The Summer Budget 2015 for planning lawyers

The Summer Budget 2015 for planning lawyers

With the Chancellor’s speech still ringing in our ears, we bring together the most important features of the Summer Budget 2015 for planning lawyers alongside expert analysis and industry comment.

What are the headlines for the Summer Budget for planning lawyers and why?

Martha Grekos, leader of the planning and infrastructure team, Irwin Mitchell:

Chancellor George Osborne has been freed from the shackles of coalition government to deliver his seventh Budget but the first purely Conservative Budget in 20 years. When the Chancellor announced this Budget back in May 2015, the Chancellor said that he wanted to ‘turn promises made in the election into a reality’. Indeed, he introduced this budget as ‘a big budget for a country with big ambitions’.

However, the Chancellor would appear to have decided to tease us—the proposed planning reforms are not to be announced until Friday 10 July 2015.

Before that time, we would like to see clearer thinking in getting more houses built. The greatest threat to—in particular—London’s economic resilience is the weakening of housing affordability. The only solution for this is to build more homes. Giving money to first time home buyers or simply moving housing wealth around without building more homes just means that the price of owning a house is pushed up. It is anticipated that the planning reforms will not be so radical to include, for example, development in the greenbelt, but could include, for instance, making low-cost employment land available for housing development. Meanwhile, house building and property shares will be hit by the various measures unveiled—the move to tighten non-dom tax rules, with permanent non-dom status to be abolished, will hit companies with a focus in London and could impact on the level of foreign investment.

The infrastructure proposals were very much focused on:

  • the creation of the new £15bn road fund to improve roads for the rest of the decade;

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