Solar subsidy to link to falling cost of PV panels

Climate change Minister Greg Barker and new secretary of state Ed Davey (replacing the recently rsigned Chris Huhne) are today expected to announce changes to the way renewable subsidies are paid, in light of the contreversial and ongoing attempts to reduce solar FITs by half.

In particular, they are expected to announce reforms to the way the feed in tariff is administered so it is financially sustainable and increases certainty for investors.

We understand that the government will introduce a mechanism that will gradually reduce the FIT to match the falling price of photovoltaic panels.

Read more about FITs in our articles on the review process and the attempts to force through a substantial cut in FIT payments.

Homes and Communities Agency agrees deal with a local authority to create around 700 new homes.– Kier Partnership Homes has been appointed as the  development partner for the old Manor and Kingsway Hospital site in Derby, comprising a deal worth £100 million over 10 years.

The HCA and Derby Council chose Kier – whose proposals include a business park to support 450 jobs – after preparing the site for development. Of the 700 homes to be built, ‘a number’, yet to be disclosed, will be affordable.

Kier will now work with the healthcare service providers on the site to ensure the new scheme meshes with the provision of essential services. Works are planned to start on site in Autumn 2012.

More information can be found here, on the Inside Housing Website.

Experienced Building Surveyor provides service for his hometown – Birmingham

Richard Peat MRICS, local to Birmingham, has become the local Director of a Right Surveyors practice in the West Midlands, providing surveys and professional consultancy to his home town and beyond. An experienced practitioner and dedicated local professional, having spent many years in the business, Richard is a Building Surveyor able to provide a wide range of property services in a professional and prompt manner.

Examples include Property Surveys, Building Surveys, Structural Surveys, House Purchase Surveys, Homebuyers Reports, Major Defects Reports, Home Surveys and Property Valuations, Property Acquisition work, Party wall work and acting as an Independent Expert Witness.

Contact Richard by following this link if you are purchasing, developing or repairing a property in the Birmingham area or anywhere in the West Midlands. He will be happy to help.

The Right Surveyors provide property consultancy services all over the country, go to their homepage to find out more about the professional services they could provide you with.

Morgan Sindall wins Exeter Uni Student Block – Morgan Sindall, a leading UK construction group, has won a £16m design and build contract for a new student residential development of 487 beds spread over three to five storey buildings in Exeter.

Most of the construction will actually be carried out offsite and brought to the development complete, including complete bathroom ‘pods’.

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.

Councils in fears over RTB effectiveness – With the Government currently consulting on proposals to increase the maximum discount under Right to Buy (RTB) to £50,000, fears are growing around local authorities that new homes will not be assured as a result.

The consultation’s wording reiterates the Government’s commitment to replacing every social housing unit sold with another affordable home. Some councils, however, are arguing that the borrowing caps their financial resources are governed by restrict them from being able to raise the necessary capital for this goal. With unit values as low as £70,000 in some areas, some councils could be looking at receipts as low as £20,000 to build a new affordable house – something which the Communities and Local Government Department itself believes will cost £40,000 – £50,000 per unit.

London’s Lloyd’s Building Now Grade 1 Listed

At nearly twenty six years old, the Lloyd’s building is now one of the youngest listed buildings in the country and joins just a handful of post war structures to receive the accolade.

The listing was carried out by the Minister for Tourism and Heritage, John Penrose, on the advice of English Heritage.

English Heritage’s Designation Director Roger Bowdler said: “We are delighted that the Minister has endorsed our advice to list the landmark Lloyd’s building at Grade l. Its listing at the highest grade is fitting recognition of the sheer splendour of Richard Rogers’s heroic design. Its dramatic scale and visual dazzle, housing a hyper-efficient commercial complex, is universally recognised as one of the key buildings of the modern epoch.”

It is a world renowned structure and a building that has been described as “heroic and Cathedral like”.

To read more on listed buildings and how they affect you, click here.

For further information on VAT and listed buildings, click here.

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.

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.