Support our Palian’s trip to Ghana

Next May, our newest Palian Mel is heading to Ghana in West Africa, where she will be volunteering in a children’s day care centre. Here is Mel’s message to help raise donations for her trip.

“When I am in Ghana I will be helping out amongst the centre’s local staff. As they always have their hands full with increasing number of children that attend the centre, volunteers are greatly appreciated as they take some responsibility and stress off the staff who work there full time.

The children need constant care and attention as well being taught new skills or languages. The care centre has limited resources and limited staff with averages of forty children in each class. I hope by volunteering I can make a difference in the children’s daily life whilst I am there, by playing with them and sharing one-to-one time which most children lack outside of the centre.

I will be staying in a small fishing village called Busua for two weeks. Many children are deprived of things a lot of children take for granted. Some children are deprived of education, freedom and are raised to help their family out with their business, such as working long days on a fishing boat or selling food on the beach. The care centre allows these children to make friends, play, learn and most importantly have a childhood. Learning allows the children to build on their confidence as they speak with visitors and volunteers from all over the world.

I will be taking supplies to donate to the centre on behalf of Pali Ltd and I am also hoping to raise as much money as possible to fund this trip and donate to the centre. The money I raise will allow the centre to order more supplies such as stationary, toys, musical equipment, books and learning resources. As well as increase their staff numbers to allow more children to attend, this will help get children off the street and enter the doorway into education.

A little donation from you could make a HUGE difference to a lot of young children and supplies will be used for generations of future children who will attend.

I will be there seeing how much your donation will make a difference, seeing the centre myself enables me to see how the donations are being put to good use exactly where it’s needed, rather than just sending money to a charity and not seeing the difference. Doing something meaningful with my travels is going to be eye opening yet rewarding. By donating whatever you can, anything helps these children who have so much love, energy and talent to share.

All donations, no matter how small, are welcome on my JustGiving page.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, please feel free to share this blog or my donation page on Social media as ANYTHING helps.”

Pali is proud to support such a worthy cause and we wish Mel the best of luck.

 

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Invitation to Conveyancing Webinar on Residential Reports:

Pali, in conjunction with Groundsure, would like to invite you to join our free Webinar – ‘Which Residential report for which scenario?’

When: Tuesday 2nd October 2018
Time: 11:00
Duration: Approx 1 hour

CPD: 1 CPD Point

Topics covered:

The importance of understanding how to purchase the right report at the right time.

To join this webinar please CLICK HERE

Don’t have speakers or earphones?
Contact Jo Milne on jo@paliltd.com  to receive a FREE pair of earphones.

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Woman charged for parking on her own driveway!

A homeowner has been issued with parking charges  after receiving a letter from Sefton Council saying she cannot park on her own driveway. The letter explains that because the property does not have a dipped kerb, vehicle access to the drive is considered to go against the Highways Act.

The letter states that in order to park on their drives residents must ‘construct a crossing’. If the homeowner doesn’t comply to this, the council state they would construct the crossing work and the homeowner would be made to recover the cost. Online, the job is quoted to cost around £1,000.

(Image: LiverpoolEcho/ WS)

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “The continuous driving over pavements can lead to the damage of a footway creating uneven surfaces which can also lead to trip hazards.

In this instance the footway outside the property has not been dropped and we have written to the home owner informing them of this while asking them to take necessary corrective action”.

Despite moving in to the property twelve years ago, the homeowner Helen Maloney was unaware she could not park on the drive. She explains, other people who live on the street have also received the same letter. The residents who didn’t receive the letter already have dipped kerbs.

Melissa Hogan, Pali Ltd

www.paliltd.com

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Updates to The Law Society Conveyancing Handbook and guidance on Mining and Natural Ground Perils covered in ‘Free’ Coffee Break Webinar Series

The Law Society is making some important new changes with respect to Mining and Natural Ground Perils which will be covered in the soon to be released 25th Edition of its Conveyancing Handbook. Mining and ground report specialist, Terrafirma, is launching a three-part coffee-break webinar series to get you up to date with these new changes.

Starting on Tuesday 11 September and led by Terrafirma CEO, Tom Backhouse, they will  be no more than 15 minutes in length and are designed to give you all of the necessary information including what the changes are, how they impact you and what the benefits are to you and your clients.

Please register your interest and attendance for each webinar via the following links. A download of the webinar will be made available to pre-registered attendees following each event.

  1. Important Changes to The Law Society Conveyancing Law Handbook –

Tuesday 11 September 2018 at 11 am BST

  1. Introducing the Ground Report

Thursday 13 September 2018 at 11 am BST

  1. The Ground Report, a Step-by-Step Overview

Tuesday 18 September 2018 at 11 am BST

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Please note you can also include this webinar attendance in your Annual Compliance Declaration to the SRA.

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Brownfield Sites: A Wildlife Haven

What are brownfield sites?

The United Kingdom’s long industrial past has left behind an estimated 65,760 hectares of ‘derelict and underused’ (Oliver et al., 2005) previous industrial sites, often located in or around towns and cities. These have been classed as brownfield sites. Many brownfield sites may have real or perceived contamination problems linked to their industrial heritage. Brownfield sites are also often viewed negatively in a more general way, they may be considered derelict wastelands. But due to their unique pasts and lack of management they have become home to many rare and essential species that have taken advantage of the mosaic of habitats that can be provided in one location.

A unique habitat

These often negatively perceived pieces of wasteland provide an unexpected haven for wildlife and many have a higher biodiversity than traditional urban green spaces (Bonthoux et al., 2013). Brownfield sites offer unique habitats, varying in age, microclimates, soil substrates and stages of plant succession, it is this variety that results in such a high diversity of species. The various processes that once occurred on these old industrial sites have resulted in a mosaic of different habitats all being supported within one area, including grasslands, heathland and bare ground. Brownfield sites have low nutrient soils which inhibit fast-growing plants from dominating, combined with the range of habitats available this creates a haven for invertebrates, plants, birds, bats, reptiles and amphibians.

The National Planning Policy Framework introduced in 2012 made it clear that brownfield sites should be prioritised for development, however, research shows that 50% of wildlife-rich brownfield sites have been lost or are under threat (Wildlife and Countryside Link, 2015). These ‘high environmental value’ sites are to be excluded from the NPPFs push for brownfield redevelopment.

A major benefit of integrating brownfield sites within urban planning is in the absence of heavy management they provide a network of sites with different successional stages. Brownfield sites offer an ecosystem on the ‘wildside’ (Pueffel et al., 2017) that cannot be found in formal gardens and parks where ecological processes like succession and erosion are controlled.

A remarkable example of a brownfield site becoming a biodiversity hotspot is Canvey Wick in Essex, which now supports nearly 2,000 invertebrate species many of which are declining and rare (Barkham, 2017). The site was initially a dumping ground for extractions from the Thames and later prepared for use as an oil refinery in the 1970s. Area-for-area it has been acknowledged as being the richest place for rare invertebrates in the country (Chris Gibson Wildlife, 2018) resulting in it being nicknamed a ‘brownfield rainforest’. This site has now officially become a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the first brownfield to be given this status, and as a nature reserve is managed by Buglife and the RSPB.

Figure 1. Canvey Wick c. 1976 (Ordnance Survey 2018)

Species that now inhabit brownfield sites include the Small Ranunculus moth (Hecatera dysodea) which until recently had not been seen since World War II but have now recolonised in brownfield habitats (Gill, 2012). Also, the Shrill Carder bee (Bombus sylvarum) which due to habitat loss can now only be found at very few sites, with Thames Gateway brownfield sites supporting one of the only remaining populations of these bees. The unique and wild nature of brownfield sites mean we are now seeing endangered and rare species flourishing and returning to Britain.

Why they should be incorporated into urban development

Many cities already have projects underway turning brownfield sites into green spaces in their own right. Brownfield sites have been shown to contribute significantly to urban biodiversity (Schadek et al., 2009) whilst at the same time providing similar functions as traditional public green spaces such as parks or gardens. The social benefits of including brownfield sites in the urban ecosystem include improving the overall wellbeing of local residents and their quality of life, which has led to more research into sustainable urban development (Pueffel et al., 2017). Brownfield sites that are secluded and less accessible are popular with residents as they offer an isolated retreat where they can be undisturbed and “outside of urban surveillance” (Pueffel et al., 2017). The cultural ecosystem services that brownfield sites provide are seen as greatly beneficial when included in urban development. The recreational services they provide reflect the needs of urban residents which aren’t always met by more conventional public green spaces. This desire for more public spaces can be seen as an indicator of what the public needs are when it comes to spatial planning.

It is important to effectively engage developers to use ecological practices which are designed to conserve and enhance the biodiversity of brownfield habitats (Harrison et al., 2001) when developing a brownfield site. Instead of avoiding developing brownfield sites all together it is important to preserve the areas that harbour the greatest species richness. An effective option is to frame urban brownfield sites with more managed green spaces to overcome any negative public feeling towards brownfield sites remaining within their community (Kattwinkel, 1978). Whilst there have been advances in planning practices in regards to brownfield sites the lack of an official definition of ‘high environmental value’ under the Planning Practice Guidance has resulted in sites which were seen as valuable for wildlife being lost (Wildlife and Countryside Link, 2015).

Although often negatively perceived, brownfield sites represent a unique opportunity for something like a little wilderness in an urban environment. The benefits this has for varied animal habitats, the environment and human happiness are now becoming clear. Increasing awareness of the many environmental and social benefits of brownfield sites has led to them being considered in urban planning as unorthodox green spaces.

References

 

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30ft Sinkhole opens up in Eccles

Police are looking into a deep hole which opened up in Eccles, around 5pm on Monday afternoon. It is said to be 6-9m deep going beyond the road and pavement, around 1.2×1.2m in size.

(Image GMP Traffic)

With fears that the pavement could open up further, Trafford Road remains closed in both directions.

A GMP spokesman said “We were made aware that a large hole had appeared on Trafford Road in Eccles at around 5pm.”

“We are liaising with the council and highways on the matter. The road remains closed.”

“Diversions in place and council on scene.”

Sinkholes are formed when the land surface is changed, causing the material to collapse and sink. It happens when acidic water dissolves the rock underneath the ground eliminating a stable platform.

This image locates the hotspots for sinkholes over Wales and the North West.

To look at sinkhole hotspots all over the UK click here.

If you want to know if your property or land is susceptible to sinkholes you can order a Terrafirma search from Pali by calling 0800 023 5030 or contacting us here.

Melissa Hogan, Pali Ltd

www.paliltd.com

 

 

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Land Registry rolls out new digital LLC Register

At last. After several years in gestation the much vaunted rollout of the Land Charges registers for local councils begins with Warwick going online.

Nicole of Pali (Property And Land Information) placed the first order for an LLC1 through the Land Registry Portal.

When asked what she thought of the process Nicole commented, “It was pretty simple really although it was a little disconcerting when the system showed results which were not related to the property I was searching against as well as those which were. As an experienced search company employee, I was able to separate what was and was not relevant but it would certainly prove confusing for less experienced users.”

Nick Small, Technical Director at Pali, added, “This is an important step in bringing council Land Charges records in to the twenty first century although it will be a few years before all councils are digitised. This was supposed to happen ten years ago with the NLIS portal but was never successful and fully adopted by less than half of councils.

For conveyancers used to buying searches direct from councils this is just adding another step to the process although buyers using private search companies such as Pali will not be affected. They will still have a “one stop shop”.

Melissa Hogan, Pali Ltd

www.paliltd.com

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Pali’s Nicole Cran to take part in sponsored Skydive

Pali’s very own Nicole Cran, a Drainage & Water Search Agent here at Head Office will be taking part in a charity skydive to raise money on behalf of Leukaemia Care.

Nicole recently took part in the Wirral Coastal Walk on her horse, Polly, to help raise money for a charity called Leukaemia Care. After completing this, Nicole decided she wanted to do even more to help raise money for the charity as well as raising awareness of the rare disease, Amyloidosis, in loving memory of her Great Aunty Mal, by braving a sponsored skydive!

Nicole on her horse Polly during the Wirral Coastal Walk.

‘Leukaemia Care’ are a blood cancer charity that provides people who have been affected by blood cancer with all the support, advice and information they can offer, as well caring for the families affected. Set up by a group of parents with children suffering from the disease, Leukaemia Care registered with the Charity Commission in 1969. It is now a national charity that has a team of employees, volunteers and trustees. Now fifty years on the charity provides help for people of any age who have been affected, from diagnosis, through treatment to after care.

The 10,000 ft skydive will take place on September 9th 2018 and Pali are proud to be supporting Nicole who aims to raise as much as she can for the charity as well as create a memory in honour of her lovely Aunty Mal.

If you would like to read more about the fundraiser you can click here to view the event’s Facebook page.

Anyone who wishes to read more about Nicole’s story and would like to donate is more than welcome to by clicking here to view the Just Giving page.

Every contribution is greatly appreciated by everybody involved.

We wish Nicole the best of luck on the day and we can’t wait to hear all about it.

Do your bit, get involved! #TeamLC #RememberingMal #RainbowDiver

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New Law Society Changes to CON29M Reports and Guidance, covered by free Coffee Break webinar series

The Law Society is making some important new changes with respect to land purchases and development in coal mining areas. Mining report specialist, Terrafirma, is launching a three-part coffee-break webinar series to ensure that you have all of the relevant information at your fingertips. Led by Terrafirma CEO, Tom Backhouse and just 10 minutes in length these webinars will cover exactly what the changes are, how they impact you and what the benefits are to you and your clients.

Please register your interest and attendance for each webinar via the following links. A download of the webinar will be made available to pre-registered attendees following each event.

  1. Changes to the Law Society CON29M Guidance – How they impact you
    Wednesday 4th July 2018 at 
    11am (BST)
  2. The Law Society enables a new CON29M report – an overview
    Tuesday 10 July at 11am(BST)
  3. Benefits of the new CON29M Report
    Thursday 12 July at
     11am (BST)

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Please note you can also include this webinar attendance in your Annual Compliance Declaration to the SRA.

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Family forced to turn their home into a shed after losing appeal!

Peter Brown owner of a three-bedroom bungalow near Blairgowrie in Perth and Kinross is being made to return his family home back to its original plan as a shed.


Photograph courtesy of TheCourier.co.uk

The previous owner of the property George Burke built the bungalow however was given permission to only build a garden shed, residential use was not granted. Mr Burke decided to ignore these regulations and built a three-bedroom bungalow, despite the council objecting against this change of use.

Mr Brown later bought the house and began using it as a family home, until the local council enforced the order that the family must vacate the house within 180 days.

Mr Brown appealed the enforcement set by Perth and Kinross council which stated he must vacate the property, however the Scottish ministers agreed with the local council’s enforcement and the Scottish Government Environmental Appeals Division said the family home must be returned back to a shed as originally granted.

Stephen Hall who deals with appeals for the government stated, ‘I appreciate the possibility that the appellant may have bought and occupied the property without knowing that the residential use was unauthorised.’

‘This possible circumstance does add to the importance of allowing a reasonable time period for compliance with the enforcement notice.’

‘However, I consider that a period of 180 days is adequate to identify alternative accommodation in the Blairgowrie area and agree its purchase or lease.’

Although Mr Hall takes into consideration that Mr Brown may have been unaware of the rejected planning requests made by Mr Burke, he still agrees the enforcement should be made with the given time period in order for the Brown’s to find accommodation to use as a home.

Since the enforcement was issued Mr Brown has applied for planning permission to change the property to an office for business use only and that the house would only serve as a residential property temporarily. Mr Brown then tried to argue that whilst this application was under review there should be no action placed as it could have a negative effect for the new application and how that goes against his rights for a fair hearing, under Human Rights legislation.

Mr Hall didn’t agree with Mr Browns argument and said residents and councillors are against the change of use of the house.

Tom McEwan a SNP Councillor added to such opinions and stated that offices would be ‘impossible to monitor’ and that he felt this was a way for Mr Brown to overcome the planning regulation rules put in place and that the property would still be used for residential use.

The 180 days given to vacate the house was given from the initial rejection date.

If you are purchasing a property and have any concerns, you can contact Pali for advice on 0800 023 5030 / search@paliltd.com.

Melissa Hogan, Pali Ltd

www.paliltd.com

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