Tax rise ‘a threat to listed buildings’ says Bradford property expert

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Developer and former Bradford Property Forum chairman Andrew Mason outside his Victoria Mills development in Shipley Developer and former Bradford Property Forum chairman Andrew Mason outside his Victoria Mills development in Shipley

A property expert has warned more than 6,000 listed buildings across Bradford district face an uncertain future because of “barking mad” tax changes taking effect from next month.

The Government is changing VAT rules which mean that, in future, alterations and restoration work on listed buildings will face the 20 per cent tax.

Andrew Mason, a former chairman of Bradford Property Forum, said: “I think it is ridiculous when we are trying to protect buildings. We have got brownfield sites, we have got contamination and we have got buildings that need to be brought back into use.

“What we should be doing is re-using existing buildings, turning chapels into homes and warehouses into restaurants, for example, but having to pay more tax is going to make that more difficult and is counter-intuitive to what the Government is trying to do.

“The Government is trying to stimulate building, but this is pulling the other lever by making it more difficult for developers.

“The knock-on effect is that we are not going to bring these buildings back, they are going to fall into a further state of disrepair and we will lose the cultural and historical heritage that makes our landscape.”

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Mr Mason, whose company Newmason properties restored and renovated the 139-year-old Victoria Mills in Salts Mill Road, Shipley , into a £70 million apartment complex, revealed he had also put together plans to restore the old Conditioning House in Canal Road, Bradford.

He said: “We just about made that work, but you can forget that now. It has just gone out of the window because the increase in costs would make that prohibitive. It is the same as many schemes which were on the margins which will now be sunk under water. In 15 years, we are going to be saying, ‘why are all these buildings falling into disrepair? Why are developers not developing these buildings?’ and we will trace it back to this barking mad increase in tax making development unworkable.”

Mr Mason said the property forum’s latest survey had found 6,400 listed buildings in the district, many of them terraced houses in the Saltaire World Heritage Site.

He added: “This tax increase will then increase pressure to build on the green belt rather than bring back brownfield sites and we really do not need to pour more concrete on the countryside.”

The new rules, agreed in Chancellor George Osborne’s April budget, will see the 20 per cent tax coming into force at the start of October.

Grants have been made available for conservation projects in a bid to counteract the impact of the new tax rules.

Shipley Conservative MP Philip Davies said: “I totally understand people’s concerns because this is going to increase costs for developers.

“I am not a big fan of putting up any taxes and it is expensive enough doing up listed buildings. This seems like an extra kick in the teeth.”

Comments (6)

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9:06am Mon 24 Sep 12

birday says...

No building will survive the change taking place in Bradford therefore why care about the tax changes linked to listed buildings.
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Bradford's a mans world and they're still arriving from all corners of the globe.
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They're hear to make money (lots of it, they don't care how) and increase their power and influence in the world. Some will go, many will stay.
Time devoted to money spinning schemes, cars, mobile phones, technology, gadgets, eating out, grooming, perfume, cigarette, alcohol, music and all other manner of pleasure pursuits.
.
Bradford's quickly returning to the wild. The environment is severely neglected. Residential houses unmaintained and left to decay. Gardens growing free - unplanted trees and shrubs shoot up resulting in subsidence through up rooting buildings. Precious housing being lost.
.
Bradford Council is inert - it's employees lack the knowledge, skills and drive necessary to apply the law and make any difference in the community and our government has buried its head in the ground.
No building will survive the change taking place in Bradford therefore why care about the tax changes linked to listed buildings. . Bradford's a mans world and they're still arriving from all corners of the globe. . They're hear to make money (lots of it, they don't care how) and increase their power and influence in the world. Some will go, many will stay. Time devoted to money spinning schemes, cars, mobile phones, technology, gadgets, eating out, grooming, perfume, cigarette, alcohol, music and all other manner of pleasure pursuits. . Bradford's quickly returning to the wild. The environment is severely neglected. Residential houses unmaintained and left to decay. Gardens growing free - unplanted trees and shrubs shoot up resulting in subsidence through up rooting buildings. Precious housing being lost. . Bradford Council is inert - it's employees lack the knowledge, skills and drive necessary to apply the law and make any difference in the community and our government has buried its head in the ground. birday

12:10pm Mon 24 Sep 12

webshow says...

Yes I heard about this daft tax change but then again we are governed by incompetent people - just look at Bradford Council.
Yes I heard about this daft tax change but then again we are governed by incompetent people - just look at Bradford Council. webshow

12:24pm Mon 24 Sep 12

A Casual Observer says...

A great many listed historic buildings in Bradford are and have been under threat for many years following Council incompetence and lack of action by the Police. Whenever I have reported wall-tops and cobbles being stolen, in a Council designated Conservation Area, nothing has been done by either the Council or Police. No one cares. Then there are the local Housing Associations, that have taken it upon themselves to fit upvc windows to historic buildings in Conservation Areas without even applying for Planning permission. The situation can only be made worse by the actions of this wholly incompetent Government.
A great many listed historic buildings in Bradford are and have been under threat for many years following Council incompetence and lack of action by the Police. Whenever I have reported wall-tops and cobbles being stolen, in a Council designated Conservation Area, nothing has been done by either the Council or Police. No one cares. Then there are the local Housing Associations, that have taken it upon themselves to fit upvc windows to historic buildings in Conservation Areas without even applying for Planning permission. The situation can only be made worse by the actions of this wholly incompetent Government. A Casual Observer

2:46pm Mon 24 Sep 12

Yorkshire Lass says...

A Casual Observer wrote:
A great many listed historic buildings in Bradford are and have been under threat for many years following Council incompetence and lack of action by the Police. Whenever I have reported wall-tops and cobbles being stolen, in a Council designated Conservation Area, nothing has been done by either the Council or Police. No one cares. Then there are the local Housing Associations, that have taken it upon themselves to fit upvc windows to historic buildings in Conservation Areas without even applying for Planning permission. The situation can only be made worse by the actions of this wholly incompetent Government.
Just one answer to all of these comments. Have these listed buildings all of a sudden begun to fall down or have some of them been like that for years? Don't go blaming the new austerity measures, blame the lack of vision and wasted funding over the years by the Council.
[quote][p][bold]A Casual Observer[/bold] wrote: A great many listed historic buildings in Bradford are and have been under threat for many years following Council incompetence and lack of action by the Police. Whenever I have reported wall-tops and cobbles being stolen, in a Council designated Conservation Area, nothing has been done by either the Council or Police. No one cares. Then there are the local Housing Associations, that have taken it upon themselves to fit upvc windows to historic buildings in Conservation Areas without even applying for Planning permission. The situation can only be made worse by the actions of this wholly incompetent Government.[/p][/quote]Just one answer to all of these comments. Have these listed buildings all of a sudden begun to fall down or have some of them been like that for years? Don't go blaming the new austerity measures, blame the lack of vision and wasted funding over the years by the Council. Yorkshire Lass

3:23pm Mon 24 Sep 12

A Casual Observer says...

Yorkshire Lass wrote:
A Casual Observer wrote:
A great many listed historic buildings in Bradford are and have been under threat for many years following Council incompetence and lack of action by the Police. Whenever I have reported wall-tops and cobbles being stolen, in a Council designated Conservation Area, nothing has been done by either the Council or Police. No one cares. Then there are the local Housing Associations, that have taken it upon themselves to fit upvc windows to historic buildings in Conservation Areas without even applying for Planning permission. The situation can only be made worse by the actions of this wholly incompetent Government.
Just one answer to all of these comments. Have these listed buildings all of a sudden begun to fall down or have some of them been like that for years? Don't go blaming the new austerity measures, blame the lack of vision and wasted funding over the years by the Council.
That's more or less what I said. And the new legislation (by an inept government) can only make matters worse.
[quote][p][bold]Yorkshire Lass[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A Casual Observer[/bold] wrote: A great many listed historic buildings in Bradford are and have been under threat for many years following Council incompetence and lack of action by the Police. Whenever I have reported wall-tops and cobbles being stolen, in a Council designated Conservation Area, nothing has been done by either the Council or Police. No one cares. Then there are the local Housing Associations, that have taken it upon themselves to fit upvc windows to historic buildings in Conservation Areas without even applying for Planning permission. The situation can only be made worse by the actions of this wholly incompetent Government.[/p][/quote]Just one answer to all of these comments. Have these listed buildings all of a sudden begun to fall down or have some of them been like that for years? Don't go blaming the new austerity measures, blame the lack of vision and wasted funding over the years by the Council.[/p][/quote]That's more or less what I said. And the new legislation (by an inept government) can only make matters worse. A Casual Observer

7:39pm Mon 24 Sep 12

alfucham says...

Yorkshire Lass wrote:
A Casual Observer wrote: A great many listed historic buildings in Bradford are and have been under threat for many years following Council incompetence and lack of action by the Police. Whenever I have reported wall-tops and cobbles being stolen, in a Council designated Conservation Area, nothing has been done by either the Council or Police. No one cares. Then there are the local Housing Associations, that have taken it upon themselves to fit upvc windows to historic buildings in Conservation Areas without even applying for Planning permission. The situation can only be made worse by the actions of this wholly incompetent Government.
Just one answer to all of these comments. Have these listed buildings all of a sudden begun to fall down or have some of them been like that for years? Don't go blaming the new austerity measures, blame the lack of vision and wasted funding over the years by the Council.
This is a general problem not specific to the woefull BFD council policy.

Years ago they were to demolish salts mill for a by pass.

well done Johnathan Silver and David Hockney for their brilliant intervention.

Listed buildings are through the conservation constraint probably 5 times as much to restore as unlisted.

Every door handle and lock needs to be in keepimg.

sash windows are very expensive compared to box standard.

The conservationists prefer lime mortar mixes which are difficult to work with and the whole projects tend to be a labour of love.

Stupid tax which will ensure things dont happen.grant schemes for listed buildings usually mean they cost twice as much again as the planner has even more control and influence down to the finest detail.If they are not happy has to be done again.
Ridiculous and will not make much difference to austere times as things simply will not get done.

Yes that conditioning house on canal road is crying out for it.
Caddick was going to do it 20 years ago.

same old story for Bradford same old song.

Nothing ever happens.
Big holes?
Big Odeons?
Big old (1970) Huddersfield and Bradford Building society Westgate.truly a monster and now big lumps falling off it on providence street.
They made things well in the 70"s eh.

unlike little germany and most of old Bradford.

Crying shame Bradford still has so much derilict but beuatifull structures.

right poster above.In ownership of those that could not give a flying.
Schhh...whens the next fire now the nights are drawing in.just round the corner I guess.

How many in the last 5 years?

Certainly the one at the corner of City/Thornton road has had 2 in 4 years.
First one did not quite do the job.

Watch the industrial units go up on there eventually.More bland naff to demolish in 20.
[quote][p][bold]Yorkshire Lass[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A Casual Observer[/bold] wrote: A great many listed historic buildings in Bradford are and have been under threat for many years following Council incompetence and lack of action by the Police. Whenever I have reported wall-tops and cobbles being stolen, in a Council designated Conservation Area, nothing has been done by either the Council or Police. No one cares. Then there are the local Housing Associations, that have taken it upon themselves to fit upvc windows to historic buildings in Conservation Areas without even applying for Planning permission. The situation can only be made worse by the actions of this wholly incompetent Government.[/p][/quote]Just one answer to all of these comments. Have these listed buildings all of a sudden begun to fall down or have some of them been like that for years? Don't go blaming the new austerity measures, blame the lack of vision and wasted funding over the years by the Council.[/p][/quote]This is a general problem not specific to the woefull BFD council policy. Years ago they were to demolish salts mill for a by pass. well done Johnathan Silver and David Hockney for their brilliant intervention. Listed buildings are through the conservation constraint probably 5 times as much to restore as unlisted. Every door handle and lock needs to be in keepimg. sash windows are very expensive compared to box standard. The conservationists prefer lime mortar mixes which are difficult to work with and the whole projects tend to be a labour of love. Stupid tax which will ensure things dont happen.grant schemes for listed buildings usually mean they cost twice as much again as the planner has even more control and influence down to the finest detail.If they are not happy has to be done again. Ridiculous and will not make much difference to austere times as things simply will not get done. Yes that conditioning house on canal road is crying out for it. Caddick was going to do it 20 years ago. same old story for Bradford same old song. Nothing ever happens. Big holes? Big Odeons? Big old (1970) Huddersfield and Bradford Building society Westgate.truly a monster and now big lumps falling off it on providence street. They made things well in the 70"s eh. unlike little germany and most of old Bradford. Crying shame Bradford still has so much derilict but beuatifull structures. right poster above.In ownership of those that could not give a flying. Schhh...whens the next fire now the nights are drawing in.just round the corner I guess. How many in the last 5 years? Certainly the one at the corner of City/Thornton road has had 2 in 4 years. First one did not quite do the job. Watch the industrial units go up on there eventually.More bland naff to demolish in 20. alfucham

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