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INDUSTRY NEWS 7


Tower Hamlets Mayor: “The rest of London needs to pull its weight”


Almost 400 residents attended two Ask the Mayor events about planning and develop- ment on the Isle of Dogs and South Poplar between February and March, at which the Tower Hamlets Mayor implored the City of London to “pull its weight.” The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John


Biggs, organised the events to ensure residents could tell representatives from the Greater London Authority (GLA), the Council’s planning team and the Neighbourhood Forum, about their views of growth and development in those areas, as the organisations develop housing and commercial plans. Mayor Biggs supported the views of


residents and called for the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to listen to residents’ views about development in their neigh- bourhoods. He said: “With the scale of development that is happening in the Isle of Dogs, we must do all we can to ensure that new infrastructure supports our exist- ing and new communities.” “That means,” he continued, “that


developments should support accessible green space, prioritise genuinely affordable housing that meets local needs, and deliver infrastructure like schools and GP surgeries.” The Mayor commented that there are


“clearly concerns” about the scale of the housing planned for the area, saying the City of London “needs to understand that the island can only take so much growth, and the rest of London needs to do more to pull its weight.” In a question and answer session,


residents raised concerns about the impact of future development and challenged GLA housing targets for Tower Hamlets. They also welcomed the Neighbourhood Forum’s video, which summarised the opportunities and challenges of population growth on the island. The GLA and Transport for London are


working together to prepare an Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) for the Isle of Dogs & South Poplar in consultation with Tower Hamlets Council.


CMA to review NHBC undertakings


The Competition and Market Authority (CMA) is to review long-standing undertak- ings relating to the National House Building Council (NHBC) on whether its rules restricted competition. The undertakings were given in 1995,


following an investigation by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC), which found that some NHBC rules restricted competition from other warranty schemes, following which NHBC amended its rules to remove restrictions. NHBC has now requested that the CMA


review the undertakings. It has argued that there is now more competition from other providers and that housebuilders purchas- ing new homes and structural warranties have greater choice than before. The company also said that changes to regula- tion and consumer protection have removed the need for it to approve other home warranty schemes used by the NHBC’s registered builders, which it is currently required to do.


Events & awards


2017


Materials 25 – 26 April, London www.materials2017.co.uk


UK Housing Awards 26 April, London ukha.secure-platform.com


RESI Awards 10 May, London www.resiawards.com


CIH South West Conference 10 – 11 May, Bristol www.cih.org/events


Social Housing Finance Conference 11 May, London www.socialhousing.co.uk/events


FIT Show 23 – 25 May, Birmingham www.fitshow.co.uk


Crest told to pay £1.3m tax


A tax tribunal has ruled against a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) avoidance scheme used by Crest Nicholson, meaning it will have to pay the £1.3m in owed taxes. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)


challenged the artificial and complex arrangements made by the FTSE 250 listed company to avoid paying SDLT on three purchases of development land near Rochester in Kent, for a total of £32m. The avoidance scheme tried to use the


transfer of property between two sub- companies to avoid SDLT. It is believed that the First-tier tribunal decision is likely to have an impact on more than 700 other cases, potentially covering £65m of tax revenue. Crest Nicholson argued that HMRC


didn’t have a legal right to make assess- ments of the tax due because it was out of time to do so, and that it had not carried out its assessments properly. The judge disagreed with these


arguments and found HMRC had acted correctly throughout.


Housing Excellence Awards 25 May, Manchester awards.housingexcellence.co.uk


Plantworx 6 – 8 June, Leicestershire www.plantworx.co.uk


CIH Housing 27 – 29 June, Manchester www.cihhousing.com


Housing Design Awards 10 July, London www.hdawards.org


National Housing Awards 7 September, London www.nationalhousingawards.co.uk


RESI Conference 13 – 15 September, Newport www.resiconf.com


NHF Annual Conference & Housing Exhibition 19 – 20 September, Birmingham annual.housing.org.uk


UK Construction Week 10 – 12 October, Birmingham www.ukconstructionweek.com


WWW.HBDONLINE.CO.UK


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