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Professional Briefing: Q3, 2011

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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.

Building on strong foundations

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

There is no doubt that the UK economy remains in a somewhat fragile state. We continue to be affected by a number of global factors that are beyond our control, among them higher energy, oil and commodity prices. We are also facing a relatively high level of inflation, which at 4.5% is double that of the Bank of England's target. Against this challenging backdrop, it is no surprise that the commercial property market in many provincial cities has struggled in the face of weak occupier demand. Yet, Manchester is seemingly bucking the trend and has remained surprisingly resilient.

On claims for riot damage

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

The riots in August caused substantial damage to property in major cities across the UK. Whether or not the catalyst was political or pure vandalism may be a contentious point of debate. However, the Public Order Act 1986 gave riot a very specific definition…

East meets west

Tony Reddin, senior manager, Grant Thornton

A lot has happened since the last professional briefing. Dictatorships have fallen, we have had the rise of the Eurozone debt crisis, riots across the UK and Lancashire have finally won the County Championship. We all see in our working lives that the rate of change and speed of communication is becoming ever faster and it is no longer possible to put off until tomorrow what clients know can be done today.

The drains they are a-changin'

Bill Chandler, legal director, Hill Dickinson Solicitors

Drains may not immediately spring to mind as the sexiest topic for a professional briefing, but a significant change with serious implications for us all has slipped in under the radar. On 1 October, a quarter of a million kilometres of private drains and sewers will transfer to public ownership, without property owners doing anything and in many cases without them even realising.

Rates of revolution

Sam Schofield, director of PPS North

Two of the least heralded and yet most significant changes in the planning system over the next few years will be the Community Infrastructure Levy and the 're-localisation' of business rates. Both will change fundamentally how councils and developers engage with each other.

Framing the future

Annie Atkins, programme director, Places Matter!

Last quarter we looked at Localism, this time around we're looking at matters national with the arrival of the Draft National Planning Policy Framework. Current planning legislation for England and Wales is consolidated in the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 which in turn was subsequently replaced or amended through the Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

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