In this week’s budget statement, Chancellor George Osborne announced a fresh attack on the planning system together with a commitment to provide £420m to local development as part of the government’s strategy for the UK to ‘earn’ its way out of recession.
“Global businesses have diverted specific investments that would have created hundreds of jobs in some of the most deprived communities in Britain to countries like Germany and the Netherlands, because they couldn’t get planning permission here. That is unacceptable.”
Amongst many of the issues that have become critical in the UK, housing remains at the top of the list. This week’s budget saw the demise of longwinded procedures with 1000 pages of planning guidance being reduced to just 50 pages, effective from Tuesday 27th March.
At Asset Land, we have long maintained that our Greenfield investment sites are strategically located for logical urban development being on the periphery of existing and established housing in areas where the housing shortfall is at its highest.
With the radical reforms to planning due to take effect next week, Asset Land is confident that our Greenfield investment sites will be amongst those fast-tracked for re-zoning as part of the governments renewed attack on the housing crisis.
In the budget speech, Osborne also announced that the government will commit an extra £420m of investment to support local development by supporting £150m of tax increment financing to help local authorities and adding £270m to the ‘growing places’ fund, which supports infrastructure.
Osborne confirmed the government’s presumption in favour of sustainable development when its National Planning Policy Framework is published next week, although he also said ‘our most precious environments’ would be protected.
The government has also committed an extra £150m of spending on the ‘Get Britain Building’ fund which provides commercial loans or equity stakes for house builders to allow stalled schemes to go ahead.
The government’s intention is very much to bring about economic recovery by making it easier for local governments to meet their housing shortfalls and creating employment in the process.
Tax increment financing allows local authorities to borrow against future growth in business rates and will provide some of the extra funds required to develop much needed housing.
The budget has reinforced the government’s intention to boost the housing sector and in turn the economy. The investment made in building and maintaining homes creates new jobs, saves the government benefit payments, invests in local communities and boosts general economic activity.
Osborne has recognized in his budget that few other sectors can offer this potential with such short lead-in times and the prospect of so much growth directly benefiting local communities.
There are currently 4.5 million people on waiting lists for homes in the UK and 1 million children in overcrowded accommodation. The budget commits to addressing this critical situation in the most expedient way possible through the streamlining of longwinded planning processes and increased government spending to create more homes.
Asset land welcome these changes which will progress our Greenfield investment sites through to re-zoning within a much shorter period of time than previously envisaged and providing an exit point which will yield some extraordinary returns for our clients.
If you wish to find out more about Asset Land’s range of strategic Greenfield investments, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.