Ammend The Housing Act 2004

My suggestion is that

1) A landlord must be compelled to register any property to be let with the local council, where a register of owners can be accessed by neighbours.

2) A written complaint can then be made to the landlord in respect of any anti-social behaviour. The landlord should then be made responsible for resolving the situation by negotiation with the tenants : i.e a warning.

3) In the event that the situation is not resolved, the landlord's obligation should then be to seek an eviction order through the courts (or by some other speedier system facilitated by the change to the act) and evict the tenants.

Why is this idea important?

My suggestion is that

1) A landlord must be compelled to register any property to be let with the local council, where a register of owners can be accessed by neighbours.

2) A written complaint can then be made to the landlord in respect of any anti-social behaviour. The landlord should then be made responsible for resolving the situation by negotiation with the tenants : i.e a warning.

3) In the event that the situation is not resolved, the landlord's obligation should then be to seek an eviction order through the courts (or by some other speedier system facilitated by the change to the act) and evict the tenants.

Remove Holiday Home Restrictions

To remove the holiday home restriction so as to allow owners to live in them the whole year round and offer them for long term rent. A lot of these properties are built or converted to Building Regulations the same as full residential properties and have good insulation and heating allowing all year round occupation. This would also ease the shortage of propery in the first time buy segment and make it easier for the prospective purchasers to get morgages on these properties which are currently difficult to get.

Why is this idea important?

To remove the holiday home restriction so as to allow owners to live in them the whole year round and offer them for long term rent. A lot of these properties are built or converted to Building Regulations the same as full residential properties and have good insulation and heating allowing all year round occupation. This would also ease the shortage of propery in the first time buy segment and make it easier for the prospective purchasers to get morgages on these properties which are currently difficult to get.

Right to Housing

It is the right of every citizen to have access to affordable housing. Unfortunately, due to the mismanagement of social housing and the continued descrimination of landlords/estate agents against benefit claimants, this is not the case.

Here are some suggestions to alleviate the growing housing crisis in this country:

1. Landlords/Estate agents must accept benefit claimants if they can pay the required deposits and monthly rent and are of good character/credit.

2. If Councils/Housing Associations are unable to house a person/family within a given period (i.e. 18 months or 2 years) then applicants who have waited this long should be given the necessary monies to pay the required deposit, rent in advance, agents fees of private rental. It can be very difficult for people on low incomes to come up with this money aswell as pay for furniture, tv license, and all the other necessary costs of setting up home.

3. Ensure that the Local Housing Allowance rate does actually reflect the average cost of private rental in a given area. There are some areas where it seriously falls short of this, which means that people either have to apply for social housing or move to another area away from family and friends.

4. Revise social housing allocations to ensure that properties are allocated on a time-waiting basis aswell as on a needs basis. For example, 70% of available properties could be allocated to those in greatest need and 30% to those who have been waiting longest. As the system stands now, many people (i.e. single childless people) are virtually perpetually at the bottom of the list regardless of how long they have been waiting. Even if only 1 in 4 properties were given to the person waiting longest, those at the bottom of the list would eventually move up.

5. If it isn't obvious, build more social housing! Over the past 30 years so many council properties have been bought (right-to-buy) but have not been replaced with new stock. This has led to a serious shortage in social housing.

6. Right-to-buy has its merits, but also its problems. Sold stock should be replaced. If it cannot be in a given area, due to financial constraints of council/association or lack of land, then right-to-buy should be restricted in that area.

Why is this idea important?

It is the right of every citizen to have access to affordable housing. Unfortunately, due to the mismanagement of social housing and the continued descrimination of landlords/estate agents against benefit claimants, this is not the case.

Here are some suggestions to alleviate the growing housing crisis in this country:

1. Landlords/Estate agents must accept benefit claimants if they can pay the required deposits and monthly rent and are of good character/credit.

2. If Councils/Housing Associations are unable to house a person/family within a given period (i.e. 18 months or 2 years) then applicants who have waited this long should be given the necessary monies to pay the required deposit, rent in advance, agents fees of private rental. It can be very difficult for people on low incomes to come up with this money aswell as pay for furniture, tv license, and all the other necessary costs of setting up home.

3. Ensure that the Local Housing Allowance rate does actually reflect the average cost of private rental in a given area. There are some areas where it seriously falls short of this, which means that people either have to apply for social housing or move to another area away from family and friends.

4. Revise social housing allocations to ensure that properties are allocated on a time-waiting basis aswell as on a needs basis. For example, 70% of available properties could be allocated to those in greatest need and 30% to those who have been waiting longest. As the system stands now, many people (i.e. single childless people) are virtually perpetually at the bottom of the list regardless of how long they have been waiting. Even if only 1 in 4 properties were given to the person waiting longest, those at the bottom of the list would eventually move up.

5. If it isn't obvious, build more social housing! Over the past 30 years so many council properties have been bought (right-to-buy) but have not been replaced with new stock. This has led to a serious shortage in social housing.

6. Right-to-buy has its merits, but also its problems. Sold stock should be replaced. If it cannot be in a given area, due to financial constraints of council/association or lack of land, then right-to-buy should be restricted in that area.

Abolish Crown Immunity

Government has allowed Fire Safety and Building Regulation standards in public buildings to fall due to Crown Immunity. There are few sanctions that can be used to ensure compliance. Also inspection is carried out by government staff who operate different systems from the private sector and who, by definition, may not be sufficiently independant.

Why is this idea important?

Government has allowed Fire Safety and Building Regulation standards in public buildings to fall due to Crown Immunity. There are few sanctions that can be used to ensure compliance. Also inspection is carried out by government staff who operate different systems from the private sector and who, by definition, may not be sufficiently independant.

Remove the need for Home Reports in Scotland

I was delighted to see that the New Coalition Government almost immediately removed the requirement to have a Home Report  (HIP) examination and report produced before a home owner could put thir home on the market for sale.  The result was more home were being offered for sale and the market improved slightly.

Sadly for what reason I have no idea,  this was now removed in Scotland – which is a farse.

In Scotland when you sell a home – usually through a solicitors office,  the property is advertised at offers over ££££££££.   At this time the Home Examination is still in place and the report contains a property price that that particular surveyor feels is the value of the property.  I was not happy with our first report value which is not even negotiable even though it cost me over £700 for the survey.   Our solicitor said if we had a second report done with another surveyor then the value could be increased in the second report –  Farse?

One major problem to Home reports in Scotland is that if the value show as being £400,00K for example,  then thi would be the maximum a building society would loan,  and then the  offers over system doesn't work.   The Housing market is very slow in Scotland because of this un-necessary pre-sell expence.   I think the Scottish Ministers should remove the need for an HIP – Home Investigation prior to an owner placing their home FOR SALE.

Once the HIP's in Scotland are removed the housing market will start to flow again,   I know several people who would like to sell for various reasons and some of them can't afford the up front payment to get this report done prior to advertisingand selling.  

Why is this idea important?

I was delighted to see that the New Coalition Government almost immediately removed the requirement to have a Home Report  (HIP) examination and report produced before a home owner could put thir home on the market for sale.  The result was more home were being offered for sale and the market improved slightly.

Sadly for what reason I have no idea,  this was now removed in Scotland – which is a farse.

In Scotland when you sell a home – usually through a solicitors office,  the property is advertised at offers over ££££££££.   At this time the Home Examination is still in place and the report contains a property price that that particular surveyor feels is the value of the property.  I was not happy with our first report value which is not even negotiable even though it cost me over £700 for the survey.   Our solicitor said if we had a second report done with another surveyor then the value could be increased in the second report –  Farse?

One major problem to Home reports in Scotland is that if the value show as being £400,00K for example,  then thi would be the maximum a building society would loan,  and then the  offers over system doesn't work.   The Housing market is very slow in Scotland because of this un-necessary pre-sell expence.   I think the Scottish Ministers should remove the need for an HIP – Home Investigation prior to an owner placing their home FOR SALE.

Once the HIP's in Scotland are removed the housing market will start to flow again,   I know several people who would like to sell for various reasons and some of them can't afford the up front payment to get this report done prior to advertisingand selling.  

Repeal Chancellery laws, and ban chancellery insurance

Chancellery insurance is a rip off waiting to sting home-buyers. While the amounts involved are relatively small compared to other costs of buying a house, it is just another way that the legal and insurance industries find to obstruct the housing market, and to take advantage of people by forcing them to take out policies that they do not want, and probably haven't budgeted for. Many will be forced into spending an extra hundred or two for this insurance. 

The purpose of the insurance? The fixing of the local church roof. Surely this constitutes a tax. If this is the case, label it as such, and don't start hiding the avarice of insurance brokers under the fear and uncertainty of archaic laws.

Why is this idea important?

Chancellery insurance is a rip off waiting to sting home-buyers. While the amounts involved are relatively small compared to other costs of buying a house, it is just another way that the legal and insurance industries find to obstruct the housing market, and to take advantage of people by forcing them to take out policies that they do not want, and probably haven't budgeted for. Many will be forced into spending an extra hundred or two for this insurance. 

The purpose of the insurance? The fixing of the local church roof. Surely this constitutes a tax. If this is the case, label it as such, and don't start hiding the avarice of insurance brokers under the fear and uncertainty of archaic laws.

Only 10% Council tax discount for an unoccupied property is unfair

When we moved to Ireland for a medical fellowship (part of my medical training). I have to pay 90% of my council tax. That is not fair! Not just for me but those who inherit an unoccupied property have to pay the same until the house is sold. This is a crazy punitive tax. A 50% discount (as it was before labour) I would accept.

See letter I received from Plymouth council;

I refer to your email sent to Mr x about council tax discounts.

Prior to 2003, if a property was nobody’s main residence but furnished, the law provided that all billing authorities should allow a 50% discount. From 1st April 2004, billing authorities were given the discretion to vary the amount of discount for such properties to some percentage between 10% and 50%. Plymouth City Council, by resolution of the Council, chose to reduce the discount from 50% to 10%. In my opinion, this has been done lawfully in accordance with government legislation, although if you want to challenge this resolution, I would suggest you contact your solicitor who will advise you of the procedure you would need to follow.

If the percentage was to be changed, it would need to be by a further resolution of the Council but would only apply to future years and not the current financial year.

With regard to the fact that you will not be getting anything for your money, I would advise that council tax is a tax on the occupation or ownership of domestic property and is not a payment for service. It could be that the owner of a property may have been permanently living abroad for years, not set foot in the UK for the whole of the financial year and pay no UK income tax but he would still be liable for council tax.

If you have any further queries, please contact me again.

Yours sincerely

Why is this idea important?

When we moved to Ireland for a medical fellowship (part of my medical training). I have to pay 90% of my council tax. That is not fair! Not just for me but those who inherit an unoccupied property have to pay the same until the house is sold. This is a crazy punitive tax. A 50% discount (as it was before labour) I would accept.

See letter I received from Plymouth council;

I refer to your email sent to Mr x about council tax discounts.

Prior to 2003, if a property was nobody’s main residence but furnished, the law provided that all billing authorities should allow a 50% discount. From 1st April 2004, billing authorities were given the discretion to vary the amount of discount for such properties to some percentage between 10% and 50%. Plymouth City Council, by resolution of the Council, chose to reduce the discount from 50% to 10%. In my opinion, this has been done lawfully in accordance with government legislation, although if you want to challenge this resolution, I would suggest you contact your solicitor who will advise you of the procedure you would need to follow.

If the percentage was to be changed, it would need to be by a further resolution of the Council but would only apply to future years and not the current financial year.

With regard to the fact that you will not be getting anything for your money, I would advise that council tax is a tax on the occupation or ownership of domestic property and is not a payment for service. It could be that the owner of a property may have been permanently living abroad for years, not set foot in the UK for the whole of the financial year and pay no UK income tax but he would still be liable for council tax.

If you have any further queries, please contact me again.

Yours sincerely

putting those old quango buildings to good use

When you have closed down all these quangos you will have hundreds of empty buildings. These should be converted to flats or temporary accommodation which can then be used to house the homeless and these people who are in private accommodation and being paid massive housing benefits.

Why is this idea important?

When you have closed down all these quangos you will have hundreds of empty buildings. These should be converted to flats or temporary accommodation which can then be used to house the homeless and these people who are in private accommodation and being paid massive housing benefits.

Allow as many people as they want to share a dwelling without planning consent or license

Stop the HMO interference by Local Government. So long as the ordinary rules governiing housing are followed allow people to occupy dwellings as they see fit. If four or five people wish to share, let them without the need of planning consent, licesing and stigma. The rules are daft as they rely upon defining the relationship of the tenants. Is a Morman man with three wives, a single houehold or three households? If the wives work and contribute to the overall cost, are they paying ren? If one tenant pays the rent and the others contribute, are they separate households.  Is any group of people to be defined by sleeping arrangements for the purpose of licensing?

The law is truly aweful. It has had to be revised time after time to say remove section 257 buildings (older converted blocks of flats) and other groups. Councils seem to have avendeta against those who wish to share.

The aim is laudible: improve housing standards, but this is not the way to do it.

There is great demand for bedsit type of accommodation. It should not be stigmatised.

Why is this idea important?

Stop the HMO interference by Local Government. So long as the ordinary rules governiing housing are followed allow people to occupy dwellings as they see fit. If four or five people wish to share, let them without the need of planning consent, licesing and stigma. The rules are daft as they rely upon defining the relationship of the tenants. Is a Morman man with three wives, a single houehold or three households? If the wives work and contribute to the overall cost, are they paying ren? If one tenant pays the rent and the others contribute, are they separate households.  Is any group of people to be defined by sleeping arrangements for the purpose of licensing?

The law is truly aweful. It has had to be revised time after time to say remove section 257 buildings (older converted blocks of flats) and other groups. Councils seem to have avendeta against those who wish to share.

The aim is laudible: improve housing standards, but this is not the way to do it.

There is great demand for bedsit type of accommodation. It should not be stigmatised.

Protect the support for older people’s housing

Growing pressure on central and local government finances may tempt some local authorities to reduce spending on housing-related support for older people. This idea briefly summarises the value of such support to individuals and how spending in this area results in much larger cost savings.

Demand for good-quality retirement housing, to rent and to buy, remains strong and is likely to increase as the population ages. Sheltered housing with a dedicated manager is a low-cost, high impact service which is greatly valued by older people. While some of the retirement housing stock is ageing, good quality housing and the dedicated scheme manager service have numerous benefits and mean older people are less likely to need higher cost services, such as residential care.

Why is this idea important?

Growing pressure on central and local government finances may tempt some local authorities to reduce spending on housing-related support for older people. This idea briefly summarises the value of such support to individuals and how spending in this area results in much larger cost savings.

Demand for good-quality retirement housing, to rent and to buy, remains strong and is likely to increase as the population ages. Sheltered housing with a dedicated manager is a low-cost, high impact service which is greatly valued by older people. While some of the retirement housing stock is ageing, good quality housing and the dedicated scheme manager service have numerous benefits and mean older people are less likely to need higher cost services, such as residential care.

Let Owners Build Big Houses On Own Land – With Garages

If you own a piece of land you are not allowed to build a comfortable house to your own design. Government rules effectively forbid you from making the rooms large enough to be comfortable. You probably cannot build just one house either because Minimum Density Regulations mean the land only gets planning consent if it is split into two or more. And no way will you be allowed as much parking as you want. Two adults and two teens who will soon be working 20 miles away – no the PolitiKal Kommisars in most areas order a maximum of 1 parking space per household (often less, 0.8 for flats) in order to force people onto public transport. Which is fine except late at night, early in the morning, on Bank Holidays, if providing any kind of emergency response, or simply if one has back pain and cannot use badly driven busses.

Do not impose maximum standards on property owners that they cannot exceed.

Why is this idea important?

If you own a piece of land you are not allowed to build a comfortable house to your own design. Government rules effectively forbid you from making the rooms large enough to be comfortable. You probably cannot build just one house either because Minimum Density Regulations mean the land only gets planning consent if it is split into two or more. And no way will you be allowed as much parking as you want. Two adults and two teens who will soon be working 20 miles away – no the PolitiKal Kommisars in most areas order a maximum of 1 parking space per household (often less, 0.8 for flats) in order to force people onto public transport. Which is fine except late at night, early in the morning, on Bank Holidays, if providing any kind of emergency response, or simply if one has back pain and cannot use badly driven busses.

Do not impose maximum standards on property owners that they cannot exceed.

Localism and Planning

There is much of interest in the coalition's statements on Localism and putting decision-making powers back in the hands of communities and local authorities. However, to facilitate the process, I would suggest repealing those parts of the current system of town and country planning that work against those fine principles, beginning with the following.

  • Remove the presumption in favour of development
  • Allow statutory development plans to include negatively as well as positively worded policies
  • Increase the weight attached to community opinion in the determination of planning applications and appeals
  • Overall, shift the balance of power from landowners and developers to communities and local planning authorities

This could begin to change the culture of planning in this country so that planning permission is not a right of the individual, but an endorsement by the people it will affect.

Why is this idea important?

There is much of interest in the coalition's statements on Localism and putting decision-making powers back in the hands of communities and local authorities. However, to facilitate the process, I would suggest repealing those parts of the current system of town and country planning that work against those fine principles, beginning with the following.

  • Remove the presumption in favour of development
  • Allow statutory development plans to include negatively as well as positively worded policies
  • Increase the weight attached to community opinion in the determination of planning applications and appeals
  • Overall, shift the balance of power from landowners and developers to communities and local planning authorities

This could begin to change the culture of planning in this country so that planning permission is not a right of the individual, but an endorsement by the people it will affect.

earth sheltered homes

Applications for earth sheltered homes which are normally very eco friendly should not be subjected to the strict considerations which apply to green belt applications, currently they are.

Applications for basement extensions, ie digging under an existing house to create extra living space should also be more favourably looked at, as a positive way to create extra living space without spoiling the beautiful landscapes which are usually either greenbelt or area of outstanding natural beauty.

These two easements would help with the shortage of homes, create work, create profit, and be beneficial in every way without being detrimental to the environment.

Why is this idea important?

Applications for earth sheltered homes which are normally very eco friendly should not be subjected to the strict considerations which apply to green belt applications, currently they are.

Applications for basement extensions, ie digging under an existing house to create extra living space should also be more favourably looked at, as a positive way to create extra living space without spoiling the beautiful landscapes which are usually either greenbelt or area of outstanding natural beauty.

These two easements would help with the shortage of homes, create work, create profit, and be beneficial in every way without being detrimental to the environment.

Right To Evict Squatters

At present if a householder leaves a window open, squatters can get in and can legally occupy a house until an expensive High Court order has been obtained. This can take weeks or months.

If a small landlord is doing up a property and builders leave a window or door open to bring building materials in or let paint fumes out the same applies.

in 99% of cases squatters are parasites who leach off property that would genuinely be owner or tenant occupied. It is very rare for property owners to genuinely be unaware of property that they own (the GLC famously forgot to transfer some expensive Council stock to London Boroughs but that is rare).

Change the law so a High Court order is unnecessary. If a house already has an occupant or building work is in progress, give the owner the owner or tenant the right to call the Police and regain the property the very same day, subject only to proof of identity, eg Debit Card checked against Electoral Register.

"Squatters Rights are important because some landlords deliberately keep property vacant" ~ if the Government wants to preserve David-v-Goliath laws, keep Squatters Rights, but only where the squatter can proove that a property has been unoccupied for more than 6 months, eg dated photographs showing the passing of the seasons.

And put effective laws in place to recover court costs and repairs – "Oh I found it like that" should not be an excuse.

Why is this idea important?

At present if a householder leaves a window open, squatters can get in and can legally occupy a house until an expensive High Court order has been obtained. This can take weeks or months.

If a small landlord is doing up a property and builders leave a window or door open to bring building materials in or let paint fumes out the same applies.

in 99% of cases squatters are parasites who leach off property that would genuinely be owner or tenant occupied. It is very rare for property owners to genuinely be unaware of property that they own (the GLC famously forgot to transfer some expensive Council stock to London Boroughs but that is rare).

Change the law so a High Court order is unnecessary. If a house already has an occupant or building work is in progress, give the owner the owner or tenant the right to call the Police and regain the property the very same day, subject only to proof of identity, eg Debit Card checked against Electoral Register.

"Squatters Rights are important because some landlords deliberately keep property vacant" ~ if the Government wants to preserve David-v-Goliath laws, keep Squatters Rights, but only where the squatter can proove that a property has been unoccupied for more than 6 months, eg dated photographs showing the passing of the seasons.

And put effective laws in place to recover court costs and repairs – "Oh I found it like that" should not be an excuse.

restore rights to DIY home improvements

Scrap existing laws that prevent houseowners from carrying out work on their property including

replacing doors and windows and carrying out electrical work (both currently illegal) these are a an infringement of basic rights of individuals to maintain their own property.

Why is this idea important?

Scrap existing laws that prevent houseowners from carrying out work on their property including

replacing doors and windows and carrying out electrical work (both currently illegal) these are a an infringement of basic rights of individuals to maintain their own property.

Reassesment of Residential Planning Permissons

I think the main question is……

Why do I need anyones permission to replace my windows, move an internal wall, to take up the soil in my garden and put a driveway down,  Why do I need permisson to do anything to my home when I own the propery????

I think this needs to to be re-evalutated, I mean do I have to ask a car manufactures permission to change the windscreen, or replace the wheels, NO why? becuase I brought the car and it no longer has anything to do with the manufacturer.

If i purchase my home, I own it, not the local council.

I Believe that for most works that need to be done to a home shouldn't need permission from the local authority, However I do think that some kind of survey or assessment could be needed for certain structial modification to ensure the work is safe to carry out.

Why is this idea important?

I think the main question is……

Why do I need anyones permission to replace my windows, move an internal wall, to take up the soil in my garden and put a driveway down,  Why do I need permisson to do anything to my home when I own the propery????

I think this needs to to be re-evalutated, I mean do I have to ask a car manufactures permission to change the windscreen, or replace the wheels, NO why? becuase I brought the car and it no longer has anything to do with the manufacturer.

If i purchase my home, I own it, not the local council.

I Believe that for most works that need to be done to a home shouldn't need permission from the local authority, However I do think that some kind of survey or assessment could be needed for certain structial modification to ensure the work is safe to carry out.

Amendment of the planning process leading to a more appropriate housing stock for future society.

The current planning system and process is slow tired and cumbersome and still involves the cook, baker and candlestick maker who do not have required expertise. The process leads to a point where developers are now no longer able to build developments that they and residents can be proud of, make money, hold their value and are fit for purpose. Developers purchase sites and are then firstly forced by plans to cram attached houses into less room than in the past and setting properties on streets with inadequate parking, no front gardens and on top of each other. Such estates are creating the ghettos of tomorrow by maling families live on top of each and removing the whole street communities. This also creates tension between families living too close. On top of this, current social housing are inappropriate. Firstly the integration of housing with other stock creates issues. Secondly, current regs for houses mean that they are now so expensive to build that developers have another cost issue on top of current economic issues. Developers are currently unable to sell homes due to surveyors downvaluing on orders from banks so they can reduce lending. This means people can’t afford to buy, developers suffer and future housing plans and needs suffer. Idea is to help the developers through these tough times for a longer view of housing needs and also protect and industry and its workforce while making a fair and appropriate future housing plan.

Why is this idea important?

The current planning system and process is slow tired and cumbersome and still involves the cook, baker and candlestick maker who do not have required expertise. The process leads to a point where developers are now no longer able to build developments that they and residents can be proud of, make money, hold their value and are fit for purpose. Developers purchase sites and are then firstly forced by plans to cram attached houses into less room than in the past and setting properties on streets with inadequate parking, no front gardens and on top of each other. Such estates are creating the ghettos of tomorrow by maling families live on top of each and removing the whole street communities. This also creates tension between families living too close. On top of this, current social housing are inappropriate. Firstly the integration of housing with other stock creates issues. Secondly, current regs for houses mean that they are now so expensive to build that developers have another cost issue on top of current economic issues. Developers are currently unable to sell homes due to surveyors downvaluing on orders from banks so they can reduce lending. This means people can’t afford to buy, developers suffer and future housing plans and needs suffer. Idea is to help the developers through these tough times for a longer view of housing needs and also protect and industry and its workforce while making a fair and appropriate future housing plan.

Overcrowding legislation

We should remove laws that force social landlords to move large families to larger houses once their children reach a certain age. I am sure there are lots of home owners who are forced to have their children share a bedroom because they cannot afford to buy a bigger home. it seems unfair that social landlords are forced to move tenants to bigger homes or spend large sums of money on building extensions to aviod breaching overcrowding legislation.

Why is this idea important?

We should remove laws that force social landlords to move large families to larger houses once their children reach a certain age. I am sure there are lots of home owners who are forced to have their children share a bedroom because they cannot afford to buy a bigger home. it seems unfair that social landlords are forced to move tenants to bigger homes or spend large sums of money on building extensions to aviod breaching overcrowding legislation.

Repeal the “Exception Sites” rules in planning law

These rules in Planning law¬†allow builders/developers to buy cheap land outside development boundaries and then gain consent for “affordable housing” for Housing Associations on green belt, ANOB, etc. land that otherwise wouldn’t get consent. It also allows them to ignore regulations about flood risk.

Why is this idea important?

These rules in Planning law¬†allow builders/developers to buy cheap land outside development boundaries and then gain consent for “affordable housing” for Housing Associations on green belt, ANOB, etc. land that otherwise wouldn’t get consent. It also allows them to ignore regulations about flood risk.

Clarification of Planning Classes with regards to C3(b) and C2

Currently, Class C3 Dwelling Houses are defined as follows:

Use as a dwellinghouse (whether or not as a sole or main residence) by—

(a) a single person or by people to be regarded as forming a single household;

(b) not more than six residents living together as a single household where care is provided for residents; or

(c) not more than six residents living together as a single household where no care is provided to residents (other than a use within Class C4).

Within the  Communities and Local Government Circular 05/2010 there are additional comments which state:

C3(b) continues to make provision for supported housing schemes, such as those for people with disabilities or mental health problems.

It remains the case that in small residential care homes or nursing homes, staff and residents will probably not live as a single household and the use will therefore fall into the residential institutions class, regardless of the size of the home. Local planning authorities should include any resident care staff in their calculation of the number of people accommodated.

However, what this does not take into account is the more modern approach to small care homes whereby there are no resident staff and those living in the house are living as a single household.

The determination of C3(b) or C2 has further been confused by some recent case law such as North Devon DC v First Secretary of State [2003] EWHC 157 and Crawley BC v Secretary of State for Transport and the Regions [2004] EWHC 160.

This has left a situation whereby whether a small care home should be a C3(b) or a C2 is determined on the level of needs of the people who live there. Hence, a care home with 6 or less people could open under a class C3(b) but at some point an individual moves in who requires a level of care that a local planning officer (who has no training or experience in assessment of individuals with support needs) makes a determination whether this should now become a C2.

Also, this matter is determined differently by different planning authorities across the country. Indeed, it even varies within counties.

I believe that these planning classes definitions should be used to encourage integration of people with disabilities and mental health problems within the community and hence, allowing small care homes to be within “normal houses, in normal streets”. Not, as I have found that some communities prefer, to be able to challenge the planning in order to not have “those people” living next door to them.

Hence, I believe that this needs to be simplified so that any small care home with up to six people should be classed as C3(b) irrelevant of the level of care provided and that the only people to be included are those that actually live there (and not staff who provide support).

This means that it is not for planning officers with little or no experience of care to make determinations on whether an individual has the capability of living within a household. Also, it means that the planning requirements of a small care home are not a moving target.

Why is this idea important?

Currently, Class C3 Dwelling Houses are defined as follows:

Use as a dwellinghouse (whether or not as a sole or main residence) by—

(a) a single person or by people to be regarded as forming a single household;

(b) not more than six residents living together as a single household where care is provided for residents; or

(c) not more than six residents living together as a single household where no care is provided to residents (other than a use within Class C4).

Within the  Communities and Local Government Circular 05/2010 there are additional comments which state:

C3(b) continues to make provision for supported housing schemes, such as those for people with disabilities or mental health problems.

It remains the case that in small residential care homes or nursing homes, staff and residents will probably not live as a single household and the use will therefore fall into the residential institutions class, regardless of the size of the home. Local planning authorities should include any resident care staff in their calculation of the number of people accommodated.

However, what this does not take into account is the more modern approach to small care homes whereby there are no resident staff and those living in the house are living as a single household.

The determination of C3(b) or C2 has further been confused by some recent case law such as North Devon DC v First Secretary of State [2003] EWHC 157 and Crawley BC v Secretary of State for Transport and the Regions [2004] EWHC 160.

This has left a situation whereby whether a small care home should be a C3(b) or a C2 is determined on the level of needs of the people who live there. Hence, a care home with 6 or less people could open under a class C3(b) but at some point an individual moves in who requires a level of care that a local planning officer (who has no training or experience in assessment of individuals with support needs) makes a determination whether this should now become a C2.

Also, this matter is determined differently by different planning authorities across the country. Indeed, it even varies within counties.

I believe that these planning classes definitions should be used to encourage integration of people with disabilities and mental health problems within the community and hence, allowing small care homes to be within “normal houses, in normal streets”. Not, as I have found that some communities prefer, to be able to challenge the planning in order to not have “those people” living next door to them.

Hence, I believe that this needs to be simplified so that any small care home with up to six people should be classed as C3(b) irrelevant of the level of care provided and that the only people to be included are those that actually live there (and not staff who provide support).

This means that it is not for planning officers with little or no experience of care to make determinations on whether an individual has the capability of living within a household. Also, it means that the planning requirements of a small care home are not a moving target.

What’s the point in Law if you can’t get it upheld.

This is a call for a review basically.

 

One of the biggest problems I have found with Legal Aid is how it leaves you having to do everything yourself.  15 minutes with a lawyer and that's about it.  The Citizens Advice Bureas are also not up to scratch either.  Due to a massive lack of resources.

Legal Aid is vital to every citizen, yet the poor reliably get dumped to the bottom.  Even though the poor are often caught in the most violent and lawless places.

The idea is to make sure everyone gets Legal Aid.  By re-enforcing the existing system.  So that's review, revoke where required, and add some new bits.

Why is this idea important?

This is a call for a review basically.

 

One of the biggest problems I have found with Legal Aid is how it leaves you having to do everything yourself.  15 minutes with a lawyer and that's about it.  The Citizens Advice Bureas are also not up to scratch either.  Due to a massive lack of resources.

Legal Aid is vital to every citizen, yet the poor reliably get dumped to the bottom.  Even though the poor are often caught in the most violent and lawless places.

The idea is to make sure everyone gets Legal Aid.  By re-enforcing the existing system.  So that's review, revoke where required, and add some new bits.

Planning Reform

Change the TCPA so that beyond specifying a usage class for land planners have no further involvement.

Most of the great buildings would never have been built under the current regime.

Why is this idea important?

Change the TCPA so that beyond specifying a usage class for land planners have no further involvement.

Most of the great buildings would never have been built under the current regime.