As we step into Autumn there have been some interesting events and legislative changes in the affordable world. With sustainability being a key issue in most industries, we have launched a report with Cornwall Insight on this topic bringing together experts in green finance to comment on the significant changes taking place in the various sectors.
Also featured in this month’s update are some interesting articles on scaling up self-build, custom housebuilding and the First Homes initiative created by the government. Alongside this we've included the webinar we hosted with James Read of Legal & General on the role that modular construction can play in creating sustainable developments.
If you have any concerns about any of the developments outlined in this update, or if you require any advice on the effect of the developments or on how to respond appropriately, please contact Sarah Hale.
A round-up of the recent legal developments affecting the affordable housing sector.
- Events and webinars
- Planning and environment
- Data, privacy and cyber security
- Health and safety
- Human rights
Are you ready for the Pensions Regulator's new combined code? TLT Webinar | 7 October 2021
Join our Pensions team for a live webinar where they will walk you through the key points of the combined code in bite sized chunks.
COP 26: How is the drive for net zero impacting landlord and tenant relationships? TLT Podcast | 21 September 2021
We’ve teamed up with Place North West for the latest episode in their COP26 podcast series where legal director Joseph Meredith talks about how the drive to net zero is impacting landlord and tenant relationships.
The Future of Modular Construction TLT Webinar | 15 September 2021
TLT webinar hosted by Sarah Hale with James Read from Legal & General Modular Homes.
Securing the UK's role as a green financial hub TLT Webinar | 14 September 2021
Marking the launch of a new report from Cornwall Insight and TLT, this webinar will bring together experts in greening finance and financing green to discuss the significant changes taking place in both the energy and financial sectors.
New expert group created to advise on improvements to social housing sector Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government | 9 August 2021
Experts from across the housing sector have been brought together to form a new expert panel to advise the government on the delivery of the social housing white paper.
Research Briefing: Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill 2021-22 House of Commons Library | 6 August 2021
This briefing paper outlines the main provisions of the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill 2021-22 and the key issues raised during consideration in the House of Lords to date.
Church of England look to build more affordable homes on church land BBC News | 31 July 2021
As England's first Bishop for Housing, Bishop of Chelmsford, Guli Francis-Dehqani is spearheading efforts to build affordable homes on church land and campaigning for long-term solutions to what Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby believes is one of the biggest crises facing the country.
Peabody and Catalyst propose to merge to create 100,000 home group Peabody | 30 July 2021
The boards of Peabody and Catalyst believe that there are significant benefits in joining together. They are launching consultations with residents to seek their views on this and if the proposals go ahead Catalyst will join Peabody as a subsidiary in spring 2022.
£1.3m package supports new housing project Insider Media | 29 July 2021
A Cannock-based housing developer is expanding its footprint in the region with a new development of more than 50 properties thanks to a £1.3m package. The first phase of the project, including 28 affordable houses aimed predominantly at first-time buyers, has completed this year, with the first buyers moving in in April.
TLT advises One Housing Group on major affordable housing project TLT News | 2 August 2021
TLT has advised One Housing Group, a member of the G15 housing associations, on the purchase of 60 homes as part of its ambitious plan to buy up to 200 new homes within Greenwich Millennium Village, a major sustainable development in Greenwich, London.
The Environment Agency is consulting on reforming water abstraction charges Environment Agency | 18 August 2021
The Environment Agency (EA) has published a consultation on its proposed changes to the way licence holders are charged to abstract water in England. The EA proposes the new charges will be based on:
- The volume of water taken from the environment.
- Where the water is taken from.
- How much of that water is returned to the environment.
Government launches review of architects regulation Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government | 16 August 2021
Launching a call for evidence on 16 August 2021, Housing Minister Christopher Pincher urged those working across the architectural and built environment professions to share their views and contribute towards a better future for the industry.
Reform of the national infrastructure planning process TLT insights | 13 August 2021
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is seeking views on the nationally significant infrastructure planning (NSIP) process. The intention of the consultation is to hear from all those who engage in the NSIP process on what they view as the main issues affecting the current regime, including any suggestions on how to make the process more efficient.
CE marking guidance for construction products updated Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government | 24 August 2021
The government has revised its construction product guidance to reflect the fact that the CE marking of construction products in Great Britain will no longer be recognised after 1 January 2023.
Independent review into scaling up self-build and custom housebuilding: report Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government | 21 August 2021
In the review’s report Richard Bacon MP makes recommendations to government on how to support growth in all parts of the custom and self-build market, helping to boost capacity and overall housing supply in our housing market.
Flagship first-time buyers scheme now open for bids from house builders Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government | 11 August 2021
Home builders across England invited to bid for their share of a £150 million package by offering plots for sale as First Homes.
Supreme Court gives clarity on liquidated damages clause TLT Insights | 3 August 2021
In Triple Point Technology, Inc v PTT Public Company Ltd  UKSC 29 the Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal to hold that liquidated damages for delay accrue from the due date for performance to the date the contract is terminated. The case addresses important issues regarding the application of liquidated damages.
Exclusion clause fails the UCTA reasonableness test TLT Insights | 3 August 2021
In Phoenix Interior Design Ltd v Henley Homes plc and another  EWHC 1573 (QB) Henley Homes, a property development company, commissioned Phoenix Interior Design Ltd to design and furnish its Dunalastair Hotel in Scotland. An exclusion clause in a supplier’s standard terms failed to satisfy the requirement of reasonableness under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 (UCTA). The case is a useful reminder of the application of the reasonableness test under UCTA. It highlights the importance of ensuring that the terms are incorporated but also that exclusions are clearly signposted.
Data, privacy and cyber security
ICO call for views on employment practices Information Commissioner’s Office | 12 August 2021
The Information Commissioner is calling for views on data protection and employment practices to help us shape our upcoming guidance products. This consultation closes on 21 October 2021.
ICO guidance on direct marketing and the public sector Information Commissioner Office | 4 August 2021
The Information Commissioner’s Office has published a new resource to help public sector organisations understand when the direct marketing rules will apply to their messages.
Discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 TLT insights | 29 July 2021
The Supreme Court has recently confirmed which party has the burden of proving discrimination under the Equality Act 2010, in the case of Efobi v Royal Mail Group Limited.
Government publishes National Disability Strategy Department for Work and Pensions | 28 July 2021
This strategy sets out the actions the government will take to improve the everyday lives of all disabled people.
Applications for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund are now open Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy | 23 August 2021
Local authorities and housing associations across England will have the chance to secure a share in a £160 million cash injection through the government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, set to enhance the country’s energy efficiency of socially rented homes.
Government consults on extending Warm Home Discount to 2026 Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy | 28 June 2021
The consultation proposes to expand and reform the scheme in England and Wales until 2026, in line with the commitments announced in the Energy White Paper in 2020.
New EWS1 consumer guidance on building safety and cladding Law Society | 10 August 2021
The Law Society has launched new guidance to help home buyers and sellers to understand building safety and cladding issues.
New planning requirements on fire safety come into force Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government | 2 August 2021
The new requirements, known as planning gateway one, will ensure that high-rise developments consider fire safety at the earliest stages of planning.
Domestic Abuse Act statutory guidance Home Office | 3 August 2021
On 29 April the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 received Royal Assent. This consultation seeks views on draft domestic abuse statutory guidance which will support the implementation of the definition of domestic abuse at sections 1 to 3 of the Domestic Abuse Act.
The end of ‘no fault’ section 21 evictions House of Commons | 30 July 2021
The Government has committed to abolish 'no-fault' section 21 evictions in the private rented sector. A Renters' Reform Bill was promised in the 2019 Queen's Speech to achieve this. This paper explains the use of section 21 and reactions to its proposed abolition.
Bid to take part in the First Homes early delivery programme 2021 to 2023 | Homes England | 12 August 2021
In advance of delivery through the planning system, this procurement is for a First Homes Early delivery programme for 2021 to 2023 that will deliver an estimated 1,500 First Homes for sale in England (excluding London), with the first purchaser legal completions anticipated from the end of 2021. Interested providers can submit applications on the Investment Management System until 13 September 2021.
Concerns raised with Government about commissioning public services House of Lords Public Services Committee | 30 July 2021
The Committee remains concerned that the Government’s proposals prioritise competition to the detriment of collaboration among providers of public services, give insufficient recognition to the important role played by the voluntary sector, fail to promote expertise in commissioning and do not align with the Health and Social Care Bill.
Auditors criticise Bristol Council for oversight of £28m affordable housing scheme Bristol Post | 28 July 2021
Council auditors found there was “insufficient oversight” of the administration of the grant funding, according to a report presented to councillors.