Howard Jenkins has successfully let 9 Colliergate in York City centre to the excellent national retailer, Up & Running; the Company undertook to complete the lease within 7 days of receiving documentation and were true to their word.
This attractive Grade II Listed double-fronted retail unit is situated in an increasingly popular trading location between King’s Square and the prime residential developments of Stonebow House and the Hungate Quarter regeneration scheme; the quoting rent was £50,000 pa.
National real estate company Boultbee Brooks has instructed Howard Jenkins to market contemporary office suites at 20 George Hudson Street; located in the City centre this Grade II Listed Building provides quality accommodation, entrance foyer & common parts with the benefit of on-site car parking also available.
The building is occupied by Jacobs, First Group and tech company Rotacloud, with available space of 7,845 ft² (730 m²) on the second and third floors.
The Government has announced (9 November 2021) that it will introduce new laws, and has published a new Code of Practice, aimed at resolving disputes over remaining commercial rent arrears which have accrued since March 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill is intended to establish a legally-binding arbitration process for commercial landlords and tenants following the principles contained in the Government’s new Code of Practice.
The Code sets out that, in the first instance, tenants unable to pay in full should negotiate with their landlord in the expectation that their landlord waives some or all rent arrears where they are able to do so.
From 10 November 2021, commercial tenants will also be protected from CCJ’s, HCJ’s and bankruptcy petitions issued against them in respect of Covid-19 rent arrears.
Whilst the Government’s announcement states that the Bill will apply to commercial rent debts related to the mandated closure of certain businesses such as pubs, gyms and restaurants, the new Code of Practice specifically states that it applies to all commercial leases held by businesses which have built up arrears of rent, insurance & service charges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic whether, for example, in the hospitality, retail (including supply chains), leisure, manufacturing, industrial & logistics, ports, food & drink, or rural sectors.
The Code acknowledges the differing legal framework for agricultural tenancies, but suggests the agricultural sector may wish to consider the principles set out in the new Code of Practice.
The Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, encourages landlords and tenants to keep working together to reach their own agreements ahead of the new laws coming into place, and expects tenants capable of paying rent to do so.
RHW Developments have secured planning permission for a new residential redevelopment of the former Chapman’s Garage in Heworth Village, York; Howard Jenkins identified this off-market opportunity and represented RHW throughout the site acquisition process.
The site is situated in the Heworth Conservation Area, and the permitted scheme has been designed to be a sensitive addition comprising 9 high quality, contemporary 3 & 4-bedroomed homes.
The Government has announced its plan for a new mandatory statutory arbitration procedure for commercial leases, to resolve disputes arising out of the Covid pandemic; in addition, it has further extended the rent moratorium to 25 March 2022.
Details of the proposed legislation is awaited however, landlords and tenants are likely to be required to submit their rental disputes to arbitration, which the Government has suggested “could be done by waiving some of the total amount or agreeing a longer-term repayment plan”; this will be delivered by private arbitrators whose impartiality has been approved, acting in accordance with guidelines to be set out in the new legislation.
This will presumably replace the Government’s voluntary Code of Practice issued in June 2020.
The Government has also extended to 25 March 2022 the temporary ban on the use of forfeiture for non-payment of rent, Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) and the issue of statutory demands and winding up petitions where a company’s inability to pay is due to COVID-19.
Howard Jenkins has provided capital and rental valuation advice to Arriva Bus UK in respect of a bus depot in Penistone Road, Huddersfield prior to the Company’s reported sale of its Yorkshire Tiger operation to Transdev.
The bus depot, held by way of ground lease, comprised a total GIA of 10,655 ft² on an overall site of 1.18 acre.
Howard Jenkins, acting on behalf of YMF Car Parts, has acquired a high quality trade counter unit at Hornbeam Park, Harrogate; adjoining occupiers include Hexagon Cars, Eurocell, Inter Ceramica and Howdens Joinery.
This modern unit provides warehousing & storage together with a trade counter & showroom, having a total GIA of c.6,250 ft², with designated parking for 9 vehicles.
The Government has extended to 31 March 2021 the temporary ban on the use of forfeiture for non-payment of rent, Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) and the issue of statutory demands and winding up petitions where a company’s inability to pay is due to COVID-19.
In June, the Government issued a Code of Practice for landlords & tenants in dealing with rental income shocks affecting commercial property caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; the Code can be downloaded using the following link:
Howard Jenkins is offering for sale a mixed commercial / residential property on the High Street, in this attractive market town within Nidderdale AONB; it will be of particular interest to investors & developers, and those seeking an appealing ‘life-style’ business opportunity.
This is an historic Grade II Listed Building in which the vendors have for over 15 years operated a successful business comprising a Cafe & Tea Room, Shop & Art Gallery, with 2-bedroomed owners’ accommodation and B&B letting rooms. The property is not VAT-registered.
The Government has issued a Code of Practice for landlord & tenant relationships in dealing with rental income shocks affecting commercial property caused by by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is a voluntary Code which is intended to reinforce and promote good practice, encouraging transparency and collaboration, a unified approach and that parties act reasonably and responsibly recognising the purpose and benefit of Government support received.
The Code does not change the underlying legal relationship or lease contracts between landlord and tenant, and any guarantor; the new Code can be downloaded using the following link:
During the UK Government’s lockdown, Chris Jenkins remains contactable by phone, mobile and email in order to assist our clients and property contacts. We wish you good health and stay safe during this difficult and challenging time.
Chris Jenkins can be contacted on 01904 707000; 07767 837320; email@example.com.
Howard Jenkins has acted on behalf of private developer clients in leasing a new student housing development to York St John University.
The high quality refurbishment provides self-contained accommodation for 20 students being finished to the University’s exacting specification, with high insulation & energy efficiency values and triple glazing throughout.
Acting on behalf of private clients, Howard Jenkins has sold a freehold industrial property in Gowdall Lane, Pollington comprising HQ offices, production facility and expansion land.
Accessible from the M62 and 3 miles south west of Snaith, the property comprises a total GIA of 18,685 ft² on a site area of 3.36 acres; it was previously occupied by Accur-a-Cut and AC Graphics, graphic designers and specialist print services, until the Group was acquired by a larger US company.
Demijohn has renewed its lease on the Company’s main retail outlet in Museum Street, York; Howard Jenkins advised in respect of rental and lease terms, and represented the Company throughout the negotiations.
The World’s first Liquid Deli, Demijohn was originally founded in 2004 in Edinburgh’s Old Town and has now developed a thriving international mail order business with growing wholesale distribution throughout the UK of predominantly British products including liqueurs, whiskies, wines, spirits, olive oils and vinegars.
Howard Jenkins has assigned the lease of Unit 6 at Shires Bridge Business Park, York Road on behalf of Cromarty Limited.
A modern, contemporary unit of 1,375 ft² on this popular and well-located business park just south of Easingwold town centre; the lease expires in July 2021 at a current rent of £10,000 pa.
Howard Jenkins has been appointed joint letting agent in respect of 19-23 Feasegate, a prime shop within York City centre.
The unit forms part of a Grade II Listed Building providing a sales area of 1,360 ft² and stores/staff of 905 ft²; it is well located with Co-operative Bank, Superdrug, H Samuel, Millets, Fraser Hart and TK Maxx nearby.
Acting on behalf of private investor clients, Howard Jenkins has concluded a rent review on a modern trade counter unit in Spalding let to Travis Perkins achieving a rental increase of over 20% back-dated to March 2015.
The premises comprise a unit of c.9,210 ft² plus mezzanine, on a site of 1.25 acres. The revised rent was determined by Independent Expert, and Howard Jenkins represented the landlord as expert witness throughout the process.
Howard Jenkins has sold on behalf of Forshaw Land & Property a vacant restaurant unit in York City centre to a UK investment company.
The premises in George Hudson Street extend to a GIA of c.2,000 ft² and the sale was by way of a long ground lease negotiated off a guide price of £450,000.
Howard Jenkins has undertaken valuations in respect of a number of properties across Yorkshire and the North East; these were required for purposes including acquisition, probate and pension scheme requirements.
All such valuations were undertaken in accordance with the RICS Valuation Global Standards (the “Red Book”) for which Howard Jenkins is regulated.
Vision Direct, Europe’s largest online contact lenses supplier, has acquired a modern industrial unit in York to further expand the product distribution & delivery of their fast-growing business; Howard Jenkins acted on behalf of Vision Direct, and has advised the Company in all their property acquisitions in York.
The new unit is located at York Business Park and has a GIA of c.10,000 ft².
Chris Jenkins has been re-elected to the Committee of the North East Branch of The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is a Fellow of both the RICS and the CIArb, and is regularly appointed as Arbitrator and Independent Expert to resolve commercial property rent review disputes throughout the Yorkshire region.
Advised by Howard Jenkins, York Motor Factors has sold an industrial site in Redeness Street, York; the new 4-5 storey development will provide high quality accommodation for 98 students, with cycle parking and complementary landscaping.
As part of the transaction, the Company will be provided with undercroft parking on the ground floor of the development to support its existing depot and head office in Layerthorpe.
Acting on behalf of private investor clients, Howard Jenkins has concluded a rent review on the Wagamama restaurant in Goodramgate achieving a rental increase of 15% in spite of challenging conditions within the casual dining sector.
The premises comprise part of the former Newitt Sports retail store; trading on ground and first floors, the restaurant extends to a total GIA of c.7,000 ft². The revised rent was determined by Independent Expert, and Howard Jenkins represented the landlord as expert witness throughout the process.
Howard Jenkins has sold on behalf of private clients two high quality office & industrial investments at London Ebor Business Park, Millfield Lane, York.
The two properties, extending to a total floor area of 6,915 ft², are each let to Ramsdens Solicitors LLP (14 offices; 270 staff) until 2024 and were sold to a well-established York investment company at net initial yields of c.6.5%.
Henry Lax Limited has sold Seamer Road Trade Park in Scarborough to a private pension fund achieving a figure in excess of £2.7M and net initial yield of under 5.9%; Howard Jenkins acted as joint selling agent in the transaction.
The property was first acquired as a vacant BT depot however, through proactive asset management and significant investment, Henry Lax Limited has successfully re-positioned the site as a well-let trade counter investment.
During this transition, Howard Jenkins was retained as letting agent also dealing with rent reviews.
The City of York Council has appointed Howard Jenkins as joint letting agent to market the last available leisure unit within this exciting development which boasts an 8,000-seat community stadium and 13-screen IMAX cinema (Cineworld); the scheme adjoins the popular Vangarde Shopping Park (M&S, Next and John Lewis).
The available unit is suitable for a range of leisure uses including Class A3, D1 and D2 businesses; situated on the first floor with its own dedicated lift & staircase access, it will provide 7,160 ft² (665 m²), with a ceiling height of 36 feet (11 m) and potential for a mezzanine.
Standing at over 100 feet (30 m) tall, this new development is a very visible addition to York’s skyline. The stadium will be shared between York City FC and York City Knights Rugby League teams, and the scheme will also provide a new leisure complex & community hub with sports hall, 25-metre swimming pool, gym, NHS facilities, outdoor artificial sports pitches, with new retail and restaurant units.
On-site parking will be complemented by the Monks Cross Park & Ride facility, 400-500 cycle parking spaces and regular bus services.
RICS and The Law Society have issued new guidance to surveyors and lawyers involved in the renewal of commercial property leases, which came into effect on 1 August 2018.
This is published as the 2nd edition of their Guidance Note under the alternative dispute resolution scheme known as PACT (Professional Arbitration on Court Terms), which is a well-established and efficient means to resolve disputes as to rent and other terms in business tenancy renewals, avoiding the need for expensive litigation in Court.
The flexibility and versatility of PACT renders it well suited to the needs of landlords, tenants and their advisers.
On behalf of the former partners of Burn & Company, the well-known York firm of solicitors, Howard Jenkins is marketing for sale two well-let freehold investment properties.
Each property is let to Ramsdens Solicitors LLP (14 offices; 270 staff), which together comprise good quality offices and secure file storage facilities. These attractive investment opportunities are being offered at guide prices of £530,000 and £355,000 reflecting gross yields of c.6.8%.
Howard Jenkins has brought to the market an excellent well-located trade counter investment let to Howdens, Euro Car Parts & Toolstation.
Seamer Road Trade Park, Scarborough is fully-let comprising four units extending to 23,017 ft² and producing a total rental income of £171,000 pa. Offers are invited for the freehold interest in excess of £2.6 Million.
Howard Jenkins is acting jointly with GVA in Leeds.
Howard Jenkins has let a prominent retail unit in York to St Leonard’s Hospice as a new furniture store.
The property at 60 Layerthorpe provides a total of almost 2,000 ft², with a parking & loading area to the rear, and is located directly opposite Asda Supermarket.
From 1 April 2018 it has become unlawful for landlords of non-domestic private rented property to grant a new lease of “sub-standard” property, namely those with an EPC rating below ‘E’; this will equally apply to a renewal or extension of an existing lease.
Contravention of MEES renders a landlord liable to a fine of upto £150,000 per three-month infringement and publication of details of the infringement.
From 1 April 2023, MEES will apply to all existing leases on non-domestic properties.
Henry Lax Group have completed the final phase in their re-positioning of Seamer Road Trade Park, Scarborough by leasing Units 2-3 to Euro Car Parts.
Comprising 7,783 ft² (723.06 m²) and arranged over ground and first floors, the premises have been refurbished to provide another high quality trade unit.
Euro Car Parts join Howdens and Toolstation to complete the tenant line-up; joint letting agents were Colliers International and Howard Jenkins.
The former Tower Veterinary Group premises in Clarence Street, opposite York St John University, has been acquired by private developers for conversion to high quality student accommodation; Howard Jenkins advised the purchaser.
Planning permission has been granted for 20 en-suite letting rooms, with ancillary communal facilities and cycle parking; the two-storey building has a gross internal floor area of c.3,600 ft² (335 m²).
Acting for a private investor, Howard Jenkins has achieved a 44% uplift in total rental income, with a corresponding increase in capital value, in respect of a modern industrial investment in York.
The property in Hospital Fields comprises three units totalling c.8,000 ft² (c.740 m²), and the rental uplift achieved arose out of the negotiation of statutory lease renewals with two existing tenants who wished to remain in occupation, and the successful letting of the third unit which had been vacated at the end of the previous lease; the rents on the individual units reflect figures of £6.50 psf – £7.80 psf.
Howard Jenkins has been instructed to represent the landlord, an established private investment company, in reviewing the rent of the Wagamama restaurant in Goodramgate, York.
The A3 market in York has been particularly active with a number of notable high profile arrivals such as Joe’s Kitchen, Carluccio’s, Five Guys and The Ivy Brasserie.
Applications to the RICS Dispute Resolution Service for the appointment of Arbitrators & Independent Experts to resolve commercial rent review disputes have increased by 26% since 2013.
They are split roughly 60 / 40 between Arbitrators and Independent Expert, geographically 77% of applications are in London & the South East, and the principal property types are Secondary Retail, Restaurants, Prime Retail, Large Offices and Retail Warehouses (non-food).
DRS reports that 92% of users are satisfied with the dispute resolver appointed, which reflects a 12 % improvement since 2014-15.
Retained by a fast-expanding UK & European company with a well-established base in York, Howard Jenkins is seeking to acquire a new B8 warehouse facility into which the company can relocate.
Both freehold and leasehold opportunities are of interest, with the benefit of potential further expansion space, having excellent communications and access to the Outer Ring Road.
Acting on behalf of a private investment company client, Howard Jenkins has let a new high-quality refurbished restaurant opportunity at 47 Low Petergate within York City centre.
Substantial improvements to this attractive Grade II Listed Building include the creation of a contemporary glazed atrium extension, opening onto a private rear courtyard; the restaurant extends to 2,725 ft² with additional ancillary floorspace, and was marketed at a rent of £125,000 pa.
Five Guys is a popular and fast-expanding American burger concept which is backed by Sir Charles Dunstone.
Howard Jenkins has received instructions to prepare valuation reports in respect of a number of office and industrial investment properties located in Leeds, Spennymoor and York.
The valuations have been commissioned for both SIPP and probate purposes, which are required to be undertaken by a Registered Valuer in accordance with the RICS Valuation – Professional Standards (known as the “Red Book”); Howard Jenkins is regulated by the RICS for such purposes.
Acting on behalf of a private family trust, Howard Jenkins is seeking to acquire good quality, well-let property investments focusing on principal Cities and prosperous market towns within Yorkshire.
The ideal lot size would be upto c.£2M with a target yield of 6%+ however, there would be flexibility for particular opportunities; all commercial property sectors are of interest, including mixed-use situations.
Howard Jenkins is advising on a number of rent reviews in respect of trade counter units in Gainsborough, Sleaford and York.
The units total over 50,000 ft² and occupiers include Jewson, Keyline Builders Merchants and Howdens Joinery.
Howard Jenkins has been appointed as joint agent in marketing units on this well located trade park fronting the busy A64 which already accommodates Toolstation and Howdens Joinery.
Units 2 & 3 will be available to let separately or together providing flexible options offering 3,345 ft² (310.7 m²) to 7,970 ft² (740.4 m²) with ample parking and excellent signage. Joint agents are Colin Ellis and Howard Jenkins.
McCarthy & Stone, the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder, has received the endorsement of the City of York Council’s Planning Department for their proposed redevelopment of Oliver House, Bishophill as 34 high quality ‘Retirement Living’ apartments; Howard Jenkins represented McCarthy & Stone throughout the acquisition process.
Providing a site of 0.5 acre (0.2 hectare), Oliver House is a former elderly persons’ home which the City Council had ceased to use and was keen to encourage its redevelopment. The property is situated within the Bishophill Conservation Area, being a tranquil and popular residential area, overlooking the City Walls close to Victoria Bar gateway and a stone’s throw from the City Centre and York Rail Station.
Acting on behalf of Robert Stokely and Nick Blackwell of Lambert Smith Hampton as Law of Property Act Receivers, Howard Jenkins has been responsible for marketing of all development, occupation and investment opportunities at 2-14 George Hudson Street, York delivering sales receipts of nearly £3 Million.
This Grade II Listed Building totals c.33,000 ft² (3,065 m²), c.20,000 ft² (1,860 m²) of which comprised offices previously occupied by the City of York Council which Howard Jenkins sold under a development agreement to Forshaw Land & Property Group who have completed a conversion to 63 high quality self-contained student apartments.
Having let two vacant restaurant units and completed a lease renewal on a third, Howard Jenkins then sold the ground floor and basements as a mixed restaurant/retail investment let to four established operators as tenants; the purchaser was Sheet Anchor Investments (a private SPV investment company).
Howard Jenkins has been brought in as joint agent to market a prominent leasehold shop which is well located on the prime retail pitch in York City centre.
Retailers nearby include Stormfront (Apple re-seller), O2, Leia, Beaverbrooks and, directly opposite the unit, H&M and Zara. Joint agents are TK Retail in London and Howard Jenkins.
Howard Jenkins has been appointed to sell excellent HQ-style business premises and offices with land for expansion and possible development potential in Gowdall Lane, Pollington, Near Goole.
The property is well located for the M62 and provides a total GIA of 18,685 ft² (1,735.9 m²) on a site of 3.36 acres (1.36 hectares).
The former St Lawrence Working Men’s Club and adjoining Tam O’ Shanter public house have been sold to S Harrison Developments by the Moore family who were represented throughout by Howard Jenkins.
The Working Men’s Club occupied an important Listed Building which was originally the home of the Tukes, a well-known and influential family in York; Samuel Tuke was a 19th Century mental health pioneer who founded The Retreat and it was his home from 1822 until his death in 1857; the artist Henry Scott Tuke was born there.
However, much of the accommodation had been empty for many years and, having fallen into significant disrepair, the property had become an eyesore which the Club simply did not have the resources to remedy. As an important Listed Building, many developers had looked at the site but were unable to find a viable future for it.
Joe Moore representing his family’s interests as active investors in York, enabled the Working Men’s Club to vacate their dilapidated premises by way of a property swap; he acquired and demolished the building next door, obtaining planning permission and constructing for the Club a new purpose-built facility; upon completion, ownership of the properties were exchanged. The Moore family also acquired, and continued to operate, the Tam O’ Shanter public house.
Successful negotiations with S Harrison Developments represented the final phase in securing a long-term and viable future for this local landmark.
Joe Moore commented that: “Having received a number of unsuccessful approaches, great praise should be given to Martyn Harrison and his team for conceiving such an attractive and sympathetic scheme which will bring this important Listed Building back to life. It is unfortunate that the Tam O’ Shanter had to close, but this building will also be preserved, and it was the only way that development of the overall site could be made viable. I am delighted that the City of York Council Planning & Conservation Officers and English Heritage supported our aspirations for this property, without which it would have remained vacant and continue to deteriorate for many years to come”.
Harrison now plans to invest £11.5million over the next 18 months to create high quality accommodation for 115 students using a blend of one, two, three and five bed en-suite apartments and clusters, together with games room, gym, cinema, common room, study space & administrative offices; once completed, it will be owned and managed by Empiric, one of the UK’s leading student accommodation specialists.
Chris Jenkins has been elected to the Committee of the North East Branch of The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) at its recent AGM.
CIArb is a leading professional membership organisation representing the interests of alternative dispute practitioners worldwide. With over 14,000 members located in more than 130 countries, CIArb supports the global promotion, facilitation and development of all forms of private dispute resolution through an international network of 37 branches.
The UK North East Branch covers an area east of the Pennines which extends from Sheffield and Hull in the South to Northumberland in the North.
The Branch has almost 400 members representing a wide variety of trades and professions who meet to further their common interest in all forms of ADR, including Arbitration, Adjudication & Mediation, as a means of effective dispute resolution.
The RICS Professional Statement : Property Measurement (1st edition) introduces significant changes to the basis on which offices are to be measured and this came into force on 1 January 2016.
The new Professional Statement (PS) incorporates the International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS) seeking to ensure a single basis of measurement globally; it updates the RICS Code of Measuring Practice (6th edition) in respect of offices however, the measurement of all other types of property including residential, industrial and retail remains unchanged for the time being.
Whilst the old bases of measurement of offices can be retained for a transitional period, these will now need to be reported together with areas taken on the new bases, as follows:
IPMS1 – used for measuring the area of a building including external walls; in some markets it can be used for planning purposes or the summary costing of development; it is similar to gross external area (GEA) although, in addition, includes covered galleries (ie internal balconies), external balconies and accessible rooftop terraces; these will need to be stated separately.
IPMS2 – used for measuring the interior area and categorising the use of space within an office building; it can be used to provide data on the efficient use of space and for benchmarking; this is similar to gross internal area (GIA) but, as in IPMS1, includes covered galleries (ie internal balconies), external balconies and rooftop terraces, albeit to be stated separately. Measurements are to be taken to the “internal dominant face” which may be the glazing in windows if they comprise 50% or more of the surface area for each vertical section forming an internal perimeter.
IPMS3 – relates to valuation and agency purposes, being used for measuring the occupation of floor areas in exclusive use; it is similar to net internal area (NIA) in which standard facilities and shared circulation areas such as toilets, staircases and plant rooms are excluded. However, IPMS3 specifically includes all internal walls & columns, half the width of a common wall with an adjoining occupier, and enclosed walkways or passages between separate buildings in exclusive occupation. Areas of less than 1.5 metres (5 feet) in height are to be included but may be stated separately as a limited use area and, as above, covered galleries (ie internal balconies), external balconies and accessible rooftop terraces are to be included but will need to be stated separately.
Elements of this Professional Statement are mandatory for RICS members and will be subject to regulation by the RICS. Other elements are professional best practice and practitioners are strongly advised to follow them.
Offices of c.20,000 ft² occupied for many years by The City of York Council have been sold by way of a development lease to Forshaw Land & Property Group who have secured planning consent for 60 high quality studio apartments; acting jointly with LSH on behalf of LPA Receivers, Howard Jenkins handled the sale .
The property in George Hudson Street comprises a substantial Grade II Listed Building, previously managed by Howard Jenkins for over 10 years. The accommodation sold comprises offices on ground, first, second & third floors with basement storage; the developers will be undertaking a comprehensive refurbishment and conversion of the offices to student accommodation with associated facilities including shop, cycle store, manager’s office, communal lounge, gym and laundry, and the scheme is expected to be ready by Summer 2016.
The ground floor restaurant units provide an attractive investment opportunity which will shortly become available for sale.
Ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, the BBC’s Robert Peston commented that: “If George Osborne has a big idea, it is to transfer the costs of, and responsibility for, building a better, fairer Britain from the public sector to the private sector”. Land Aid has been galvanised to act decisively by the fact that 83,000 young people will experience homelessness this coming year, and the Government wants to see one million new homes delivered by 2020.
Whilst the Chancellor unveiled large-scale spending cuts, he also announced spending plans which he said will deliver a £10 billion surplus by the next General Election, including a number of new initiatives which will specifically benefit Yorkshire and the North. Highlights seeking to address the housing challenge include:
400,000 Affordable Homes
The Government will double the housing budget from 2018-19 to more than £2bn per year in order to help fund construction of 400,000 new “affordable homes” by the end of the decade; these will include 200,000 ‘starter homes’ (to be sold at 80% of market value to first-time buyers under 40), 135,000 new Help to Buy shared ownership homes and 10,000 Rent to Buy homes.
Release of £4.5bn Public Sector Land for Housing
The Government will support the release of unused and previously undeveloped commercial, retail, and industrial land for Starter Homes, and the regeneration of previously developed brownfield sites in the green belt by allowing sites to be developed in the same way as other brownfield land, providing it contributes to Starter Homes, subject to local consultation.
Councils to Keep Property Receipts
The Government will introduce measures to enable councils to keep 100% of receipts on property assets they sell in order to spend on local services.
Planning Reforms and Delivery of Housing Targets
Reforms to the planning system, including establishing a new delivery test on local authorities to ensure delivery of the number of homes set out in Local Plans.
Support for SME House-Builders
This is to include amending planning policy to support small sites, extending the £1bn Builders’ Finance Fund to 2020-21, and halving the length of the planning guarantee for minor developments.
Council Housing Estates & Enabling Infrastructure
The Government will offer £2.3bn in loans to help regenerate large council estates, and to invest in infrastructure needed for major housing developments.
A New ‘Garden City’ Movement
A £310m investment to support delivery of the first new ‘Garden City’ in nearly 100 years at Ebbsfleet. This is part of a wider £700m programme of regeneration at Barking Riverside, Brent Cross, Northstowe and Bicester Garden Town; together these will support up to 60,000 new homes.
London Help to Buy Scheme
A new Help to Buy equity loan scheme will provide buyers in London with 40% of the home value from early 2016, an increase over the 20% which the current scheme provides.
SDLT on Purchase of Buy-to-Let and Second Homes
From 1 April 2016 those purchasing additional properties such as buy-to-let properties and second homes will pay an extra 3% in Stamp Duty Land Tax; the monies raised will be used to help first-time buyers.
New Enterprise Zones in Leeds & York
York Central Enterprise Zone to the rear of York railway station is a 100-acre (40 hectare) brown-field site extending north west towards the former British Sugar site. On relocation of existing rail uses, redevelopment projections are for over 1,000 new housing units, together with a new commercial quarter of upto 1,000,000 square feet (100,000 m²), which it is suggested could create up to 6,600 jobs in the City and over £1.1bn value for the region’s economy.
The M62 Corridor Enterprise Zone will focus on advanced manufacturing across four local authority areas, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, and is set to further boost the Leeds City Region.
In addition, the Humber Enterprise Zone is being extended, with a view to providing commercial space to support growth in offshore wind energy, ports and logistics, and also to support the expansion of creative & digital and tourist sectors linked to Hull’s status as the 2017 City of Culture. Enterprise Zone status enables a business to obtain a discount in business rates worth up to £275,000 over a five-year period and to receive tax relief on large investments in plant & machinery; the Local Entreprise Partnerships will retain all of the business rate growth within the zone.
Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
A new £400m investment fund will support the growth of small businesses, the money coming from the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank and the UK Government.
Great Exhibition of the North and Legacy Fund
Sir Gary Verity has been appointed to spearhead the Great Exhibition of the North, a showcase of the arts, culture and design in the North, which will be supported by an investment of £5m with a further £15m being invested in the Great Exhibition Legacy Fund.
Hull : City of Culture 2017
The Chancellor has promised Government help of £1m to support the City of Hull; the year-long celebration as City of Culture in 2017 is expected to bring massive economic benefits.
As part of the Government’s drive to increase housing numbers, it has been announced that the temporary permitted development rights introduced in May 2013, allowing the conversion of offices into new homes without the need for planning permission, will now be made permanent.
These rights, which required prior approval of the local planning authority in respect of transport & highways impact and contamination & flood risks, had been due to expire on 30 May 2016.
All developments which have already obtained such approval will now have three years in which to implement the change of use.
The original rights allowed for the conversion of existing office buildings however, these rights are to be extended to also allow for the demolition of office buildings to make way for new build residential schemes (subject to ‘limitations’ yet to be confirmed).
Further permitted development rights will also enable conversion of some ‘sui generis’ properties and light industrial buildings to create new homes which, it is anticipated, will also require prior approval in respect of impact on neighbouring employment uses.
Howard Jenkins, acting on behalf of the Moore Family, has negotiated a sale of the former St Lawrence WMC & adjoining land holdings in Lawrence Street, York.
The WMC was occupied by the Tukes, an important local family who founded The Retreat; Samuel Tuke was a 19thC mental health pioneer and it was his home from 1822 until his death in 1857; the artist Henry Scott Tuke was born there. S Harrison Developments are proposing a sensitive high quality scheme which will safeguard this important Listed Building, and are working closely with local stakeholders and the City of York Council. The scheme will provide a blend of one, two & three bed en-suite student apartments, together with games room, gym, cinema, common room, study space & administrative offices.
McCarthy & Stone, the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder, has been selected as preferred developer by the City of York Council for the redevelopment of Oliver House, Bishophill; Howard Jenkins represented McCarthy & Stone throughout the acquisition process.
Steve Secker, Regional Managing Director for McCarthy and Stone (Northern Region) comments: “We’re delighted that our proposal to introduce specialist Retirement Living apartments onto the site of Oliver House has been accepted by City of York Council. Our plans will breathe new life into the area, improving local housing choice and allow people to retain their independence to enjoy retirement in a safe environment”.
Oliver House is a former elderly persons’ home which the Council had ceased to use as such, and was keen to encourage its redevelopment. The property is situated within the Bishophill Conservation Area, being a tranquil and popular residential area, overlooking the City Walls close to Victoria Bar gateway and a stone’s throw from the City Centre and York Rail Station.
The Chancellor, George Osborne, delivered the first Conservative budget in 18 years on 8 July. Whilst figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility provided a positive backdrop, the Chancellor warned that the UK is not immune to economic risk, with uncertainty over the Greek debt crisis and slowdowns in the US and Chinese markets weighing on the global economy. Against this economic background, the Chancellor pledged to deliver a “budget that puts security first”.
The Government is seeking to ‘level the playing field’ between buy-to-let owners and those who buy a new home in which to live. Currently ‘buy-to-let’ landlords can claim tax relief against rental income on monthly interest repayments at upto the top level of tax of 45 per cent, which is estimated to cost the Treasury £6.3billion a year.
Therefore, starting from April 2017 and phased in over a four-year period, mortgage interest relief on residential property will gradually be restricted to the basic rate of Income Tax, currently 20%.
Commentators suggest this buy-to-let measure is likely to have a greater effect on the property sector than the change in non-domiciled status; it has been suggested that restricting mortgage relief, together with caps on housing benefits and the possibility of a rise in interest rates in the medium term, may squeeze some investors in lower-value buy-to-let markets and could slow down growth in such areas; others suggest that, if today’s low yields remain at similar levels by the time the restriction comes into force, this change could result in upward pressure on rents.
However, people who rent out a room in their home will be able to earn £7,000 tax free.
Wear and Tear Allowance
The government will replace the existing wear and tear allowance with a new relief that will allow all residential landlords to deduct the actual cost of replacing furnishings from April 2016. Capital allowances will continue to apply to landlords of furnished holiday lets.
CGT for Non-Doms Disposing of UK Residential Property
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) will be charged on gains accruing on the disposal of UK residential property by non-UK residents.
Currently, the scope of CGT in the UK is limited to those persons resident in the UK. This scope will be extended from 6 April 2015 to include non-UK resident individuals, trusts, personal representatives and narrowly controlled companies disposing of UK residential property.
Non-UK residents will be subject to the same rates of tax as UK taxpayers (18/28% for individuals/ 20% for corporates) but only gains accruing from 6 April 2015 will be subject to tax. The non-UK resident is able to ‘rebase’ the property to 6 April 2015 market value or, if more beneficial, can either time-apportion the gain or have the entire gain/loss taken into account.
From April 2017, people who are born in the UK to parents who are domiciled here will no longer be able to claim ‘non-dom’ status and those who own a home in the UK and would normally pay IHT on it will no longer be able to avoid it by holding the property in an offshore structure.
Most significantly, from April 2017, the Government will abolish permanent non-dom status so that people who have been UK residents for more than 15 of the past 20 years will pay full taxes on all their worldwide income and gains; the Chancellor expects these changes to raise £1.5 billion in tax revenue.
Inheritance Tax (IHT) Threshold rises to £1M
George Osborne lightened the burden of Inheritance Tax (IHT) saying that “the wish to pass something on to your children is about the most basic, natural and human aspiration there is”.
Starting from April 2017, a new £175,000 family-home allowance will be phased in on top of the current IHT threshold (£325,000). This will bring the total IHT-free allowance to £500,000 per person by 2020–21 which couples and partners can then combine to £1 Million. Those who decide to downsize will not lose any of the allowance.
Spouses and civil partners will be able to transfer both allowances to each other. As a result, they will be able to leave estates worth up to £1 million to their children or grandchildren completely free of IHT; however, IHT will continue to be levied at 40% on assets in excess of the threshold and the tax allowance will be tapered away for estates worth more than £2 million.
At present, IHT is charged at 40% above a threshold of £325,000 for an individual and £650,000 for married couples and civil partners.
Social Housing – Rents
Rents in the social housing sector will be reduced by 1% a year for the next four years however, housing association tenants in England who earn more than £30,000 per household – or £40,000 in London – will have to pay up to market rent.
Social Housing – Right to Buy
The Right to Buy scheme, which already applies to most council tenants, will be extended to 1.3 million housing association tenants, who will get a discount of up to 70% to buy their own home.
Responding to concerns that this will reduce the housing stock, Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne say that: “by helping people to own their own home, through Right to Buy, we can turn tenants into home-owners and reduce housing benefit bills”.
Starter Homes at a Discount
The Government also wants to build 200,000 “starter homes”, to be sold at below market rate for first-time buyers under 40.
They will urge local councils to give land with planning permission to those who want to build or commission their own homes, to double the number of custom-built houses in the UK.
A “programme of regeneration” around the country’s railway stations will form part of the drive to release public sector brown-field land for 150,000 homes.
Help to Buy
The Prime Minister and Chancellor have also confirmed they will keep the Help to Buy scheme, which offers home-buyers either loans or mortgage guarantees, until 2020.
Howard Jenkins is advising private investor clients in respect of a rent review of a high office-content ‘hybrid’ building of c.25,000 ft² located on Normanton Industrial Estate, just off Junction 31 M62.
The detached building comprises 14,000 ft² of air-conditioned offices and 11,000 ft² of warehousing, on a self-contained site of c.2 acres. The passing rent of £133,250 pa is due for review dating back to 2011, and is now listed for Arbitration.
Acting on behalf of investor/developer clients, Howard Jenkins has acquired modern industrial premises of c.16,000 ft² on a site of 0.6 acre at Quarry Hill Industrial Estate.
The purchase was negotiated off a guide price of £700,000, and the property has been let to a national trade counter operator.
The Town & Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Order 2015 has introduced further changes to the Use Classes Order in England which came into effect on 15 April 2015.
Highlights of the changes include:
- Permitted change of use from Class A1 (Retail) to Class A2 (Financial & Professional Services);
- Subject to Prior Approval* and a floor area of up to 150 m² (1,614 ft²), permitted change of use from Class A1 (Retail) to Class A3 (Restaurants & Cafés); not permitted in Designated Areas;
- Subject to Prior Approval* and a floor area of up to 150 m² (1,614 ft²), permitted change of use from A2 (Financial & Professional Services) to Class A3 (Restaurants & Cafés); not permitted in Designated Areas;
- Betting Offices and Pay-Day Loan Shops (formerly Class A2) are now Sui Generis;
- Permitted change of use from Sui Generis (Betting Offices and Pay-Day Loan Shops) to Class A1 (Retail; with a ground floor display window) and/or Class A2 (Financial & Professional Services);
- Permitted change of use from Class B2 (General Industrial) to Class B1 (Offices, R&D, Light Industrial);
- Subject to a floor area of up to 500 m² (5,382 ft²), permitted change of use from Class B1 (Offices, R&D, Light Industrial) and/or Class B2 (General Industrial) to Class B8 (Storage & Distribution);
- Subject to a floor area of up to 500 m² (5,382 ft²), permitted change of use from Class B8 (Storage & Distribution) to Class B1 (Offices, R&D, Light Industrial);
- The time limit for residential conversion of offices has not been extended (expires on 30 May 2016).
Prior Approval applications:
Subject to a fee payable to the LPA; dependent on the nature of the use, might typically include matters relating to parking & highways, flooding and contaminated land; in cases of A3 use, matters relating to noise, odour, waste collection, hours of opening, transport & highways, existing shopping provision and external design.
Further restrictions which may limit or preclude a permitted change of use include, for example, where the property is a Listed Building or Scheduled Monument, or is within a Conservation Area, National Park, AONB, the Broads, World Heritage Site, Site of Special Scientific Interest, safety hazard area or military explosives area or other designated area.
ScarNov (UK) Ltd t/a Novell (a joint venture between Esplanade Group International and Spain’s ‘Cafés Novell’) is focusing on London and Yorkshire for its entry into the UK. Acting on behalf of the Company, Howard Jenkins has acquired an office & distribution warehouse at Thorp Arch, Wetherby from which Novell will service the UK distribution of coffee and ancillary products.
ScarNov MD, Phil White, who is responsible for the UK operation comments that “with nearly 60 years of coffee roasting heritage in Spain and a global focus on expansion, this is a fast-growing international business. Now we have a base in the UK from which to operate, we can push forward with our product launch bringing premium roasted coffee to the UK and I believe that with Esplanade Group’s heartland in Yorkshire there is no better location to establish our head office and distribution depot”
Against a background of encouraging economic data – sustained GDP growth, rising employment and low inflation – and with an imminent General Election on 7 May, the Chancellor wants us to believe that “Britain is walking tall again“. From a property perspective, the focus of the Budget appears to be toward stimulating growth through encouraging & support of housing, infrastructure and development.
- 20 Housing Zones outside London will pilot models of accelerated delivery for new homes on brownfield sites using streamlined planning powers including Local Development Orders (LDO’s); this regeneration could provide up to 34,000 new homes. In addition, 8 other potential Housing Zones are being considered which could deliver a further 11,000 new homes.
- In Yorkshire two successful pilots announced, namely the Aire River Growth Corridor (Wakefield Council) and York Central Housing Zone (City of York Council).
Strategic Management of Government Land & Property
- A commercially-driven approach based on Government departments paying market rents with new central bodies to own and manage property & land assets; intended to deliver efficiencies and release land & property for productive uses, including new homes.
- Designed to encourage more efficient use of space and help Government achieve its £5 billion disposals target by 2020.
- £1M for the London Land Commission to create a comprehensive database of public sector and brownfield land.
Development & Infrastructure
- Consultation on the devolution of planning powers in London over sightlines and wharves to the Mayor of London, to accelerate provision of new homes by reducing planning delays.
- Government funding to support potential housing and infrastructure schemes in Brent Cross, Croydon, Barking Riverside, Northstowe, Ebbsfleet and Bicester.
- Consultation into the Compulsory Purchase regime to make it clearer, faster and fairer to support brownfield development.
Help to Buy ISA
- Enables first-time buyers to save up to £200 a month over a 5-year period (max £12,000), to which the Government will provide a bonus of 25% (max £3,000), at the point savings are used to purchase a first home.
- Property values restricted to £450,000 (in London) and £250,000 (outside London).
CGT on non-residents disposing of UK residential property
- CGT will be payable on future gains made by non-residents disposing of UK residential property from April 2015.
- Non-resident individuals will be taxed at up to 28% and non-resident companies at 20%.
Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED)
- Anti-avoidance rules are being extended to those owning UK residential property worth over £500,000 (previously £2,000,000), held within a company, partnership or collective investment scheme.
- For properties worth £1,000,000 – £2,000,000, ATED will be £7,000 (effective from 1 April 2015), and for properties between £500,000 – £1,000,000 it will be £3,500 (effective from 1 April 2016).
- Disposals by companies falling within the ATED regime will be subject to CGT at 28% whether non-resident or a UK company.
- Consultation on a reform of business rates however, a requirement that it is to be tax-neutral is likely to result in winners and losers.
- Pilot schemes allowing local authorities in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Greater Manchester and East Cheshire to retain 100% of additional growth in business rates above expected forecasts from 1 April 2015.
- Current Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) £500,000 due to end on 31 December 2015, reducing to £25,000; Chancellor indicated AIA would be set at a much higher rate than £25,000, but any announcement reserved for the Autumn Statement.
- AIA enables qualifying businesses (which Government estimates as 99.8% of businesses) to receive 100% up-front relief on their qualifying investment in plant & machinery.
- A new anti-avoidance provision to disallow plant & machinery allowance in a building on a sale & lease-back or a transfer to a connected person where the transferor held the building as trading stock.
- Available if disposing of shares in a trading company which trades in its own right
- HMRC to critically examine company structures (such as property joint ventures) in assessing whether they meet qualifying criteria.
SDLT Seeding Relief
- Introduction of seeding relief for Property Authorised Investment Funds (‘PAIFs’) and Co-ownership Authorised Contractual Schemes (‘CoACSs’) to enable institutions forming new property funds, seeded by transferring their existing assets into a PAIF or CoACS, without triggering SDLT.
Howard Jenkins has been solely retained by a national retail client to seek and acquire new premises within York City centre.
The search is being undertaken on behalf of this well-known household name company needing sales of 3,000 ft² – 5,000 ft² ideally within a prime or good secondary location.
We should be able to look forward to building on the positives of 2014 despite a number of challenges and uncertainties on the horizon !
The Positives …..
UK economic statistics, published by ONS, reflect a generally positive outlook:
- UK inflation (CPI) fell to a 12-year low at 1% (from 1.3% in October),
- GDP grew by 0.7% in the third quarter of 2014, being 2.6% higher than in the same period in 2013, although growth has slowed from 0.9% in Q2 2014.
- Unemployment fell by 63,000 to 1.96 million in the three months to the end of October, a rate of 6%, matching its lowest level in six years.
Against this background, the UK Economy is performing relatively well and has been recovering at a stronger rate compared to other G7 economies since early 2013. Despite this stronger growth, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has revised up its estimate of the budget deficit this year, but still forecasts the budget to be back in balance by 2018-19.
In terms of interest rates, PWC expect base rate to remain on hold in the short term, but then to be increased gradually from mid-2015 onwards, perhaps returning to around 4% by 2020; the firm advises that both businesses and households should start to prepare for this upward trend now.
The housing market has been supported by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement with revision of Stamp Duty Land Tax, lowering this tax liability for purchase of residential properties costing less than £937,500. Two of the UK’s biggest house-builders, Barratt and Persimmon, each report that about 30% of their new house sales utilise the support of the Government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme, which is due to run until 2020.
….. some Challenges …..
Commentators in the property industry consider that major changes in the way people want to live and work, and Government support for these changes, will have an increasing impact, examples being a trend toward urban living, office to residential conversion, hot-desking, last mile delivery distribution hubs, ‘right-sizing’ of supermarkets, and e-commerce. The industry knows these trends are here to stay and must embrace the challenges and opportunities they present.
Whilst new non-Bank entrants to the market are actively providing property-related lending, there are concerns as to the dearth of development finance for speculative projects, particularly in respect of schemes which would address lack of Grade-A office space which, in many cities, is perceived as becoming a threat to growth.
….. and the Uncertainties !
Results of recent surveys by Deloitte and EEF The Manufacturers’ Organisation reveal that political uncertainty ahead of the UK General Election (7 May), the weakening Eurozone economy and the possibility of Britain leaving the EU, are hitting confidence across British businesses.
The prospect of a hung parliament, in which smaller parties hold the balance of power leading to a greater risk of political instability and the possibility of more radical policy changes, is making firms more wary as to how this may impact on UK plc.
There is more concern being expressed now than three months ago about the weak Eurozone economy, teetering on the brink of deflation; the surveys took place before Greece’s debt crisis escalated late last month, triggering a snap general election on 25 January. Fears were also expressed that geopolitical tensions abroad will hit demand this year with little optimism that Europe or the Middle East will provide much new business growth.
However, respondents were more upbeat about UK economic prospects, which could finally feed through to workers’ pockets, and they predicted wages in their own companies would rise by an average of 2.9% in 2015, probably well ahead of inflation.
The general view seemed to be that “the UK economy is going in the right direction, but domestic politics is casting a big cloud”.
On behalf of a private family trust, Howard Jenkins has completed the valuation of four high quality new-build residential apartments.
The four two-bedroom apartments are to be purchased off-plan, each with on-site parking, and are located in the exciting New Islington neighbourhood which the City Council has identified as a key regeneration area to support the planned expansion of the City centre north & east over the next 10-15 years.
The valuation was undertaken in accordance with the RICS Valuation – Professional Standards, commonly known as the “Red Book”.
VisionDirect.co.uk has acquired a new UK central distribution warehouse and customer call-handling facility on Great North Way, York Business Park; Howard Jenkins acted for the Company throughout the acquisition process and is currently marketing their existing premises on Novus Business Park, York.
VisionDirect.co.uk, the largest online contact lens retailer in the UK and Ireland, has this year acquired a continental business serving consumers in the Netherlands & Spain cementing its position as the market leader in Europe. “This new facility significantly increases our capacity to accommodate our continued strong growth and enhances our ability to deliver a fantastic service to all our customers” says Michael Kraftman, CEO VisionDirect.co.uk.
The Company’s combined UK & European business is expected to generate revenues of over €30 million in 2014.
Acting on behalf of a national retail client, Howard Jenkins has acquired shop premises in Highgate, Kendal.
The double-fronted retail unit, which is situated within the town’s prime ‘pedestrian zone’, has a ground floor sales area of c.2,500 ft²; a new lease has been agreed off a quoting rent of £50,000 pa.
Growth in the Lloyds Bank Yorkshire & Humber Business Activity Index indicates the private sector economy in Yorkshire & Humberside further improved in June.
At 58.1 in June, up from 57.3 in May, the Index reflects robust growth in output and new business in the region’s manufacturing and service sectors, with increases in levels of employment for the thirteenth month in a row and job creation above the UK average for the fifth consecutive month; the expansion in new work has been the fastest seen since November 2013.
Howard Jenkins (acting jointly with ES Group) has agreed a sale of a mixed-use investment property in York City centre, off a guide price in excess of £3 Million.
The Grade II Listed Building in George Hudson Street totals c.33,000 ft², comprising four restaurant units and c.20,000 ft² of offices occupied for many years by The City of York Council. Forshaw Land & Property Group is proposing comprehensive refurbishment and conversion of the offices to student accommodation with associated facilities including shop, cycle store, manager’s office, communal lounge, gym and laundry; the scheme is expected to be ready by Summer 2015.
The Chancellor has delivered a Budget against a backdrop of encouraging economic data in which inflation fell last month to 1.7% and the Office for Budget Responsibility has raised its 2014 growth forecast to 2.7% (from 1.8%) reflecting the fact that the UK economy is growing faster than Germany, Japan and the US.
Some key points for property in the Budget include:
- Help to Buy equity loan scheme extended to 2020; support for building of more than 200,000 new homes; and a £150m fund to kick-start the regeneration of large housing estates via repayable loans in a bid to boost the housing supply.
- Review of the General Permitted Development Order, including consultation on greater flexibility for change of use to residential from warehousing & light industrial.
- The Government Property Unit’s Strategic Land and Property Review identifies £5bn of receipts from land and property to support growth and drive efficiency, a significant amount of which will be brownfield land; departments already committed to release £3.5bn of land and property.
- £140m extra for flood defence repairs and maintenance; £200m reserve for local authority bids to fix potholes.
- Business rate discounts and enhanced capital allowances in enterprise zones will be extended for a further three years ………
- ……. but no rating revaluation and full empty rates will continue to be charged.
- Measures to boost household incomes include raising personal tax allowances, a fuel duty freeze, alcohol duties cut, pensioner bonds and more flexible rules on taking money out of pensions.
The RICS has issued the 9th edition of its Guidance Note : Surveyors acting as Independent Experts in Commercial Property Rent Reviews, which will be relevant to all chartered surveyors involved in commercial property rent reviews, including their clients and solicitors.
Sir Kim Lewison (a Lord Justice of Appeal) observes in the Foreword that the Guidance Note describes the whole process from appointment to conclusion of the dispute, its advice being clear, practical and concise – it will be essential reading not only for appointed Experts but also anyone participating in an Expert determination.
More than 2,250 notifications are reported to have been submitted to Councils in England for conversions of offices to residential. This may have prompted the High Court challenge by a consortium of London Councils to the process of granting exemptions which has been rejected.
The temporary extension of permitted development rights introduced on 30 May 2013 had been estimated by the Government would promote 140 office-to-residential conversions per year for the whole Country however, developer notifications exceeding 2,250 in the first six months will be regarded by many as a measure of unprecedented success. Nevertheless, the scale of conversion is attracting some expressions of concern in the loss of available offices in a recovering economy, and the fact that these proposals will not be contributing to affordable housing or infrastructure.
The fact that one London Borough (Richmond) will exceed the Government’s national estimate, may explain the legal challenge to the process by which Council’s are required to apply for the grant of exemptions from the Government’s policy. Whilst the High Court expressed some reservations regarding the procedure, it decided that it was not so unfair as to be unlawful. In the light of the High Court decision, the Government will not apparently be required to review the permitted development rights legislation or the granting of exemptions.
Encouraging national economic data is reflected in positive news and a more optimistic outlook for the property market, particularly in Yorkshire.
This month, the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney argued that a recovery is gaining pace in the UK national economy, a view which seems to be supported by accountants BDO who have reported that business confidence has increased for the tenth consecutive month and suggest that the economic recovery will gather pace in the first half of 2014.
Indeed, the Centre for Economic Business Research (CEBR) now predicts that Britain will be Europe’s biggest economy, eclipsing that of Germany, by 2030.
The UK inflation rate has continued its downward trend with a further decline in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), having fallen from 2.7% in September to 2.2% in October, continuing down to 2.1% in November. Similarly, the unemployment rate also fell in November to 7.4%, the lowest rate since the February-to-April period in 2009, the number of people out of work having come down by 99,000 to 2.39 million.
A snapshot of positive news from the Yorkshire region includes:
- Leeds has climbed to seventh place in the national retail rankings, following the successful opening of the Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre (1 million ft²) by Land Securities earlier this year; Hammerson has received planning approval for its £130m Victoria Gate retail development, to be anchored by John Lewis (260,000 ft²); the opening of the new Leeds Arena has provided a further boost to the City.
- Leeds City Council has agreed the largest office pre-let (170,000 ft²) in the City centre in more than 20 years; other office acquisitions of note include Yorkshire Building Society (76,000 ft²), Jet 2 owner, Dart Group, (73,000 ft²) and KPMG (61,250 ft²); there is a perceived lack of Grade A office space available in the City centre which developers such as MEPC and Town Centre Securities are looking to address; out of town, Scarborough Developments received approval for a 1.6m ft² extension to its Thorpe Park business park set to create a further 13,000 jobs.
- In Bradford, construction is due to begin in January on the long-awaited £260m Broadway shopping centre development; the 570,000 ft² scheme will feature a 106,000 ft² Debenhams department store and a 63,000 ft² M&S as anchors; it is expected to open for the Christmas 2015 shopping period.
- In Hull, the 50-acre Bridgehead Business Park, said to be the most sustainable in the North of England, has officially opened; Kingston Parklands, a new £25m business park will be focussed on the renewable energy sector; and approval has this month been granted for Able UK’s proposed Marine Energy Park, a £450m renewable energy project on the south bank of the Humber, which will create 4,000 jobs and is hoped will help cement the region’s position as the “Energy Estuary”.
- York City Council is allocating £10 million to help kick-start development of York Central (the “teardrop” site), one of Europe’s largest city centre brownfield sites, and will agree a land swap with Network Rail in order to secure an access route into the site; the 27-acre former Terry’s chocolate factory site on Bishopthorpe Road has been purchased by Henry Boot Developments and David Wilson Homes who will be developing the commercial and residential components, respectively; expansion of the University of York continues apace on its Heslington East site; and the £90m Vangarde Retail Park at Monks Cross, anchored by John Lewis and M&S, is now being shop-fitted and expected to open in April 2014.
On behalf of a private pension scheme, Howard Jenkins has completed valuations of two industrial investment properties situated in Leeds and Spennymoor (County Durham).
The valuations were undertaken in accordance with the RICS Valuation – Professional Standards, commonly known as the “Red Book”, and the two modern, freehold properties are both well-let and represent attractive investment holdings.
A development opportunity within the heart of the City centre has been sold to York-based Northminster Ltd; the private vendor was represented throughout by Howard Jenkins.
The property, located between Piccadilly and Walmgate, extends to an overall area of 0.275 acre and offers development potential for residential, hotel, retail, office and/or leisure uses; it had originally been marketed at a guide price of £1 Million.
The next tranche of Government funding under the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is now available – this is for high quality private sector projects & programmes which will leverage private sector investment and create sustainable jobs .
Round 5 will provide £300 Million and applications are invited for £1 Million or more until noon on Monday 9 December 2013. Selected bidders will be announced in Spring 2014, and Round 5 funding is to be drawn down by 31 March 2017.
Acting on behalf of Countrywide Estate Agents, Howard Jenkins has agreed lease renewals on the Company’s branches in Harrogate, Ripon & Stokesley, and acquired premises for the opening of a new branch in Huddersfield.
Countrywide recently reported its strongest first half-year financial performance since 2007, representing a positive start to its return as a listed company. Its lettings division continues to progress, with properties under management up 24%, and positive momentum driven by market trends.
Leeds City Region LEP has secured a further £5.7 million from the Regional Growth Fund, which it is making available to SMEs who are planning to invest within the Region – this includes all of West Yorkshire plus Barnsley, Craven, Harrogate, Selby and York.
The additional funding is on top of the £20 million with which the LEP originally launched its Business Growth Programme, providing grants of between £10,000 and £1 million for the creation of new jobs and business growth.
The fund can meet up to 20 per cent of the total cost of capital investment in land, buildings, plant, machinery and equipment, or towards research and development projects.
A pilot scheme encouraging local councils to work with central Government and other public sector organisations to share buildings and re-use or release surplus property has been launched – in Yorkshire, this includes the cities of Hull, Leeds and Sheffield.
The ‘One Public Estate’ scheme will stimulate growth and encourage redevelopment. It is being run by The Government Property Unit in Cabinet Office working with the Local Government Association (LGA), and will examine issues within geographic areas rather than departmental structures, making use of local knowledge. It will promote sharing buildings or selectively selling land to encourage regeneration and growth, local development and business.
Chloë Smith, the parliamentary secretary for the Cabinet Office commented “In central government, we’re working hard to ensure the taxpayer does not have to pay for empty buildings. Already, we’ve raised over £1 billion nationally by getting departments to work together and use their property more efficiently. It’s great to see local authorities making such good progress, by thinking in new ways about property issues.”
The pilot areas will include:
•Cheshire West and Chester
The High Court has ruled in an appeal that the siting of a Bluetooth transmitter broadcasting marketing messages from an otherwise vacant warehouse constituted rateable occupation, sufficient to trigger the six-month exemption from non-domestic rates when the use came to an end.
The case of Sunderland City Council v Stirling Investment Properties LLP  related to a 16,000 ft² (1,500 m²) warehouse let to Complete Mobile Marketing under a 43-day tenancy agreement. The tenant installed a Wi-Fi transmitter, measuring approximately 4x4x2 inches (100x100x50 mm), to send marketing and advertising texts to mobile phones on behalf of clients.
Although the Court acknowledged that the rent paid was nominal, it considered that the outgoings borne by the tenant were not (namely the payment of rates), which reflected the value of its occupation of the premises. The Court also concluded that the intended use, although small in terms of the space occupied, nevertheless constituted actual occupation.
This decision is consistent with the High Court’s ruling last year that the storage of 16 pallets of documents by Makro Cash & Carry in a warehouse of 140,000 ft² (13,000 m²) was also sufficient to trigger the six-month exemption from rates, once the period of occupation had exceeded 42 days.
A series of cases relating to similar Wi-Fi marketing use of premises by the Public Safety Charitable Trust were concerned with a slightly different issue, namely whether there had been sufficient occupation to qualify for the 80% charitable relief on non–domestic rates. To be eligible, one must prove that premises are used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes which, in these instances, the Court found that the Trust had failed to do.
The Government’s proposals include the opportunity for a change of use of office buildings to residential without the need for planning permission.
Ability to do this requires the office use to have commenced before 30 May 2013, and the residential use to have begun before 30 May 2016; prior approval of the local planning authority is also required in respect of transport & highways impact and contamination & flooding risks on the site.
There will also be flexibility in use of premises of upto 150 m² between Classes A1, A2, A3 and/or B1 (from a use within Classes A1-A5, B1, D1 and/or D2) for a single continuous period of up to two years, and an opportunity to change the use of agricultural buildings of up to 500 m² to Classes A1, A2, A3, B1, B8, C1 (hotel) and/or D2 (assembly & leisure).
The opportunities presented by these particular planning changes are not available in respect of Listed Buildings and/or scheduled monuments.
The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013 is due to come into force on 30 May 2013, and amends The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, as amended; these changes only apply to England and are subject to detailed conditions .
On behalf of BT, Telereal Trillium has appointed Howard Jenkins to act on the Company’s behalf in respect of a review of the ground rent payable on its Telephone Engineering Centre in Seacroft, Leeds.
The site extends to approximately 3.5 acres (1.42 hectares) and forms part of the industrial ground rent portfolio sold by Leeds City Council some years ago to Trinity College, Cambridge.
The RICS has issued the 9th edition of its Guidance Note : Surveyors acting as Arbitrators in Commercial Property Rent Reviews, which will be relevant to all chartered surveyors involved in commercial property rent reviews, including their clients and solicitors.
The guidance note is based upon the law and practice relating to arbitrations in England, Wales & Northen Ireland, which are governed by the Arbitration Act, 1996.
North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has received compensation of over £1 Million for land required in widening the North Circular Road in London, negotiated on its behalf by Howard Jenkins.
Under the original Compulsory Purchase Order, Transport for London proposed compensation of £385,000 based on industrial land values. On behalf of NLWA, Howard Jenkins commissioned planning consultants to apply, successfully, to the London Borough of Enfield for the grant of a Section 17 Certificate confirming that planning permission would have been granted for retail development. As a result, Howard Jenkins was able to negotiate an improved payment of £1,155,000. Transfer of the land and payment of compensation has now been completed, although had been delayed due to legal problems in title.