Although George Osborne was in the news for his Summer Budget last week, he also made another announcement that could have a significant impact on construction contractors across the UK. Hot off the back of his financial plans for the country, the Chancellor has revealed his Productivity Plan, a document that has been described as a blueprint for a more financially successful nation.
The plan, officially entitled ‘Fixing the Foundations’, contains a number of measures, most of which are focused on a proposed overhaul of the planning system in order to make it less strict and easier to use in order to make it easier to build enough houses to meet current demand. The development industry has welcomed the proposals with open arms, but there are those who are concerned that the problems will not be fully resolved by the potential changes.
One of the most radical aspects of the plan is the idea of granting automatic planning permission for any developments that are proposed on ‘brown-field’ sites, ie land where buildings have already been erected such as former industrial estates and other unused areas. The idea of having a ‘zoning’ system is one which has already proved popular in the United States, Germany and France, where there are areas which are designated for certain uses and the planning restrictions applied are not specific to each individual building proposed. This allows developers to have a list of rules about what can and cannot be built in a particular area and submit designs based on the pre-established conditions.
Britain is one of the only countries in the world which has a discretionary system whereby the decision on whether or not to develop a site at all is only taken when the planning application is made. Whilst zoning would not guarantee that planning decisions would be faster and easier to obtain, those who work in the construction industry are optimistic that it would remove some of the more time-consuming elements of the process.
For those independent professionals working in the construction industry, the news could mean that their prospects are significantly improved. If developers are able to get planning permission without having to take on some of the more onerous negotiations that are an inherent part of the current system, then they will be better placed to provide scheduled work for construction contractors and other industry specialists.
Anyone who wants to know what the current government has in store for them might find it easier to have an expert on hand to help them understand the latest changes that are being made to the legislation which will affect them. Our team of specialist contractor accountants are always on hand to offer their advice on the latest announcements from the government so we can help you to stay on top of any changes that will affect you. Call our friendly team today on 01253 362062 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to hear what we can do for you.