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UK public would back new era of social housing construction

2nd September 2014

Politicians should not shy away from campaigning for a new era of social housing construction after a new survey showed the majority of the public would back it. Research from the Fabian Society shows that an overwhelming 93% of the population feels that the UK housing system is not functioning correctly with more than half of those questioned (57%) saying they would support more social housing being built. A further 22% feel indifferent with only 15% opposing more building. Crucially three quarters (...

Revitalised Anfield reflects boom time for Liverpool Football Club and wider community

1st September 2014

Liverpool Football Club's recent rise in fortunes has been matched by a marked improvement in the community surrounding its Anfield stadium.  A partnership involving the club, Liverpool City Council and social landlord Your Housing Group (YHG) is turning the area, which has well-documented and significant social problems, into a much-sought after community.  With LFC's recent £16 million addition of star striker Mario Balotelli to its squad seen as a sign of its intent, social l...

Israel announces greatest Palestinian land seizure in 30 years

1st September 2014

Israel has revealed its intentions to snatch four square kilometres of Palestinian territory, the largest land grab by the state in 30 years.  The country has justified the move as a response to the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June.  According to Palestinian officials, the land is currently home to many olive groves.  The expropriation of the land in Gush Etzion will allow a nearby Israeli settlement, Gevaot, to expand.  The US has slammed the plan and ur...

20% of borough's right to buy council homes in hands of 'extortionate' private landlords

29th August 2014

A fifth of a London borough's former council homes sold off under the controversial right to buy scheme are in the hands of private landlords charging "extortionate rents" a councillor has said. According to Camden Council's cabinet member for finance and technology policy, Theo Blackwell, many people now renting homes that used to belong to the local authority are being supported by the taxpayer, as private landlords continue to "exploit" the right to buy policy. Despite the situation in Camden, Housi...

Social housing new build registrations drop 14%

29th August 2014

The number of new social housing registrations dropped by 14% between May and July this year compared with the same period in 2013. According to NHBC's latest figures, there were 10,710 new social housing registrations in 2013's May-July rolling quarter, which dropped to 9,238 this year. However, total new registrations rose by 1% year-on-year, with the private sector recording a 7% increase. May-July 2013 saw 37,738 new homes registered, which rose to 38,099 in May-July 2014. NHBC’s chi...

HA fined £9,000 after construction vehicles fail to follow agreed routes

28th August 2014

A housing association has been fined £9,000 after construction vehicles failed to enter and leave one its development sites via preconditioned routes. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea served the notice against Catalyst Housing after it failed to adhere to an agreed traffic management plan. Catalyst was prosecuted for failing to comply with a breach of conditions notice on six occasions. The strict vehicle access plan was part of conditional planning permission given to Catalyst for t...

York Housing Association completes £2 million affordable housing scheme

28th August 2014

York Housing Association is celebrating the completion of its £2 million affordable housing development, Jubilee Court, in the Yorkshire village of Elvington. The scheme comprises 18 properties, including 12 for affordable rents, and six shared ownership houses, funded by YHA and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). The construction was undertaken by Elvington-based Hu Ha Developments. "Property prices in the commuter villages around York continue to rise, and often this can make it diff...

Not too cosy: £3,000 fine for housebuilder that ignored stop notice

28th August 2014

A housebuilder that ignored a stop notice issued by Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) has been fined £3,000. Cosy Homes (York) is currently constructing a detached house at its New Forge development site in Great Ouseburn, for which permission was granted in August 2013. However, the plans were subject to a number of conditions including one which required that the council receive a report on land contamination before the development started. In May 2014, HBC received complaints that the hou...

Pro-bungalow, pro-development housing minister celebrates defeat of bungalow development

27th August 2014

New Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis – who has used his first month in the role to promote the building of bungalows – has welcomed the news that plans for some affordable housing association bungalows have been kicked out by planners. Writing in his latest newsletter, the MP called the decision to block Saffron Housing Trust's plans to build eight affordable rent homes in his parliamentary constituency of Great Yarmouth a "success". Saffron hoped to develop six bungalows an...

Former U2 and Adele recording studio bought by social landlord

26th August 2014

A London recording studio that has been used by the likes of U2 and Adele has been bought by a social landlord. Westminster Community Homes has paid £4,950,000 for The Old Dairy in Queen's Park. The 10,500 sq ft complex comprises a selection of brick built buildings set across 0.24 acres, including two residential apartments and 12 parking spaces. The property has the potential to be redeveloped into a residential complex. Annabel Haan, head of residential at Colliers International, the firm...

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