Affordable Housing Back to Basics: What do the new NPPF and Draft London Plan modifications mean for affordable housing?

This blog post explores how the meaning of affordable housing has evolved following the publication of the revised National Planning Policy Framework (“NPPF”) on 24 July 2018 and the Draft New London Plan showing Minor Suggested Changes on 13 August 2018. This is part of our ‘back to basics’ affordable housing series and is intended to supersede entry 1 in the series. Continue reading

Comfort and joy

Author: Alex Rhodes, Senior Associate, Planning, London

While this may feel like yet another winter with warmer than usual temperatures, the harsh reality is that not everyone will be celebrating the season of goodwill with a roof over their heads. It's an issue bothering local and central government alike. We're still waiting for the government's Housing White Paper, now due to be published in January. However, the Mayor of London published his draft SPG on affordable housing and viability on 29 November, and this has been followed by a government consultation on a new housing costs model for supported housing, "Ensuring new supply of supported housing", concerning housing for the most vulnerable people such as those with learning difficulties, older people with support needs, young people leaving care, and crisis and emergency accommodation.

The government is expressly seeking the views of developers on its supported housing costs model, the consultation for which runs until 13 February 2017, and the Mayor's draft SPG consultation closes on 28 February. Wouldn't it be good if progress can be made on closing the housing gap; perhaps these consultations may result in some comfort and joy for affordable and supported housing occupiers.

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Compensation for closure of a dangerous structure


Author: Michael Mendelblat, Professional Support Lawyer, Construction and Engineering, London

In this post, we examine the Supreme Court decision in the case of Hastings Borough Council v Manolete Partners Plc on 27 July 2016.  The court considered whether a local authority was liable to pay compensation where it had taken emergency action under the Building Act 1984 to close a building which was in a dangerous state (Hastings Pier). 

Anyone who sustains damage as a result of the closure can claim compensation for their loss under the 1984 Act in relation to a matter as to which he is not himself in default.  The court decided that, on the facts of the case, a leaseholder was not in default as it was not legally responsible for the state of the building or the events which triggered the council's action. Therefore the local authority was liable to pay compensation.

However, the court also decided that "default" did not simply refer to default under the Building Act under which the council had acted.  The case is discussed in more detail below.

1.The facts

2. The Appeal

3. Conclusion

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Two Planning articles: will Sadiq Khan’s “first dibs for Londoners” work? And should planning officers take the final decision on planning applications?

Author: Matthew White, Partner and Head of Planning, Real Estate, London

Matthew White, Partner and Head of Planning in the London team at Herbert Smith Freehills has written two recent articles: in "First Dibs for Londoners", published in the Planner magazine, Matthew explores the new Mayor of London Sadiq Khan's promise to offer new housing to Londoners first, and in a separate article published in Estates Gazette, "Planning: A Modest Proposal", Matthew argues that local government planning decisions should be taken away from elected committees and determined by planning officers.   

Please click on the links below to read Matthew's articles in the Planner magazine and Estates Gazette. 


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