Commercial development

Time at the bar for Wandsworth hostelries’ PD rights?

Wandsworth Council has recognised the crucial role pubs play in the lives of this sceptered isle’s residents; they are akin to cafes on the continent: drinkers of espresso in Italy and imbibers of pastis in Provence all need a local to go to to share one’s woes and to discuss whether Juventus will be knocked off the Serie A perch this season and whether this year’s mistral is going to wreak greater havoc than last year’s.

Administration fees are not planning obligations

It is now common practice for developers to simply cite the Oxfordshire County Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and others ([2015] EWHC 186 (Admin)) case as providing justification as to why Councils’ / County Councils’ monitoring / administration fees are not justified and, therefore, should not be paid. However, I believe that this blanket approach is incorrect.

Commercial property leases

There has been little speculative building over the last few years and there is a lack of good quality property out there ready to occupy. A lot of the stock available is old and does not put forward to the occupier’s customers the image that they now want to project.

Closing time for the beer tie?

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill has received a lot of media commentary. This Bill, currently nearing the end of its journey through the House of Lords could, if passed, mean that the large, licenced premises’ landlords, the “PubCos” will be required to offer a “Market Rent Only” option to their tenants at certain stages, falling before and during their tenancy, making the notion of a “tied house” a thing of the past.

Retention could soon be a thing of the past

Retention, the dirty word of the Construction industry, could soon be a thing of the past. In a bid to make the industry ‘fairer’ the government has launched its long-awaited Supply Chain Payment Charter. Heralded as the saviour of the Sub-Contractor, the Charter plans to abolish retention pots, freeing up otherwise cordoned-off monies for the benefit of the little guy.

Modelling the sands of time

In any aspect of modern life, it is difficult to avoid the impact of time. English authors have been writing about it for centuries. With an office location in Shakespeare country, I am reminded of the Bard’s line “better three hours too soon than a minute too late”. Admittedly that quote relates to protecting honour by being in the right place at the right time, but then again, how many final account “duels” do we encounter within the construction sector?

Coventry and Warwickshire: best for business!

It is not just London profiting from an influx of foreign investment: Birmingham is drawing the eye of investors unable to get a toehold in the south east and this will undoubtedly create a ripple effect across the region. Coventry and Warwickshire stand first in line - the major infrastructure improvements currently underway to upgrade the city environment, county road network and employment space provision are all contributing to a vibrant local economy. Barry Sankey gives his personal take on the upward trajectory of the Coventry and Warwickshire economy.

Constructing flood resistant developments

The apocalyptic weather endured by Britain over the last few months has, inevitably, reignited the discussion about building in flood prone areas. A similar debate triggered after the 2007 floods resulted in the independent Pitt Review which concluded that much of the problem was due, among other things, to poor water management infrastructure and excessive surface water run-off. One answer may be greater take up of SuDs

Dealing with rogue landlords

On 31 August 2012 the Department for Communities and Local Government issued a guide for local authorities on how to deal with rogue landlords. The guide deals with issues such as diagnosing problems that tenants are experiencing, taking action and prosecution and deterring criminality. The manner in which local authorities will make use of this guidance is not yet clear but landlords should keep a close eye on new policies being introduced.
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