Budget 2015: Benefits for housing, development and the regional economy
The 2015 Budget claimed Britain's economy is 'walking tall' once again and contained a wealth of announcements that could have positive repercussions for planning, development and regional economies.
So without further ado, we'll explore some of the announcements that were made and delve into their potential impact.
Help to Buy ISA
The Chancellor's introduction of a Help to Buy ISA (Individual Savings Account) will be an undoubtedly positive step in combatting the UK's ongoing housing crisis.
Its key features include government contributions of £50 for every £250 first-time buyers put away and will work in concert with the newly-unveiled Personal Savings Allowance that will free savers from paying tax on the first £1,000 of interest they accrue.
The Help to Buy ISA is likely to have a positive impact on house building prospects, with government additions to first-time buyer deposits likely to provoke further demand in the market.
Shares in house-building companies have already reacted positively to the announcement and this will undoubtedly have the knock-on effect of further pressure for earlier planning consents for those in the industry.
"Working across party lines, and in partnership with the councils of the north, we are this week publishing a comprehensive Transport Strategy for the North," said the Chancellor.
"We are promoting industries from chemicals in the North East to Tech in the North West. And I can today confirm agreement with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority for a new city deal.
"Our agreement with Greater Manchester on an elected mayor is the most exciting development in civic leadership for a generation – with the devolution of power over skills, transport and now health budgets."
The government's efforts to tackle the north-south divide continued in this Budget, with the city deal for West Yorkshire metropolitan authorities and confirmation that Greater Manchester will be able to retain 100% of business rates.
We think this will provide further stimulus for the northern economy, as well as providing impetus for the Northern Powerhouse initiative and the major infrastructure and large-scale planning initiatives throughout the north.
Manchester and Leeds are set to become critical hubs of job generation and we're likely to see positive impacts on major commercial development in these cities.
The City deal for the West Yorkshire metropolitan authorities and confirmation that Greater Manchester will be able to keep 100% of business rates will further stimulate the Northern Powerhouse initiative and with it major infrastructure and large-scale planning initiatives across the north. Manchester and Leeds will be critical hubs of job generation with likely positive impacts on major commercial development in these cities.
While we view the above as the major issues for housing, planning and development, several other announcements were fielded that could impact these fields.
- New enterprise zones in Blackpool and Plymouth
- The introduction of the first 20 Housing Zones outside of London
- £1 million in funding for the London Land Commission with a view to mapping brownfield land in the area
- Devolved planning powers for the mayor of London over wharves and sightlines
- A consultation with a view to improving and hastening the compulsory purchase regime
If you've got any thoughts on this year's Budget announcements, or any queries about the potential fallout from new policies – be sure to leave us a comment below or get in touch via Twitter.
And if you're looking to take advantage of the new opportunities in housing or commercial development – be sure to get in touch today.
Images used courtesy of Images Money on Flickr.