With David Cameron taking up the helm at 10 Downing Street and Nick Clegg confirmed as his deputy, the finer details of a coalition agreement are now being ironed out between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. It is hoped that even with a hung parliament, a stable government can be achieved for the good of the country.
Leading UK property and development consultancy GVA Grimley has worked intensely with many of its public and private sector clients to anticipate how the general election might impact on the property and development industry.
Colin Bell, executive director of GVA Grimley’s Midlands Planning, Development and Regeneration team comments: “Before any general or local election we often find that clients choose to delay the submission of planning applications and that Local Planning Authorities stay the preparation of development plan documents. Both are keen to avoid making critical decisions until the political dust has settled. This election was no different, with clients in both the public and private sector choosing not to progress certain matters in the run up to 6th May. With an agreement now in place between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, planning reform is firmly on the agenda.
“What is still unclear, and may remain so for many weeks, is how long it will take for the new Government to work their manifesto pledges through parliament and see them passed as new legislation. With the economy clearly taking priority, it may take around 12 months for new planning and development policies to take effect. With radical change - such as the proposal of an ‘open source’ planning system - featuring in the Tory manifesto and similar suggestions being made by the Lib Dems, we anticipate that those clients who have delayed submitting planning applications will now rush to do so, in order to have them assessed in the light of current policy.”
Craig Alsbury also a director in the Midlands Planning, Development and Regeneration team said: “There is much common ground in the Tory and Lib Dem manifesto pledges regarding planning and development, so this is likely to be an ‘easy win’ area - and therefore perhaps a priority matter - within any agreement made between the two parties. What we will all wait with bated breath to see is whether the manifesto pledges may be ‘softened’ following a period of consultation and the process of taking the new policies through parliament.”
Craig Alsbury continued: “While property and land values have risen since the market bottomed in late 2008/early 2009, the industry is still incredibly fragile and measures need to be put in place to encourage new development. As a case in point, the rate of construction for new houses is still under half the level that the 2006 Barker Report anticipated was required each year to meet demand across the UK. It would be hugely counter-productive if, for example, by abandoning national and regional house building targets, development is stymied just as developer appetite returns. ”