Archives for November 2012

November 9, 2012 - No Comments!

Easing of planning rules for farmers, Spring 2012


Farmers will be able to undertake new build or extend agricultural buildings including sheds for hay and straw, storage and maintenance of agricultural machinery and plant, milking parlours, slurry storage tanks and chicken and other livestock sheds without having to go through the planning application process. Under plans issued by environment minister Alex Attwood, farmers should be able to construct buildings up to 500 sq m without planning, compared with the current  limit of 300 sq m.

"These proposals, which are the most generous in these islands, will eliminate unnecessary red tape to enable agriculture to grow in a challenging economic climate," said Mr Attwood.

"I want to help expand our agri-food business by 40% in the next few years. Increasing the range of agricultural development that no longer needs planning permission will make it easier for farmers to undertake development."

The consultation, which ends on 18 January, also covers things like milking parlours, slurry stores and anaerobic digesters.AdTech Ad

It is anticipated that these proposals will become law in spring 2013.

More info here:

November 9, 2012 - No Comments!

50m Co-Ownership Funding for NI


The Northern Ireland Co-Ownership Housing Association Limited (NICHA) has secured £50m financing deal with Bank of Ireland and Barclays. This  represents the largest single funding arrangement for a housing association in Northern Ireland to date. The deal is aimed at supporting at least 2,500 affordable homes in the next 4 years through Co-Ownership, Northern Ireland's low cost home ownership scheme.

The scheme helps people to own their own homes through equity "sharing", which means part-buying and part-renting the property of their choice. If a person would not normally be able to buy the home they need on a full mortgage, the Co-Ownership scheme enables them to buy as much as they can afford initially, with the option of buying the rest from NICHA at any time.


Co-Ownership rents are worked out on the value of the property and the size of the share the participant takes. The larger the share the lower the rent. To start with the participant buys at least 50% of the value of the property, through a mortgage in the usual way and pays a rent to NICHA on the other part of the property. If they can afford it the participant can buy 62.5% or at most 75% of the property at the start. How and when they increase their share after that is up to them - in slices of 12.5%, all at once, or not at all.
Any kind of property may be considered for Co-Ownership anywhere in Northern Ireland. There are limits on the value of properties which are set by the Department and reviewed twice a year. At March 2004 NICHA has had 17,945 participants with 13,799 of them now owning their home in full.With house prices at their lowest. Now is a good time to get your name on the list!



[contentdivider][h6]Contact NICHA.[/h6]

Freephone number 0800 333 644

Murray House,
Murray Street,
BT1 6DN.