Building News
Information, news and updates in the world of building.


Following on from last month’s article about self-driving trucks reaching our roads it seems that electrification may be close behind them.

It has been proposed that some of the busiest freight road networks be fitted with overhead gantries and catenary systems, similar to those used for electric trains. Trucks could then be fitted with pantograph systems to allow them to run.


I read with interest a recent government announcement that self-driving trucks will be running on major UK roads by the end of next year.

These trials will form part of an £8.1 million scheme to test the feasibility of what is known as ‘truck platooning’.  The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) will oversee the scheme which will see as many as three autonomous HGVs running in close formation. 


This is final part of my article about Permitted Development, following on from my blogs of the last two months.  

This time I am considering outbuildings.

Outbuildings – Permitted Development:


This is a follow up to my blog last month about Permitted Development. This time I am looking at extensions.

Extensions – Permitted Development:


As you may be aware, there are certain developments that you can carry out on your home that do not require planning consent.

General Development Planning Orders (GDPOs) give implied planning consent for certain classes of development. Different rules apply in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

There are strict criteria that apply to Permitted Development and it is advisable to take professional advice or check with your local authority that the work you plan is permitted. These days many local authorities offer a consultancy service for a small fee.


If you want to set about converting a residential home from a building originally intended for an entirely different purpose, then there are a number of problems to be considered and overcome. The results, however, can be stunningly beautiful.

I am talking about converting buildings such as barns, churches, schools or commercial buildings here. One crucial step is to obtain the detailed planning permission for your project. You cannot just assume that you will be allowed to convert an old barn, for example. Other factors that need to be considered are whether the building is listed or within a conservation area.


Britain’s construction industry eased back during March as housebuilding dropped off. However, the sector was boosted by an increase in commercial and civil engineering activity.

South West Business reported that Tim Moore, senior economist at HIS Markit, was concerned about the construction industry falling victim to a general cooling down of the UK housing market.


I was pleased to see that transport infrastructure in the Midlands was given a financial boost in the recent Budget.  The area will receive some £23 million to improve conditions.

The main thrust of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s speech was to improve the UK’s productivity growth.  He sees this as the only sustainable way to raise our current living standards.  Productivity is currently below the G7 average.