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Tax planning and regulatory news June 2015

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Good to see that the Government appears to be getting the message that we also urgently need more homes to rent in London.

Nick Barnes

- Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has announced that three multi-million pound deals will provide more than 1,000 new homes specifically for private rent in London. The agreement, part of the £1 billion Build to Rent fund, will see £252 million invested in building 1,353 homes across key sites in London. 903 homes will be built in Stratford’s Olympic Village, 277 are to be built in Newington Butts in Southwark, and 172 homes are planned for sites in Hammersmith, Westminster and West Kensington. Work is scheduled to start immediately and is expected to be completed by 2018.

– The Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) reforms that were introduced in December last year have saved UK homeowners £701 million since the changes came into force, according to property lawyers myhomemove. The research by the firm found that since the reforms buyers purchasing a property with a price below £937,500 have saved an average of £1,400.

– Although Kensington & Chelsea sets strict limits on basement developments homeowners can use permitted development rights to build basements, meaning that they do not need to obtain permission so long as they fulfill the qualifying criteria. Consequently, the council is now consulting on whether it should remove permitted development rights altogether to reduce the scale of basement development in the borough. There is concern, however, that the consultation has potentially flagged to residents that they have a year to take advantage of the permitted development rights, which is the opposite of what the council intended.

– The Mayor of London is seeking a development partner for a major new project in South Dagenham. The 29 hectare site at Beam Park, a five minute drive to the M25 via the A13, will deliver over 1,500 new homes and a new train station which is due to open by 2019 and will enable a 20 minute commute to central London. The GLA will begin marketing the site in June through the London Development Panel.

– Montenegro has upset residents in the heart of Kensington after turning an £8million townhouse into its London embassy without planning permission. The embassy, which moved to De Vere Gardens last September from its previous base in Notting Hill, will shortly learn whether a retrospective bid for planning permission is successful. It is understood that officers have recommended the application is approved.

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Nick has more than 20 years’ experience within the property research arena.

Nick Barnes

Nick Barnes

St Magnus House

020 3040 8406