Independent Property
NEWS & VIEWS

Reporting daily on the Thames Valley property market 

Reporting daily from the Thames Valley        tvproperty.co.uk

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Expert views

Leading Thames Valley professionals offer insights and opinions on the region's current property market

  1. No kneejerk reaction to South Oxfordshire plan
    17 May, 2019
    No kneejerk reaction to South Oxfordshire plan
    Rob Allaway, managing director of DevComms, assesses the new political landscape in South Oxfordshire and its impact on the Local Plan. The new Liberal Democrat led administration at South Oxfordshire District Council has given an indication of its initial priorities. The Conservatives lost control of the Council on May 3, leaving it in no overall control and with seats spread across six different political groups. At the full council meeting on May 16, the council voted for a new leader –
  2. How Grazeley garden town may grow
    17 May, 2019
    How Grazeley garden town may grow
    Partner Karen Jones, head of Blandy & Blandy LLP’s planning & environmental law team, looks behind the issue of a possible major development at Grazeley, which, along with other areas, has been awarded Government funding to develop plans to become a garden town.  Government funding The government recently announced £3.7 million of funding to help five areas in England further develop their plans to become a garden town, one of which is in the local Thames Valley region. The Ministry of
  3. Wise words: 'Thames Valley is in good shape'
    16 May, 2019
    Wise words: 'Thames Valley is in good shape'
    One of the key changes Keith Wise has seen in the office market over almost 30 years in the Thames Valley has been a shift in the approach of occupiers. Mr Wise, director at consultant Campbell Gordon, has been helping shape the market in Reading and the Thames Valley over that period and won recognition for his efforts when he was named winner of the Outstanding Contribution award at the Thames Valley Property Awards on May 2. Thames Tap dropped into the refurbished offices at Reading Bridge
  4. Do tech advancements spell the death of the office?
    14 May, 2019
    Do tech advancements spell the death of the office?
    Amid the increasing speed of change in the way people work, David Thomas, partner at property adviser and Thames Tap partner Vail Williams LLP, asks if a revolution is coming - or if it is simply the beginning of the end for the office as we know it. If office design, technology and developments in work culture are anything to go by, it wouldn’t be impossible to imagine an office-less world in the future. For the time being, however, businesses should get to grips with how technology and
  5. Why a phased approach to the property acquisition process pays
    09 May, 2019
    Why a phased approach to the property acquisition process pays
    Carole Taylor, partner at property advisers, Vail Williams, offers a 10-stage process for acquiring new premises, with some helpful tips to ensure a smooth process along the way.  The prospect of expanding or relocating into a new property can be daunting, but if planned effectively, and with the right advice, there’s no reason why it can’t prove to be a straightforward process.  But what should you expect when leasing or buying a new property – whether office, industrial or otherwise? Stage
  6. HMRC figures reveal positive signs in the residential market
    08 May, 2019
    HMRC figures reveal positive signs in the residential market
    Blandy & Blandy partner Jane Gunnell, head of the law firm’s commercial property team, looks at what HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC) latest figures tell us about the residential property market and considers the Government's reported income from stamp duty land tax (SDLT) and capital gains tax (CGT). Market Activity Figures published by HMRC on April 24, 2019 showed that the number of residential properties being bought and sold in the UK rose by 1.4 per cent in March against February and that
  7. Elections 2019: Conservatives severely weakened across the Thames Valley
    07 May, 2019
    Elections 2019: Conservatives severely weakened across the Thames Valley
    Rob Allaway, managing director of DevComms, weighs up the Thames Valley's winners and losers at the local elections and considers the impact on Local Plans and development. Brexit was a major factor nationally in the local election results and the Thames Valley was no exception. The Liberal Democrats and independents made gains across Oxfordshire and Berkshire at the expense of the Conservatives, who lost 103 seats across the two counties. However, it would appear that more localised issues
  8. Section 21 update from Blandy & Blandy
    30 Apr, 2019
    Section 21 update from Blandy & Blandy
    Jessica Irwin and Lyssa Reeve, in Blandy & Blandy LLP’s dispute resolution team, discuss the Government's surprise announcement that it intends to repeal Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, putting an end to Section 21 notices. Currently, under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, a landlord is permitted to bring an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) to an end by serving a tenant with two month’s written notice (known as a Section 21 notice) and then obtaining a possession order from the courts. A
  9. M&A property due diligence: it pays to do your homework
    09 Apr, 2019
    M&A property due diligence: it pays to do your homework
    Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are among the most significant activities that will take place in a business, typically to support future growth and business aspirations. They can take several forms – from a full business merger to the purchase of a specific asset or stock. In almost every M&A transaction, a purchaser will acquire an interest, whether freehold or leasehold, in at least one property asset. However, such assets are unlikely to be the driving force behind the M&A activity. If they
  10. How smart are our new motorways?
    08 Apr, 2019
    How smart are our new motorways?
    The smart motorway concept is much in evidence in the Thames Valley right now. Beth Wilson, senior consultant at transport planners and engineers, SYSTRA, based in Reading, weighs up the increasing arguments around their effects. In a world where technology is becoming more intelligent than us, with the likes of smartphones, smart TVs and even smart toothbrushes, just how ‘smart’ are smart motorways? Data obtained by Highways England suggests that congestion on our motorways and major road
  11. The new Blandys website - and the thinking behind it
    02 Apr, 2019
    The new Blandys website - and the thinking behind it
    When law firm Blandy & Blandy LLP told us about its new website, we asked its chairman, Brenda Long, to explain how a 285-year-old practice continues to adapt and evolve in the digital world. Twenty years on from the era when websites were little more than sales brochures or online ‘signposts’, Blandy & Blandy says its own has become one of its principal means of taking new instructions from clients. The Reading-based law firm and member of our UK Prop Social networking division, was
  12. How Slough spread the word at MIPIM
    29 Mar, 2019
    How Slough spread the word at MIPIM
    After attending MIPIM Cannes for the previous two years, Slough Borough Council was at the 2019 event, seeking to build on the progress made so far. Service lead for economic development, Shabnam Ali, explains how the borough approached it, some of the contacts that were made and where the team goes from here. Slough’s decision to attend this year was based on building on the work we have done in promoting the borough at MIPIM over the previous two years as well as actually seeking investors
  13. Vacant commercial space could provide 800 homes in Berkshire
    19 Mar, 2019
    Vacant commercial space could provide 800 homes in Berkshire
    Almost 800 homes could be created in Berkshire by converting vacant commercial space, according to planning consultancy and Thames Tap partner, Turley. Turley calculates that if just half the vacant commercial space in the county was converted to residential, 779 homes could be delivered. If, in those developments, an additional floor could be added, the number doubles to 1,558.  The figures were derived from research carried out by Turley for its latest report, Making Sense of Mixed-Use Town
  14. The role of data in commercial property rents
    08 Mar, 2019
    The role of data in commercial property rents
    Most occupiers of commercial property will at some point need to work out what the market rent of their property is, either for a rent review or a renewal of their lease. Adam Schofield, associate at property consultants, Vail Williams, explains the increasingly important role of data in commercial property rents. It’s easy to work out the rental value on a property when you move in, as it has been on the open market, but what if it has been a few years? How do you go about working out the
  15. Oxfordshire 2050: Visionary or Vaporous?
    04 Mar, 2019
    Oxfordshire 2050: Visionary or Vaporous?
    Barton Willmore experts weigh up the issues around the Oxfordshire Plan 2050. There may be a long way to go but is now the time to seize the opportunity? Set to establish ambitious objectives for housing and economic growth for the region over the next 30 years, preparation of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 (previously known as the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan) will be challenging.  Endorsed at the Oxfordshire Growth Board meeting last month, the publication of an issues and options paper
  16. Is it time to KonMari your office?
    19 Feb, 2019
    Is it time to KonMari your office?
    David Thomas, partner at property consultants and Thames Tap partner, Vail Williams LLP, discusses the merits of KonMari’ing your office space. As the Marie Kondo decluttering trend continues to gain momentum, our occupier advisory team offers its thoughts on how an adaption of these principles can make your office environment more cost efficient and less cluttered, whilst inspiring creativity, reducing stress and, ultimately, creating a more productive workforce. If you are yet to experience
  17. Oxfordshire Vision 2050 under the spotlight
    13 Feb, 2019
    Oxfordshire Vision 2050 under the spotlight
    Members of the family of Lichfields senior director Daniel Lampard are in for a treat during the Spring half term break, as he explains. This month I shall use the half term holiday to take my children to a roadshow on the Oxfordshire Plan 2050.  Whilst they may not appreciate it (in both senses of the word) as current, and I hope future, residents of Oxfordshire, they have as much an interest as I do in the development of the county over the next 30 years.  They will also be more at home
  18. Could Brexit allow occupiers to challenge business rate liabilities?
    06 Feb, 2019
    Could Brexit allow occupiers to challenge business rate liabilities?
    As uncertainty around the Brexit ‘deal’ continues, could it represent an opportunity for businesses to challenge their rateable values? Nigel Katseph, associate and business rates adviser at City-based property consultants, Vail Williams LLP, discusses. The future of Brexit remains uncertain, as Government continues its attempt to resolve the Irish backstop issue. If the Government fails to get cross party agreement to adopt Theresa May’s ‘deal’ by March 29, will we simply crash out with no
  19. Reading’s regional magnetism
    18 Jan, 2019
    Reading’s regional magnetism
    David Thomas, Partner at Thames Valley-based property consultancy, Vail Williams LLP, looks at the growing popularity of Reading town centre, both for employers and employees. If you think of mass urbanisation, you may hark back to geography lessons at school and your mind may conjure up examples of the rapidly developing cities and economies of, say, Beijing, Delhi or Mexico City. Yet something equally significant is happening right here in the Thames Valley, specifically around Reading.
  20. Forfeiture: the right of re-entry
    18 Jan, 2019
    Forfeiture: the right of re-entry
    Forfeiture or the “right of re-entry” is a landlord’s right to end a lease in the event of a breach by the tenant. Gemma Tolmie, Senior Associate - Commercial Litigation at BrookStreet des Roches provides an overview of how and when the right arises in commercial leases, the procedure to be followed, relief available to the tenant and what the landlord can do following forfeiture. When can a landlord forfeit the lease? A landlord can only forfeit a lease if it contains a forfeiture clause.