The Listed Property Owners’ Club take their campaign for owners to Westminster
The Listed Property Owners’ Club (LPOC) has enlisted specialist PR firm, Maitland, who have designed a strategy to draw attention to the issues surrounding listed property ownership.
Following years of disappointing decisions by government that have eroded help for owners of listed properties, LPOC Founder Peter Anslow has decided to lobby parliament to raise awareness and improve support.
Zero-rated VAT on approved listed building consent works was lost in the 2012 budget, while owners also face a barrage of conflicting information, regulations and demands from local conservation offices that makes maintaining their homes to the legally required standard extremely difficult and expensive.
Club Founder Peter Anslow meeting with Eric Ollerenshaw MP in Westminster
With 80% of people who own a listed property falling into socio-economic groups B-D and 50% of owners in groups C-E, the affordability of maintaining heritage buildings is now unrealistic for many.
LPOC has begun a number of activities to lobby the government to reduce VAT for all work on listed buildings to 5%. One of the first actions was to write to the MPs in the top 50 marginal seats with the largest number of listed buildings in their constituency. For many of the MPs approached, the number of listed building owners in their constituency equates to enough votes to either gain or lose them their seats.
The first meetings were with MPs Glenda Jackson (Hampstead and Kilburn), Peter Aldous (Waveney), John Stevenson (Carlisle), Eric Ollerenshaw (Lancaster and Fleetwood) and Karl McCartney (Lincoln). LPOC are also shortly due to meet with Nick De Bois (Enfield), Neil Carmichael (Stroud), and Tracy Crouch (Chatham and Aylesford). The aim is to create an All Party Political Group, which would see a selection of MPs and Lords meet regularly to discuss listed properties, a great way of having a "voice" in Westminster.
The feedback from the initial meetings with MPs has been extremely positive and LPOC used the opportunities to raise a number of other issues that concern members. LPOC will continue to lobby parliament to raise awareness of the complexities of being a listed building owner, and to push for a VAT reduction on all listed building works to 5%.