British Property Federation: Autumn Budget 2021 reaction
“The package of measures the Chancellor has announced on business rates relief will bring some welcome temporary relief to our high streets but demonstrate how badly further, fundamental reform is needed.
“While a move to three-year revaluations is welcome, we continue to urgently call for annual revaluations. Businesses need to see long-term reductions in the rates they pay rather than short term fixes. The current practice of downwards transitions needs to end and would give high streets an £8.5bn boost and enable them to forward plan and protect jobs.
“We are pleased that the Chancellor has also responded directly to the BPF’s call for business rates relief to encourage building improvement and to support the transition to net zero. This will give a significant boost to investment in revitalised, more sustainable town centres.”
“The Chancellor confirmed again that levelling up is at the core of the Government’s policy agenda and gave some indication of how public spending will be used to support critical building blocks such as infrastructure and housing supply.
“The £1.8 billion allocated to brownfield development is a positive commitment to regeneration and will unlock underutilised sites across the country and create new opportunities for SME property investors and developers .
“We will need to see further details in the promised levelling up white paper however to understand how the millions of pounds of investment our sector represents can partner effectively alongside national and local government to deliver the built environment which is critical to levelling up across the country.”
Digitisation of the planning system
“The BPF has for some time been advocating for the introduction of targeted funding to support local authorities’ transition to a more digitalised planning system. The £65 million package to support digital transformation is therefore a welcome start.
“Ensuring our planning system is fit for purpose is critical to delivering on the Government’s levelling up agenda and if the Government ambitions for planning reform are to be realised then all parts of the planning system including decimated local authority planning departments will need to be better resourced.”
Residential Property Developer Tax
“The rate and allowance announced today is broadly as expected, and we welcome confirmation that the tax will be time-limited and repealed once sufficient revenue has been raised. It is right that student accommodation, and those who build and continue to own build-to-rent development, should be exempt from this tax, and we hope this exemption will extend to all forms of build to rent activity.”