As we look forward to what we hope is a less tumultuous 2023 our Real Estate Development Yule Blog starting today should provide you with a taste of some of the issues we have been concerned with this year which will continue to be of huge relevance to the real estate industry. We start the 12 day countdown by looking ahead to 2023 with 12 points to ponder in the real estate development world:

  1. The Building Safety Act is redefining the legislative framework for building safety and has a wide impact on many transactions. Landlords, developers and their associated companies may find themselves liable in relation to the remediation of fire safety defects in existing buildings under Remediation Orders and Remediation Contribution Orders that came into force earlier this year. Between April and October next year, further building safety regulations are expected to be introduced, including the requirements for new higher-risk buildings to pass building control gateways before construction and occupation, as well as the new building safety management regime for occupied higher-risk buildings and maintaining the 'golden thread' of information. We will be looking at these requirements on the 11th, 7th and 3rd days of our Yule Blog.
  2. The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 has created a new statutory hurdle for overseas purchasers and owners of UK real estate interests. The register of overseas entities has been open since 1 September 2022, and requires all those overseas entities which already own or intend to acquire UK real estate to first register their details (and those of their beneficial owners) at Companies House. With the deadline for registration for those entities which already own UK land looming (31 January 2023), there are still plenty of entities who will need to submit their applications in the next month or so in order to avoid being on the naughty list ... look out for our upcoming blog on the register for further details on the 2nd day's blog.
  3. Planning reform has been on the government's agenda since 2019. 2022 has been a turbulent year but hopefully 2023 will see progress. Barring further political upheaval, the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, with its ever-widening range of reforms, could see Royal Assent by the spring. 2023 should also see publication of the government's long-heralded "prospectus" of proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). We'll take a deeper look at the trials and tribulations of planning reform and what we can expect in the 5th day's blog.
  4. From 1 April 2023 landlords may not continue to let a commercial property with an EPC rating below E until they have either carried out all relevant energy efficient improvement works to bring the property above an E rating or registered one of the permitted exemptions. We look at some questions you may have on this on the 9th day of our Yule Blog and how the future looks for improving the energy efficiency of commercial buildings.
  5. ESG will continue to be a core issue for businesses, investors and lenders. Our ESG hub will guide you through some of the key talking points and includes our work on future cities.
  6. The Environment Act 2021 has now been in place for over a year. The hinge pin for environmental reforms over years to come, some provisions are now in force although more are to follow. With important statutory deadlines under the Act already missed, including publication of the government's environmental targets, the Office for Environmental Protection is holding the government to account. In the 4th day of our Yule Blog, we'll take a brief look at what has been achieved so far under the Act and what is yet to come.
  7. The Environment Act 2021 also introduced mandatory biodiversity net gain - the requirement that all development should achieve a net increase in biodiversity of at least 10%, maintained over at least 30 years. This requirement will come into effect in November 2023 for town and country planning development, although not until 2025 for nationally significant infrastructure projects. 2023 will see the secondary legislation which will bring these requirements into force. We look at this further on the 10th day.
  8. 2022 has seen some significant court decisions and 2023 will likely be no different. Following the Court of Appeal's decision this year in Finch, developers of energy projects will be keen to hear what the Supreme Court has to say about the degree of connection between development projects and downstream emissions. This is just one of the cases we look at on the 8th day of our Yule Blog where we take a look at some of the significant decisions of 2022 and what we can expect in 2023.
  9. Inflation and the rise in interest rates has put many companies throughout the construction supply chain at risk of insolvency. Those with an interest in development projects will need to consider how best to protect their own interests against the risk of such insolvencies. This will be something to watch out for in 2023.
  10. As a result of global events, landlords dealing with developments being carried out under a development agreement for lease must be particularly mindful of the sanctions regime in force as regards Russian entities. In particular, rents or other payments from a tenant entity that is subject to the sanctions regime cannot be collected and it is usually the case that contractual steps (such as surrenders or amendments to an agreement) are not permissible either. The sanctions legislation is broad in its effect, covering not only specific persons linked to the Russian state, but also all entities that are majority-owned by Russian shareholders. We include some further detail on this on the 2nd day of our Yule Blog.
  11. The government is proposing to change the status of EU retained law by the end of 2023 which would have a significant impact in particular on environmental legislation. In our final blog we look at what this may mean as the legislation makes its way through parliament.
  12. Emerging technologies and the virtual world of the Metaverse are opening up many possibilities and challenges for businesses throughout the development sector. Have a look at our TECHQUAKE series of articles for some of the things you wanted to know about the metaverse but were afraid to ask.

Come back tomorrow for the 11th day of our Yule Blog ...

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