Changes Are on the Way for Property

Article excerpt

Byline: THOMAS CONNEELY

KEEPING up to date with changing legislation is a challenge for most industries and for the property sector it's no different.

Take the field of planning. The Government has changed the face of this during the present term of office. Hundreds of pages of planning guidance have been replaced by just 57 pages of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in a move designed to remove the administrative barriers to development, increase and speed up the number of schemes being progressed and reduce the cost of delivery.

Overall, developers are likely to find the planning process much more streamlined which can only be a benefit to all those involved. Community Infrastructure Levies (CIL) will require the close attention of those involved with construction as this new measure could affect development viability, especially here in the North East, where property prices are low.

CIL will be a fixed, non-negotiable charge per square metre on developments which can be redistributed throughout the region to where improved infrastructure is required. The draft charging schedule shows charges of PS88psm in Zone A and PS14psm in Zone B for residential developments and up to PS128psm for some commercial developments.

However S106 agreements, which are planning obligations negotiated between councils and developers that must materially relate to the development site, will continue to be used by planners to secure affordable housing and other site-specific obligations such as parking and pedestrian access. …