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Consultation, Scotland: Property Factors

11 October 2017

Property Factors (also known as property management companies) have become increasingly common in recent years, especially for new build homes. But they are not always run as well as homeowners would like them to be. Read More...

Qualifications changes

09 October 2017

Propertymark Qualifications have revised their Level 2 and Level 3 specifications for assessment from January 2018. In most cases you will see only a slight change to your qualification, but please see below for some essential information which you need to be aware. Read More...

Consultation: Scottish Smoke and Fire Alarms

09 October 2017

Laws in Scotland relating to fire safety are already among some of the toughest, but in a bid to plug the gaps that aren't covered by existing laws, the Scottish Government have launched a consultation on standards for smoke and fire alarms across the nation. Read More...

 

New-build vote to boost economy

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Residents should be allowed to vote on planning applications in their local areas, a think-tank has suggested.

In a new report, Yes In My Back Yard, John Myers of London YIMBY and the Adam Smith Institute have proposed allowing the development of ugly or low amenity sections of green belt sites, and devolving some planning laws to the new city-region mayors, with a view to boosting the economy and putting an end to the UK's current housing crisis.

It also raises the point that by allowing individual streets to vote on giving themselves permitted development rights to extend or replace existing buildings over an extended period, an additional five million homes could be created in London alone.

Large swathes of London are covered with low-rise, often unexceptional, 20th century houses, with half of London’s homes in buildings of just one or two floors. The report proposes a system which would allow properties to be extended or replaced with more attractive buildings, creating many more homes, provided it receives community support. 

House builders have long come up against opposition from local residents when it comes to new developments, with NIMBY's (Not In My Back Yard) opposing development plans. The challenge, the report says, is not how to fix the housing crisis but how to win more votes by doing it.

Current planning laws have made it difficult for small builders and self-build projects to compete in the housing market, leaving mainly large developers with often unappealing schemes, released over long periods.

By restoring power to small communities, it could put an end to the NIMBY cartel by allowing communities to choose to allow further development if they want it, provided that their concerns surrounding good design, congestion, infrastructure, services, shadows, etc are met.

Yes in My Back Yard also suggests that by giving communities the right to develop and 'green' their green belt, they can be rid of “ugly” or “dead” farmland, and to add protection to areas of outstanding beauty.

John Myers, co-founder of London YIMBY, said:

“A new generation of young people is demanding change to avoid being worse off than their parents. There are vote-winning ways to make decent homes truly affordable with the support of existing homeowners, if only we seize them.”

Ben Southwood, head of research at the Adam Smith Institute, said:

“The planning system is a mess. We all know we need more homes and infrastructure in the places people actually want them – but it isn’t delivering. Locals cannot be blamed for blocking development that blight their views with ugly designs and detract from their living standards.”

“So we are proposing a raft of measures that may bring homeowners around the country on side. If new housing benefits people already living there, then we may finally be able to build enough to stop rents taking half of people’s pay packets.”