LPAs in Slow at Writing Development Plans in the UK

British planning system changes should speed up housing delivery in an orderly fashion. But developers may be better at designing growth plans.

Two very important changes in how residential properties are developed in the UK have been implemented in the past few years. First, the Localism Act of 2011 enabled local communities to have a greater say in what is and is not built in their neighbourhoods. Secondly, the National Planning Policy Framework, published by the UK Department of Communities and Local Government in 2012, is widely regarded as a much-needed simplification of the process by which towns determine and implement their development objectives.

The backdrop to all this of course is the tension between a critical housing shortage in the UK and a long-standing culture of greenfield preservation. In other words, we need houses – more than one million residences to meet pent up demand of a growing population – and yet the country has long determined it wanted to avoid American-style suburban sprawl. Princess Anne herself has weighed in on this in support of the efforts of the Council for the Protection of Rural England, which advocates for incremental development on a small scale over large blocks of new homes, numbering in the thousands, in a single development.

The NPPF essentially tells local planning authorities that they need to think through and structure how development should unfold in their jurisdictions. It also expresses the need to enable development, as the housing shortage in the UK over the past decade and for some time to come, requires that new homes be built. Of course with all forms of development (including that driven by strategic land developers), there are opposing sides and differing opinions on how that should take place.

Which can mean that how development unfolds is a matter of influence. Ideally, good ideas lead the way – identifying where development will be smartest, where the municipality can benefit the most from new homes and new neighbourhoods. Under ideal conditions, new development will support the local economy and local infrastructure. Done right, everyone benefits.

So how are local planning authorities doing at this? The Department for Communities and Local Government provides the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, a guide to determine where housing might make the most sense from a variety of perspectives (sustainability, economics, town centre vitality, transport, protection of Greenbelt lands, conservation of natural and historic environments, etc.). Presumably, the 48 per cent of local councils that had a plan written up by the end of 2013 used this and other guides to form their plans.

But this means that about 52 per cent of councils lack such a plan, even in 2014 (reportedly, about half of them are at work on something). Some say this leaves those un-planned areas subject to developers’ whims.

Further, it should be noted that many councils have out-of-date plans, based on pre-NPPF dictates. Those plans often do not take into account the critical housing shortage and the NPPF-driven requirement that the need to build be taken into account. That often is the reason why developers win on appeal, that the plans put forth were unrealistic and out-of-date.

Why are local councils failing to develop true, NPPF-compliant plans? According to a 2014 review of 109 local plans by TRIP (Targeted Research & Intelligence Programme) and Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners (an economic planning firm), “the key reason Plans have stalled is the policy requirement to meet objectively assessed needs with the housing target remaining the key battleground at examinations. Just over half of Plans propose less housing than had been proposed by former Regional Strategies, but a third of sound plans end up having to increase their target to pass examination.”

In other words, local councils are having trouble planning enough to alleviate the housing shortage. And in many of the districts studied by TRIP, a lack of information or out-of-date evidence plagued the plans that already exist.

Developers – such as joint venture partnerships of investors who buy and build on raw land – answer to market needs. Which means they do the work at assessing if new homes will sell. In all UK towns they still must get planning approval, then cover costs of new infrastructure demand (often through the Community Infrastructure Levy). What should be noted is that, as of April 2014, house building activity in the UK rose for 15 straight months while demand for property remained strong, according to data firm Market and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply.

Trade Bitcoins And Get the Most Out of It

This digital rush of money that is sweeping the global investors is not only getting easier, but also riskier everyday. While it was initially a simple peer-to-peer system for small transactions, it is now used for major investments and foreign luxury purchases, which has introduced newer strategies and uses. How does it really work?

Bitcoin is a currency just like any other. It can not only be used to buy and sell, but can be used for investing and sharing, and can even be stolen. While the initial introduction of the technology came with a desktop program, it can now be directly operated through a smartphone application, which allows you to immediately buy, sell, trade or even cash your bitcoins for dollars.

Investment with bitcoins has become very popular, with major sums of money being put in every day. As a new investor, the rules remain the same as investing with real cash. Do not invest more than you can afford to lose, and do not invest without a goal. For every trade, keep certain milestones in mind. The ‘buy low and sell high’ strategy is not as easy implemented as said. A great way to succeed faster when you decide to trade bitcoins, however, is to learn the technicalities. Like cash investments, there are now several bitcoin charting tools to record the marketing trends and make predictions to help you make investment decisions. Even as a beginner, learning how to use charting tools and how to read charts can go a long way. A normal chart will usually include the opening price, the closing price, the highest price, the lowest price and the trading range, which are the essentials you need before making any sale or purchase. Other components will give you different information about the market. For example, the ‘order book’ contains lists of prices and quantities that bitcoin traders are willing to buy and sell.

Moreover, new investors will often quickly open unprofitable positions. With this, however, remember that you have to pay an interest rate for every 24 hours that the position is kept open, with the exception of the first 24 hours that are free. Therefore, unless you have sufficient balance to cover the high interest rate, do not keep any unprofitable position open for more than 24 hours.

Tips for Avoiding Investment Fraud

Investors should always be on alert for investment scams. FINRA published an alert to warn investors about classic types of investment fraud and help them spot and avoid the persuasion tactics fraudster’s use. The following information is taken from that article:

Types of Investment Scams

Investment scams can take many forms, but the most common securities frauds tend to fall into the following general schemes:

Pyramid Schemes: Where fraudsters claim that they can turn a small investment into large profits within a short period of time, but in reality, participants make money solely by recruiting new participants into the program. Pyramid schemes eventually fall apart when it becomes impossible to recruit new participants.
Ponzi Schemes: Where a central fraudster collects money from new investors and uses it to pay purported returns to earlier-stage investors rather than investing the money as promised. Ponzi schemes tend to collapse when the fraudster can no longer attract new investors or when too many investors attempt to get their money out.
Pump-and-Dump: Where a fraudster deliberately buys shares of a very low-priced stock of a small, thinly traded company and then spreads false information to drum up interest in the stock and increase its share price. The fraudster then dumps his shares at the high price and vanishes, leaving many people with worthless shares of stock.
Advance Fee Fraud: These scams generally begin with an offer to pay you an enticingly high price for worthless stock in your portfolio. To take the deal, you must send a fee in advance to pay for the service, but then you never see your money again.
Offshore Scams: These scams originate in another country and target U.S. investors. Offshore scams can take a variety of forms, including those listed above. Unfortunately, whatever form an offshore scam takes, it can be difficult for U.S. law enforcement agencies to investigate fraud or rectify harm to investors when the fraudster acted from outside the country.
Red Flags of Fraud

To avoid being drawn into a scam, look for these warning signs:

Guarantees: Be suspect of anyone who guarantees that an investment will perform a certain way.
Unregistered products: Many investment scams involve unlicensed individuals selling unregistered securities.
Overly consistent returns: Any investment that consistently goes up month after month, or that provides remarkably steady returns regardless of market conditions, should raise suspicions. Even the most stable investments have hiccups once in a while.
Complex strategies: Legitimate professionals should be able to clearly explain what they are doing. It’s critical that you understand any investment you’re considering.
Missing documentation: If someone tries to sell you a security with no documentation, he or she may be selling unregistered securities.
Account discrepancies: Keep an eye on your account statements to make sure account activity is consistent with your instructions and be sure you know who holds your assets. Fraud can more easily occur if the advisor is the custodian of the assets and keeper of the accounts.
A pushy salesperson: No reputable investment professional should push you to make an immediate decision about an investment, or tell you that you’ve got to “act now.”
If you’re able to identify red flags of investment frauds and you know some of the most common types, you’ll be better equipped to avoid these types of scams and protect your financial future.

Source of Site Traffic That Can Help You Get Past Google

Are you willing to invest in a more long-term and reliable organic traffic source for your website? Then let’s look at a search engine that can assist you in increasing your traffic.

Interview an Influencer or Get Interviewed by a High-traffic Website

Have you heard of Tim Ferriss, the author of the Four-Hour Work Week?

His podcast is nowadays a staple content type that he provides to his viewers. Tim’s show has world-class performers who share their insights on a variety of topics, and he is well-liked on social media. Do Tim’s fans enjoy the show? So far, the show has received over 50 million downloads. On most days, it’s the most popular business podcast on iTunes.

Interviews, whether on video or audio, are inherently conversational, lively, and engaging. The great aspect is that it’s a win-win situation for both sides. The interviewer is exposed to a new audience, while the interviewee is able to provide his website visitors with new fascinating and authoritative information. You can ask an industry influencer to share your interview with their followers on social media if you interview them. Consider the organic traffic you’ll get from their social media followers, which number in the hundreds of thousands. Consider the level of interest generated by a prior Derek Sivers interview on the Tim Ferriss Show. Derek shared the show’s URL with his 283K followers on Twitter. It won’t hurt if you establish a relationship with the influencer as a result of the interview.

Similarly, being interviewed by a high-ranking website can result in a significant increase in search engine traffic. Harsh Agrawal’s blog, Shoutmeloud, received 35,000+ views in a single day after he was profiled by YourStory. That was the blog’s most popular search engine traffic source (with 600,000+ monthly visitors). Because interviews provide consolidated value, they can be used as a long-term lead generating source for your company. Consider how many bloggers you’ve learned about through interviews on YouTube and other high-authority websites.

You may also conduct a Reddit AMA if you have a very compelling storey to tell. Mateen’s AMA got about generating $85,000 in profit by selling TeeSpring shirts/hoodies received 2000 page views. He also boosted the number of visitors to his website on a daily basis.

By registering as a source with HARO, you can also answer queries from journalists. On HARO, Christopher from Snappa came across this question from Inc Magazine about the future of content marketing. He swiftly responded with a thorough response. He was mentioned in Inc a few weeks later as a result of this. HARO is an excellent strategy to have your brand mentioned on authoritative news sites such as Entrepreneur and Inc. Those backlinks will enhance your search engine traffic and increase your marketing strategy by improving your reputation in Google’s eyes. Contact an SEO agency to find out how you can do this and how they can manage it for you while you work on the bottom line of your business.