In-house Legal Bulletin - January 2017

Prop-tech Predictions: the circular economy, big data and the internet of (every)thing

The real estate industry progresses at a slower pace than most because of how heavily the sector is anchored to the ground by "immovable" real-life buildings (as the French would say "immobilier").

It can be prohibitively expensive to "retro-fit" existing buildings with modernised technology and design features, and when new developments take place, many years can pass between inception of the concept, acquisition of the site, design and construction of a scheme, and the final realisation of the project.

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The Vacant Building Credit Lottery

In May 2016 the Vacant Building Credit ("VBC") was reintroduced via the National Planning Policy Guidance ("NPPG"). VBC applies to any building that has not been abandoned that is brought back into any lawful use, or is demolished to be replaced by a new building. VBC is equivalent to the existing gross floor space of relevant vacant buildings when the local planning authority ("LPA") calculates affordable housing contributions - VBC has the effect of reducing the amount of affordable housing ordinarily required.

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Legal community gives guidance on The Vacant Building Credit Lottery the implication of Brexit for disputes

The Law Society, the SRA and the Bar Council have submitted responses to the Justice Committee's ongoing inquiry into the implications of Brexit for the justice system.

With the High Court's landmark ruling on the need for a Parliamentary vote to trigger Article 50, that decision's appeal to the Supreme Court and the simultaneous vote by the House of Commons to back the Government's Brexit timetable, the legal discussions around Brexit are progressing at great speed.

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