Submitted by Richard Jones, EC Harris, Head of Residential, Regeneration & Growth
There has been a lot of activity in the last few weeks with various conferences and strategic meetings all trying to make sense of the market conditions we now find ourselves in.
Most notably we had the RESI conference down at Celtic Manor. The conference was well attended and the fringe discussions seemed to revolve around a recovering market driven by the private sector particularly in the south.
There was a lot of posturing as many different types of suitors tested the appetite of each other to work in partnerships and what that potentially could bring. Eric Pickles provided one of the key note speeches that majored on the new planning regime and how it was up to the conference members to make it work to their advantage. Under the strap line of “Getting Britain building again” we were bombarded with statistics such as the delay in planning costing the construction industry an incredible £3bn per year.
Three key points were made by Mr Pickles:
Localism is here to stay
Lenders have a key role to play, with the need for mortgages to come in all shapes and sizes
There is a need for a high quality private rented sector and Government is helping to facilitate this through changes in the accumulation rules around stamp duty and making easier the running or Real Estate Community Trusts.
It would seem that Government is taking this Localism ethos very seriously making it clear that it is up to the communities to decide what they will permit to be developed. Pickles did point to the two key investment tools that Government has provided to try and encourage permitted development, namely Community Infra-structure Levy (CIL) and the New Homes Bonus and in the very austere times that Local Authorities find themselves in, these “carrots” may just provide the necessary incentive.