Political Pledges Property Industry
Thursday, 29 April 2010
Leading property consultants at GVA Grimley's Leeds office offer their thoughts on the three political party's manifestos in relations to the property industry.
Beverley Smith, director of the planning, development and regeneration team, commented: "The three main parties disagree on the way spatial planning should be handled in future and we are likely to see radical reforms if the Government changes, as well as a significant period of uncertainty as manifesto commitments are worked up into law.
"Interestingly, in the case of a hung parliament, we could potentially see the Lib Dems becoming the key players in planning terms, as their manifesto sees them occupying the middle ground between Tory radicalism and Labour's obvious pledge to maintain the status quo. I think that whatever happens, we need to ensure that we don't go too far with reform and that any changes that are made to the system don't damage the economic recovery. Change for change's sake won't help anyone."
Paul Manning from the business rates team adds: "The subject of empty rates and the rating system is a key issue. Labour has pledged to maintain the existing empty rates tax, which is not good news for businesses. The empty property tax has not encouraged the letting of space; instead it has stifled development and regeneration. Although it is not yet directly addressed by other political parties, the change in government does present an opportunity for a much needed review of this taxation.
"The sale of public sector assets is likely to be high on the agenda, regardless of which party succeeds in the election. It will be used as a way to generate cash revenues and address budget deficits. Inevitably public sector cut backs will also make themselves felt in the property market. However, this will also create opportunities as departments merge, relocate and use space more efficiently."