The Budget didn’t quite deliver what the development sector had been hoping for – the publication of the final version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
However, to underpin his pro-growth agenda, the Chancellor was able to confirm that the final NPPF will now be published next Tuesday, 27 March and come into immediate effect, with “appropriate implementation arrangements for local authorities with pro-growth policies in local plans.”
At least there is now an end date and six more days isn’t an impossible after eight months waiting since the draft NPPF appeared last summer.
In the headline news is the clamp down on stamp duty for residential properties worth more than £2 million brought into a corporate envelope, at a rate of 15%, or 7% if held by individuals. There will be consultation on an annual charge for those properties worth more than £2 million already held within a corporate envelope.
This is part of the package of measure targeting higher income brackets to fund the cut in the top rate of income tax from 50% to 45%. On the corporate side, Corporation Tax is due to drop to 22% from April 2014.
The supporting Treasury Red Book comes in at 114 pages and as is the annual tradition PPS has combed through the pages to bring you the detail behind the spin of the Chancellor’s hour long speech covering planning, housing and regional development funding, which include the following commitments:
National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) – The Government will publish the NPPF by the end of March 2012, coming into force for plan-making and decisions from that point onwards, with appropriate implementation arrangements for local authorities in local plans. The NPPF will refocus planning policy to better support growth, will include a powerful presumption in favour of sustainable development to underpin all local plans and decisions, and will localise choice about the use of previously developed land, ending nationally imposed targets. The Government will also work with key statutory consultees to ensure that they support the delivery of sustainable development in line with the NPPF and are held to account for doing so.
Planning Simplification – The Government will introduce a number of measures to further deregulate and simplify the planning system. The Government will consult on reducing information requirements and on proposals to amend the Use Class Order and associated permitted development rights, to make changing the use of buildings easier, for implementation by April 2013. In addition new permitted development rights for micro-renewable energy installations will come into force in April 2012. The Government will also shortly set out more detail on the twelve-month Planning Guarantee.
Major infrastructure planning – The Government will remove duplication in the consenting regime for major infrastructure development by bringing forward legislation to adjust the scope of Special Parliamentary Procedure. The Government will also shortly publish draft revised guidance intended to make the regime clearer and easier to use, and to clarify the flexibility that exists in the legislation in respect of pre-application processes, examination rules and in determining the scope of associated development.
Planning obligations – The Government will publish a consultation to allow the reconsideration of planning obligations agreed prior to April 2010 where development is stalled.
Land Auctions – The Government is taking forward land auction pilots on public sector land with the aim of having two sites ready for market by the end of the year. The land auctions model seeks to capture a greater share of the land value uplift created by the granting of planning permission.
Get Britain Building fund – The Government published the shortlist of sites to receive £420 million of funding through the Get Britain Building Fund on 19 March 2012, supporting firms in need of development finance and delivering over 12,000 new homes. The Government will now go further and provide an additional £150m, delivering over an additional 3,000 homes. This is expected to be recorded as a financial transaction.
New Buy – The Government launched New Buy on 12 March 2012, making mortgages available for people to buy a new home with a five per cent deposit. The Government has made a provision to support up to 100,000 households through the scheme.
Right to Buy – The Government has announced a reinvigorated Right To Buy for the two million tenants in council housing. From 2 April 2012, the current range of regional caps on discounts will be replaced by a higher single cap of £75,000. The receipts will be used to pay down the outstanding housing debt on the units sold and replace, on a one-for-one basis, the additional properties sold with new affordable homes for rent.
Public Land – The Government is accelerating the release of public sector land, and sufficient land has been identified to meet the Government’s ambition to dispose of land with the capacity to build over 100,000 homes and support as many as 25,000 jobs by April 2014. A progress report setting out further details will be published before summer 2012.
Regional Development Funding / TIF 2 – To support investment across the English regions, the Government: is working with the eight core cities on a package of measures to decentralise decision-making power away from central Government. The Government has agreed proposals with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to pilot an innovative new Earn Back Model that is set to unlock £1.2 billion of infrastructure investment across the city region. Proposals from Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield will be finalised over the course of 2012. The government will make up to £150 million available from 2013–14, including through additional funding, for larger scale projects in core cities to be financed through Tax Increment Financing (TIF 2), which enables local authorities to borrow against future growth in business rates. Further details on a competition for allocating funding will be announced in the coming months.
Growing Places Fund – The Government will increase the Growing Places fund by £270 million to empower local communities and businesses to lead development in their own areas, including £70 million for the Greater London Authority. Budget 2012 will increase the Growing Places fund by £270 million to empower local communities and businesses to lead development in their own areas, including £70 million for the Greater London Authority, in recognition of London’s position as the largest regional economy in the UK and unique devolution arrangements. This will be funded from within existing departmental budgets;
Social Housing – The Government will consult on the potential role a social housing Real Estate Investment Trust could play to support investment in the social housing sector.
Written by Nick Sutcliffe