Yesterday's Budget is, in the main, being hailed as a good one for the property industry. The announcement that three of the 21 new Enterprise Zones will be in the Midlands was a hot topic for debate as was the relaxation of the planning regime and the decision to drop REIT conversion charges.
Here are the views of some of the region's key commentators. Do you agree? Join the debate and post your comments below.
Martin Guest, managing director, CBRE Birmingham:
"It was interesting to see the important role that government proposes to give Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in formulating the Enterprise Zones, particularly at a time when many LEPs are trying to get to grips with their purpose and governance structure."
Martyn Cartwright, director, Barberry Developments:
"Whilst the detail regarding the policy tools to be made available is still awaited, business rates have been a major deterrent to speculative development over the past few years particularly in the manufacturing sector."
Ashley Hudson, Knight Frank Birmingham:
"Mr Osborne revealed that he now expects the economy to grow at a slower rate than previously expected this year, with the Office for Budgetary Responsibility cutting its growth forecast from 2.1% to 1.7%, however he has recognised that growth is fuelled outside of London and the West Midlands looks set to benefit most specifically from the introduction of a number of new Enterprise Zones."
Gary Cardin, head, Drivers Jonas Deloitte Birmingham:
"The headline news that the default answer to development is "Yes" will help give comfort to developers and funders but how this statement is to be squared in the localism agenda remains uncertain."
Rob Maxey, HEB Nottingham:
"Legislation regarding enterprise zones should be properly structured so that the end result is development which is actually beneficial in terms of employment creation and boosting the area's economy."
Deborah Walsh, head of public policy and communications, RICS West Midlands:
"Birmingham & Solihull and the Black Country are included among the first enterprise zones announced and we hope this will prove beneficial. However, it is not clear how effective new enterprise zones will be in stimulating long term sustainable development beyond an initial boost
Louise Brooke-Smith, managing director, Brooke-Smith Planning Birmingham:
"We are pleased that Mr Osborne has specifically highlighted planning issues as a way to support the construction and development sectors. The proposals to allow the change of use of offices to provide new residential units seem positive in the first instance."
Craig Straw, Innes England, Nottingham:
"It's good news that both Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are amongst the 21 areas that have now been identified for Enterprise Zones in the future, although we will obviously have to wait to hear about the finer detail of what these areas will have to offer. I think it is critical to learn lessons from the previously introduced zones."
Mark Radford, director of rating, Jones Lang LaSalle Birmingham:
"We welcome this move to help small businesses [with rates relief] indeed this is a scheme which has worked very well. It is disappointing however that the Chancellor hasn't seized the opportunity to reduce the empty rate burden for owners of larger properties."
David Meecham, partner, Pinsent Mason, Birmingham:
"The incentives [announced in the Budget] - whether tax breaks or less red tape - may attract businesses and jobs to the area but these are often simply displaced from surrounding areas or are temporary, disappearing when the reliefs and incentives expire. Another concern is whether these will have a distorting effect on the proper operation of the market."
Christine Braddock, president, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce:
"With the majority of Birmingham's businesses relying on transportation in some way and with inflation currently standing at 4.4%, it was integral that next week's fuel duty rise was postponed to alleviate pressure."
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