Every year since 1990, the Pantone Colour Institute has nominated a Colour of the Year, forecasting which specific hue designers and consumers will all supposedly be using, wearing, and buying for the following 12 months. Pantone has recently announced that the 2015 Colour of the Year is Marsala. Pantone described the colour as “a naturally robust and earthy wine red.”
The government has announced that councils will no longer be applying Section 106 charges on smaller residential building schemes. This means it will now be cheaper and easier to build new properties or bring disused buildings back into use.
S106 agreements or ‘developer contributions’ have been traditionally imposed by councils when dealing with schemes for new development. The charges can vary significantly and are usually used to make a development proposal that would otherwise have been rejected acceptable in planning terms. For example, you may be asked to pay some money to provide infrastructure or affordable housing.
This is good news for small developers and self-builders as, in the government’s own words, the changes will ‘ensure any builder helping to turn someone’s dream home into a reality … doesn’t get lumbered with Section 106 charges’.
Small sites - specifically those with ten homes or fewer - will not be expected to stump up the charges. The government also confirmed that in very rural areas, sites of five homes or fewer should not face the charge.
Speak to your local authority today for guidance on what they are doing with their Section 106 charges and obligations.
Did you know permitted development rules relating to extensions have been relaxed for a three-year period? The rule relaxation started on 30 May 2013 and ends on 30 May 2016. The change means you can carry out certain building works without having to make a planning application.
The permitted development rights allowing development to be retained permanently, as long as that change is completed by 30 May 2016, are:
the size limits for householder single-storey rear extensions are increased from 4m to 8m for detached houses and from 3m to 6m for all other types of houses. The new larger extensions are subject to a neighbour consultation scheme
the size limits for extensions to shops and professional/financial services establishments are increased to 100m2, or half of the original floor space, whichever is smaller. Extensions are allowed right up to the boundary of the property, unless it is a boundary with a residential property where a 2m gap will be retained
the size limits for extensions to offices are increased to 100m2, or half of the original floor space, whichever is smaller
the size limits for new industrial buildings within the curtilage of existing industrial premises are increased to 200m2
offices can be converted to residential without the need for a planning application.
Note that some types of minor changes to a house can already be made without needing to apply for planning permission, although there are some 'designated areas' where permitted development rights are more restricted. These include conservation areas, national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty and the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads.