Council Ban on Basements is Challenged

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have decided to delay determining approximately 120 planning applications for two or three storey basements. Last year they tried to stop these projects by imposing near impossible conditions to comply with and limiting them to no more than half the area of the garden of a property. The Council justify this saying ‘we have listened to our residents’ concerns and wish to rein in the very large projects which are in close proximity to neighbours’. Architects and developers have challenged this as being ‘politically motivated’ and it has now gone to the Government’s continue reading

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Bring Back Guy Fawkes.

A recent story from London Loves Business.com states ‘experts have warned that the Houses of Parliament could deteriorate and burn down if refurbishment isn’t carried out soon’. The building was burnt down in 1834 and apparently is in danger of doing so again, due to a catalogue of outstanding repairs. It mentions the roof is rusting, walls are wilting, lifts are broken, pipes leaking and wiring is antiquated. Though £50m is expended annually; according to Richard Ware, the director for the Restoration and Renewal Programme at the Palace of Westminster, it has merely kept the building operational and hasn’t helped continue reading

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Rights Of Light – All change

The case of Coventry and Lawrence 2014 in The Supreme Court, has altered the approach to the tort of nuisance: whether damages can be substituted for an injunction. One of the areas of relevance is rights to light. When planning to construct buildings which might obstruct light to neighbours, most claims were settled by a reasonable payment or insurance was used to cover future potential claims so as to enable development to continue. Confidence in that approach was shattered in 2010 ( HKRUK ltd v Heaney),  when an injunction was granted forcing the developer to demolish a newly built 2 continue reading

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Major Contractors Cash Balances Depleted By The Recession

KPMG’s report ‘Construction Barometer; Recovery in sight’ includes an analysis of 14 tier 1 contractors during the period from 2007 to 2013. It reveals that at 2013, net cash balances were below half of their 2010 level. Richard Threlfall of KPMG said ‘ construction contractors have been struggling with some of the most difficult market conditions ever encountered and even now – with all evidence pointing to sustained recovery- the industry faces real profitability challenges’.

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