We are committed to transparency and co-operation in our relations with all government bodies.
Two of the key areas where we work closely with government bodies are:
- In relation to our developments, obtaining planning permissions to improve or redevelop our buildings, covering both the proposed land uses, design and public realm
- In relation to tax, ensuring that we have a productive, open and constructive relationship with HMRC
Relationships with planners
Our portfolio is all located within central London and we work hard to ensure we have a close working relationship with all the boroughs in which we operate. For our development proposals, we will informally liaise with officers as early as possible in both the design phase and throughout the pre-application planning process.
Our approach is consensual rather than confrontational. We listen to feedback from officers and amend our proposals accordingly. We also brief elected Councillors directly on our scheme proposals and meet regularly to discuss matters raised by Councillors or their constituents.
A key part of our discussion is to work with both officers and Councilors to ensure that our Section 106 planning contributions are put towards improvements such as streetscaping, enhancing the public realm (as we have done at Hanover Square) and supporting local community groups to benefit the immediate local community.
Piers Blewitt Head of Planning Strategy and Senior Development Manager
The planning process continues to be subject to ever increasing regulation which makes securing planning permission complex, time consuming and costly. Working collaboratively with the relevant authorities ensures that we address concerns early in the process to ensure that our applications are swiftly determined without any surprises.
Our relationship with HMRC
Martin Leighton Director of Corporate Finance
As a good corporate citizen and REIT, we strive to maintain a productive, open, constructive relationship with HMRC through regular dialogue. We invest significant time and resources into our relationship with HMRC, to assist them in having a full understanding of our business and to maintain our ‘low-risk’ status. Furthermore, we aim to positively influence and assist in the development of UK tax legislation through participation in consultations.