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Recommendations for meeting housing requirements

Posted on: 10 May 2015 at 13:01:44
A useful report on meeting housing needs has been published by TFA and Bowyer here.
It proposes that the NPPF policies for housing are enforced, Strategic Market Housing Assessments are fast-tracked and the Duty to Cooperate is strengthened.  It reminds the new Government that earlier this year a report from the think-tank the Adam Smith Institute said that the release of just 2% of land from the Green Belt could provide sites for the 2.5 million homes the country requires in the next 10 years. It said that removing the Green Belt designations from intensive agricultural land within 0.5 miles of a railway station “would go a long way to solving the housing crisis in the medium term.”

'Race for Space' for offices - NLP report

Posted on: 10 May 2015 at 12:34:35
Changes to permitted development rights to make it easier to convert offices into homes have helped fuel a 'race for space' in the office market but the policy may have also helped make new office schemes in some areas viable, according to a report by Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners here.
The report says that the changes to permitted development rights "has the potential to lead to a future deficit in office space and increased pressure on office markets". It pointed to a study by RICS which found that nationally the availability of office space has been declining at its fastest pace since 1998, "fuelled by the growing conversion of offices into homes since the new PD rights were introduced".

Supreme Court Judgement on UK's failure on Air Quality

Posted on: 7 May 2015 at 21:02:14
The Supreme Court decided at the end of April 2015 that the UK is in breach of its obligations for air quality and that the UK must produce updated plans by the end of 2015.
Reports on the case have been put on this website. They are a paper by Angus Walker on the implications, in which he concludes that expansion of Heathrow could be a problem in meeting the requirements; the Supreme Court's Press Summary and a comment on the case by Clean Air for London.
More details are on the ClientEarth web site.

LCA's LDN monthly news May 2015 edition

Posted on: 3 May 2015 at 19:31:56
London Communications Agency has published its latest issue of LDN News - London in Short.  You can view it here.
This edition has predictions for the outcome of the General Election for London's seats. There are articles also on development (Tower Hamlets has 18 tall buildings under construction, 29 with planning approval and 12 in planning), transport, health, policing and culture.
The LCA welcome comments @LDNcomms or to 

MPs monitoring DCLG report on the last Parliament

Posted on: 22 April 2015 at 21:44:21
The Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee has published its final report of the 2010-15 Parliament, looking back at its work since 2010 and looking ahead to the next Parliament.

Update from Friends of Parks & Open Spaces April 2015

Posted on: 22 April 2015 at 14:46:45
See the news from the network seeking to protect our parks and open spaces.

Are Estate Agents taking over our High Streets?

Posted on: 13 April 2015 at 15:19:27
A report here on this subject by, an online estate agent, found that Greater London has a total of more than 2,600 high street estate agents and that the average agent branch in London makes fewer than four sales a month.  The article refers to the "exorbitant fees to home sellers".
There are up to eighteen estate agents within 400 meteres of major Underground stations. The report gives the number of estate agents for each London borough and their estimated total income.

Stirling Ackroyd reports on delivery of new homes

Posted on: 5 April 2015 at 16:28:54
The report states that the annualised rate of new homes given planning permission at 27,470 is now only two-thirds of the Mayor's 42,000 pa target for London. The GLA aim is for 49,000 homes pa.
Tower Hamlets is approving a high number of applications but Southwark's recent determination rate has been low.
In a graph of "Demand Exceeds Supply", the report indicates that the annualised rate of home starts fell in each quarter of 2014 from almost 25,000 in Q1 to just over 12,000 in Q4.

New permitted development rights and development mgt

Posted on: 5 April 2015 at 12:35:51
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles confirmed on 25th March 2015 secondary legislation which introduces General Permitted Development Rights here from 15 April 2015 as well as a newly consolidated Development Management Procedure Order here which includes streamlining the process of statutory consultation and a new “deemed discharge” of conditions to ensure that planning conditions are cleared on time.
See page 27 onwards in the former for the changes of use that are now permitted.

£50m rent rise as social housing converted

Posted on: 3 April 2015 at 13:31:15
The Guardian reports that London housing associations have responded to shortfall in government funding by recategorising tenancies so they can set rents at the highest possible level. As a result, London’s poorest households have been hit by a £50m rent rise.
The report states "Social rents are typically half market rate, while so-called affordable tariffs are up to 80% of private rents, leading to complaints that the definition of affordable is Orwellian.
Over half of the housing associations set the converted rents higher than 70% of market rate in the last recorded period in the City Hall figures. Others, determined to keep housing genuinely affordable, have charged much lower rents." 
At there is an analysis of the rents charged by housing providers. The range is from twenty of them charging from 70% up to 80% of the market rent down to 39% at Family Mosaic whose chief executive Brendan Sarsfield, said: "At Family Mosaic our goal is to help those in greatest need and, once they are our tenants, to help them into work, and keep working, in what is often a low wage economy.This makes rent levels very important to us. We have balanced this by being more efficient and making money from selling homes (for which we get criticised)."

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