Downsizers? Young professionals? Families? They each have different requirements for location, transport links, local amenities, and home design, and your local estate agents will be a valuable source of guidance. Build for your customer and never for yourself, and always focus on your bottom line. You may think those gold-plated taps look amazing, but if they dent your profits, go for something plainer. After all, you won’t be living there.
Risk crops up again when it comes to planning. Since planning permission will generally be required for most projects, wouldn’t it be great if the English planning system was ultra-modern, well-resourced, speedy, and completely free of any doubt or subjectivity? Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Although the recent Queen’s Speech announced a draconian overhaul of all things planning-related, my preferred route is still to avoid it as much as possible. I’ve seen many planning applications get terminally stuck, costing their developers both time and money. Luckily, we have a weapon in our armoury that can make life a lot easier, and it’s called Permitted Development Rights (PDRs). PDRs allow us to change the use of a building without the need to apply for full planning permission, and such is the government’s frustration with the lack of homes being built currently, they’ve seen fit to significantly extend the PDRs available in 2021. From August, you’ll be able to convert a wide range of properties into residential, many for the first time, without applying for planning permission.