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Local Authority round-up 22/07/22

Our Local Authority round up provides brief summaries of topical information on a weekly basis, to keep you aware of the changes and updates relevant to you.

Commercial

Second round of Levelling Up Fund opens for bids

Councils are being urged to bid for a share of £4.8 billion as part of the Government’s Levelling Up Fund. Applications for funding to implement projects that improve everyday life for people across the UK will be open until midday on 2 August 2022. The first round of funding saw £1.7 billion awarded to 105 successful projects. In this round of funding, MPs will be allowed to support two bids rather than a single one, as their constituencies can cover more than one council area. Greg Clark, secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, said “The Levelling Up Fund can provide the investment needed to make a project that communities have been dreaming of for years a reality. So I’m delighted to open applications for the second round of the Levelling Up Fund and I’m looking forward to seeing proposals that will make a positive impact on people’s lives.”

For more information please click here.

New £12 million funding pot for councils to help unlock aerospace innovation

A £273 million funding package to advance low-carbon aerospace innovation, economic growth and jobs has been unveiled by the Government. The funding will enable the development of new technologies such as NHS treatment carrying drones and solar powered aircraft. It includes £155 million through the Aerospace Technology Institute Programme to support new projects unlocking the latest in green aerospace innovation. A further £105.5 million will be shared by projects focused on developing air transport systems and enabling new vehicle technologies through the Future Flight Challenge. Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said “Through funding for the latest in green technology, such as solar and hydrogen powered aircraft, and setting out our vision for the fast-growing market for commercial drones, we are once again placing the aerospace sector directly at the centre of our plans to deliver jobs and grow the economy.” Under the announcement, councils and regulators will have access to £12 million through the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund to back initiatives that could unlock industries of the future through regulation.

For more information please click here.


Regulatory

Council prosecution sees firm and director ordered to pay nearly £41k over unlicensed scaffolding

A scaffolding company and its director have been ordered to pay nearly £41,000 after a court found them guilty of having unlicensed scaffolding on a public highway. Brent Council said J&P Scaffolding Ltd first erected the scaffolding in December 2020 at Empire House on Empire Way, Wembley with the proper license. In June 2021 however, the license ran out and its director, Mr Jacek Pawlaczyk, failed to renew it despite receiving eight reminders from council officers. J&P Scaffolding Ltd was found guilty at Willesden Magistrates Court on 23 June 2022 and sentenced to fines, compensation and costs totalling £32,805.50. Mr Pawlaczyk, of Hendon Way, was also fined £8,190 bringing the total costs to £40,995. Cllr Krupa Sheth, Brent’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Action, said “It is really important all companies get the proper license for anything placed on the public highway. This allows council keyworkers to keep residents safe and to limit any disruption to the public. I hope this case and the whopping, yet fair, fine serves as stark reminder that if you don’t follow the rules, we will take action.”

For more information please click here.


Planning and housing

Council defeats Planning Court challenge over grant of permission for development of studio buildings conversion

The owner of a Grade II listed Georgian manor has failed in a judicial review over planning and listed building consent for two neighbouring properties after HHJ Karen Walden-Smith, sitting as judge of the High Court, held that Maidstone Borough Council had acted properly. The owner, Mr Kinnersley, contended that Maidstone’s decision was unlawful and ought to be quashed because it erred in its interpretation of the local plan policy on development on brownfield land, was inconsistent in its approach to the assessment of the contribution to the setting of the listed building made by the existing buildings and was flawed in the assessment of heritage impact. He also argued that Maidstone failed to take into account as a material consideration the potential for a sensitive conversion of the front studio building as a dwelling. Maidstone countered the judicial review was misconceived and the arguments raised on behalf of Mr Kinnersley were either merits challenges or founded on merits challenges. Ms Walden-Smith dismissed Mr Kinnersley’s entire case. She said “In summary: Ground 1 fails as there was no misinterpretation of policy [in] the local plan…Ground 2 fails as there was no material misdirection contained within the officer’s report; Ground 3 fails as it amounts to an attack upon the planning officer’s assessment and evaluation of the impacts of the proposed development as set out in the [report] ; Ground 4 also fails as it is an attack upon a planning judgment, the alternative proposal having been considered but only briefly.”

For more information please click here.

Increase in compensation for compulsory purchase of a dwelling in England

Compensation is payable to a person who is displaced from a dwelling by a compulsory purchase order under section 29, Land Compensation Act 1973 (LCA 1973). This type of compensation is known as a “home loss payment”. The home loss payment for someone who occupies a dwelling under an “owner’s interest” is calculated in accordance with section 30(1) of the LCA 1973. If the home loss payment does not fall within section 30(1) of the LCA 1973, then the compensation payable will be the amount specified in section 30(2). The Home Loss Payments (Prescribed Amounts) (England) Regulations 2022 (SI 2022/793) (2022 Regulations) have been made and come into force on 1 October 2022. The 2022 Regulations revoke the Home Loss Payments (Prescribed Amounts) (England) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/841) in relation to any displacement occurring on or after 1 October 2022. Under regulation 2(2) of the 2022 Regulations:

  • The maximum home loss payment under section 30(1) of the LCA 1973 is increased from £71,000 to £78,000.
  • The minimum home loss payment under section 30(1) of the LCA 1973 is increased from £7,100 to £7,800.
  • The prescribed amount of home loss payment under section 30(2) of the LCA 1973 is increased from £7,100 to £7,800.

The increases put into effect an uprating in line with house price inflation.

For more information please click here.


Upcoming webinars

The Building Safety Act 2022: What do you need to know?

With the introduction of the Fire Safety Act last year and the more recent Building Safety Act 2022, it might feel like the rules and regulations for social housing providers are in a constant state of flux. As such the social housing team at Ward Hadaway would like to invite you to attend a free webinar on 28th September at 12pm, discussing the ins and outs of the Building Safety Act 2022. At this webinar Construction specialist, Neil Williamson, will give an overview of the Act, helping you to understand what it means for registered providers and local authorities. Neil will also offer his keen insight into how these changes will impact new developments and the contractual arrangements that providers will now need to implement. Fire safety and general building safety is always of utmost precedence, and this discussion promises to contain the useful and practical advice, to guide you, our colleagues in the social housing sector, through the recent changes in regulation.

For more information and to book your place, please click here.

If you have any questions about the issues raised in this update, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

This page may contain links that direct you to third party websites. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

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