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The government have invited local councils to join their national endeavour to develop areas of accelerated planning. They have already set up investment zones in 38 areas, and now even more locations across the UK will be able to join the initiative, announced Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng in his recent speech about the Mini-Budget. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) have published a prospectus for this new sceheme, asking any interested local authorities to come forward with their curiosity.

Housing Minister Lee Rowley MP recently informed a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference that these investment zones aim to "unblock problems" and speed up the planning process: "The whole point is to go as quickly as possible, and to look at how we make processes quicker. We want to pull all the levers we possibly can to achieve high-quality output".

The government has said "Investment Zones aim to drive growth and unlock housing, with sites benefiting from tax incentives, planning liberalisation, and wider support for the local economy". Local businesses in these zones are supposedly going to receive time-limited tax benefits, which are expected to cause a slight increase in their profits for some time.

However, some have expressed their concerns over this new intiative and whether it will lead to any success. For instance, Rob Boughton, CEO of developer Thakeham, said at the same meeting as Lee Rowley MP: "Are we going to see Investment Zones where we most need them? Where we have the greatest housing need and the most unaffordability, are we going to see councils coming forward? I’m not so sure."

Perhaps these investment zones provide an opportunity for those looking to get onto the property ladder or simply open a business. If the initiative turns out to be a great success, business owners in the affected areas stand to see increased profits. However, to buy into these zones is a rather risky move, possibly one not worth making if it only results in a small amount of extra monetary gain.

References:
The Negotiator
Government Investment Zone Factsheet
Fringe Meeting Recording

 

If you have any questions, Please speak to Sachinkumar Gupta of Property Hub Ltd.

 

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