Dorsey London Real Estate Updates

Business Rates: Looking Ahead in 2016 – The Good, The Bad and The Maybe

Business rates are charged on the majority of commercial properties, such as shops and offices, and represent one of the largest overheads for businesses. They are calculated using the rateable value of the property (the amount of rent reasonably obtainable for the property) and the relevant multiplier, as set by the Department for Communities and Local Government. This regime is braced for a set of developments this year, not all being beneficial to owners and occupiers of commercial property. These include the following: (i) Enterprise Zones Enterprise Zones were introduced by the Government to create hubs of economic growth through continue reading...

Basement Extensions

High house prices, scarce land for development and strict planning laws mean that basement extensions are emerging rapidly in London’s most expensive neighbourhoods, creating “iceberg homes”. Between 2001 and 2013, applications made to the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea to create underground space beneath properties multiplied tenfold from 46 to 450. This trend is increasingly controversial due to the disruption and disturbance basement extensions cause. Basement extensions – proposed legislation Criticisms of basement extensions have triggered a series of unsuccessful attempts to curb their construction and change the law so that the presumption is against subterranean development. However, these continue reading...

“Temporary” permitted development right for office to residential conversions extended indefinitely

In October 2015, Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis confirmed that the “temporary” permitted development (“PD”) right for office to residential conversions introduced in 2013 has been extended indefinitely. These PD rights were due to lapse at the end of May 2016. This is good news for developers, who have gained more certainty on the position. Background The PD rights were introduced to drive house-building and homeownership, better utiliseunderused and neglected existing buildings, and protect greenbelt land. Since the change was introduced, around 7,600 homes have been created from office space. Expansion of rights The PD rights have been extended continue reading...