The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has responded to the chancellor of the exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP's Budget Statement to the House of Commons today.
Key announcements of interest to the RIBA included:
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) - will be published next Tuesday and will include 'a powerful presumption' in favour of sustainable development. The government has committed to ensuring that there is support to help local authorities get plans up to date quickly.
Housing - an extra £150million to go into the Get Britain Building fund on top of the £420 million detailed late last year. The chancellor stated that this new money would see 3,000 news homes built.
Sustainability - the government will consult on simplifying the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency scheme with the aim of reducing administrative burdens on business. The chancellor announced that if significant administrative savings were not deliverable, then he will bring forward proposals in autumn 2012 to replace the CRC with an alternative environmental tax
Infrastructure - the Growing Places Fund (originally launched in November 2011 with £500 million) increases by £270 million to help local development. The government will also make up to £150 million available in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) from 2013 - 2014.
Speaking today, RIBA Head of External Affairs Anna Scott-Marshall said:
'The 2012 Budget underlines the importance of new development and infrastructure in kick-starting growth in the economy. City Deals, the introduction of TIF and the expansion of Enterprise Zones could equip cities with the necessary tools to help them develop and grow.
Whilst the RIBA welcomes the additional funding for the Get Britain Building scheme, we urge the government to ensure that developers and developments selected for funding meet the highest quality credentials so homebuyers benefit as well as house builders.
We look forward to seeing the details of the NPPF when it is published and comes into force next week'