On 14 February 2022, Secretary of State of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, announced proposals designed to pressure building developers and materials manufacturers to fund the remediation of unsafe properties.
On 14 February 2022, Secretary of State of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, announced proposals designed to pressure building developers and materials manufacturers to fund the remediation of unsafe properties. Some of the measures were aimed at:
Mr Gove also wrote to the residential property developer industry, requiring key industry players to produce a plan of action including the remediation of unsafe cladding on 11-18 metre buildings.
On 13 April 2022, the government announced that over 35 of the country’s biggest developers, including Barratt, Persimmon and Gleeson, have pledged that they agree in principle that (a) leaseholders should not have to pay for any costs associated with “life-critical fire-safety remediation work” on developments of 11m or above; and (b) they will withdraw applications to and/or reimburse payments made from the government’s Building Safety Fund. The government stated that the developers have committed c. £5 billion to address building safety issues, made up of at least £2 billion directly committed and £3 billion contributed over ten years through an expansion to the Building Safety Levy. The developers have pledged to:
The government has yet to secure a similar deal from construction product manufacturers but states this is still sought, and Mr Gove has stated he will do “whatever it takes” to hold them to account.
The pledge commits developers to take action, although it is not yet legally binding, but is instead in effect heads of terms, with a stated intention to enter into legally-binding full form documentation “in the coming months that expands, supplements and gives effect to the principles set out”. The government intends to introduce new powers blocking those developers who do not sign the pledge, or who breach the legally binding agreements (once in place), from building and selling new homes , so it is a potential issue for all residential developers to be aware of and considering.
For leaseholders, the agreement appears to represent a significant step forward towards protection from the costs of repairing safety issues for which they were not responsible and, in most cases, lack the means to pay.
Browne Jacobson will be providing some more detailed commentary on the issues arising out of the Building Safety Bill, with a seminar following in the autumn.
Law firm Browne Jacobson has collaborated with Wiltshire Council and Christ Church Business School on the launch event of The Council Company Best Practice and Innovation Network, a platform which brings together academic experts and senior local authority leaders, allowing them to share best practice in relation to council companies.
In the Autumn Statement delivered on 17 November, rises to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates were announced, to take effect from 1 April 2023.
Announced in September but scrapped on 17 November the investment zone proposals were very short lived. The proposal has now morphed into the proposal for a smaller number of clustered zones earmarked for investment.
Settlement agreements are commonplace in an employment context and are ordinarily used to provide the parties to the agreement with certainty following the conclusion of an employment relationship.
On 2 November 2022, the Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the much awaiting case of Hillside Parks Ltd v Snowdonia National Park Authority  UKSC 30. The Court’s judgment suggests that the long established practice of using drop-in applications is in fact much more restricted than previously thought. This judgment therefore has significant implications for both the developers and local planning authorities.
National law firm Browne Jacobson has advised long standing retail client, Wilko on the sale and leaseback of its Nottinghamshire distribution centre in Worksop to logistics specialist DHL for £48m.
In ‘failure to remove’ claims, the claimant alleges abuse in the family home and asserts that the local authority should have known about the abuse and/or that they should have removed the claimant from the family home and into care earlier.