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E:gen – May 2020


Welcome to the latest edition of E:gen, Winckworth Sherwood’s Regeneration and Development Newsletter.

In this edition we look at the fire safety legislative programme, recent industry changes developing Local Authorities should be aware of, neighbourly matters, and an update on the planning system and how it is being affected by COVID-19.

If you have any questions please get in touch with the authors who are happy to discuss these topics further.

Fire safety / building safety – no slowdown in legislative programme

Despite the current crisis facing the country and construction industry we anticipate the government will press on with its legislative programme for building safety reform.

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Building Affordable Homes: Opportunity Knocks

Following the removal of the HRA debt cap in October 2018, many local authorities are using their new found borrowing powers to accelerate development programmes.

However, in order to take full advantage of this new freedom, local authorities should take note of recent industry changes and consider how these may impact development plans. This article highlights three of these: changes to the right to buy regime, changes to the Public Works Loan Board and shortages of skilled staff.

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Neighbourly Matters

Delivery of a development on budget and on time is key to viability and is affected by many factors some of which will be entirely within the control of the project team and others which will be reliant of the co-operation of third parties. Arrangements may need to be entered into with neighbouring owners to facilitate construction such as rights to light releases, the grant of scaffolding or crane licences, party wall agreements and creation of longer term rights to enable maintenance and provide for access post construction. Needless to say, the sooner that agreement can be reached and documented formally, the better in order to ensure the smooth running and completion of any project.

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Coronavirus and the planning system

The lockdown caused by the Coronavirus is inevitably having a significant effect on the planning system. Our rolling article describes some of the impacts on the planning process, and the implications of those changes. It also sets out a brief summary of the Coronavirus Bill as it relates to planning.

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