Permitted Development Landslide!

Permitted Development Rights

Permitted development rights are new planning laws which are designed to speed up the planning and approval process for the construction of residential dwellings in England and Wales. Developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the economy, the new laws pertain specifically to commercial buildings and some form of residential buildings. The rights are aimed at repurposing vacant and redundant buildings and getting people living in new homes more quickly. What follows is a helpful summary guide to the new guidelines (2020 No.755 and 2020 No.756) surrounding permitted development rights.

What are Permitted Development Rights?

New rights put together by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government which are a direct response to COVID-19, formulated to regenerate towns and cities following the pandemic. The rights will hopefully speed up the application process for converting abandoned buildings into homes. The hope is that new homes can be built and occupied sooner which in turn will regenerate the economy and town and city high streets.

Permitted development rights relate to properties which would previously have required a full planning application before the construction could begin. Under the new rights, a full application is not required, thus accelerating the entire process. The regulations are relevant to abandoned or unused commercial buildings which are converted into homes, and they allow for existing houses to be extended to provide more living space by constructing additional storeys.

Changes To Permitted Development Rights

Permitted development rights are different to the General Permitted Development Order which grants planning permission for a range of specific classes of development, subject to certain limitations and conditions. The main difference is that an application for planning permission does not need to be made to the local planning authority. In some cases, permitted development rights require the local planning authority to approve certain key planning matters before development can proceed. This is known as “prior approval”.

For detached houses, terraces and semi-detached houses of two or more houses, the right allows for the construction of up to two additional storeys on the topmost storey of a dwelling of two storeys or more, and an additional one storey on a dwelling of one storey, above ground level. The right does not apply to homes in use as a small house in multiple occupation, or change in that use.

Upward Extension – Two Storey Upward Extension Rights

Article 2020 No.755 introduces new permitted development rights to allow for the construction of additional storeys on free standing blocks and on buildings in a terrace that are houses or in certain commercial uses. The guidelines can also be extended to buildings that are in mixed uses with an element of housing. Local consideration of key planning matters is still taken into consideration, but full application for planning permission is not required for these types of development. In general, the plan is for the approval and construction process to be accelerated.

They also apply to shops, buildings housing financial and professional services, restaurants and cafes, betting shops, payday loan shops and laundrettes. Also included are buildings in mixed use within these uses.

Buildings that are mixed use with an element of housing can extend upwards to create new self-contained homes. These are buildings in uses that are already able to change use to residential uses under existing permitted development rights.

Old to New – Demolish and Re-Build under Permitted Development Rights

Article 2020 No.756 introduces new permitted development rights to allow for the demolition of certain types of buildings and replacement build as residential to create new homes. These rights been introduced to stimulate regeneration of our towns and cities and deliver additional homes more easily as part of Government’s response to COVID 19. The rights pertain to vacant and redundant free-standing buildings, offices, research and development, industrial processes (light industrial), and free-standing purpose-built residential blocks of flats. This will increase number of houses that the Government promised to deliver. Unused buildings can either be converted or completely demolished according to the new legislation, provided the land is then used to construct housing. This in turn prevents greenfield sites from being lost to development.

Roof space Not A Storey

According to the act, existing accommodation in the roof space, including a loft extension, is not considered as a storey for the purpose of this right. The right allows engineering operations necessary for the construction of the additional storeys.

Streamlining

Due to the economic downturn caused by COVID-19, legislation was introduced to streamline the application process for new construction. The thinking is that a streamlined approval process will see buildings constructed more quickly, which means that the new homes can be occupied more quickly.

Certainty

The rights also provide greater planning certainty and this is achieved through what is known as a light touch prior approval process. The greater certainty provided to developers will incentivise them to proceed with buildings in the high street and new homes. The changes allow for the extension of existing homes and allow existing buildings to extend upwards to construct additional self-contained homes. They also allow existing purpose-built detached blocks of flats to extend upwards to create new self-contained homes.

Fine points

The right does not require detailed consideration of the condition of the abandoned or unused building in respect of its redundancy, but the buildings must have been entirely vacant for at least six full months prior to the date of the application for prior approval. Furthermore, prior approval must be gained from the local planning authority.

Scale

Limits still apply under these rights. The new building can have a footprint of up to 1,000 sq m, and have a maximum height of 18 metres. Buildings cannot be demolished or replaced if their footprint is greater than 1,000 sq m. The right provides for the construction of a free-standing block of flats in the C3 use class. In place of the old building, a new free-standing block of flats can be constructed, provided it complies with the C3 class use. For example, if a small old building is demolished, a single C3 dwelling house may be built. More than one building may not be built withing the footprint under the right.

In order to add additional storeys to a dwelling, the rights is subject to a maximum height limit for the newly extended house of 18 meters, and where the house is in a terrace its height cannot me more than 3.5 meters higher than the next tallest house in the terrace. This will accommodate additional homes, within a final overall maximum height of 18 metres.

Heritage –  Don’t Apply

Within the new rights, specific regulations apply to land which falls under the definition of heritage. The rights do not apply to land such as National Parks, Conservation Areas, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or World Heritage Sites. Furthermore, the new rights do not apply if the building is a listed building or scheduled monument, or if the land on which the building is sited is within the curtilage of a listed building or scheduled monument.

Approval will also not be given if an aerodrome, technical site or defence asset is identified on a safeguarding map provided to the local planning authority.  An operator of a site, the Civil Aviation Authority or Secretary of State for Defence, can also recommend that the development does not proceed.

Time frame

The local planning authority is required by article 7 of the General Permitted Development Order, to make a decision on an application for prior approval under the right within 8 weeks. The right does not provide a default deemed consent if the local planning authority fails to make a decision within that timeframe.

Important Caveat

If a decision has not been made within 8 weeks there is a right of appeal to the Secretary of State under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, to determine the application for prior approval.

General note

Within the new rights, compliance must still be adhered to. All development, whether granted permission following a planning application or through a national permitted development right, is legally required to comply with the Building Regulations 2010.

Permitted developments rights are designed to stimulate the construction industry and the broader economy in response to the financial impact of COVID-19. The rights accelerate the approval process and aim to see people living in new homes as soon as possible. Abandoned or unused buildings will be renovated or demolished and converted into homes, in order to increase housing density while protecting greenfield land. The new rights apply to most land, except land classified as defence, heritage or certain other usage, and they stipulate the scale of the new buildings. It is hoped the new streamlined approval process will incentivise developers to construct residential buildings which can provide housing to residents of England and Wales.

Kevin McCloud’s Mini-Bonds Fiasco IS Another Reason For New FCA Rule!!!

Are you contemplating on raising funds for your property development project online?!

Two companies of the Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud’s property empire have gone into liquidation. These two companies form part of Happiness Architecture Beauty (HAB) eco-friendly housing empire and had attracted huge number of individual returns upto 9% a year – but instead investors are expecting to lose up to 97% of their money.

Worst hit are almost 300 small investors who put £2.4m into a “mini-bond” scheme offered by HAB in early 2017. They were informed that in best case scenario they are expected 74% and in worst case 97% of their invested funds. The investors were given an option to restructure whereby investors would keep their invested funds till September 2024 at the earliest and would also get zero interest until that date. Investors refused the offer and companies filed for liquidation.

With £2.4m mini-bonds of HAB finance and earlier that year London Capital & Finance’s grand £236m mini-bond collapse, FCA has reacted immediately with actions. This article we will talk about how FCA has now removed all the routes to market the mini-bonds and other speculative instruemnts to general public i.e. unsophisticated investor.

New temporary product intervention measures have been introduced regarding the online promotion of speculative mini-bonds to retail investors. The changes came into effect on January 1, 2020, and they are a response to the widespread marketing of speculative mini-bonds to people with little knowledge or experience of this type of high-risk investment.

The changes were made because research indicated that retail investors, who lack the experience and expertise in the investment market, were placing their money into complicated and high-risk investments, and were losing money as a result. Online speculative mini-bonds were never designed to be an investment option for everyday investors, and exist for the finance industry itself.

A speculative mini-bond contains the following features:

  • It is usually issued by an unauthorised person, not subject to FCA oversight. This person is usually not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
  • The bonds are unlisted and commonly issued through a special purpose vehicle (SPV)
  • They offer a high fixed rate of interest (often 8% or more) to investors who commit to an investment of 3-5 years. Investors have little or no opportunity to sell of transfer the investment before the ned of the 3-5 years.
  • The capital is usually used to fund speculative and high-risk activities
  • They often involve high costs or third-party payments being made from the proceeds of the bond issuance.

Online Marketing

The online marketing of speculative mini-bonds to retail investors is under the spotlight. Of particular concern is the mass-marketing of these bonds which promotes the potential for high rates of return, without explaining the high risk. The promotion also suggests that protection is given to the investor by bodies such as the FCA or HMRC, when it is not.

The new temporary rules apply to unlisted debentures and preference shares where the issuer uses the funds raised to lend to a third party, invest in other companies or purchase or develop property. This is known as speculative illiquid securities.

Scope

The changes will affect prospective retail investors in speculative illiquid securities (SIS). The changes will ensure that SIS can only be marketed to sophisticated of high net worth individuals and the promotions will have clearer disclosure of key risks and any costs or fees impacting the product.

Reason for the changes

LCF was the issuer of so-called ‘mini-bonds’ which it stated it used to make loans to corporate borrowers to provide capital for further investment. LCF issued mini-bonds to 11,625 investors, with a value of £237.2m. On 30 January 2019, LCF appointed administrators after the company was assessed to be insolvent. As a result, criminal investigations into LCF began. The changes aim to protect retail investors in the future.

Details

The temporary measures, which will last for 12 months, require the following:

Any promotions for speculative illiquid securities targeted at retail investors to be restricted to sophisticated or high net worth retail investors.

Implementation of a preliminary assessment of the suitability of a security for any high net worth or self-certifying sophisticated investor to whom it is marketed. This ensures speculative illiquid securities are subject to similar marketing restrictions as currently apply to NMPIs (described above).

Any promotion of SIS must include a standardised risk warning, which clearly states that investors may lose all their money and that that these products are high risk,

Explanation that ISA eligibility does not protect consumers from losing their invested money.

Potential investors must be told that costs and charges associated with the security, and any third-party payments made by the issuer that are deducted from the capital raised, should be indicated as a percentage of the capital raised and illustrated as a cash sum.

The new measures will not apply to unlisted debt securities or preference shares issued by companies to purchase property or pay for the construction of property where the relevant property will be used by the company (or a group company) for a general commercial or industrial purpose.

Also excluded are cases where an issuers’ ability to pay interest or repay capital to investors is dependent or heavily contingent on the return generated from the purchase of construction of the

Intended outcomes

The prevention of widespread marketing of speculative illiquid securities to ordinary retail investors where a promotion is approved or communicated by an authorised firm.

A reduction in the number of retail investors accessing these investments.

Improvement in the quality of promotions provided to eligible retail investors to allow them to make better informed investment decisions based on clearer, mandated risk warnings and disclosure of costs, charges and third-party payments linked to a speculative illiquid security.

Fewer retail consumers investing in these products, and a greater understanding of the risks. This should reduce the likelihood of consumers investing in unsuitable products and potentially experiencing unexpected losses if a product underperforms or fails.

Unauthorised issuers will still be able to communicate financial promotions relating to their products within the scope of the FPO exemptions.

Salience bias

Salience bias induces investors to focus more on the high return of these securities, but to underestimate the associated risks. This is known to be a key driver of harm.

Expanding scope

It is hoped that in the future the new regulations will apply to the larger  number  of  UK-based  issuers  that  have speculative  bonds   listed  or  trading  on  exchanges elsewhere in the EEA. These bonds are also promoted  to  UK  retail  investors, are similarly  complex  and  pose  similar  risks.  In  some cases, speculative listed securities may pose greater risks since issuers raise larger amounts  with  longer  maturities. Issuers have   also  encouraged  holders  of  previously unlisted SISs to roll over into a listed security that serves to re-finance the same venture and avoids  temporary rules restricting their marketing.

Admission  to  listing  or  trading  may  also  be  used  in  promotions  for  such  securities  to infer  greater security  and  the  prospect  of  a  secondary  market, although in practice there is still little or no liquidity. This may further mislead retail investors as to the risks involved, particularly in their ability to exit their investment before maturity.

Vetting process

The amendments are intended to ensure that investors are assessed           to   determine  whether  they  fall  within  an  exemption provided for in the rules (for example, as certified high net worth or self-certified sophisticated investors).

Investors are then subject to a preliminary suitability assessment where required and, finally, a financial product can then be promoted to people who are assessed as eligible.

 

Do you dread going to networking events?! Then these events are for you!

Are you thinking what on earth is virtual networking event and what is wrong with our traditional networking? Well, the last traditional networking event I spent 8 hours driving, 2 hours preparation, 3 days arranging a baby/dog sitter, £150 in cost and I achieved to meet one “good” network. I drove back home around 11pm tired, stressed and deflated. I felt that the traditional networking is for people who have a helicopter so they can fly from networking in London to Manchester to Scotland and they have a babysitter on their fingertips.

Traditional Networking is Gross Inefficient

Last time I went to networking event, I drove 8 hours. Networking event started at 7pm and because I was late on last few occasions, I decided to leave home around 1pm so that leaves me plenty of time in case there is some delay or traffic. My dog sitter was late for half hour and I was okay since I have solid 5 hours. According to satnav it takes 2.5 hours to London which leaves me a good buffer of 2.5 hours. I start my journey feeling good about myself, confident and organised. 

I put my dress which I ironed one day prior, put my high heel shoes, but for driving I put flat shoes and I feel good about my organisation to this networking event. I look forward to being on time, meeting with people and listening to the speakers. As I approach Reading I hit a traffic and my time buffer started eroding. I comforted myself since I have 2.5 hours and I feel confident that I will be on time for the event. 

Towards London I hit another traffic, so my time advantage is now completely used, but I should still be on time and that is all that matters. The Satnav shows that I am 10 minutes far from my venue and my watch shows I have 45 minutes till the event. I do a quick calculation, 10 minutes till the venue, 10 minutes to park,
10 minutes to walk to the venue which leaves me good 15 minutes. I can start
mingling with people. I feel good that I left early which is now allowing me to
be on time. 

 

Stresss

 

Driving in unknown territory and thinking so many things at once, I miss a junction and Satnav recalculates and informs me that I will reach my destination 20 past 7pm. I cannot believe my eyes, surely one junction cannot cost me half an hour. I am now going to be late and all my positive attitude is now been crushed away by reality. I finally pass by the venue around 6:55 and I am now desperately trying to find my parking space. As Satnav brought me to a place where I cannot find parking, I call the owner of the parking space which I arranged one day before coming. I thought to myself I have pre-arranged everything and look at me still being late, this is so unreal. Owner of parking doesn’t pick up the phone, so I have to drive around to find the parking. I find a place which looks similar but I am not 100% percent. It is now 7:20pm and if I don’t leave now it is going to be so late. I park the car stressed about consequences and then with my high heels ran to the venue, as I ran I feel the pain of my back exacerbate with high heels. I am finally at the venue…

The fluster 

I get there quarter to 8, stressed, aching legs, thirsty and I hear the first speaker is finishing his speech. I go in and find a place to sit down, I am completely flastered and stressed. Inside I feel frustrated that I am late again and I am trying to understand why my plan is so flawed every time, what time I should be leaving home to be on time.


As I am deep in my thoughts I see second presenter turning slide 5, something about commercial conversions and I tell myself off to stop internal chat and actually concentrate on the presentation. You have come all the way not to sit and talk to yourself but hear the speakers and network. So, I force stop my thoughts and pressure myself to concentrate and take in information. My feelings of frustration and fluster is buried somewhere in my system and I am able to hear and understand the speaker…  

 

 

Awkward and inefficient …

The second speaker finishes, it was very interesting speech. I have so many questions I want to clarify, so I go to the front of the stage and wait in a queue and I stand there 20 minutes before I give up as I need to network with people in the audience. I drove and spend so much time to this event that I need to make most of it. I scan around and see most people already in groups or in couples speaking and I try to find a group or an individual I am interested to speak. While I scan the floor, a man approaches and introduces himself. I feel relieved that I don’t need to initiate the chat and we introduce each other and start talking. 10 minutes into a conversation we understand we operate and work on things that of little or no interest, we try to be polite to continue the conversation however we want to move on and speak to other people. You think who will be first to do so and wait kindly for the other person to initiate the stop of the current chat. Or if the partner hasn’t initiated you finally get situation in your hands and say “I got your card we should get connected on Linkedin” and move off. Now, the second scan continues and you try to speak to another person, another 15-20 minutes passed and he is not something you are interested in too. As you scan for third time the networking is coming to an end and people are going home.

 

Deflation …

I feel absolutely frustrated for driving all the way here and finding only one contact and most of the time of networking spent on how do I move on and how do I speak to the right person and how can I connect to the people I am interested in. This situation might feel even worse for those people who dread networking, who have no plan for who to meet and they force to go there expecting others to approach them and being at their mercy. Even worse when you are making a conversation with someone you are not interested but you feel that if you stop talking to them you will be seen alone which seems worse in a sort of weird social economic dimension.

 

Driving force – the fear

Networking events are full of subconscious and conscious fears and it is simply utterly inefficient in many ways. Fear of acceptance, rejection, social status, ability to connect, social skills, extent of knowledge, achievement all come to play when you are networking. Before you approach someone, you fear whether you look too desperate to speak to a particular person, how to balance the authority, self-respect and still initiate a conversation with a particular person. Once you start the conversation, other fears kick in, are they more experienced than me, have they achieved more than I have, how do I save my face, would they find me of little value, how do I make my persona look and sound valuable and of interest to the person. Traditional networking with all its stress, inefficiencies has continued too long and it is time to stop. If there was a economy on networking the cost benefit analysis would have made it clear that they should not continue. However, since nobody calculates individual inefficiency of each participant we never looked how grossly inefficient for the society these events are.

Subconscious fears such as Therefore, I wanted to bring efficient, fun, easy, to the point networking events and that is what virtual networking events do. They remove inefficiencies and bring ease with its structure. Virtual networking takes place in virtual online networking events. In a physical networking event you have a keynote speaker and then networking session, so does the virtual networking event. It has a keynote speaker and networking session, but it is so much better. 

 

Virtual property networking – the future

Virtual networking event eliminates all the noise, stress, frustration of the traditional networking. So what is virtual networking event. Virtual networking event is an online event where people while enjoying comforts of their home can join the networking event.

As the traditional networking there is speaker sessions where speakers share their knowledge with the audience and here you can actually ask your questions and get response.

When it comes to a networking part, you will be matched to a person and given a timed 5 minute slot, you will have sufficient time to say what you do and what you look for and the other person can do the same, if you want to speak more to the person there is a Connect button which is an exchange of business cards. You will find the business card you wished to connect on your profile after the event.

What is great is that there is no awkward how to end this conversation, how I proceed to the next person and all other fears and social anxieties associated with initiating and ending the networking conversation. The networking 1-1 ends at the end of 5 minute and if you want to speak to the next person press Ready and meet your new person.

 

I simply love it! I love I can sit at home, drink my tea, no high heels, no make up, no driving, no stress and I absolutely love this efficient sleak way of networking.

If you have not tried yet, join our events and try it for yourself.

Why Virtual Property Networking is Better Than Traditional Networking

Why Virtual Property Networking is Better Than Traditional Networking

Virtual property networking allows you to secure expert advice on the property market without having to leave home. The new method of networking provides online events to anyone interested in profiting from the property market and it brings together potential investors with industry experts. Virtual property networking offers many benefits and advantages to traditional networking practices, and is proving particularly advantageous during the COVID-19 pandemic, for a number of reasons.

Virtual property networking is better than traditional networking practices because it is accessible, affordable, content driven and sales free. Participants can attend from home without needing to drive anywhere and best of all it is stress free.

What is Virtual Property Networking?

 Virtual property networking is often described as a new disruptive method of networking. It provides expert advice and information to anyone involved in the property market – all from home. Networking events are all conducted online and attendees can access the information sessions from anywhere, provided they have an internet connection.

Virtual property networking connects property developers and investors in the UK and the rest of the world. The goal is to help each participating business and individual to profit more quickly from the market. Another central feature is that it welcomes participation from anyone, including individuals from all backgrounds. For this reason, the networking methods are designed to be affordable.

Virtual property networking invites participation from anyone interested in the property market. If you are totally new to property, or a landlord, you are welcome. If you are a service provider or an experienced property investor, you are invited to explore the opportunities offered by this new system.

 

Why Virtual Property Networking is Better?

Virtual Property Networking vs Traditional Networking

Accessible

Virtual property networking looks different, because it is different. In traditional networking events, women with children, people with disabilities, those without big bank balances and people from diverse backgrounds are rarely seen. These social barriers are broken down at virtual networking events, and everyone is able to attend. At traditional events, the lack of disability access prevents many people from attending, but online events can be accessed by everyone. In addition, traditional networking events do have a reputation for attracting alpha males who like to dominate networking, but with virtual property networking, this imbalance is removed and every participant is equal.

Virtual property networking connects people interested in the property market. It allows for connections between complete newcomers and experienced property investors. Even people with no experience in property investing will feel welcomed and comfortable using this system, because they can communicate freely with a lot of knowledge in the industry. In addition, the information and advice are offered in an easily-digestible manner that can be understood by anyone, regardless of their experience with property. You can exchange electronic business cards with many different people, as well as experts.

Affordable

As well as being accessible, the platform is affordable. Virtual property networking is designed to be open to anyone, so participation and advice is deliberately designed to be within everyone’s reach, regardless of their level of wealth. Experts who deliver the sessions will also outline the many opportunities available for investment, including those at all levels of the market. Even without a huge amount of money, the speakers can show you how to access the property market and how to profit. One way in which the networking events are able to provide advice to people of all financial backgrounds is that the speakers themselves are drawn from many different areas of property. The one thing they have in common is their expert knowledge.

Content driven

Speakers deliver information. The information is well-researched, well-presented and covers an enormous range of topics within the property market. The information is gained from the speakers’ many years of first-hand experience in the industry, and it is delivered to participants in easily understandable language. The purpose of virtual property networking is to provide all participants with sound information, so that participants can take this information, connect with other people involved in the event, and start making sensible and profitable decisions in property investment. Topics covered include serviced accommodation, land development, rent to rent, personal growth and design, as well as options, planning, new build projects and heritage projects.

Sale free

As opposed to other networking events or seminars, virtual property networking is not centred around promoting or selling a particular service or product. Instead, the sessions are designed to show participants what opportunities are available, and the events are designed to put people in contact with other people. Speakers come from a variety of backgrounds and sectors of the market. The comprehensive information is not a sales pitch, it is information given to you, to allow you to make the decision about where to direct your money. What’s more, participants are encouraged to not just connect, but also support each other as they negotiate the world of the property market. The traditional breakout rooms and networking sessions still operate, only now they are all conducted online.

Home based

One of the primary advantages of virtual property networking is that it can be accessed from home. This offers more convenience at any time, and offers a healthier and safer way of networking during the coronavirus pandemic, as attendees do not need to participate in large gatherings. Not only is the networking from home safe for you, as a participant, the event itself is safe from cancellation because it is delivered online. Furthermore, participants can access and review the information at a time that suits them, and fit it around their busy schedules.

No Driving

No traffic jams, no tolls, no petrol costs and no long hours sitting in your car or on public transport. As an online system, virtual property networking can be accessed in your own time and your own space. The time you save by not having to travel can be invested in researching the property market, following through on networking contacts, and making profits.

Stress free

The stress has been taken out of property networking. This new disruptive system is delivered online and can be accessed in your own time and space. It is not centred around the sale of particular products or services and it offers peace of mind to participants who know that they are receiving expert advice from industry leaders.

Virtual Property Networking offers a host of advantages over traditional networking practices. It provides expert advice on investing in the property market to people regardless of their wealth, family situation or health status, and it brings together interested investors with industry leaders. Virtual property networking does not push a hard sell, it can be accessed from home and it is specifically designed to be affordable and accessible in its approach. If you are interested in profiting from the property market, look into virtual property networking and discover what options are available to you.