CBRE responds to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

Chris White, a director at CBRE and head of the development consultancy and regeneration team in Birmingham, said:

Regional Growth Fund/Enterprise Zones

“An additional £1bn allocation to the Regional Growth Fund is hugely welcome.

“However, the West Midlands was one of the biggest winners of the £1.4bn distributed in the first two rounds of the RGF give-away earlier this year.

“For once, the region was well mobilised and made a good case for investment. However, I suspect we will not be as lucky next time round, as the Government will need to demonstrate that it is carving up the cake fairly.

“The granting of 100 per cent capital allowances to a handful of Enterprise Zones, including the Black Country, will undoubtedly help inward investment. It’s been said that the incentives to businesses don’t come anywhere near matching those under the historic EZ framework, but this will help.”

National infrastructure

“Improving connectivity and transport links are the key to unlocking development sites and kick-starting regeneration projects, so the Government’s commitment to invest in 500 infrastructure projects is welcome.

“A number of roads around the West Midlands are among those earmarked for improvement*

“With the investment in New Street Station, the runway extension at Birmingham Airport and the Metro extension, plus the prospect of High Speed 2, it’s pleasing to see the region’s transport needs are being seriously addressed and our role as a national transport hub finally recognised.”

Planning

“Changes to the planning system have been trailed for a long time, so there weren’t any surprises in the Statement.

“Britain’s planning regime is mired by delays and uncertainty. Although this has been acknowledged, initiatives such as the Localism Bill have only added to the confusion.

“In Birmingham we have seen some savage cuts among the planning team at Birmingham City Council. Fewer people are now having to deal with a system that was already stretched at the seams. When things pick up I suspect they will really be struggling.”

 

* Source: www.hm-treasury.gov.uk:

    – M6 managed motorway scheme between Birmingham and Manchester

    – A45 Westbound Bridge (Solihull) – replacement bridge over the West Coast Main

 Line close from Birmingham Airport on the A45 strategic corridor into Birmingham

    – Evesham Bridge Maintenance (Evesham) – rebuilding of the main bridge into

 Evesham from the South

    – A45/46 Tollbar End improvement scheme

    – A45 Corridor (Damson Parkway to M42 junction 6) diversion

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