Spring Statement 2019: NLA reaction

Article Posted -
13 Mar 2019

Today, the Spring statement was announced in Parliament, with the Chancellor setting out some new announcements for the next fiscal year.  

While there was nothing directly related to the private rented sector, there were some announcements on housebuilding and planning, coupled with some good contextual news on wages, and some positive and potentially concerning new environmental regulations.

Housebuilding & Planning

Following from the Autumn Budget 2017, where the Government pledged at least £44bn of financial support over a five-year period, to raise housing supply to reach 300,000 a year on average, the Government announced:

  • Independent Report on Build Out Rates – The Government will be introducing additional planning guidance to support housing diversification on large sites. The Letwin review concluded that greater differentiation in the types and tenures of housing delivered on large sites would increase build out rates.
  • Response to consultation on Planning Reform – Introduction of a package of reforms including allowing greater change of use between premises, and a new permitted development right to allow upwards extension of existing buildings to create new homes. 
  • Accelerated Planning Green Paper – The Government will publish a Green Paper setting out proposals on how greater capacity and capability, performance management and procedural improvements can accelerate the planning process.
  • Housing Infrastructure Fund - £717m has been made available from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to unlock planning sites for building.
  • Affordable Homes – A £3bn affordable homes guarantee scheme has been announced, which will support the development of 30,000 homes.

General fiscal news

A three-year spending review has been announced, the results of which will be delivered in the Autumn Budget in October.

In some good news for landlords, real wage growth will see tenants with more to invest, the real wage growth stats are:

  • 1.2% for 2019
  • 1.4% for 2020
  • 1.6% the next three years

Environment

  • An increased percentage of green gas in the national grid: The Government will accelerate the decarbonisation of gas supplies to meet climate targets, this will reduce dependence on burning natural gas to heat homes. The Government will consult on the mechanisms to deliver the commitment later in the year
  • Future Homes Standard: The Government has announced the end of fossil fuel heating systems in all new homes from 2025, “future-proofing new build homes with low carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency”. This is part of the Government’s target to halve the energy use of new buildings by 2030.
  • Mandating biodiversity net gain: This Government initiative will introduce further protections for wildlife in the planning system, potentially slowing the output of new units.

Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association (NLA) says:

“The Spring Statement does nothing to relieve the pressure on landlords from increased taxation or the costs of complying with new regulations. 

“On the other hand, we should be relieved that the Chancellor hasn’t used the statement to add to those pressures.  In the current political climate, that’s probably the best we can hope for.”

Any member who is concerned about the contents of the Statement, please contact our Advice Line on 020 7840 8939.

Not a member, but want to keep up to date on legislative changes and government news concerning the PRS? Please don’t hesitate to contact our membership team on 020 7840 8379 to learn more about the benefits of membership with the NLA and the best payment plan for you.

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