Richard Carr was amongst the many listening intently to George Osborne’s budget speech to assess what effect it would have upon the commercial and residential development industry.
The Chancellor promised a raft of planning reforms in his recent summer budget, but didn’t reveal implicitly what would be introduced or changed. Exactly what the reforms will include are set to be revealed on Friday 10 July.
Further devolution was also promised by the Chancellor has he insisted that the administration remained committed to the development of a ‘Northern Powerhouse’. He committed £30m to establish ‘Transport for the North’ as a statutory body with statutory responsibilities.
Transport in the North
Osborne’s plans include working on an Oyster-style smart and integrated ticking system across bus, tram metro and rail services covering the North’s mayor-led city regions.
If the government’s plans to make the likes of Manchester and Leeds ‘Northern Powerhouses’ is successful then it could create a number of opportunities for developers. Companies could possibly be enticed to move or extend their operations up north, which would require more office space. Also, more companies means more employees which means that residential property will be in demand, which creates further opportunities for developers.
In addition to Osborne’s devolution plans, he promised to introduce a new approach to station redevelopment and commercial land sales on the rail network building, following the experience of regenerating land around Kings Cross Station and Stratford in east London.
Ministers will establish a dedicated body to focus on “pursuing opportunities to realise value from public land and property assets in the rail network to both maximise the benefit to local communities and reduce the burden of public debt”.
Richard Carr felt that George Osborne’s deliver of the budget was outstanding and from a political standpoint very interesting.
However, he found it odd that there wasn’t more attention paid to infrastructure spending. As one of the most ingenious nations on earth, he can’t understand why we are way down on £ per capita per annum despite being one of the hardest working nations.
Richard puts it down to two things. Either we spend too much time commuting or there is too much burden in terms of red tape surrounding the simplest of transactions.
In his opinion, the UK should cut away from the EU, which would mean all the legislation adopted in the last 15 years from Brussels would become pointless, meaning we can spend heavily on infrastructure.
For example, how can there be no working internet on the Bournemouth to Waterloo rail line? How can that be right in 2015?