Tag: Covid-19

Architecture & Building

Councils in Kent, punished for not hitting their housebuilding targets

Medway, Canterbury, Tonbridge & Malling, Sevenoaks, and Gravesham have all been sanctioned for hitting less than 75% of their housing targets, over the past few years. If you live in these areas, you may want to propose a new housing project, because they’re more likely to be given the go-ahead. Or, the planning inspector will be more generous with their decision, so they can meet the target.  

Housebuilding targets –  

Between 2018 and 2021 Ashford and Maidstone’s councils are at the top of the housebuilding list. They both exceeded the target and build many homes, for example:  

Maidstone – Target: 2,279, Built: 3,878, Percent: 170% 

Ashford – Target: 2,292, Built: 2,715, Percent: 118% 

And the councils at the bottom of the list that was way under the target, and are now facing repercussions are:  

Medway – Target: 4,332, Built: 2,895, Percent: 67% 

Canterbury – Target: 2,323, Built: 1,509, Percent: 65% 

Tonbridge & Malling – Target: 2,189, Built: 1,369, Percent: 63% 

Sevenoaks – Target: 1,828, Built: 1,130, Percent: 62% 

Gravesham – Target: 1,154, Built: 661, Percent: 57% 

What happens when you don’t hit the targets?  

In addition, by not hitting the target, the councils’ local plans, that control the supply of housing are now considered out of date.

Sanctions will remain until the government publishes results showing the councils are back to 75% of its target.  

What is a council local plan? 

Local plans are used to help decide on planning applications and other planning-related decisions. They are the local guide to what can be built where. Shaping infrastructure investments, and determining the future pattern of development.  

How a couple of the councils have reacted –  

Canterbury –  

The canterbury council chief has said, “it cannot be right to punish councils that are working hard to do what the government asks”. He states that the reason they didn’t meet their target is because of the impact of covid-19. 

 There was also an issue with the water quality at Stodmarsh, which prevented the council from granting permission on sites.  

The chief is begging the government not to punish the council for the factors affecting the houses being built at are “out of our control”. 

Gravesham –  

In addition, the government has announced that Gravesham hasn’t met the housing target for the past 3 years. And that they should grant planning permission to new housing unless there is a major reason not to.  

The leader of the Gravesham council has spoken out and said “we find ourselves in an increasingly difficult position, as a result of the government’s housing delivery targets”.  

“While we can grant permission for developments, we do not have the powers to force developers to deliver sites with planning permission. The government figures are based on completed new homes and not on those with planning permission in place”. 

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Architecture & Building

Architecture Post COVID–19: Everything You Need To Know

Architecture Post COVID-19

The world of architecture post-COVID-19 has been affected deeply. “Architecture is tied to the economy. In fact, it is one of the first industries that is affected when there’s a dip in the economy or a recession,” says architect Victor Body–Lawson.  Architectural firms have felt the economic decline because of COVID-19, and this has put major investments on hold. This means that when the world opens back up again, the market will become more competitive. The businesses will have to work a lot harder to regain their customers back and carry on as normal. This is why it is a good business move to be active on social media. So your company gets noticed by and reaches more people can then gain more customers.  

 We are now moving forward in the different phases of the pandemic. Everyone is now adapting to the “new normal” and the drastic adjustments in their lives. The majority of people have been questioning and evaluating their living environments. We are now realising that the quality of homes is at the top of the list to make improvements on.  This means that new plans will start to emerge, and the architectural firms will be able to get back up and running again and get back to business.  

Wanting To Renovate After COVID-19

While we were stuck in our homes, most people were getting fed up with the same four walls or lack of space and are now ready for a change. So while many have struggled with the impact of the lockdown on their finances. Research has found that spending more time at home has inspired nearly 65% of homeowners to invest in renovations for their properties. This might include wanting to extend your kitchen by building a single-story extension. Or you could add bi-fold doors, to make the place more open and airy, to be more in touch with nature. From a recent survey, 35% of people first started their home improvements with the garden and landscaping. This is because people during the lockdowns spent the majority of their time in the garden instead of going outside. And now they want to upgrade and put more effort into their outside space.   

So lockdowns have been lifted and businesses are starting to open back up. Architecture firms will be focusing on health-orientated approaches. So with our design and build company, we have made sure our whole team has had the COVID-19 vaccine. And whenever a customer enters our office, we wear masks and follow all of the appropriate precautions. And we do this to make sure that we are keeping everyone safe. So we have also made a great comeback and are working on a lot of new projects with a lot of happy customers.   

A renovated kitchen extension with bi-fold doors.