The government unveiled a raft of measures in today’s Budget and Plan for Growth which it says will help provide growth for the construction industry in the year ahead.
Among them are additional capital investments for regional rail projects, repair for damaged roads and the Green Investment Bank.
Changes to stamp duty, funding for 21 new enterprise zones and a commitment to publish the UK’s long-term forward view of projects and programmes in autumn 2011 as part of the National Infrastructure Plan 2011 are also included.
The planning system will be reformed to allow for commercial property to be converted to housing without the need for planning permission; a pilot scheme to auction public sector land and a presumption in favour of sustainable development.
Among the measures are:
- The government will publish a quarterly list of all construction and infrastructure projects where public funding has been agreed.
- Local authorities will receive a further £100 million to repair damaged roads
- Regional rail projects including the linking of Manchester’s main stations will receive an extra £200m
- Stamp Duty will now be levied on the mean value of the houses being purchased within a portfolio – not the bulk cost.
- £3 billion will be provided towards a Green Investment Bank, which can leverage up to £15m of additional capital, but the bank will not be able to borrow until 2015/16.
- A carbon floor price of £16 per tonne for carbon emissions will be established by 2013, rising to £30 per tonne by 2020.
The government says it will produce a shorter, more focused and inherently pro-growth National Planning Policy Framework to deliver more development in suitable and viable locations.
It also intends to ensure all planning applications and appeals will be processed in 12 months and that major infrastructure projects will be fast-tracked.
Further measures include:
- Businesses will get up to 100 per cent discount on rates, new super fast broadband and the potential to use enhanced capital allowances in zones where there is a strong focus on manufacturing.
- Reforming the way in which government procures public sector construction and infrastructure to reduce costs by up to 20 per cent. This will include measures to encourage standardisation rather than bespoke designs, setting clear criteria for asset performance and introducing new models of procurement.