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BPF welcomes “radical” plans for local growth

The White Paper said this “more radical” option, which the BPF has lobbied on for several years, would “go further than the Business Increase Bonus scheme, with incentive effects likely to be stronger and more predictable, over longer time periods”.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “It’s extremely positive to see ministers giving thought to a more substantial relocalisation of business rates, something that would free councils from government grant and give them a real financial reward for approving development that generates economic activity and creates new jobs.”

The White Paper also provided welcome clarification on a number of government policies including the working of Local Enterprise Partnerships and the Coalition’s Regional Growth Fund, as well as detail on how planning will be used to drive growth, and on the introduction of tax increment financing.

Liz Peace said: “It’s encouraging to see that tax increment financing (TIF) and incentives for growth get a good airing. However, with regeneration grinding to a halt we need these incentives in place as quickly as possible, and to be introduced in a flexible way so that schemes can be funded from a variety of sources, including the private sector.”

The BPF also welcomed further detail on how a local planning system will function, and gave broad backing to the Coalition’s localism agenda.

Michael Chambers, Associate Director, added: “We want to see neighbourhoods and communities feeding much more effectively into local authority plans and generally have a greater say in shaping their areas. But creating thousands of formal neighbourhood plans in towns and cities around the country could lead to an increase in bureaucracy. We need to know a lot more about how neighbourhoods will be defined, who will draw up these plans, what status they will have and what resources will follow them.”

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