Property sector gets behind Heseltine
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Development
The British Property Federation (BPF) has welcomed the government’s decision to devolve greater decision-making and spending powers beyond Whitehall in a bid to boost jobs and economic growth.
Ministers today accepted 81 of the 89 recommendations put forward by Conservative peer Lord Heseltine in the 'No Stone Left Unturned' report published last November.
The BPF welcomed the creation of a single Local Growth Fund, allowing areas with a growth proposition to make their case for a share of the Fund, and the negotiation of a Growth Deal with every Local Enterprise Partnership.
Liz Peace, chief executive of the BPF, said: “Development remains stalled in much of the country outside central London and the old models for development are no longer working.
“Government has got to help foster new forms of public - private partnership and remove obstacles such as cumbersome procurement procedures if development is to be reignited.
“While we welcome the additional support for LEPs, there is some concern, even with the additional money available, whether they will have the resources and authority to play the role the Government envisages. In many of the larger urban areas the combined authority approach may have more traction than the LEP and should be the focus for pushing forward local growth.”
Responding to the government’s response to Lord Heseltine’s review, National Housing Federation director Gill Payne said: “Lord Heseltine’s recommendations present opportunities to innovate and increase the number of homes built in some areas. However, there are risks that transferring all housing funding to a local level may actually reduce the overall housing supply at a national level.
“A thorough overview of what homes are needed around the country is crucial for this funding to be directed efficiently to communities with the greatest need. The government must also ensure that any devolution of funding provides proper value for money and accountability for communities without adding more layers of bureaucracy.
“Housing creates local jobs fast and supports small businesses, so it should be central to ambitions for driving local economic growth. Housing associations, with expertise in development, regeneration and community investment, can also help attract significant private investment to drive this growth. They should be involved in local discussions to ensure their communities benefit fully from these proposals.”