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. I can hardly contain(er) myself: DesBox creative development in High Wycombe
    10 Oct, 2018
    I can hardly contain(er) myself: DesBox creative development in High Wycombe
    As work gets under way on a box park development in High Wycombe, Ben Henderson and James Nelson of the Real Estate and Development team at Blaser Mills Law look forward to the impact it could have on the town centre’s regeneration. With a decline of its traditional high street, High Wycombe has been striving for new ways to invoke some spirit and identity into the local area. Now Docklands-based Container City has begun work to create an exciting new space in the town centre, combining
  2. Community Infrastructure Levy: 10 things to remember
    02 Oct, 2018
    Community Infrastructure Levy: 10 things to remember
    Simon Dimmick, partner in Blandy & Blandy’s planning & environmental law team, explains 10 important points to remember when it comes to Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). 1.     Submit the additional information form with any planning application – our experience is some local planning authorities will not validate the application without it. 2.     Apply for any exemptions/reliefs in good time – the charging/collecting authority needs to make a decision on whether or not they will grant
  3. Microsoft site sale 'proves the value of Thames Valley Park'
    01 Oct, 2018
    Microsoft site sale 'proves the value of Thames Valley Park'
    The sale of the Microsoft campus has been described as an illustration of the value of Thames Valley Park. Costar News has reported that London-based real estate investment manager, Valesco Group, along with AIP Asset Management, headquartered in Seoul, have exchanged contracts to buy the IT giant’s 246, 138 sq ft UK HQ campus for £100m. The investment in the three buildings is backed by a consortium of South Korean institutional investors. Charlie Nicholson, partner at Vail Williams which is
  4. Short term occupation: lease, licence or tenancy at will?
    28 Sep, 2018
    Short term occupation: lease, licence or tenancy at will?
    Rebecca Thomas, legal practice director at BrookStreet des Roches, explains the risks involved where leases are not formally documented.​ Owners of commercial property often want to allow someone into occupation without the time and expense of negotiating a lease. There is a tendency in these situations to just allow the occupation on an informal basis, not involving lawyers or thinking too much about the nature of the occupation. This is fine while the parties all agree on what they are
  5. 'Joined up thinking needed' over Oxford to Cambridge Expressway
    20 Sep, 2018
    'Joined up thinking needed' over Oxford to Cambridge Expressway
    Following the announcement of the Government’s choice of ‘Route B’ for the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, we asked some of our sponsors and partners for their thoughts on it. The issues, it seems, go much deeper than the recent announcement. Planner Tim Burden says the Government’s choice of route for the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway has revealed a clash between local and strategic decision-making. Roads minister Jesse Norman announced on September 12, the choice of ‘Route B’, the central
  6. Public realm is key to the future of town centres
    05 Sep, 2018
    Public realm is key to the future of town centres
    Quality public realm is going to be essential to the future success of town centres. Matthew Hopkinson, co-founder of data analyst business Didobi, who has published reports on the future of the high street, will speak at the Thames Valley Property Festival on September 13. Speaking to Thames Tap ahead of the conference, he said he believes the desire for eating, drinking and interacting will make the quality of environment more important to the new users of town centres.  Shop units will need
  7. The differences and similarities between planning solicitors and planning consultants
    31 Aug, 2018
    The differences and similarities between planning solicitors and planning consultants
    Karen Jones, partner in the planning & environmental law team at Blandy & Blandy, explains the differences between planning solicitors - or lawyers - and planning consultants. One of the most frequent questions I am asked as a planning lawyer is - What do you do? There is often a perception of overlap between planning consultants and planning lawyers but if you have the right professionals advising that should not be the case. As a legal associate of the Royal Town Planning Association I
  8. Dilapidations and how (and when) to prepare
    28 Aug, 2018
    Dilapidations and how (and when) to prepare
    Vail Williams Partner, David Castle, explains the importance of occupiers making provision for dilapidations long before their lease comes to an end. It’s easy to put off thinking about issues that may arise from breaches of lease covenants relating to the condition of your property, but it’s important for businesses to ensure they’re one step ahead from the outset. The best way to avoid major cost implications when it’s time to exit the property is by having a clear understanding of your
  9. The co-working conundrum
    31 Jul, 2018
    The co-working conundrum
    Vail Williams partner, David Thomas, weighs up the pros and cons of co-working spaces for occupiers.    At a recent seminar the hosts posed the question of whether the office was dead, with the conclusion in part, that ‘it wasn’t dead but just smells a bit funny’. If you follow the press documenting the gargantuan expansion and growth of co-working spaces, not only in London but across the UK, you may jump to the conclusion that traditional office space may have had its day. With the
  10. Heathrow expansion - MPs' vote offers a commercial take-off
    06 Jul, 2018
    Heathrow expansion - MPs' vote offers a commercial take-off
    Buckinghamshire law firm Blaser Mills Law sets out the progress of the third runway at Heathrow Airport from the commitment given by the Government almost a decade ago to the future the expansion offers the region. “Check in” – a look back on events leading to the crucial vote​ In 2009, the incumbent transport secretary Geoff Hoon declared that the cabinet at the time supported the notion of a third runway to be built at Heathrow Airport. On June 5, 2018, almost 10 years later, the transport
  11. Heathrow expansion: 'Great - now please get on with it'
    11 Jun, 2018
    Heathrow expansion: 'Great - now please get on with it'
    ‘Just do it’ was the resounding response from Thames Tap’s Voices of the Valley when we asked their thoughts on Heathrow expansion – and some had a little more to say. A mix of positivity and exasperation was evident when we asked our panel for their views on the long-awaited third runway which came a step closer when transport secretary Chris Grayling set out the Government’s final proposal for an Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) on June 5. A vote will take place in Parliament within
  12. 'Technology must serve the industry's future'
    21 May, 2018
    'Technology must serve the industry's future'
    UK Property Forums researcher Andrew Gibson reports from the FT Future of Construction summit at One Great George Street in London on Wednesday, May 16. Technology has been at the forefront of discussion when looking beyond the horizon in any industry - and construction is no different. But is it all hot air? A recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute found the construction sector to be one of the least digitised global industries.  While there has been great progress in the development
  13. 'We have changed people's perceptions of Basingstoke'
    14 May, 2018
    'We have changed people's perceptions of Basingstoke'
    Thames Tap spoke to two of the leading figures behind the multi-billion pound regeneration of Basingstoke; Cllr John Izett, former managing director of Rogers Chapman at the time it was sold to JLL, and Victor Nicholls, former deputy chief executive of Bracknell Forest Council. Both public and private investment is flowing into Basingstoke and the councillor overseeing the town’s regeneration has no doubts why. A combination of an 8,000-home Garden Town, the £300 million rebuilding of its main
  14. Oxford: 'A great environment to be in'
    10 May, 2018
    Oxford: 'A great environment to be in'
    Few people have a better understanding of the issues facing Oxfordshire than Bob Price. We spoke to the former leader of Oxford City Council about how both the city and the county should address the challenges in its dynamic future.  The May elections brought to an end 35 years on Oxford City Council for former leader Bob Price. Mr Price spent half his life on the authority during a period of development unlike anything the city has seen. Yet the growing pains caused by the explosion of
  15. New homes coming to Harwell Campus
    01 May, 2018
    New homes coming to Harwell Campus
    The evolution of the Harwell Campus moves into a new stage this year as plans are drawn up to build 1,000 homes on the site. The 710-acre former RAF airfield, operated since 2014 by a partnership between Harwell Oxford Partners and U+I, plus two Government backed agencies, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (UKRI STFC) and the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), has long been a global success story of leading-edge science and is already expanding commercially faster than anywhere in
  16. Bursars' rare insight into University of Oxford
    30 Apr, 2018
    Bursars' rare insight into University of Oxford
    Delegates at a special debate at the Oxfordshire Property Festival learned of the extraordinary growth of the University of Oxford in recent years and the knock on effects that have resulted. The College Bursars’ Round Table, chaired by Hugh Blaza, senior partner at BrookStreet des Roches, was a rare look at the finances and challenges facing the university and its colleges at a time of rapid growth. It was held under a form of Chatham House rules so some information is not attributed.
  17. Five years of PDR - a developer's evaluation
    27 Apr, 2018
    Five years of PDR - a developer's evaluation
    Five years on from the introduction of Permitted Development Rights (PDR), Andy Jansons, managing director of Jansons Property, weighs up the pros and cons it has brought to the industry. Although opinions vary on PDR, most would agree it is something of a double-edged sword. Its critics acknowledge its success in creating additional homes often in town centres where they support the retail, while many of its supporters accept there is a cost in lost employment sites and, subsequently,
  18. 'City status will match our ambitions'
    27 Apr, 2018
    'City status will match our ambitions'
    Slough’s council leader believes the booming borough can become a city within the next five to 10 years. Cllr James Swindlehurst told Thames Tap city status would match the authority’s ambitions for massive future developments which are on a scale even bigger than those built in recent years. Thousands more homes, £40 million of new leisure and one of the most ambitious shopping centre developments of recent times, he suggests, will help Slough’s bid. Cllr Swindlehurst said: "We are serious
  19. Employee engagement - the new strategic priority
    24 Apr, 2018
    Employee engagement - the new strategic priority
    Vail Williams partner, Geoff Fallon, looks at the changing nature of the value employers place on their workforce. More than ever, people are a company’s most important asset. How they are treated will shape the future of the modern organisation. Today’s working world is evolving rapidly and, in a time of heightened expectancy, employers need to provide a productive, engaging and enjoyable workplace experience if they are to attract and retain the best talent. This is especially important on
  20. Productivity and the transformation of the working environment
    28 Mar, 2018
    Productivity and the transformation of the working environment
    Both the working day and the working environment are ever evolving concepts. Vail Williams partner David Thomas discusses where work is going. The working day has changed considerably in the last 30 years. From getting into your Ford Escort to travel to work for your 9-5 job, surrounded by rows of typing pools and telex machines in your naturally ventilated office, to travelling to work in cars that have more technology than the average computer had 20 years ago! Nowadays, our agile,