October is traditionally conference season. Naturally it tends to be the government’s plans that get the most attention. This year though everything has been almost completely overshadowed by Boris and Brexit. One thing that did attract attraction was the Conservative’s proposed changes to the planning rules. As part of their ‘build up not out’ policy they have said they will allow homeowners to build up to two extra storeys without requiring full planning permission.
Before you panic that your neighbour’s house will turn into the Shard, apparently it will mostly apply to purpose-built blocks of flats and detached houses. According to airspace developers there is enough suitable rooftop space – on top of existing residential, commercial and mixed-use buildings across the country’s capital – to create up to 200,000 homes.
For example if you added a single storey right along Oxford Street – that wasn’t visible at street level – you would add the same floor space footprint as building another Shard! So this might be an answer to much of the dire housing shortage problem.
Labour were, for once, relatively uncontroversial on the subject, highlighting their plans to build more social housing rather than rent controls and house taxes. The Lib Dems mostly talked about making improvements to the Private Rental Sector, in particular, scrapping no fault evictions for tenants. As for the Brexit Party, I believe they have other things on their minds!
Next time I write Brexit may have moved on, with any luck, we might finally be able to move on from it all get on with our day jobs although I think I may have said that before. In the meantime if you want some advice on how to buy, rent or sell in the current market, please feel free to give me a call and I can talk you through the best strategies.
That’s it from me for now. I’ll be back, same time, same place in November when we will know if we are in or out of Europe.