As Energy prices rise more than 10%, can they be justified and what is the solution? Depends on who you ask…

What's behind the energy price hikes?

Consumers have in recent weeks been hit by price rises of up to 11.1 per cent – equating to between £100-200 extra per year on the typical household’s fuel bill. A number of the “Big Six” energy firms have claimed that the increases are because of rising wholesale prices, but recent data doesn’t support this.

Statistics released from Ofgem, the energy regulator, suggests that wholesale prices rose by only 1.7 per cent over the last year – a mere fraction of the levels energy companies are attempting to justify. The figures will undoubtedly prompt fury across the country as homeowners prepare for winter and questions are aksed as to what the real reason is for these rises?

We look into the issues, the real reasons and potential solutios here…

Foxes, hares and rabbits all in decline – but deers boom

www.PropertySurveying.co.uk

urban foxes - a dying breed?Despite frequent tales of the deviance and destruction wrought by urban foxes and a strong media presence concerned with explaining, educating and protecting against their impact, a new study in the European Journal of Wildlife Research has shown that numbers in the UK are actually down by 20% in the last two decades.

This is despite the hunting ban of 2004 . Deer numbers, on the other hand, are exploding – with 181% growth for Reeve’s muntjac and 89% for fallow deer.

A Property Owning Democracy?

What was Thatcher’s True Property Legacy?

On the day of her public funeral, we issued a special, single-article edition of our newsletter, analysing through editorial comment the legacy the late Baroness Thatcher leaves to the UK property market.

Baroness Margaret Thatcher’s death has prompted vigorous debate on the matter of her controversial political legacy. In the wake of the passing of a woman described as “the most admired, most hated, most idolised and most vilified public figure of the second half of the 20th century”, we analyse the indelible mark she left on the British property market…

Read the rest of this popular article at this link.

Mold development put on hold by flood risk assessment

moldsurveyors.co.uk – A long delay in assessing the flood risk of a reservoir in Greenfield, near Mold, is claimed by a local property developer to be putting homes and lives at risk.

The flooding risk of Flour Mill Reservoir must be determined, before work on eight new townhouses can begin. The Environment Agency instructed Flintshire County Council to complete an inundation map, but this has still not been done, despite a deadline of December 31, 2012.

If you are a developer in the Mold area, or elsewhere in England and Wales, contact your local surveyor to help navigate these difficult issues and ask them about how they can help elsewhere in the development.

Wind Farms Revealed Officially to Reduce Property Prices

Property Surveying – The Valuation Agency Office (VAO), a subsidiery of Revenue & Customs, has recently revealed that it has down-graded council tax bands for a number of homes situated near clusters of wind farms. The reason is that the values of these homes have been forced markedly down by the presence of the turbines, in some cases, for example at Fullabrook Down in North Devon, by as much as a quarter of the total value even as far as 650 yards away from the installation.

A Halifax survey, however, found that the most prolific reducer of value is actualy noisy neighbours, with 17 per cent of homeowners affected by this issue to the tune of an average £31,000 reduction.

For advice on your property’s value, find your local surveyor here.

Brighton & Hove takes on One Planet Living Framework

Brighton Surveyors – To curb the localities ‘voracious’ appetite for resources which many believe is unsustainable for both the community and the planet at large, Brighton and Hove have taken on the One Planet Living Framework with ten guiding principles to creating a pleasant, sustainable and ‘green’ environment.

The result has been a new community f 172 flats within Brighton, next to the railway station, which were completed in 2010. They have been constructed in local, high performance materials and the energy is generated via a biomass boiler, solar panels and a contract to fill the remaining requirement with guaranteeed green energy from the One Brighton Energy Services Company.

Bristol Council releases solar property map

Bristol Building Surveyors – Bristol City Council has recently released a map which you can use to check your property’s suitability for solar panels. A user can simply type in their address and see a graphic of their property and the surrounding area, revealing an estimated potential for solar generation between ‘limited’ and ‘very good’.

Further details are listed, including estimated system size, electricity generation and CO2 savings.

Halifax’s annual quality of life survey reveals that home is where Hart is

The recent release of Halifax’s annual quality of life (QOL) survey has highlighted what some are calling a widening of the north south divide. In a thorough ranking of all 405 local authority districts, just 8 areas of the top ranked 50 locales can be found outside the southern and eastern regions of England.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

High Court to assess Norfolk County Council’s £500m waste incinerator battle

kingslynnsurveyors.co.uk The people of King’s Lynn have taken their battle with Norfolk County Council to the High Court in proposals for a judicial review of the planned £500m incinerator development on the outskirts of their town.

Read more on the case on the propertysurveying news website here.

Should rules surrounding the ‘Green Belt’ be relaxed to allow for further development?

A new report originating from a popular think-tank, ‘Policy Exchange’, has put forward strong arguments for the relaxation of rules surrounding development on ‘Green Belt’ land.

To read about these arguments and the wider response, click here.