Monthly Archives: January 2016


John Robinson, a divorce solicitor at Cygnet Law

John Robinson, a divorce solicitor at Cygnet Law

Redcar-based Cygnet Law has questioned the reasoning behind ‘Divorce Day’ being highlighted in January.

The first working Monday of the new year has been designated ‘Divorce Day’, by some in the legal industry with claims it is the day of the year people are mostly like to enquire about a divorce. It also is said that as many as one in five couples contact a divorce lawyer on this day.

However, Cygnet believes the rise of this as a marketing tactic could lead to law firms not meeting the real requirements of their clients following a marriage breakdown.

Cygnet’s records show that it receives the most divorce enquiries during September and October. This is when the summer holidays – a time when children are off school and parents do not want to upset the family balance – are over.

John Robinson, a divorce solicitor at Cygnet Law, which specialises in family law, mental health, conveyancing and wills and probate, said: “Divorce and marriage difficulties are very serious and upsetting for anyone involved, therefore should not be part of any kind of marketing gimmick.

“Divorce rates are on the rise and while relationships can break up at any time for a number of reasons, we have found that there is a peak in September and October.

“Here at Cygnet we have a strong sense of community and believe in treating our clients with the upmost respect during the challenging times of divorce.

“We believe that the focus should be on supporting clients as they face the financial and emotional trauma of a marital breakdown.”


Peter Medd 1 - Copy

The number of homes granted planning permission in Redcar and Cleveland is bigger than new-build targets set out in the area’s Housing Strategy, according to research by a leading Teesside law firm.

Under a Freedom of Information request, Cygnet has discovered how many residential units received planning permission annually across the borough during the last five years.

This totalled 2,835 which equates to an average of 567 dwellings a year compared to the 400 new-build annual target outlined in the Strategy published by Redcar and Cleveland Council and Redcar and Cleveland Housing Partnership.

The breakdown revealed by the FoI request comprises:

Year Total
2010-2011 236
2011-2012 802
2012-2013 379
2013-2014 644
2014-2015 774

The local authority’s most recent Redcar and Cleveland Housing Strategy said the aim was for 6,000 new homes to be built by 2025, which is a rate of about 400 per year.

Peter Medd, a Director at Cygnet Law, which specialises in a range of legal services including conveyancing, said: “There is a perception that there is an acute housing shortage across the whole of the UK and that not enough homes are being given planning permission to meet demand.

“However, as can be seen from our research, in the borough of Redcar and Cleveland permission has been awarded for more than the number of homes necessary to fulfil local requirements.

“It is to be hoped that these planning permissions are being transformed into bricks and mortar at a rate that keeps pace with demand.”

Mr Medd added: “It is important areas have the appropriate residential mix to match their demographics and in Redcar and Cleveland the local authority and housing associations are working hard to ensure that the offer ranges from affordable social housing to executive homes.”

The Strategy said: “In recognition of our projected population growth and our aim to attract and retain the key groups which will underpin our economic growth, we remain committed to accelerating housing growth, which is vital to support our economic growth.”

The FoI question posed by Cygnet was how many new residential units were given planning permission within the borough of Redcar and Cleveland annually during the years 2010-2011; 2011-2012; 2012-2013; 2013-2014, and 2014- 2015.

Under a recently announced plan, the Government will arrange for planning permission to be granted at five areas in England and then offer the sites to developers. The sites, which comprise 13,000 homes, will be offered in parcels of 500 homes each to smaller house builders.

Mr Medd added: “The news that the Government plans to directly to “commission” new homes on publicly-owned land in five pilot areas in the South is to be welcomed.

“It would be beneficial to the shortage of homes in the UK to see this scheme rolled out across more geographical locations, where there is deemed to be a housing need.”