Professional Briefing: Q2, 2011

Continuing the series of Place North West Professional Briefings, delivered each quarter in association with a cross-section of experts from the property community. This quarter we have briefings from Hill Dickinson, The Co-operative Bank, PPS North, Places Matter!, Grant Thornton and Reich Insurance. Please click on the headlines below to read the briefings in full.

Contents

►Localism or parochialism?

John Holmes, head of planning, Hill Dickinson

Nothing changes: a new Government in office, a new major piece of legislation to reform and improve the planning system, and a hefty one at that with 510 pages, 215 clauses, 25 Schedules and weighing in at 1.5 kilos (or 3lbs for those who still deal in old money). Admittedly not all of the Localism Bill deals with planning matters but the latter are the focus of this blog edition.

►Local power lines

Sam Schofield, director of PPS North

After May's political turmoil, June saw the new set of council leaders and executive members settle into running their councils on a day-to-day basis.

►Focus on customers

Phil Basten, head of property finance, the Co-operative Bank

There is no doubt that events in the macro economy are affecting the domestic financial market. Insurers are facing losses due to the spate of natural disasters in the Pacific Rim. Meanwhile, the banks are bracing themselves for the impact of the debt crisis in the euro zone and the withdrawal of liquidity support by the Bank of England over the next 12 months. And, all of this comes at a time when our economy is still in a fragile state of recovery following the global credit crunch.

►Towards sustainable cities

Tony Reddin, senior manager, Grant Thornton

Sustainability and more particularly sustainable cities are terms no doubt familiar to most of us. But for those in the property and construction sector, what does this really mean and how will this agenda impact on businesses in the sector going forward.

►Filling the vacuum

Michael Hayes, consultant, Places Matter!

Revolution may be in the air of planning but there is a distinct information black hole around the concept of 'localism' and the Localism Bill, currently wending its way through the Parliamentary procedures.

►Empty threat

Nick Symes, head of department, property investors, Reich Insurance Brokers

In the current economic climate there are now a much higher proportion of empty properties on the market for rent. From a landlord's perspective this is bad news; aside from the obvious lack of rental income owners are saddled with additional costs.

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