House the homeless in unused commercial buildings

Instead of allowing millions of square footage of commercial space go to waste, introduce a compulsory law to allow the homeless sleep in temporary shelters to stay out of the cold. Also give these people the chance to
gain skills which can be used to find jobs!

Why is this idea important?

Instead of allowing millions of square footage of commercial space go to waste, introduce a compulsory law to allow the homeless sleep in temporary shelters to stay out of the cold. Also give these people the chance to
gain skills which can be used to find jobs!

End Empty property tax

At the current time Council Tax is charged on empty property after the property has been un occupied for six months – subject to a couple of exceptions. This is a flawed Law based on flawed logic.

Where did the last Government feel that the “income” was going to come from to pay the Council Tax?

If the property is part of a large portfolio then maybe some of the rental income from other property will support the empty property but this means there will be less Corporation Tax paid on the bulk of the Portfolio.

If on the other hand the property is the only “buy to let” property owned by an individual in an effort to “save” for a pension where is the income going to come from to pay this tax? It will come from the “taxed” salary of the owner as he has no tenant to pay the Council Tax. This is such a disincentive to his efforts to save he will get out of the market as soon as he can. We try to help ourselves and the nation and we are beaten over the head at every turn.

Burn this mad tax now.

 

Why is this idea important?

At the current time Council Tax is charged on empty property after the property has been un occupied for six months – subject to a couple of exceptions. This is a flawed Law based on flawed logic.

Where did the last Government feel that the “income” was going to come from to pay the Council Tax?

If the property is part of a large portfolio then maybe some of the rental income from other property will support the empty property but this means there will be less Corporation Tax paid on the bulk of the Portfolio.

If on the other hand the property is the only “buy to let” property owned by an individual in an effort to “save” for a pension where is the income going to come from to pay this tax? It will come from the “taxed” salary of the owner as he has no tenant to pay the Council Tax. This is such a disincentive to his efforts to save he will get out of the market as soon as he can. We try to help ourselves and the nation and we are beaten over the head at every turn.

Burn this mad tax now.

 

Replace Planning Permission with Zoning

Replace the current planning permission process with a zoning process. An area should be zoned and then any project which meets current building regulations and conforms to the rules of the zone e.g. light industrial etc. should be approved.

Why is this idea important?

Replace the current planning permission process with a zoning process. An area should be zoned and then any project which meets current building regulations and conforms to the rules of the zone e.g. light industrial etc. should be approved.

Reform and clarify the planning system to progressive beauty

The planning system is an out of date, dishonest and currupt monster. It restricts, hinders and punishers those who dare to challenge it and lead business forward with new ideas, buildings and concepts.

I and many of my collegues would invest far more money into business infrastructure to benefit the local enconomy, lower rents and capital costs, improve efficiency, and lower carbon footprints and improve the life of all who work in the economy. I personally invest only 20% of my potential in my business because of the problems, uncretainties and vagarities of the planning system.

This planning system is a mess. Since it was introduced the quality, range and visual amenity of all properties has deteriated, and has only seen a small improvement in the last decade, but still we live in a world of poor quality buildings and workspaces.

This system is policed by biased and corrupt planners who nearly always make a decision to refuse a progressive application and then bend and manipulate the law to fit their decisions. That is unless one of their pals on the planning committee is involved in which case they do just the opposite. Many progressive and highly functional and efficient buildings and land uses are stopped by the 1% of nimbies and their councillor chums whoc then unfairly and unconstitutionaly influence the planners to lie and missrepresent the planning law to refuse and application. I have a small business development which is both low impact and visually unintrusive for hi tech office use, but we have and continue to fight the planners for everything and 5 years in we are still fighting and subject to intrusive inspections by planning officers to try to stop us using our permitted development rights. Throughout this process we have shelved plans for wood fired heating, small wind turbine and a small solar project to progress our energy consumption and have had to aboandon all due to the local authority planning incompetance and obstructions.

here is the typical scenario. We contact the planner for some advice. Is this xyz alteration to our building okay. We then write in after no responce. We are told a load of rubbish that yes we will look at the application and we could not possibly issue a view on it prior to an application. Then as soon as we submit an application they are suddenly 100% sure that all they can do is refuse an application and there is no possibility of passing it. ??Why could they not have said it before. Then we go to appeal and as long as we do not get an x planning officer at appeal we get the permission granted and the planning authority make a fool of themselves lying through their back teeth to back up their reasons for refusal which were all fabricated.

This is all a long and drawn out unnecesary process and we should look at a form of zoning with restrictions on hieght and use in certain areas and alow a certain amount of land each year to be set aside fo new uses close to existing towns. Planners should be forced to represent the law correctly and not lie to applicants and give more honest and less obstructive advice. This unnecesary and overly beurocratic system is holding back business, increasing house rents and capital values andis not deliverying a better built environment or better houses to live in. The system has its head in the sand when in comes to solar gain through south facing windows, solar heating and panels, quality of living space and aspect and beauty.

We need to look at a total overhaul of this sytem and produce a postive progressive, not negative regressive process which encourages people to invest in quality eficient and beautiful buildings which are a joy to behold. When people look back at the buildings from 1960 to 2010 they will wonder what on earth we were doing bar a few fantastic exeptions. Lets make 2010 onwards more progressive, more beautiful, more postive and make Britain a fantastic place to live.

Why is this idea important?

The planning system is an out of date, dishonest and currupt monster. It restricts, hinders and punishers those who dare to challenge it and lead business forward with new ideas, buildings and concepts.

I and many of my collegues would invest far more money into business infrastructure to benefit the local enconomy, lower rents and capital costs, improve efficiency, and lower carbon footprints and improve the life of all who work in the economy. I personally invest only 20% of my potential in my business because of the problems, uncretainties and vagarities of the planning system.

This planning system is a mess. Since it was introduced the quality, range and visual amenity of all properties has deteriated, and has only seen a small improvement in the last decade, but still we live in a world of poor quality buildings and workspaces.

This system is policed by biased and corrupt planners who nearly always make a decision to refuse a progressive application and then bend and manipulate the law to fit their decisions. That is unless one of their pals on the planning committee is involved in which case they do just the opposite. Many progressive and highly functional and efficient buildings and land uses are stopped by the 1% of nimbies and their councillor chums whoc then unfairly and unconstitutionaly influence the planners to lie and missrepresent the planning law to refuse and application. I have a small business development which is both low impact and visually unintrusive for hi tech office use, but we have and continue to fight the planners for everything and 5 years in we are still fighting and subject to intrusive inspections by planning officers to try to stop us using our permitted development rights. Throughout this process we have shelved plans for wood fired heating, small wind turbine and a small solar project to progress our energy consumption and have had to aboandon all due to the local authority planning incompetance and obstructions.

here is the typical scenario. We contact the planner for some advice. Is this xyz alteration to our building okay. We then write in after no responce. We are told a load of rubbish that yes we will look at the application and we could not possibly issue a view on it prior to an application. Then as soon as we submit an application they are suddenly 100% sure that all they can do is refuse an application and there is no possibility of passing it. ??Why could they not have said it before. Then we go to appeal and as long as we do not get an x planning officer at appeal we get the permission granted and the planning authority make a fool of themselves lying through their back teeth to back up their reasons for refusal which were all fabricated.

This is all a long and drawn out unnecesary process and we should look at a form of zoning with restrictions on hieght and use in certain areas and alow a certain amount of land each year to be set aside fo new uses close to existing towns. Planners should be forced to represent the law correctly and not lie to applicants and give more honest and less obstructive advice. This unnecesary and overly beurocratic system is holding back business, increasing house rents and capital values andis not deliverying a better built environment or better houses to live in. The system has its head in the sand when in comes to solar gain through south facing windows, solar heating and panels, quality of living space and aspect and beauty.

We need to look at a total overhaul of this sytem and produce a postive progressive, not negative regressive process which encourages people to invest in quality eficient and beautiful buildings which are a joy to behold. When people look back at the buildings from 1960 to 2010 they will wonder what on earth we were doing bar a few fantastic exeptions. Lets make 2010 onwards more progressive, more beautiful, more postive and make Britain a fantastic place to live.

Ease the Planning route for recovery

I am professionally involved with the built environment and have, like many others observed the decline in the economic benefits of an active building industry, which is one of the few productive industries that the UK has.

When the recovery starts to take place, we anticipate that many developers will be looking to submit new applications and try to get projects moving but will be hitting brick walls when dealing with planning issues and getting schemes approved.

We need to have a proactive, co-operative Planning system that can process applications quickly so that the industry can start moving and generating income, let alone quality schemes.

Although the 8 week rule applies we have found even getting pre-app discussions and conditions approved can double that time period.

Why is this idea important?

I am professionally involved with the built environment and have, like many others observed the decline in the economic benefits of an active building industry, which is one of the few productive industries that the UK has.

When the recovery starts to take place, we anticipate that many developers will be looking to submit new applications and try to get projects moving but will be hitting brick walls when dealing with planning issues and getting schemes approved.

We need to have a proactive, co-operative Planning system that can process applications quickly so that the industry can start moving and generating income, let alone quality schemes.

Although the 8 week rule applies we have found even getting pre-app discussions and conditions approved can double that time period.

Reform business rates to prevent landlords of commercial properties allowing shops to lie vacant.

Commercial landlords need an incentive to ensure it's very expensive to allow shops and other retail premises to lie empty.

There are many people who are would like to use these premises for a start up business, but the cost is prohibitive.

Landlord should be charged five times the usual rateable value on commercial premises, if they lie empty for three months or over. Then ten times rateable value for six months, or over.

This would ensure landlords charged rents and deposits at a far more reasonable price, that would encourage entrepreneurs or even existing businesses to make use of these shops that are often left to rot on our high streets.

Why is this idea important?

Commercial landlords need an incentive to ensure it's very expensive to allow shops and other retail premises to lie empty.

There are many people who are would like to use these premises for a start up business, but the cost is prohibitive.

Landlord should be charged five times the usual rateable value on commercial premises, if they lie empty for three months or over. Then ten times rateable value for six months, or over.

This would ensure landlords charged rents and deposits at a far more reasonable price, that would encourage entrepreneurs or even existing businesses to make use of these shops that are often left to rot on our high streets.

Bureaucracy in the planning system

Reduce wholly unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape in a planning system which has virtually stalled in its ability to deliver. Ensure that planning officers apply planning policy only to applications, as opposed to personal prejudice.

Why is this idea important?

Reduce wholly unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape in a planning system which has virtually stalled in its ability to deliver. Ensure that planning officers apply planning policy only to applications, as opposed to personal prejudice.

Simplify the planning system

I work as an architect nationwide in a large practice.  The planning system has a significant impact on our work and it’s smooth operation is vital to our operations and indeed our profitability and survival as a business.  It is also vital to the country, especially at a time of economic problems, that decisions are made swiftly and at minimal cost to everyone involved, including the public purse.

The planning process, from our perspective, has become increasingly difficult over the last decade.  The introduction of fees and later of targets, has not eased the process from our point of view and we often find ourselves trapped in between the demands of our clients on the one hand and the planners on the other.  

The cost of making a planning application is now so high, because of the time scale required to put an appllication together and the vast number of reports and information required to enable a decision – that it has become beyond the reach of many private clients who cannot afford to venture into the system at huge personal cost, when the outcome is so uncertain.

Simplify the whole system.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Expand the scope of permitted development.
  • Introduce a "rules" based system where any proposal complying with the rules can be automatically permitted.
  • As in much of Europe any design submitted by a qualified architect should be deemed approved from a "design" perspective.
  • Introduce Local Development Orders to cover all main development sites with a set of criteria to be followed.  Any proposal complying with the criteria would be deemed approved.
  • Similarly – define rules within Local Plans whereby compliance deems approval.
  • Having introduced a predominantly rules based system – private sector planners could be engaged to run the system and manage the process.  The democratic element of planning would be in approving and determining the rules in the first place.
  • Many apoplications are stalled awaiting consultees responses.  Where consultees fail to respond – and indeed where the Planning Authority fails to make a decision in the proscribed time – an application should be deemed approved.

Why is this idea important?

I work as an architect nationwide in a large practice.  The planning system has a significant impact on our work and it’s smooth operation is vital to our operations and indeed our profitability and survival as a business.  It is also vital to the country, especially at a time of economic problems, that decisions are made swiftly and at minimal cost to everyone involved, including the public purse.

The planning process, from our perspective, has become increasingly difficult over the last decade.  The introduction of fees and later of targets, has not eased the process from our point of view and we often find ourselves trapped in between the demands of our clients on the one hand and the planners on the other.  

The cost of making a planning application is now so high, because of the time scale required to put an appllication together and the vast number of reports and information required to enable a decision – that it has become beyond the reach of many private clients who cannot afford to venture into the system at huge personal cost, when the outcome is so uncertain.

Simplify the whole system.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Expand the scope of permitted development.
  • Introduce a "rules" based system where any proposal complying with the rules can be automatically permitted.
  • As in much of Europe any design submitted by a qualified architect should be deemed approved from a "design" perspective.
  • Introduce Local Development Orders to cover all main development sites with a set of criteria to be followed.  Any proposal complying with the criteria would be deemed approved.
  • Similarly – define rules within Local Plans whereby compliance deems approval.
  • Having introduced a predominantly rules based system – private sector planners could be engaged to run the system and manage the process.  The democratic element of planning would be in approving and determining the rules in the first place.
  • Many apoplications are stalled awaiting consultees responses.  Where consultees fail to respond – and indeed where the Planning Authority fails to make a decision in the proscribed time – an application should be deemed approved.