food sustainability: the impact of civil society.
Housebuilding and planning
- The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has highlighted the need for the government to promote modern methods of construction to get anywhere near its target of 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s. In Embrace Hard Choices As Well As Modern Methods, Roy Pinnock considers the Committee's recommendations and asks whether there is a need for a wider exercise of political will to achieve the shift.
- In Private keep out!, Mark Child discusses the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 and the "right to roam" granted over certain designated open country land and coastal margins.
- In The cost of justice: certainty? Stephen Ashworth considers whether the courts are starting to be more generous to councils when they make mistakes when granting planning permission.
- In R (on the Application of Fulford Parish Council) v. City of York Council  EWCA Civ 1359, the Court of Appeal confirmed that the statutory power conferred by section 96A of the Town and Country Planning Act (the Act) to make non-material changes to a planning permission includes the power to make non-material changes to conditional approvals of reserved matters. Mark Child considers the judgment in Reserved Matters approval can be amended.
- In CIL: the more it changes, the more it stays the same?, Roy Pinnock reviews the latest changes to the Community Infrastructure Levy regime and considers what is still needed.
To receive regular updates from Dentons' UK Planning Law blog, sign up here.
- Do your diversity and inclusion monitoring programmes comply with data privacy laws? Dentons has collaborated pro bono in the development of a guide about the GDPR implications of collecting LGBT data on employees within Europe. Find out more: Stonewall, Dentons and NYU launch GDPR guide on LGBT+ data collection.
- To reinforce the Firm's commitment to developing better working practices on mental health and wellbeing, Dentons has signed up to the Mindful Business Charter. See: Dentons signs up to the Mindful Business Charter.
- Section 111A of the Employment Rights Act 1996 enables "pre-termination negotiations" to take place between an employer and employee to facilitate discussions. Also known as "protected conversations" or "PTNs", these discussions are inadmissible in any later unfair dismissal proceedings. Lisa Watson discusses some exceptions to this protection in When can off the record discussions be used in evidence?.
- What are philosophical beliefs? Ahead of the Court of Appeal hearing of the decision in Gray v. Mulberry, Claire McKee provides her Ponderings on philosophical beliefs.
- Other recent articles from our UK
Employment team include:
- IR35 – Seeking out employment relationships
- Investigations: getting the balance right
- Employment Tribunal entitled to re-label decision to dismiss
- Agenda for Change – contractual and statutory recovery
- Could taking action on climate change result in disciplinary action?
- Be more Japanese? Stepping up to manage automation (like Dentons!)
- Banking Standards Board publishes guidance on regulatory references
For further employment law updates, sign up to the Employment team's blog here.
- Scotland has been in a period of transition between two systems of registration of title to land and buildings for the last 40 years. The first system is the old General Register of Sasines, which has been in existence since the 1600s. The second is the newer, digital Land Register where properties are identified by reference to the Ordnance Survey map. Gill Middleton and Paul Haniford discuss the effect of this process in practice in "To what extent?" – heading off title extent difficulties before doing the deal.
- In Removing telecommunications apparatus to create a new access, Gareth Hale and Sarah Peock discuss the English case of Evolution (Shinfield) LLP v. British Telecommunications Plc  UKUT 127 (LC). The Upper Tribunal had considered whether or not a developer could use paragraph 38 of the Code to require an operator, at the operator's own cost, to remove its electronic communications apparatus from neighbouring land to enable construction of a new access route to the development site.
- After a series of consultations, the government has issued its latest response to stakeholder feedback explaining how it intends to implement a ban on the sale of leasehold houses and the introduction of a cap on ground rents in residential long leases. See Emma Broad and Laura Gowling's article: Leasehold reform in England: what's new?.
Corporate and Commercial
- With cyber criminals becoming ever more sophisticated, how should firms prepare more effectively to protect themselves? Join the breakfast session on this issue at our London office on 6 November to find out more. To register, please visit: Horizon Brief – Financial Disruption: The Cyber Threat.
- With little activity on the domestic legislative front, our UK Corporate Briefing spotlights the recent changes to the prospectus regime and cases relevant to directors' duties and M&A transactions.
- With the second highest GDP in the world, coupled with its commitment to hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar's development sector is in the midst of an impressive array of infrastructure and industrial projects. For the ninth edition of "The Projects and Construction Law Review", Andrew Jones, Zaher Nammour and colleagues summarised the year's projects and construction market in Qatar and gave an outlook for future development. See: Projects and Construction Review: Qatar.
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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.