The Countryside Agency and English Nature are poised to throw a spanner in the works of deputy prime minister John Prescott’s Sustainable Communities Plan to build millions of affordable homes across the country.The two agencies, soon to merge, are partners in the scheme and are advising the government on the east of England part of the plan. They have now raised concerns about its effects on the environment. Each region will be responsible for producing its own action plan to make the communities a reality. As advisers to the government on landscape and biodiversity issues, it is the role of the two agencies to ensure development in the East is sustainable and that the commitment to environmental sustainability is enshrined in the Regional Spatial Strategy. In a joint statement, the agencies state: “We recognise the need for housing, jobs, services and the infrastructure to support them in order to contribute to the quality of people’s lives in the east of England. Equally the protection and enhancement of a high quality natural environment is also a key component of quality of life.” The plan could see nearly half a million homes built in the east of England. The agencies are concerned about the lack of consistency between sub-regional strategies and, more fundamentally, the lack of emphasis on environmental matters within the sub-regional and sub-area chapters of the plan.
Residential house prices in prime central London locations increased by 1.1% in October despite price falls in the mainstream national markets. The Knight Frank Index attributes the rise, the highest monthly increase since February 2004, to shortages of quality stock at the upper end of the market as well as increased City bonuses and salaries. […]
Comprehensive compliance support is available to intermediaries, despite a recent survey that highlighted their dissatisfaction with the support offered by providers. CeMAP Regulatory Services, a division of the Institute of Financial Services, offers a service for brokers which includes a helpdesk, a monthly newsletter and unlimited access to its website for a fee of 85 […]
Senior figures from the mortgage industry met the Association of Mortgage Inter- mediaries last Wednesday to discuss how Home Information Packs will affect business and the housing market. The meeting was arranged in light of the publication of draft government regulations on October 31 that set out the cost and contents of HIPs. Ben Stafford, […]
Capital Home Loans is offering free valuations on a 85% LTV three-year fixed rate buy-to-let mortgage at 4.89%. This is the latest free valuation offer from CHL and applies to properties valued up to 500,000. The buy-to-let product, which is also available from CHL’s Irish Permanent brand, is fixed until January 31 2009. At the […]
The latest housebuilding figures from the Department for Communities & Local Government confirm the worst fears of many within the property industry. We are failing to address the housing shortage in any meaningful way. Let’s look at the number of housing ‘starts’, new housing projects where work has begun. In England, work has been started […]
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