Neglect tenants at your peril – Landlord fined £30k after leaving tenants with no heat for four weeks

A rogue landlord has been fined more than £30,000 to reflect the serious “physical and mental hardship” endured by five tenants under his duty of care. The message laid down by Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court is clear; ignoring serious, reasonable pleas from your tenants will result in council intervention and a hefty bill…
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Number of manhole explosions rises by more than 250% since 2010

The number of serious manhole explosions across Britain has seen a staggering increase of more than 250% since 2010, with the south east of England being the worst effected.
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Malcolm Howorth AssocRICS MCIOB

Shaftesbury buildings
Period Properties on Gold Hill, Shaftesbury

Malcolm Howorth AssocRICS MCIOB specialises in Property Surveys, Building Surveys, Structural Surveys, House Purchase Surveys, Homebuyer Reports, Major Defects Reports, Home Surveys, Rebuild and Reinstatement Valuations, Property Acquisition work and other professional work throughout Shaftesbury and the surrounding area.

For friendly advice without obligation, please call Malcolm Howorth on

01747 333 013 or 0800 880 6264

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…for all your building survey and property requirements

Back by popular demand…

10 Questions on Chancel Tax
All you need to know on chancel tax and how it could effect you
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Brown Field Land – National Grid Releases Unused Brown Field Land For Development

The National Grid has announced a joint venture with Berkeleys Groups Holdings Plc which is a British house building company originally founded by Tony Pidgeley back in 1976 as Berkeley Homes.

The company which is now listed as a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

The unsightly infrastructure in such no longer used sections of the National Grid such as unwanted gasometers that do blight Britain’s sky line will be pulled down and the land itself will be used by Berkeley Group for redevelopment in a joint venture.

This joint venture is effectively with the house building skills of Berkeley Group which happens to be at currently in April 2014 won the Queen’s Award to sustainable development for a second year whilst the National Grid are effectively providing the upfront raw material costs which so often makes material costs.

As a consequence, the joint venture will not Untitled1111have to actually pay for the intrinsic land costs of its developments until the properties are sold thereby making an attractive way for Berkeley Group to develop properties and develop quality properties and sell then whilst the attraction for the National Grid is that the National Grid will be achieving its fair proportion of its realisable value of the value of its land.

The joint venture is to be St William Homes and is to be concentrated on sites in London and the South East of England.

There is currently a book value attached to the land in question of some £500 million. The potential to release the land at its highest market value will no doubt assist with maximising the asset value and help maximise return for both companies.

We understand that some 7,000 homes of an assorted type are to be in addition to associated infrastructure building such as schools and similar are likely to be built in the first phases of the joint venture investments.

Rob Perrins, Managing Director of Berkekeys said “this is good news for house building. St William will take these redundant sites and turn them into new communities.”

The National Grid and Berkeley will each own 50% of the equity in St William and the funding for the development will be funded through a combination of both shareholder equity and bank funding and making certain that the debt ratio is no more than 50%. The phases of work are likely to be finalised over the forthcoming year with wide scale work starting on the first sites probably very early 2016 with homes being completed and physically released to the market approximately 12 months later.


Northern transport links to be overhauled as Cameron pledges backing to HS3, despite continued resistance to HS2

The subject of whether HS2 has been and will be a viable, beneficial project is ongoing and vociferous. We have written on the matter before; exploring a comparison between modern day and Victorian era infrastructure investments and looking at the possible impact on flooding in the context of the devastating floods of last winter. The introduction of outline plans for HS3, however, looks set to further complicate the debate…
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Government announce £23m boost to Neighbourhood Planning – But would you get involved?

Ministers on 31st October announced a further £23m of funding to aid take up and delivery of neighbourhood plans (NDPs) which, once established, become a planning consideration for councils in determining applications. With only 33 plans currently in operation, the hope is that extra funding can finally push NDPs into becoming an influential part of the planning system, not a side note…
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Ian Dony MRICS

Longfords Mill
Longfords Mill building near Stroud

Ian Dony MRICS is a fully qualified chartered surveyor allowing him to survey all types of residential and commercial properties including historical and listed buildings. He has extensive local experience with pre-purchase surveys and is happy to provide initial no obligations advice.

For friendly advice without obligation,
please call Ian Dony BSc DipBldgCons MRICS FCABE on

01452 23 23 24

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…for all your building survey and property requirements

High Court balances need to maintain stable family unit with the need to allow effective recovery of debts in novel solution

Ref. Fred Perry (Holdings) Limited v Genis [1 August 2014]
In this case, the High Court sought to find a way to balance conflicting statutes and contrasting commercial and familiar interests, eventually settling on a novel solution…
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Savills report highlights £95bn of infrastructure crucial to London housing progress

cropped-poppys_london.jpgA new Savills report – Spotlight on London Infrastructure: Connecting Opportunities – has estimated that the cost of infrastructure necessary for London to keep up with its burgeoning housing demand is £95bn. With 50,000 homes a year needed to satisfy the identified ‘need’, the necessary infrastructure could stretch to new bridges, two crossrail lines and a myriad of road improvements…
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