We support the broad policy of encouraging the development of low carbon heat networks, which align with the sector’s net zero ambitions. We do, however, want more transparency and reassurance on cost and quality and want maximum visibility and certainty over the development and roll out of individual heat networks. It will be important that local authorities are sufficiently resourced to deliver any new responsibility and further consideration needs to be given to landlord and tenant issues.
This sets out the BPF’s views on aspects of the draft guidance for local authorities undertaking High Street Rental Auctions, and is a supplementary response to the main consultation response that was submitted via an online survey tool.
The BPF response to the Government’s second technical consultation on the Building Safety Levy
We welcomed this initiative to boost transparency of land and property ownership through trusts. We stressed the importance of ensuring that the administration and compliance requirements were streamlined and efficient for investors (especially widely held funds); that agencies registering the information had sufficient resources; and that enforcement agencies have sufficient powers to ensure widespread compliance.
We submitted a brief response to broadly welcome the guidance for the new anti-greenwashing rules. It is important for investors to have the ability to make informed decisions and firms should have evidence to back up their sustainability related claims. However, we also noted that it should be reasonable for companies to use widely accepted assessments and certifications as proof of ESG claims – and we would welcome more real estate specific examples in the guidance.
The British Property Federation's submission to Jeremy Hunt MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, ahead of the March Spring Budget. We set out how the property sector can better support key Government priorities, including: growth; housing; stronger town centres; and our green economy.
The BPF's response to the Government’s consultation on capping ground rents as part of the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill.
We responded to HMRC’s technical consultation on CIS – which proposes to introduce a VAT compliance test in order to qualify for Gross Payment Status – and also address challenges with withholding tax being applied to landlord tenant contributions for fit out works. The latter is an issue we have lobbied on for some time, and we are pleased that Government have recognised the challenges this withholding tax can put on new tenants seeking to lease new premises. We broadly welcome the draft regulations and suggest a few areas for improvement.
Our response supports the Government’s ambition to speed up plan-making but notes it will be important that local authorities get the resources they need if this is going to be achieved in practice. We also argue that an effective system of incentives needs to be built into the new system and that ambitions to speed up plan-making would be more achievable if we had a strategic planning tier.
Our response sets out a range of recommendations for how our planning system should change to better support industrial and logistics, including calling for the reintroduction of strategic planning and improving the local plan process for this part of the sector. Our various asks are supported by practical examples of the challenges of bringing forward industrial and logistics schemes across the country.
The Government is consulting on changes to the Business Rates Empty Property Relief in order to reduce opportunities for avoidance. Based on new data on typical vacancy periods, we do not think the reforms suggested are appropriate, and we have suggested that the Government should instead increase the Empty Property Relief from 3-6 months to closer to 12 months, to better reflect typical vacancy periods in the market. We have also suggested reinstating the 50% discount after the initial EPR period will better support property owners with longer term vacant units and reduce incentives for empty rates mitigation activity.
Our response sets out our members' views on the suite of changes to the existing permitted development rights regime proposed in a consultation from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). We argue that the piecemeal approach to reform will likely negatively impact our town centres and make it harder to bring forward larger schemes and more cohesive forms of development.