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Lack of parking sees 7m homeowners convert their front gardens into drives 

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Millions of homeowners have converted their front garden into a driveway amid a shortage of guaranteed parking spaces, it has been revealed.

New research by Direct Line Home Insurance claimed that 6.6 million people have turned either some, or all, of the green space at the front of their property into a dedicated parking area.

The insurer suggested that an extra 3.5 million people are currently planning to do the same, while 4.8 million are considering the move in the future.

It based its research on extrapolating the results of a survey of 2,000 adults, carried out between May 28 and the beginning of June this year.

The highest number of driveways installed was in London, according to research by Direct Line

The highest number of driveways installed was in London, according to research by Direct Line

It comes amid an acute shortage of available parking in many towns and cities where even residents parking fails to solve the issue.

The solution of converting a front garden into a driveway can typically cost thousands of pounds, according to the research.

It suggested that the average cost of having a driveway installed is £2,475. Direct Line said that this equates to £16.3billion already spent by those who have made the changes to their front gardens.

It claimed that a further £10.7billion is expected to be spent in the coming years as the 3.5 million people currently planning on installing a driveway on their property have the work carried out.

It means that homeowners will have spent a total of £27billion turning their front gardens into driveways.

The typical cost of having a driveway installed is £2,475, but it all depends on what type of finish you choose

The typical cost of having a driveway installed is £2,475, but it all depends on what type of finish you choose

How much homeowners spend on their driveway will depend largely on the type they choose.

For example, a gravel driveway is the cheapest option, costing those who install one roughly £40 per sq m.

However, for those who want to install a brick driveway it will cost more than double that amount at around £105 per sq m.

The cost of using paving slabs or concrete is cheaper at £90 per sq m and around £70 per sq m, respectively.

There may be environmentally-friendly options that are cheaper still, such as only using gravel or concrete on the areas under the types, and keeping grass elsewhere.

The research found that the main reason people have or want to turn their garden into a driveway is to make parking easier at 38 per cent.

It also found that 36 per cent wanted to fit more than one person into the car, while 32 per cent wanted to keep their car safer.

Those turning their front gardens into parking spaces who do not yet havea  crossover need to apply for a dropped kerb, so that they can drive easily into the area.

Separate research carried out earlier this year for Direct Line found that during the past three years there has been a rise in the number of dropped kerb requests received by local councils.

Between April 2018 and March 2019, councils received an estimated 14,500 planning requests for dropped kerbs, rising to 14,700 between April 2020 and March 2021.

However, despite this, the proportion of approved applications has fallen, from 80 per cent in between April 2018 and March 2019 to 74 per cent between April 2020 and March 2021.

It appears that this has resulted in many taking matters into their own hands as during the past three years there have been more than 7,500 investigations into illegally-installed driveways – at 4,274 – and dropped kerbs – at 3,347 -, working out at nearly eight per day across Britain.

Dan Simson, of Direct Line Home Insurance, said: ‘Parking spaces across many parts of Britain are in high demand. It is interesting to see how kerb appeal now means a dropped kerb, rather than an attractive front garden, with parking valued much more highly than grass and shrubbery.

‘Creating a driveway often means a dropped kerb which involves applying for planning permission from a local council. We would encourage anyone thinking about doing this to do their research to ensure they have all the correct permissions in place. It is also important to keep your insurer in the loop to make sure your policy remains valid and you are adequately covered.’

More than six million people have turned some or all of their front garden into parking

More than six million people have turned some or all of their front garden into parking

At a regional level, Direct Line’s most recent research found that the highest number of driveways installed was in London, with nearly 1.2 million people having replaced some or all of their front garden.

It accounts for nearly a fifth of all conversions, at 18 per cent, and is followed by the South East and the West Midlands both at 14 per cent.

A third of the population lives in these three regions, highlighted the demand for accessible parking in densely-populated areas.

Demand for driveways in these areas shows no signs of abating with these three regions also accounting for 62 per cent of all those currently planning to convert their front garden into a driveway.

For dropped curb applications, Scotland has the highest application approval rate at 98 per cent followed by the East Midlands at 91 per cent and London at 90 per cent.

The regions with the highest proportion of investigations into illegally installed driveways were Yorkshire at 26 per cent, the East Midlands at 12 per cent and London at 10 per cent.

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Oscar-winning La La Land star Emma Stone places three-bedroom Malibu home up for sale for $4.2M

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Oscar-winning La La Land star Emma Stone places three-bedroom Malibu home up for sale for $4.2 million

  • Stone, 33, purchased the oceanfront property for $3.25 in 2018
  • The home spans more than 1,700 sq. feet over 3.2 acres of property in the luxe Southern California area 
  • The home includes exquisite views of the Los Angeles cityscape, Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island 
  • Stone also owns houses in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas; and an apartment in Manhattan 

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Emma Stone is looking to sell her three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Malibu, California for $4.2 million.

The 33-year-old actress has listed the mid-century bungalow home on the real estate market, about four years after she purchased the oceanfront property for $3.25 in 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The one-story home belonging to the Oscar-winning La La Land star spans more than 1,700 sq. feet over 3.2 acres of property in the luxe Southern California area.

The latest: Emma Stone, 33, is looking to sell her three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Malibu, California for $4.2 million. The Academy Award-winning actress was snapped in Athens, Greece earlier this month

The latest: Emma Stone, 33, is looking to sell her three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Malibu, California for $4.2 million. The Academy Award-winning actress was snapped in Athens, Greece earlier this month 

Sotheby’s International Realty listing agent Eric Lavey, who is the listing agent on the property, described the home to the paper as ‘a classic 1958 California Midcentury hanging over the Pacific’ and ‘the Malibu beach house they would choose for a Nancy Meyers movie.’

The Scottsdale, Arizona-born beauty’s home includes exquisite views of the Los Angeles cityscape, Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island, and is within walking distance of nearby hiking trails and the beach.

The Cruella star’s house, which has been renovated in recent years, has a state-of-the-art kitchen with gold accents.

The living room of the abode is centered around a fireplace encased in a white brick column, as floor-to-ceiling windows in the home allow for sunlight to pour in.

The living room of the abode is centered around a fireplace encased in a white brick column

The living room of the abode is centered around a fireplace encased in a white brick column

The home boasts amazing views of the Pacific Ocean via multiple angles and vantage points

The home boasts amazing views of the Pacific Ocean via multiple angles and vantage points 

The home features a dining area outdoors which is sequestered by eucalyptus and yucca trees

The home features a dining area outdoors which is sequestered by eucalyptus and yucca trees

A dining room in the home sits adjacent to an outdoor patio

A dining room in the home sits adjacent to an outdoor patio 

A bathroom in the home has a standalone bathtub along with a rain shower.

The home features a dining area outdoors which is sequestered by eucalyptus and yucca trees, and a patio with a panoramic view of the coast.

Other amenities the home features includes a recreation room and art studio.

The Cruella star's house, which has been renovated in recent years, has a state-of-the-art kitchen

The Cruella star’s house, which has been renovated in recent years, has a state-of-the-art kitchen 

The home is made of white brick and wood with gold accents and state-of-the-art appliances

The home is made of white brick and wood with gold accents and state-of-the-art appliances 

A dine-in area sits adjacent to the kitchen in the stunning beach home

A dine-in area sits adjacent to the kitchen in the stunning beach home 

In the years since she acquired the home, Stone in 2020 wed writer Dave McCary, 36, and the couple welcomed a baby daughter in March of 2021.

According to the paper, Stone also owns houses in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas; and an apartment in Manhattan.

Lavey told the paper that he expected the house to sell quickly, as there is a scarcity of homes in that price range in Malibu, and residents of other well-heeled Los Angeles locales such as Beverly Hills or Holmby Hills are partial to purchasing smaller beach homes.

A master bedroom in the home outlooks a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean

A master bedroom in the home outlooks a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean 

Floor-to-ceiling windows in the home allow for sunlight to pour into the home

Floor-to-ceiling windows in the home allow for sunlight to pour into the home 

A bathroom in the home includes a rain shower and standalone tub

A bathroom in the home includes a rain shower and standalone tub

A shower in the bathroom has a glass door with gold fixtures

A shower in the bathroom has a glass door with gold fixtures 

A brick-lined patio area boasts a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean

A brick-lined patio area boasts a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean 

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More than 9,000 artists apply for universal basic income scheme

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More than 9,000 artists have applied for a new dedicated basic income scheme which will see successful applicants receive €325 a week.

Minister for the Arts Catherine Martin said there had been a “huge level of enthusiasm” for the scheme and described the plans as a “watershed moment” for the sector.

Assessment of the applications has started and the process will take a number of weeks given the high volume received.

The basic income scheme was launched in April when the Government announced the payment would be made available to 2,000 applicants in total.

The Coalition has said the objective of the scheme is to address the earnings instability that can be associated with the intermittent and sometimes project-based nature of work in the arts.

The process for selecting successful applicants will be non-competitive, so once a person satisfies the eligibility criteria they will be included in a randomised selection process to pick the successful 2,000. It is understood unsuccessful but eligible applicants will be invited to participate in a control group to help with an appraisal of the pilot scheme.

A basic income for artists was the main recommendation of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce set up in 2020 to examine how the sector could adapt and recover from the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The scheme opened for applications on April 12th and closed on Thursday, May 12th.

The Department of Arts said the highest number of applications came from those in the visual arts sector, followed by those involved in music, then film and then literature.

‘Watershed moment’

Speaking to The Irish Times, Ms Martin said it represented “a watershed moment in the funding of artistic practice in Ireland”.

“The new measure makes a statement about our values as a nation – that the voices of artists have been heard and that the arts matter. This is a unique opportunity to research the impact a basic income could have on the arts and to provide the evidence base for a permanent support.

“I am very pleased with the huge level of enthusiasm for the basic income for the arts pilot scheme and am delighted that over 9,000 artists and creative arts workers were willing to participate in this innovate research project.”

Mr Martin said the scheme “heralds a new approach to the way the State funds and recognises her artists and I look forward to seeing the data and findings of the research during the pilot”.

There had been significant interest in the new scheme for artists from other countries, media and practitioners, which indicated the enthusiasm in the arts globally for the move, the Minister added.

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Neinver begins construction of Alpes The Style Outlets (FR)

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NEINVER has resumed construction works at Alpes The Style Outlets, which once completed will mark the company’s 17th outlet centre across 6 European countries. The company broke ground last March and works are advancing on schedule, with the development of three platforms that will house the main building and car park all well underway. Alpes The Style Outlets, which will be NEINVER’s second outlet centre in France, boasts an exceptional location near the Swiss border, close to Geneva and next to key tourist destinations. It will feature 20,400m² of GLA, over 90 boutiques and restaurants providing both local and international cuisine.

 

“France is a strategic market for NEINVER. Our aim is to develop and operate this centre with the local community firmly involved, providing it with an exciting leisure option, while also contributing to improving the region’s economic and social development,” commented Daniel Losantos, NEINVER Chief Executive Officer. “Outlet centres have shown continued resilience, and this development is a clear vote of confidence in the sector and in the opportunity the site offers to brands to further grow their business.”

 

Located 25 minutes from Geneva, the scheme will offer 1,350 parking spaces and will have direct access to the A-40 motorway, a key transport link between France and Switzerland and to popular winter destinations. It will also be easily accessible by high-speed train thanks to the Paris to Geneva connection, with a TGV station located just 5 minutes from the future centre.

 

“We are seeing keen interest from our brand partners in this one-of-a-kind project due to its exciting retail proposition and its unique location, with great brands such as Adidas, Guess and Levi’s already joining the scheme”, said Joan Rouras, NEINVER Leasing and Retail Director. The centre is exceptionally well located in the Grand Genève area, which enjoys a strong purchasing power and high levels of tourism. The region has also seen a spike in population growth in recent years and is expected to continue increasing significantly in the coming years. To attract these customers, we are designing a destination that will feature an exclusive retail mix of sought-after international brands and the best of what the local area has to offer – a compelling offer for any fashion lover or avid sports fan.”

 

Finely tuned to the local landscape, Alpes The Style Outlets will offer an avant-garde atmosphere, combining natural materials such as wood and stone for a contemporary look. In this open mall concept designed in an “Alpine village” style with chalet-style shops and terraces, NEINVER plans to create a promenade destination and a relaxing day-out providing much more than just shopping. Lyon-based SEV Architectures will project monitor the construction under the coordination and supervision of Arcadis, leading global design and consultancy.

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