Provide co-housing to help with mobility of labour

Establish co-housing projects in areas that need influxes of labour to encourage indigenous migration for work.

Short term housing contracts could help young people find their feet and live in a local community of like minded others and then move on.

Why is this idea important?

Establish co-housing projects in areas that need influxes of labour to encourage indigenous migration for work.

Short term housing contracts could help young people find their feet and live in a local community of like minded others and then move on.

Allow the housing bubble to correct

Allow the massive housing bubble to correct, thus providing affordable housing, thus giving us all more money in our pockets, helping to build a sustainable workable economy.

Why is this idea important?

Allow the massive housing bubble to correct, thus providing affordable housing, thus giving us all more money in our pockets, helping to build a sustainable workable economy.

Fair unemployment benefit

Last year I was made redundant, and have been on Jobseekers allowance. It pays a maximum of 64.20 irrespective of your circumstances. So a 25 year old living at home with their parent gets the same as someone with their own home and bills to pay.

Why is this idea important?

Last year I was made redundant, and have been on Jobseekers allowance. It pays a maximum of 64.20 irrespective of your circumstances. So a 25 year old living at home with their parent gets the same as someone with their own home and bills to pay.

Housing Benefit

People in receipt of housing benefit, of more than 95 per week should be re-homed, to a more affordable property, the government should build more affordable social housing, and reduce the amount of money it gives to private landlords.

People who recieve housing benefits should not live in mansions ( mainly london) and get upto£1500  per week in housing benefits.

Why is this idea important?

People in receipt of housing benefit, of more than 95 per week should be re-homed, to a more affordable property, the government should build more affordable social housing, and reduce the amount of money it gives to private landlords.

People who recieve housing benefits should not live in mansions ( mainly london) and get upto£1500  per week in housing benefits.

Abolish all Leasehold Residential Laws and replace with Commonhold

There are around 2 million people in England and Waled who "own" leasehold flats or houses. Leasehold diminishes with time so it is a diminishing asset. Even though these people bought their home at a market rate (usually with a mortgage), the freeholder can confiscate the property after court proceedings if the leaseholder does not pay the full amount that the Freeholder or Managing Agent demands for Service Charges and Maintenance of the building (which is usually significantly more than the cost that you would be charged using usual market processes).

This is a feudal based system. It is outdated, extremely complicated, unfair and not fit for the 21st Century. It should be replaced with a universal Commonhold or equivalent system that gives residents the power of freehold.

Although Freeholders can currently confiscate the property of leaseholders without compensation, what I am proposing is that limited compensation is paid by leaseholders to "buy out" their freeholder. For those on low incomes there should be a special scheme which offers interest free loans  to leaseholders (administered by Local Councils or Banks) in order that they can buy their property outright and enjoy the full benefit of home ownership.

At the very least, this government should repeal the law of  "forfeiture" (Law of Property Act 1925) which enables freeholders to confiscate the property of a leaseholder without compensation.

 

 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

There are around 2 million people in England and Waled who "own" leasehold flats or houses. Leasehold diminishes with time so it is a diminishing asset. Even though these people bought their home at a market rate (usually with a mortgage), the freeholder can confiscate the property after court proceedings if the leaseholder does not pay the full amount that the Freeholder or Managing Agent demands for Service Charges and Maintenance of the building (which is usually significantly more than the cost that you would be charged using usual market processes).

This is a feudal based system. It is outdated, extremely complicated, unfair and not fit for the 21st Century. It should be replaced with a universal Commonhold or equivalent system that gives residents the power of freehold.

Although Freeholders can currently confiscate the property of leaseholders without compensation, what I am proposing is that limited compensation is paid by leaseholders to "buy out" their freeholder. For those on low incomes there should be a special scheme which offers interest free loans  to leaseholders (administered by Local Councils or Banks) in order that they can buy their property outright and enjoy the full benefit of home ownership.

At the very least, this government should repeal the law of  "forfeiture" (Law of Property Act 1925) which enables freeholders to confiscate the property of a leaseholder without compensation.

 

 

 

 

Fix a variable termination date to all corporations

Corporations are out of control. Regulators can only fine them- even for criminal negligence often involving deaths. The need for vast regulatory regimes shows corporations abuse their power.

Fixing a variable termination date (VTD )for every firm , offers a sanction to ensure good practice. In House supply, giant  plc builders store scarce landbanks. to the disadvantage of potential self builders. (see ODPM Barker Review of House Supply IR p81)  Just seven plcs have enough scarce building land for  732,000 new houses (160,000 only were built in 2009  ) and self builders cannot get land to solve their own housing need (and do so at no cost  to the public purse)  Giant plc builders have been trawling the country for fifty years using  professional land agents optioning  potential building land to store away .  Self builders hold no land banks. but cannot compete with giant 50yr old established plc builders. 

Fixing and Bringing forward the VTD would prove an effective sanction for bad  behaviour and punishment for destroying markets.  Humans are mortal VTD evens up the odds. 

Why is this idea important?

Corporations are out of control. Regulators can only fine them- even for criminal negligence often involving deaths. The need for vast regulatory regimes shows corporations abuse their power.

Fixing a variable termination date (VTD )for every firm , offers a sanction to ensure good practice. In House supply, giant  plc builders store scarce landbanks. to the disadvantage of potential self builders. (see ODPM Barker Review of House Supply IR p81)  Just seven plcs have enough scarce building land for  732,000 new houses (160,000 only were built in 2009  ) and self builders cannot get land to solve their own housing need (and do so at no cost  to the public purse)  Giant plc builders have been trawling the country for fifty years using  professional land agents optioning  potential building land to store away .  Self builders hold no land banks. but cannot compete with giant 50yr old established plc builders. 

Fixing and Bringing forward the VTD would prove an effective sanction for bad  behaviour and punishment for destroying markets.  Humans are mortal VTD evens up the odds. 

Transfering property between generations free of charge

1. Inheritance tax should be assessed on an estate in two component parts: (a) The value of dwelling houses (b) Everything else, including bank deposits, bonds, shares, pension rights, annuities, trusts, jewellery, works of art, and all other possessions and valuables.


2. Inheritance tax should be zero rated on (a) if the dwelling house or houses is passed on free of charge to any relative or friend who does not presently own a house and has never previously owned a house before. This measure enables parents and benefactors to pass on their dwelling houses free of charge to the majority of the next generation. It also prevents a potential abuse: the deliberate disposal of a property prior to the likely inheritance of another property.


3. The inherited property can be sold on by the person who has inherited it free of inheritance tax, without penalty, but the proceeds can only be used to purchase another house. An official Notary would by law hold the sale money in a Government account, at National Savings rate of interest, and release it only to purchase another dwelling for the nominee inheritor. This measure prevents abuse of the zero rate of inheritance tax. This measure also enables social mobility, i.e. the inherited property not being in the right location where the inheritor lives and works.


4. All the non-property part of an estate (b) will be subject to inheritance tax at a much higher rate than the present 40% rate and there would be no concessionary threshold. I would suggest a 75% rate, maybe 80%. Government actuaries would need to calculate the rate so that this measure is fiscally neutral, in overall effect, for the Government Treasury. This measure would encourage parents to fulfil their natural duty: to provide their children with the one basic necessity for life… a house. They could gift their children a property at any time in their life at a zero rate of gift tax or subsequent clawed-back inheritance tax, with the proviso that any additional property later forming part of an estate would be subject to full inheritance tax.


5. A limit of say £1 million could be imposed on the total value of property to be transferred free of inheritance tax. If there are two or more children involved in property inheritance the limit may be extended reasonably so that both (or more) can each inherit a house.


6. In the case where both individuals who are a couple inherit a zero rated property via this inheritance tax concession, they could only inherit one property (probably the higher value property), any other property would have to be sold, the proceeds going into a State controlled social fund to help property purchase schemes for those unfortunate young people who inherit nothing from their parents etc. This measure is supportive of social equality.
 

Why is this idea important?

1. Inheritance tax should be assessed on an estate in two component parts: (a) The value of dwelling houses (b) Everything else, including bank deposits, bonds, shares, pension rights, annuities, trusts, jewellery, works of art, and all other possessions and valuables.


2. Inheritance tax should be zero rated on (a) if the dwelling house or houses is passed on free of charge to any relative or friend who does not presently own a house and has never previously owned a house before. This measure enables parents and benefactors to pass on their dwelling houses free of charge to the majority of the next generation. It also prevents a potential abuse: the deliberate disposal of a property prior to the likely inheritance of another property.


3. The inherited property can be sold on by the person who has inherited it free of inheritance tax, without penalty, but the proceeds can only be used to purchase another house. An official Notary would by law hold the sale money in a Government account, at National Savings rate of interest, and release it only to purchase another dwelling for the nominee inheritor. This measure prevents abuse of the zero rate of inheritance tax. This measure also enables social mobility, i.e. the inherited property not being in the right location where the inheritor lives and works.


4. All the non-property part of an estate (b) will be subject to inheritance tax at a much higher rate than the present 40% rate and there would be no concessionary threshold. I would suggest a 75% rate, maybe 80%. Government actuaries would need to calculate the rate so that this measure is fiscally neutral, in overall effect, for the Government Treasury. This measure would encourage parents to fulfil their natural duty: to provide their children with the one basic necessity for life… a house. They could gift their children a property at any time in their life at a zero rate of gift tax or subsequent clawed-back inheritance tax, with the proviso that any additional property later forming part of an estate would be subject to full inheritance tax.


5. A limit of say £1 million could be imposed on the total value of property to be transferred free of inheritance tax. If there are two or more children involved in property inheritance the limit may be extended reasonably so that both (or more) can each inherit a house.


6. In the case where both individuals who are a couple inherit a zero rated property via this inheritance tax concession, they could only inherit one property (probably the higher value property), any other property would have to be sold, the proceeds going into a State controlled social fund to help property purchase schemes for those unfortunate young people who inherit nothing from their parents etc. This measure is supportive of social equality.
 

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.

Remove Planning Zoning

Many other countries have laws that basically say if you own a piece of land more than Xm square, you are entitled to build a single family property. Conversely, our system is all about density – cramming as many dwellings as possible into the smallest possible space.

This favours big developers and artificially increases the price of housing by over valuing development land.

Why is this idea important?

Many other countries have laws that basically say if you own a piece of land more than Xm square, you are entitled to build a single family property. Conversely, our system is all about density – cramming as many dwellings as possible into the smallest possible space.

This favours big developers and artificially increases the price of housing by over valuing development land.

Scrap Leaseholds on Properties

I would like to see the leasehold system held on many properties scrapped. This is such an unfair and outdated idea where you buy a house or a flat for a silly amount of money and it is never really your own. You will always be subject to a faceless landlord and continue to pay them for the entire time you 'own' the property.  It's an outdated Feudal right that urgently needs changing.

Many leaseholders will complain that they will lose out and there is already an option to buy your leasehold if you want to (or the majority of flats want to). This is out of reach for most people who have made their biggest ever purchase (their house). An assessment should be done to determine the real price of the land that your house stands on and include it within the house/ flat price. Until this is done nobody with a leasehold house can truly say that it's their castle.

Why is this idea important?

I would like to see the leasehold system held on many properties scrapped. This is such an unfair and outdated idea where you buy a house or a flat for a silly amount of money and it is never really your own. You will always be subject to a faceless landlord and continue to pay them for the entire time you 'own' the property.  It's an outdated Feudal right that urgently needs changing.

Many leaseholders will complain that they will lose out and there is already an option to buy your leasehold if you want to (or the majority of flats want to). This is out of reach for most people who have made their biggest ever purchase (their house). An assessment should be done to determine the real price of the land that your house stands on and include it within the house/ flat price. Until this is done nobody with a leasehold house can truly say that it's their castle.

Make Residential Leasehold illegal for new build, Regulate management companies, and make Leaseholders’ Valuation Tribunals properly accessible.

Residential Leasehold is a throwback to the feudal system, allowing landowners to profit shamelessly, and should be abolished for new-build.  All new build should be freehold or (for flats) commonhold.  Commonhold has been an option for some time now, but rarely used.  Why not?  Because leasehold is so much more profitable.  The losers are the purchasers. 

In addition, there is no regulation for the management companies, which as a consequence often give poor service for high prices.  A simple google-search will reveal many abuses.  Again, the losers are the purchasers.  Removing poor managers is possible, but tortuous, and especially so if the leaseholders are elderly, which is the case in retirement developments.

In theory, Leaseholders' Valuation Tribunals are available to sort out disputes, but in reality they are intimidating for the 'ordinary person'.  Landlords and management companies often turn up with barristers.  It's time the system was reformed, and made truly accessible for all to use, without legal representation..

Why is this idea important?

Residential Leasehold is a throwback to the feudal system, allowing landowners to profit shamelessly, and should be abolished for new-build.  All new build should be freehold or (for flats) commonhold.  Commonhold has been an option for some time now, but rarely used.  Why not?  Because leasehold is so much more profitable.  The losers are the purchasers. 

In addition, there is no regulation for the management companies, which as a consequence often give poor service for high prices.  A simple google-search will reveal many abuses.  Again, the losers are the purchasers.  Removing poor managers is possible, but tortuous, and especially so if the leaseholders are elderly, which is the case in retirement developments.

In theory, Leaseholders' Valuation Tribunals are available to sort out disputes, but in reality they are intimidating for the 'ordinary person'.  Landlords and management companies often turn up with barristers.  It's time the system was reformed, and made truly accessible for all to use, without legal representation..

Artistic freedom – deregulation of house design from planning restrictions

Planning laws are necessary only to prevent the erection of dangerous structures. But they are more often than not used to prevent unusual, creative and innovative design from being built. I propose the resztriction of the planning laws to cover only the structure, size and facililties of buildings, but not their appearance, their colour, shape, materials and ornament. This will allow the natrural creative talent of the nation to flourish, expressed through the built environment at every level.

Why is this idea important?

Planning laws are necessary only to prevent the erection of dangerous structures. But they are more often than not used to prevent unusual, creative and innovative design from being built. I propose the resztriction of the planning laws to cover only the structure, size and facililties of buildings, but not their appearance, their colour, shape, materials and ornament. This will allow the natrural creative talent of the nation to flourish, expressed through the built environment at every level.

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.

Town and Country Planning Act

The town and country Planning act should be repealed in part or reviewed majorly and a new start initiated. At the moment the act is far too complex and almost impossible for the average man in the street to understand. It gives powers to planners that seem arbitrary and totally subjective. Plans that would be passed by one planner may not necessarily get past another! This causes a great deal of frustration when your application for a small extension is turned down and next door gets permission to build Moonbase Alpha! And why do you have to put in retrospective planning permission for a structure that has stood for over 4 years that enforcement action cannot be taken against? What happens if the planners in their wisdom turn it down. It can't be enforced upon so what's the point? What can the planners do? wag their finger at you? Permission should be granted automatically once the 4 year period  (with no complaints) is up. I appreciate the need for planning laws otherwise the country would be overrun with inappropriate structures but planners should be more consistent in their approval of planning applications.

Why is this idea important?

The town and country Planning act should be repealed in part or reviewed majorly and a new start initiated. At the moment the act is far too complex and almost impossible for the average man in the street to understand. It gives powers to planners that seem arbitrary and totally subjective. Plans that would be passed by one planner may not necessarily get past another! This causes a great deal of frustration when your application for a small extension is turned down and next door gets permission to build Moonbase Alpha! And why do you have to put in retrospective planning permission for a structure that has stood for over 4 years that enforcement action cannot be taken against? What happens if the planners in their wisdom turn it down. It can't be enforced upon so what's the point? What can the planners do? wag their finger at you? Permission should be granted automatically once the 4 year period  (with no complaints) is up. I appreciate the need for planning laws otherwise the country would be overrun with inappropriate structures but planners should be more consistent in their approval of planning applications.

Planning

Streamline and simplify the planning process. The philosophy should be "Trust the homeowner to take decisions as to how to look after his own property. It is not the State's function to second guess."

Planning restrictions should be clear and understandable and PROPORTIONATE!

Specifically: there should be no requirement for planning permission in respect of remedial works which do not change the size or outline of unlisted buildings.

Generally: (and this is a big exercise, but so worthwhile: tear up the labyrinth of arcane and impenetrable rules surrounding the planning system and replace with laws which are clear and understandable.

Why is this idea important?

Streamline and simplify the planning process. The philosophy should be "Trust the homeowner to take decisions as to how to look after his own property. It is not the State's function to second guess."

Planning restrictions should be clear and understandable and PROPORTIONATE!

Specifically: there should be no requirement for planning permission in respect of remedial works which do not change the size or outline of unlisted buildings.

Generally: (and this is a big exercise, but so worthwhile: tear up the labyrinth of arcane and impenetrable rules surrounding the planning system and replace with laws which are clear and understandable.

Permitted Development Rights – Planning

Town planners often remove permitted development rights when approving planning permission for certain developments.  This is often heavy handed and restricts the developer and future owners to making improvements including to improve the environmental performance of a property.  It restricts addition of renewable energy generation schemes including solar panels, wind turbines and solid fuel burners (where additional flues/chimneys are required).

My suggestion is to ensure that planning officers, committees and authorities cannot remove all permitted development rights from property developments out of a matter of course and have to follow strict guidance when applying any restrictions, and that restrictions can only be applied after approval by the Planning Inspectorate

Furthermore, limited permitted development rights should be granted to listed buildings, following strict guidance.

Planningguidanceshould come from central government and local interpretation should be reduced.  More powershouldbe given to parish councils to have their say in planning approvals.

Why is this idea important?

Town planners often remove permitted development rights when approving planning permission for certain developments.  This is often heavy handed and restricts the developer and future owners to making improvements including to improve the environmental performance of a property.  It restricts addition of renewable energy generation schemes including solar panels, wind turbines and solid fuel burners (where additional flues/chimneys are required).

My suggestion is to ensure that planning officers, committees and authorities cannot remove all permitted development rights from property developments out of a matter of course and have to follow strict guidance when applying any restrictions, and that restrictions can only be applied after approval by the Planning Inspectorate

Furthermore, limited permitted development rights should be granted to listed buildings, following strict guidance.

Planningguidanceshould come from central government and local interpretation should be reduced.  More powershouldbe given to parish councils to have their say in planning approvals.

Stricter rules on dog ownership within Local Authority Housing

Many people are keeping dogs who live in local authority housing flats/maisonettes when the rules say they should not.  This needs to be clamped down on and would stop alot of dangerous dogs living on housing estates.

Why is this idea important?

Many people are keeping dogs who live in local authority housing flats/maisonettes when the rules say they should not.  This needs to be clamped down on and would stop alot of dangerous dogs living on housing estates.

Protecting your home

Squatters should not have the right to possess someones home.

By the same token – homes left empty for more than a specified time should be repossessed and used to legally rehoused.

We also should be more able to protect ourselves from intruders.

Why is this idea important?

Squatters should not have the right to possess someones home.

By the same token – homes left empty for more than a specified time should be repossessed and used to legally rehoused.

We also should be more able to protect ourselves from intruders.

Regulate property management companies

As a leasehold owner the most frustrating thing is getting the bill for the year and having no significant power to challange the management company. They exist in an unregulated environment and as such can charge exessive fees without significant risk of being removed. Any challange made against them takes years to go through the courts and the majoirty of people cannot afford to do this. Bring in a regulatory body (that have some power, eg FSA) to ensure that they charge reasonable amounts and protect the residents.

Why is this idea important?

As a leasehold owner the most frustrating thing is getting the bill for the year and having no significant power to challange the management company. They exist in an unregulated environment and as such can charge exessive fees without significant risk of being removed. Any challange made against them takes years to go through the courts and the majoirty of people cannot afford to do this. Bring in a regulatory body (that have some power, eg FSA) to ensure that they charge reasonable amounts and protect the residents.

Relax planning regulations, using a “polluter pays” model to control development

Britain was pulled from the slump of the early 1930s by a housebuilding boom that gave us many of the semi-detached suburbs that are so sought after today. Now, in contrast, it is very difficult for new homes to receive planning permission. While new development undoubtedly will have some negative consequences, it also brings benefits, although the current planning system fails to recognise this, pandering solely to those who have objections, rather than considering how other people will gain. What are the benefits of relaxing planning regulations? I have listed some here:

– Rises in living standards resulting from improvements to the quality of the country's housing stock;

– Reduced costs of living resulting from reductions in commercial and residential rents;

– Freeing businesses from needless contraints on their activities by simplifying land use categories;

– Reductions in the local government resources devoted to land use issues, reducing the amount of money spent by local government;

– Promoting long term economic growth by removing barriers faced by infrastructure projects of national significance.

– Creating jobs and business opportunities in the construction sector, and related trades such as consumer durables;

How would this work in detail?

I propose that the current system should be replaced by a more streamlined tribunal approach working on a "polluter pays" model.

First, however, we should ensure those parts of Britain that genuinely deserve to be preserved continue to be subject tight planning controls. This would cover, for example, areas of outstanding natural beauty (e.g. North Downs, Cotswolds, Chilterns) and historic or noteworthy urban districts. Also, a wider range of buildings might be considered for listing. Second, in order to ensure new construction was of a high standard, I would like to see building standards being bolstered. This might mean, for example, reintroducing the Parker Morris standards for new homes (which regulate minimum room sizes) and introducing new standards for building on flood plains similar to those used in the Netherlands.

Having tightened controls over those parts of Britain most deserving of protection, I believe a tribunal process can ensure compensation is awarded to those with valid claims to have suffered damages as the result of the development. So someone losing light as the result of a neighbour's extension could be awarded a sum of money by the tribunal. In most cases, this would be settled "out of court", preventing the need for the tribunal to be used. These compensation sums would be "built-in" to the price of the development, and be part of the developer's decision whether to proceed. I suggest compensation might be awarded for noise, disruption, or loss of light, but not for aesthetic matters. With this in place, the market would be free to determine Britain's land use patterns, while ensuring those who were genuinely affected by a development were appropriately compensated.

To make this work, proposed land use changes and new development would be reported to the planning authorities. There would be some limited circumstances where permission could be denied by the council – for example, nightclubs, abatoirs, chemical plants. (I propose that existing land use categories are simplified into two categories: one would contain potentially disruptive, unpleasant, or dangerous activities and the other would contain everything else (e.g. houses, shops, offices, hospitals, libraries, etc.). It would no longer be necessary to seek permission to change use within the second category.)

Where development was proposed on greenfield land that the planning authority considered worthy of protection, the local council would be able to offer to take it into public ownership as common land, with the tribunal setting the level of compensation that would be offered to the landowner. Savings elsewhere could be put towards a fund for this purpose.

This proposal may be a bit rich for many tastes: a more digestable proposal might be to allow a development free-for-all in, for example, the eastern halves of Britain's big cities, which are invariably crying out for private investment in the built-environment, and where developers should be welcomed, not forced to kow-tow to planners and their precious local plans.

Why is this idea important?

Britain was pulled from the slump of the early 1930s by a housebuilding boom that gave us many of the semi-detached suburbs that are so sought after today. Now, in contrast, it is very difficult for new homes to receive planning permission. While new development undoubtedly will have some negative consequences, it also brings benefits, although the current planning system fails to recognise this, pandering solely to those who have objections, rather than considering how other people will gain. What are the benefits of relaxing planning regulations? I have listed some here:

– Rises in living standards resulting from improvements to the quality of the country's housing stock;

– Reduced costs of living resulting from reductions in commercial and residential rents;

– Freeing businesses from needless contraints on their activities by simplifying land use categories;

– Reductions in the local government resources devoted to land use issues, reducing the amount of money spent by local government;

– Promoting long term economic growth by removing barriers faced by infrastructure projects of national significance.

– Creating jobs and business opportunities in the construction sector, and related trades such as consumer durables;

How would this work in detail?

I propose that the current system should be replaced by a more streamlined tribunal approach working on a "polluter pays" model.

First, however, we should ensure those parts of Britain that genuinely deserve to be preserved continue to be subject tight planning controls. This would cover, for example, areas of outstanding natural beauty (e.g. North Downs, Cotswolds, Chilterns) and historic or noteworthy urban districts. Also, a wider range of buildings might be considered for listing. Second, in order to ensure new construction was of a high standard, I would like to see building standards being bolstered. This might mean, for example, reintroducing the Parker Morris standards for new homes (which regulate minimum room sizes) and introducing new standards for building on flood plains similar to those used in the Netherlands.

Having tightened controls over those parts of Britain most deserving of protection, I believe a tribunal process can ensure compensation is awarded to those with valid claims to have suffered damages as the result of the development. So someone losing light as the result of a neighbour's extension could be awarded a sum of money by the tribunal. In most cases, this would be settled "out of court", preventing the need for the tribunal to be used. These compensation sums would be "built-in" to the price of the development, and be part of the developer's decision whether to proceed. I suggest compensation might be awarded for noise, disruption, or loss of light, but not for aesthetic matters. With this in place, the market would be free to determine Britain's land use patterns, while ensuring those who were genuinely affected by a development were appropriately compensated.

To make this work, proposed land use changes and new development would be reported to the planning authorities. There would be some limited circumstances where permission could be denied by the council – for example, nightclubs, abatoirs, chemical plants. (I propose that existing land use categories are simplified into two categories: one would contain potentially disruptive, unpleasant, or dangerous activities and the other would contain everything else (e.g. houses, shops, offices, hospitals, libraries, etc.). It would no longer be necessary to seek permission to change use within the second category.)

Where development was proposed on greenfield land that the planning authority considered worthy of protection, the local council would be able to offer to take it into public ownership as common land, with the tribunal setting the level of compensation that would be offered to the landowner. Savings elsewhere could be put towards a fund for this purpose.

This proposal may be a bit rich for many tastes: a more digestable proposal might be to allow a development free-for-all in, for example, the eastern halves of Britain's big cities, which are invariably crying out for private investment in the built-environment, and where developers should be welcomed, not forced to kow-tow to planners and their precious local plans.

Housing Court – quick action for residential tenants and landlords

Hello

Going through the Court system in this country to resolve housing tenant/landlord legal matters is painfully slow and financially damaging. I am a landlord and have been a tenant myself many times over many years. When, sadly, I have had non paying tenants it is financially painful to do anything about it.

In the USA they have what is called a Housing Court that just judges residential landlord and tenant cases. This system is quick and inexpensive.

In the UK, a tenant who does not pay rent has 2 months before legal action can be started against them. It can  then often take 2 months or more to get a court date. If the eviction action is successful the tenant can then expect 1 month to leave the property. Is the tenant does not leave the landlord has to return to court again to get them removed.

All this can cost the landlord huge sums of money and put them under severe financial strain – all because a legal contract has been broken – yet it is the landlord who pays.

Conversely a tenant with problems really has very little recourse to the law to resolve their issues as well.

I honestly believe that if rent is two weeks late without explanation, or landlords approval, then eviction should be quickly completed. Tenancy agreements are legaly binding contracts and breaking that contract should mean swift action – not 5 or 6 months free accomodation.

Housing Court – as in the USA –  would mean quick, and hence inexpensive, resolution of housing issues.

The Housing Court could also be a register of legal actions – with cases on file  – so rogue landlord's and tenant's names are recorded for others to see and check before they sign a tenancy agreement.

Thank you.

Martin Heseltine

Why is this idea important?

Hello

Going through the Court system in this country to resolve housing tenant/landlord legal matters is painfully slow and financially damaging. I am a landlord and have been a tenant myself many times over many years. When, sadly, I have had non paying tenants it is financially painful to do anything about it.

In the USA they have what is called a Housing Court that just judges residential landlord and tenant cases. This system is quick and inexpensive.

In the UK, a tenant who does not pay rent has 2 months before legal action can be started against them. It can  then often take 2 months or more to get a court date. If the eviction action is successful the tenant can then expect 1 month to leave the property. Is the tenant does not leave the landlord has to return to court again to get them removed.

All this can cost the landlord huge sums of money and put them under severe financial strain – all because a legal contract has been broken – yet it is the landlord who pays.

Conversely a tenant with problems really has very little recourse to the law to resolve their issues as well.

I honestly believe that if rent is two weeks late without explanation, or landlords approval, then eviction should be quickly completed. Tenancy agreements are legaly binding contracts and breaking that contract should mean swift action – not 5 or 6 months free accomodation.

Housing Court – as in the USA –  would mean quick, and hence inexpensive, resolution of housing issues.

The Housing Court could also be a register of legal actions – with cases on file  – so rogue landlord's and tenant's names are recorded for others to see and check before they sign a tenancy agreement.

Thank you.

Martin Heseltine