Buck­les launches so­cial hous­ing ‘al­liance’

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Etbusiness - by JOHN KRALEVICH Busi­ness edi­tor

PETER­BOR­OUGH so­lic­i­tors Buck­les has launched The BP Al­liance cre­at­ing one of the largest teams of so­cial hous­ing lawyers in the East of Eng­land.

It will bring to­gether its so­cial hous­ing lit­i­ga­tion team and Per­rins So­lic­i­tors LLP, which has long ex­pe­ri­ence in ad­vis­ing hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tions on site ac­qui­si­tions and on the devel­op­ment of fi­nanc­ing and con­struc­tion of so­cial hous­ing projects. The new team will ser­vice all the le­gal needs of the 105 hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tions based in the East­ern re- gion which op­er­ate a stock of 208,000 homes.

Buck­les’ head of so­cial hous­ing Gail Sykes, who spe­cialises in ad­vis­ing on dis­putes in the so­cial hous­ing sec­tor, said: “This al­liance al­lows us to pack the punch of London firms with­out los­ing the ex­cel­lent ser­vice lev­els that come from our lo­cal con­nec­tions in Peter­bor­ough. Hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tions will find that it is far more ef­fi­cient for them to go to one team for all their needs.”

Fred Perrin, man­ag­ing part­ner of Per­rins, with a long ex­pe­ri­ence of the so­cial hous­ing move­ment, said: “Hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tions in Peter­bor­ough face real ob­sta­cles from a plan­ning sys­tem that en­cour­ages nimbyism. The BP Al­liance will be able to pro­vide un­ri­valled ad­vice to hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tions as they try to en­sure that le­gal ob­sta­cles do not get in their way when they are car­ry­ing out the vi­tal work of de­vel­op­ing more af­ford­able homes.”

The new team is be­ing set up to as­sist hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tions as they at­tempt to al­le­vi­ate the chronic short­age of hous­ing in ar­eas such as Peter­bor­ough. Fig­ures from the Na­tional Hous­ing Fed­er­a­tion show the chronic short­age of hous­ing in the lo­cal area – with 8,549 house­holds on the wait­ing list. In Peter­bor­ough av­er­age house prices are £160,000 - 8.2 times the av­er­age salary. It is es­ti­mated by the Na­tional Hous­ing Fed­er­a­tion that a gross in­come of £41,000 would be needed to get a 90 per cent mort­gage on an av­er­age prop­erty in the area. This is more than dou­ble the av­er­age in­come Peter­bor­ough in­come of £19,474.

The al­liance comes at a tur­bu­lent time for hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tions in the East­ern re­gion as they face the prospect of new leg­is­la­tion that gives lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties a stronger right to veto so­cial hous­ing schemes in their area. They will need ef­fec­tive le­gal sup­port to help en­sure that their con­struc­tion plans aren’t thwarted. At the same time, hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tions in the re­gion could face new le­gal re­spon­si­bil­i­ties for the first time to al­low so­cial ten­ants to trans­fer their ten­an­cies to an­other re­gion.

Buck­les So­lic­i­tors LLP (Buck­les) is one of the strong­est com­mer­cial prop­erty prac­tices in East Anglia with clients in Cam­bridgeshire, Bed­ford­shire, Lin­colnshire, Nor­folk and Suf­folk, while Hert­ford­shire-based Per­rins has clients across the re­gion in­clud­ing Ald­wyck Hous­ing Group, Jeph­son Homes Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, and the Longhurst Group.

BP AL­LIANCE: The new team of Colin Bosher, Amanda Miller, Michael Rab­bett, Fred Perrin, James Cop­pinger, Colleen Go­stick, Christina Mer­ring­ton and Gail Sykes.

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