High Speed rail link between London and Birmingham gets the go ahead

Birmingham Building Surveyors – Following a damning Rail Network review of the two favourite alternatives to controversial high speed rail plans, Ministers have given a green light to plans for a high speed rail link between Birmingham and London.

Read more here and find out what surveyors in London think here.

Consultation begins on Social Housing Allocation Guidance

The Government has released a consultation concerning new draft statutory guidance on social housing allocations for local authorities in England. Grant Shapps MP, Minister for Housing, hopes the guidance will help do away with the ‘injustice’ associated with the social housing system.

To read the full article, click here.

Government urges public to help rough sleepers this Christmas

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has urged people across the country to help solve rough sleeping this Christmas. People are invited to call local 24-hour hotlines if they see someone sleeping on the pavement in their neighbourhood.

Supplementary information on over 9,000 services – hostels, day centres and other advice and support services for homeless people and those at risk of homelessness can be found at Homeless UK. For details of outreach teams in London, visit Homeless London.

  • Coming soon – a national helpline

The government plans to establish a new national single phone number which will provide a central point of contact for people across the country to get help for rough sleepers in their neighbourhood.

Based on London’s No Second Night Out number, this new phone line and website will ensure anyone wanting to get help for rough sleepers in their area will know where to go and who to call.

The Minister for Housing said: in a civilised society no one should have to sleep on the pavement.

Alterations to Listed Buildings and VAT

Legislation and general red tape surrounding listed buildings can often be confusing and open to interpretation by an individual.  The situation with Value Added Tax (VAT), charged by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), is just one of many such complications.

To read more, click here.

Tree root High Court case ruling welcome news to local authorities

 A recent High Court ruling decided the local authority in question was not liable for damage caused by their tree as long as they were unaware the tree posed a real risk to the property in question – a new precedent for future cases and a cause to breathe a little easier for local authorities.

To read more, click here.

Richest buyers costing £1bn in stamp duty Avoidance

Stamp duty avoidance on £1m+ properties could be causing the Government a loss of £1bn in revenue. With pledges from Mr Osborne earlier this year to tackle tax avoidance, many will be pointing to this as an area he should be scrutinising closely.

To read more, click here.

Letting a commercial premises

birminghambuildingsurveyors.co.uk – If you’re thinking of letting your commercial premises, the difficult economic climate has made it more important than ever to be aware of your options. Four main types of agreement exist and we describe each to help you make the right decision.

Read on here.

Construction guide – power cables

Every year accidents occur on large and small scale construction sites around the country, when due care and attention is not paid to neutralising the threat of un-insulated overhead and underground power cables. We have provided a guide to help you stay safe, whether you’re constructing a 10 storey block of flats, or merely repairing your chimney.

Read our guide here.

Have your say on the August riots

Inside Housing is offering the chance to win £100 in Marks & Spencer vouchers in exchange for your views on the riots.

Shortly after the riots swept England in August, Inside Housing, the Chartered Institute of Housing and the National Housing Federation launched ‘The Riot Report’ to find out what steps can be taken to help prevent a repeat of the violence. Now they want to know what housing professionals, who work for social landlords operating in areas that experienced riots, think caused the disturbances. What would they like their organisations to do to address the underlying problems?

Have your say here.