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Carl has nearly thirty-five years' experience in planning and development, with a particular focus on retail and mixed use regeneration projects. Carl also promotes housing, care homes, crematoria, and significant commercial developments - including the biggest print works in the world for News Group UK. He is also the recipient of the Anthony London Law Prize.
"He's very commercially minded and comes back to us very quickly," comments an impressed client, continuing: "He tells you how it is and won't give you a lot of flowery talk." - Chambers & Partners 2017
Carl Dyer "has the ability to explain complex matters in an easy way." – Chambers & Partners, 2018
"At last: a sensible planning proposal, albeit a modest one. With the retail sector under pressure with the rise of on-line retailing, it makes sense to look at other uses for the many empty shops around the country. As we have a national housing crisis, converting redundant shops to homes is a “win-win” proposition: assets which are no longer used can be converted to address a separate problem without putting pressure on Green Field land.
"As shops tend to be in centres or at least local parades, these will be sustainable homes, normally well served by public transport. Adding residents to the retail mix will also improve security in many areas.
"All that said, this alone is not going to make a major difference to the housing supply figures. 2017 was a bad year for retailing, with nearly 6,000 shops closing. Not every vacant shop will be suitable or viable for housing use. Even if as many as half of the 2017 losses were to be converted, that would only be an extra 1% towards the government’s 300,000 a year housing target.
"It will be interesting to see whether there are size limits on the shops which can be converted.
"And also, whether any form of “Prior Approval” is proposed. Hopefully not: if local authorities are given the chance to consider parking or other issues, some will seek to use that to prevent the erosion of shopping frontages. These proposals will work best if there is a straight forward and simple amendment to the General Permitted Development Order- to allow a change of use from Class A1 Retail Use to Class C3 Housing Use (and, of course, any necessary building or engineering works needed to effect the change).
"Other announcements in the Budget such as £500m for the Housing Infrastructure Fund, designed to enable a further 650,000 homes to be built and new partnerships with housing associations in England to deliver 13,000 homes certainly seem steps in the right direction. However we await to see the finer detail on these and along with Oliver Letwin's report issued today."
“In 1977 Olivia Newton John sang a love song: ‘Making a Good Thing Better’. 40 years later Labour has just published its own version: a Green Paper which could be sub-titled ‘Making a Bad Thing Worse’.
“We have a national housing crisis, largely as a result of a dysfunctional town and country planning system, and many of Labour’s new proposals would make it worse.
“One of the barriers to house building is the ever rising affordable housing tax on house building. Labour wants to increase it. Market house building would become less profitable, so there would be less of it.
“Affordable housing would be redefined by reference to local incomes instead of local market prices. So the gap between the cost of provision and the return would get larger. If the cost of producing anything increases, at the margin people will produce less of it.
“The target is 1 million “genuinely” affordable homes over ten years. That is 100,000 “genuinely” affordable homes a year. That is more than half of all current annual house building.
“That 1 million target is split: 100,000 “genuinely” affordable homes in the first five years; so 180,000 a year for the next five years. That would be more than annual house building production.
“After Labour’s last 13 years in power from 1997 to 2010, their out-going Chief Secretary to the Treasury famously left a note for his successor: “Sorry, there’s no money”. There is still no magic money tree, and no indication here how these homes are to be funded.
“It is difficult to see any private sector rush into house-building to meet these numbers when all that is promised is higher affordable housing costs and an increasing range or arbitrary regulations.
“Already (even before this Green Paper) we are seeing land owners asking for “Corbyn Clauses” to be built into promotion agreements with developers, asking for the right not to proceed if the public levy on the development achieved makes the return on the land required unacceptable. Better to hold it for the next generation.
“Even without achieving office, Labour’s policies have the potential to reduce the supply of land for housing.
“Our restrictive planning system in its present form is indefensible. But it takes a rare talent to think deeply, and then come up with a package of proposals that will make it still worse.”
“I hope to goodness that Theresa May is better briefed on Europe than she is on planning. She has clearly not thought this through properly.
"Where to begin?
"She wants developers and communities to co-operate more. The problem is that most communities want development in other communities. Everyone wants housing; but they want in the next ward or borough; not theirs.
"She starts from a premise that developers are land banking. Someone should tell her that her government has asked Oliver Letwin to investigate whether that is true, and it would be sensible not to make pronouncements on the subject until he has reported on the facts. (Unless Mrs May has already decided what his findings are to be, irrespective of the facts he finds).
"She is talking of taking build out rates into account when granting planning permissions. This is flatly contrary to the premise that planning permissions are not personal: they run with the land. And many developers don’t have build-out rates, because they sell the land on to house builders – many of whom don’t want to be involved in the planning system: they outsource that risk, so that they can buy “oven-ready” sites from developers.
"Talks of wanting to cut red tape; then totally contradicts herself by saying she wants to make it harder to get permission. Developers only are able to 'game' the system because the system is so badly broken.
"And nothing in the consultation draft out this week is going to change that.”
"This will be an amazing landmark for South London. We are delighted to be part of such an exciting scheme that will help put Croydon firmly on the map. "
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