Autumn Budget 2023

On Wednesday 22nd November Chancellor Hunt announced a raft of measures in the Autumn Statement some of which will look to alleviate issues within the planning industry.

Our key planning and development takeaways from the Autumn Statement are:

  • Investment of £110 million in nutrient-offsetting to release up to 40,000 houses.
  • £32 million investment to tackle planning backlogs and a new permitted development right which will make it easier to convert houses to flats.
  • Electricity grid connections expedited to ensure that infrastructure projects receive consent within 30 months.
  • Accelerated planning process for an unspecified price although this money will be returned if the application is not processed within an as-yet-unspecified amount of time.

The measures regarding planning will help the Conservatives contest Labour on the housebuilding battleground, especially the £110 million investment into nutrient-offsetting schemes. In his Statement, Hunt stated that Labour had blocked 150,000 houses when they voted against legislation making nutrient neutrality voluntary.

Whether these announcements will make people more confident in the Government’s planning credentials remains to be seen. The Government is split on planning and new housing, which means the continuing battle as to which party is the builder and which is the blocker continues.

Author: Edward Poynton

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