In my last article I promised a piece about fallback positions in planning.  I haven’t forgotten it but I’ve been silly busy (which is obviously great!) and, in the meantime, all sorts of interesting bits keep popping up in my varying professional body updates.  So, I thought I would do my top ten most interesting and/or important things I have spotted in the last few weeks across the surveying, planning, valuation and agricultural world…..

  1. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have flagged up Red Book considerations following the UK FCA publishing their response to consultation on liquid assets and open-ended funds. RICS are currently consulting on a small refinement to the Global Edition which flags that a distinction between material uncertainty and normal valuation tolerations may not always be fully appreciated by valuation users. It is implicit in the standards and guidance that where “material uncertainty” exists it should be flagged and a specific comment added;
  2. The August survey of RICS professionals on the impact of COVID-19 states that market activity remains static but that 75% of those surveyed are positive or at least cautiously optimistic for the next 12 – 24 months;
  3. Within the last week the Planning Inspectorate have opened 21 simultaneous live virtual hearings/inquiries as well as producing an advice note for virtual examination events. They continue to issue between 1150 and 1400 decisions a month have delivered 64 cases by virtual events by the end of September;
  4. The average timescales for planning appeals at the moment (based on August decisions) is 24 weeks for S78 written representations and 20 weeks for householder appeals;
  5. The Government has announced that metaldehyde (commonly used against slugs and snails) is to be banned for both commercial and domestic outdoor use in Great Britain from March 2022. Sales of metaldehyde will be prohibited after 31st March 2021;
  6. The Government has published guidance relating to the changes to permitted development rights and changes to the Use Class Order (on 18th September 2020) relating to fast tracked approvals and flexible use on the high street;
  7. The deadlines for households and businesses to claim grants of up to £5,000 to make their properties more resilient to flooding have been extended. Those flooded in November 2019 now have until 31st December 2021 to claim, while those flooded in February 2020 have until 1st July 2022;
  8. The Government has published guidance for residential landlords and tenants on the possession action process in the county courts in England and Wales. Possession proceedings resumed on 21st September 2020 but in most cases, landlords will have to have given at least 6 months’ prior notice before possession proceedings can be commenced;
  9. Activity in the million pound plus market is “soaring” with Rightmove stating that top-end homes are finding buyers 18 days faster than last year outperforming the 9-day drop seen across the whole market;
  10. A study of 300,000 newly listed homes across four months shows those that needed to be reduced had a one in three chance of finding a buyer within the right time frame (32%) compared to 63% of priced right from the start….