GROWTH PLAN 2022 – INFRASTRUCTURE AND REGIONAL PANELS

Baskar Sundaram
Baskar Sundaram

As part of today’s Fiscal Statement, the Chancellor has made the following announcements which will be of particular interest to these committees.

Investment Zones

  • A factsheet on the Investment Zones is attached.
  • The Government is in discussion with 38 Upper Tier Local Authorities and Mayoral Combined Authorities in England to set up Investment Zones in specific sites within their area.  Annex A of the document linked below includes a full list, and also a list of illustrative sites.
  • Each Investment Zone will offer generous, targeted and time limited tax cuts for businesses and liberalised planning rules to release more land for housing and commercial development. The aim is to encourage investment in new shopping centres, restaurants, apartments and offices, and create thriving new communities.
  • The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will shortly set out more detail on the planning offer.

Infrastructure Projects

  • The list of infrastructure projects that the Government will prioritise for acceleration, across transport, energy and digital infrastructure is set out in Annex B of the document linked below.
  • The aim is to get the vast majority starting construction by the end of 2023.
  • These projects may benefit from acceleration through planning reform, regulatory reform, improved processes or other options to speed up their development and construction, including through development consent processes.
  • Later this year, the government will set out its plans on how it will further support digital rollout to drive growth.

Planning

  • The Planning and Infrastructure Bill will accelerate priority major infrastructure projects across England, by: minimising the burden of environmental assessments; making consultation requirements more proportionate; reforming habitats and species regulation; and increasing flexibility to make changes to a Development Consent Order once it has been submitted.
  • There are also sector-specific changes to accelerate infrastructure delivery.  These include:  prioritising the delivery of National Policy Statements for energy, water resources and national networks, and of a cross-government action plan for reform of the Nationally Significant Infrastructure planning system; bringing onshore wind planning policy in line with other infrastructure to allow it to be deployed more easily in England; reforms to accelerate roads delivery, including by consenting more through the Highways Act 1980 and by considering options for changing the Judicial Review system to avoid claims which cause unnecessary delays to delivery; and amendments to the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill to give telecoms operators easier access to telegraph poles on private land, supporting the delivery of gigabit capable broadband.

Housing

  • A factsheet on the reforms to stamp duty is attached.

  • The Growth Plan announces changes to HM Treasury’s rules to allow departments to retain more income from the sale of surplus government land. These changes will encourage departments to increase the sale of public land, including sites for housing, and allow departments to reinvest to support public services. In parallel, HM Treasury will review asset disposal targets to incentivise disposals for housing

Net Zero

  • The Government has asked Rt Hon. Chris Skidmore MP to chair an independent review into how to deliver Net Zero commitment while maximising economic growth and investment, supporting energy security, and minimising the costs borne by businesses and consumers. The Chair will report by the end of 2022.

Summary:  Chancellor announces new Growth Plan with biggest package of tax cuts in generations – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Full documents along with Annexes:  The Growth Plan 2022: documents – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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