Posted by: In: 13 Feb 2014 Comments: 0
Posted by: In: Uncategorized 16 Apr 2015 Comments: 0
Posted by: In: Planning & Development 18 Sep 2014 Comments: 0


A) Mediumhold Tenancies
Currently residential property can be rented to another either by means of a lease or an assured shorthold tenancy agreement. The former will usually be for a period exceeding 25 years, and the latter for a year or less. Clearly, a vibrantly complex property market such as ours has scope for wider contractual choice. Providing a middle way between rental and purchase would inevitably mean some foregoing property purchase in the short-term thus softening purchase prices.
B) National Brownfield Agency
We need less quangos but more decisive and targeted government action. The Clinton- Gore administration transformed US brownfield policy through a co-ordinated national decontamination strategy. A UK Brownfield Agency could provide grants for risk assessments to identify the nature and cost of the particular decontamination required. In so doing, we could move towards the compilation of an information and data based national brownfield register.
C) Return to Affordable Use 700,000 Empty Properties
There are currently 700,000 empty properties in our country roughly corresponding to the figure for long term and transitory homeless. The EU for all its’ interference in the housing and mortgage market has not promulgated a single worthy initiative to restore to use the 11 million empty properties within its borders. All British governments have failed to address this because they have never conducted sufficient research into why landlords would keep a property empty in an ever rising rental market. Logic at least dictates that properties are kept empty purely because some homeowners do not have the financial resources to refurbish their dilapidated property. UKIP could provide interest free refurbishment loans to landlords on agreed condition that upon repair these properties are let as affordable on a 20 per cent below market value basis. In addition, UKIP could legislate for a hundred per cent council tax waiver, for a specified period, for landlords carrying out works with the intention of returning to market long term empty properties.
D) Community Housing
Margaret Thatcher’s successful Right to Buy policy resulted in a dramatic expansion in home ownership. However, the sale proceeds were not invested in replenishing social housing stock. And it needs to be recognised that when we speak of a housing shortage today we are referring to an affordable housing deficit. UKIP could remedy this by engendering a new community housing initiative, so that a new revitalised right to buy scheme be unveiled whereby revenue therefrom is invested by local authorities into more strategically located community housing.
Posted by: In: 09 May 2014 Comments: 0




















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    Typically, British city and town centres are characterised by swathes of commercial properties and offices. However, there are other buildings of this genre which emerged organically due to local demand. Demand which may no longer be present. If our objective is to maximise affordable housing supply then there is a need to increase conversions per se to residential. UKIP would start with a stronger presumption in national policy that changes of use will be encouraged by local authorities and individual applications not refused without overwhelming contrary considerations. UKIP could further reinforce their “Think Residential” policy framework via a waiver of building control and planning application fees in instances of office/commercial conversion to residential.
    Moreover, UKIP would merge planning, building regulations and control departments. Leading to reductions in “red tape” and savings for developers. In recognition of the fact that to ignite attention away from greenfield there needs to be a costs realignment. So that there is not such an obvious profit disparity between greenfield and other potential developments. The pressure to concrete our countryside is driven more by profit than social need.
    Nevertheless, UKIP insist that this should remain an implied principle rather than fully integrated into permitted development rights. Thus curbing the risk that unsuitable premises in inappropriate locations would be converted in the backdrop to escalating housing demand. In addition, there would be cases where external or additional works would be required to facilitate the permitted change of use. There are literally thousands of office and commercial buildings the length and breadth of our country which are lying empty purely because of changes in demand which could be converted to affordable residential housing if planning restrictions and short term financial constraints could be surpassed. London and South East account for 55 per cent of the English office market, and has the greatest overall potential for conversion to residential. Nonetheless, post 1980 office buildings have been built mainly on deep plan format making them inappropriate for residential change of use. Principally, due to the preclusive higher floor to floor heights. Unfortunately, no government to date has carried out a definitive national investigation into the actual residential output which can be derived from this process. In our opinion the conservative government having vowed to protect the countryside is now giving free licence to concrete it without first investigating what actually can be built without having recourse to the countryside.
    Including loft conversions within the permitted development remit has helped many families stay within their current property. By using permitted development to enlarge their property in accordance with changing need. However, in consultation with specific local authorities UKIP would pilot scheme the conversion of garages and basements within defined locations and parameters. The entire thrust of UKIP housing policy being to expand the supply of housing without concreting an inch of Britain’s legendary country.



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    A) Even on current projections we can rebalance the housing demand and supply equation by building exclusively on brownfield and disused commercial sites without concreting our green belt.
    B) Under current policy there is no mechanism for ensuring that predominately affordable housing will be built in the countryside.
    C) Unless we leave the EU and take control of our borders we will never be able to accurately predict or plan effectively for future housing needs. Unlike previous administrations UKIP will not chase endlessly moving supply targets.
    D) We acknowledge that building on greenfield involves less risk and expertise than brownfield. UKIP will not put a price on the British countryside. It belongs not to some of us but all of us. We will not put profit before people.
    E) Once our countryside is concreted it’s gone forever. We do not have the right to deprive future generations, who will only know how breathtaking the British countryside was through photographs and video archives.
    F) Housing demand is driven by affinity to employment, infrastructure and amenities. Therefore greenfield development is not just a matter of building houses but cutting across woodlands to build roads, and green spaces to install services. For example, even if UKIP accepted proposals to build on part of the Fens in Cambridgeshire, this would have to be coupled with a corresponding expansion in infrastructure. Remarkably, Fenland only has 2 miles of dual carriageway. Hence, in areas of notable ‘transport poverty’ or lacking in rail facilities greenfield development necessitates substantial public investment.
    Posted by: In: 02 Apr 2014 Comments: 0



    UKIP have underlined their position as the only main British political party which will categorically protect our green belt and green spaces. In England alone, fourteen green belts cover 13% of the total land, providing a breath of fresh air for 45 million people. The green belt is effectively the lungs of Great Britain, without which the 88% of our population living in the urban areas would have their air quality severely compromised. Yet the government have not conducted a single enquiry into the impact our receding green belt will have on our respiratory health.
    There is an unequivocal link between housing demand and the open door immigration policy of successive governments. Nick Boles, the current planning minister has conceded that “43% of the new households which want a home are accounted for by immigration”. Without question the uncontrolled mass immigration which has resulted in up to four million additional people arriving on these shores in the past decade has escalated the quest to encroach on our countryside. The Campaign to Protect Rural England thought that government proposals were a signal to “let rip” on the countryside. And it emerged this week that six thousand new homes are planned for the countryside each month. More than 700,000 homes have been proposed by councils on the countryside. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Great Britain will never be the same again.
    Nevertheless, there is not a shred of evidence that even at current and projected levels of demand we need to build on the countryside. Building on prime Greenfield may suit developers in their quest to generate substantial profits from luxury developments but where is the evidence that it will lead to more affordable housing? The caveat is that we control levels of immigration now. We just simply do not have the space or the public services infrastructure. So much so that many of our urban centres are now dangerously overcrowded leading to an epidemic increase in communicable diseases.
    It is liberally estimated that we need to build 300,000 new homes annually to respond to current demand. The private sector built 293,000 homes in 1935 and 279,000 in 1936 at a time when the population was much smaller. Today our construction industry has profoundly more elasticity to expand capacity to meet this target. So we start building homes at record levels. We breach the green belt. We start with the shrub lands. Where do we draw the line? Who makes the assessment as to what is to be kept green and what is to be concreted?
    Expanding population and industry will mean greater pollution. Ironically, the UK faces fines of £300m a year and embarrassing legal proceedings due to the failure to reduce excessive levels of nitrogen dioxide from traffic pollution. Studies have shown that in one urban space, tree cover removed 48 pounds of particulates, 9 pounds of nitrogen dioxide, 6 pounds of sulphur dioxide, and 0.5 pounds of carbon monoxide and 100 pounds of carbon-daily. It has also been noted that one sugar maple along a roadway removes 60mg cadmium, 140mg chromium, 820mg nickel and 5,200mg lead from the environment in one growing season. The countryside therefore is not only a visual spectacle but a public health resource. So the same LibLabCon establishment which wants to burden consumers with green taxes and fuel poverty, wind turbines and environmental tick box exercises has no issue with the concreting of our countryside.
    Our membership of the European Union precludes us from controlling the inflow of people into the UK. Consequently, we have never been able to accurately plan our housing needs as we have never been able to predict the extent of immigration into the UK. That is why the LibLabCon philosophy of chasing endlessly changing house building targets is fundamentally flawed. And no government has succeeded in either defining or matching supply. And the truth is they never will until we take control of our borders. Moreover, the right to buy project of Margaret Thatcher remarkably extended home ownership but simultaneously pulled substantial housing stock out of the social housing sector.
    Branding UKIP as anti-immigration is as illogical as blaming a hotelier for not having more rooms to rent. We are not denying the merits of immigration; we are simply saying we do not currently have the housing capacity to accommodate. The simple fact is that whilst we remain in the EU we cannot control our borders, and therefore the level of immigration into our country. If we cannot predict the level of immigration we cannot predict the level of housing demand.
    If we follow the political establishment logic of building our way out of the housing crisis we will eventually be building into the Atlantic Ocean and the British skies! We must think outside of the LibLabCon box. More affordable housing can mean more brownfield development, and the conversion of disused office and industrial to residential. There is no need to concede an inch of our countryside to development.
    Posted by: In: Bedroom Tax 13 Feb 2014 Comments: 404

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    Andrew Charalambous, the housing spokesperson for Nigel Farage’s party, says the current government’s – under – occupation penalty – occupation penalty – often referred to as the bedroom tax – is ‘nonsensical’.
    Under this policy, social tenants of working age on housing benefit will have their payments cut if they have one or more spare bedrooms.
    Mr Charalambous, said: “We’d absolutely scrap the bedroom tax. It’s just tokenism and has no real effect. It causes a lot hardship, pain and suffering. Housing should be there to make people’s lives better.”
    His comments come in the wake of UKIP’s strong performance in this month’s local elections: the party took 147 seats in England, a gain of 139. UKIP were the first party to openly say they would scrap the bedroom tax.
    The dominant pressure on housing in the UK has come from the unprecedented immigration of the last decade. Withdrawal from the European Union would be the only practical way to alleviate this effect on our housing demand.
    UKIP would instingate the most far reaching Brownfield Revolution ever known
    Gavin Smart, director of policy and practice at the Chartered Institute of Housing, said it was interesting to see UKIP’s housing priorities and ideas for local housing initiatives.
    Posted by: In: 13 Feb 2014 Comments: 0