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CSR must harness power of real estate industry

Nia Williams

October 18, 2010

In a submission to Government ahead of this week’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) the property industry has urged ministers to use the CSR to:

  • Give incentives for development
  • Use planning and public sector assets to drive economic growth
  • Streamline sustainability policy
  • Re-instate empty property rate relief

The BPF said plans for a New Homes Bonus, which matches the council tax raised on each new house for six years, must be extended to commercial schemes, and for government to further localise business rates.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “The Government needs to act quickly to provide a stimulus for commercial development and also to allow local authorities greater control over general rating. This would provide a much stronger motivation for local authorities to back new development that generates economic activity and creates new jobs.”

The BPF also urged better training in development economics for planners, and for councils to make more use of developer resources, such as allowing developers to fund extra planning officers and so allow them to process applications more quickly.

Peace said: “If we are to make the Big Society work it’s important we see planning applications processed quickly and a further increase in the pool receiving training in this area. Planners and allied professionals need to have a good grasp of the issues that affect development viability locally.”

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