Christopher Howell (AI edited)

Are local and central governments doing enough for property developers?

Property development is a crucial aspect of urban growth and economic progress. That’s why the public sector needs to work closely with developers to help them overcome the challenges facing bringing new developments to life, writes Christopher Howell of Belgravia.

Are local and central governments doing enough to support the property development industry? The key factors affecting the viability of developments in the region are multifaceted and have a significant impact on the success of projects.

One of the major issues facing property developers is rising building costs. The costs of materials, labour, and land acquisition have been steadily increasing, making it difficult for developers to create affordable housing options while maintaining profitability.

This has put pressure on developers to seek out cost-effective solutions without compromising on the quality of their developments. This, in turn, affects the affordability of housing and the overall feasibility of projects.

Furthermore, outdated Section 106 policies, unviable affordable housing strategies, and costly Community Infrastructure Levy contributions have also hindered the viability of developments in the region.

These policies are meant to help fund local infrastructure, affordable housing, and community services, but in many cases, they end up adding hidden costs and delays to projects, making them less attractive to developers. Meanwhile inadequate affordable housing strategies further exacerbate the housing crisis in the region.

Planning constraints and poorly run planning departments have also been a major roadblock for property developers in the North West. Issues such as material changes, delays in planning approvals, and a lack of collaboration between planners and developers have led to frustration and inefficiencies in the development process.

Regressive local authority policies and preferential collaborations with preferred developers also create barriers for other developers in the region. These practices limit competition and hinder innovation, ultimately stifling the growth of the property development sector.

Failed policies, such as the controversial HS2 project and delays in new British safety standards by secretary of state Michael Gove, have added to the challenges faced by property developers in the North West. These setbacks have created uncertainty and scepticism among investors and developers, making it harder to secure funding and move forward with projects.

Rigid permitted development rights allowances have also limited the flexibility of developers to make changes to projects, further complicating the development process.

Developers often struggle to navigate the complex planning processes and adhere to rigid permitted development rights allowances. The lack of clarity and uncertainty surrounding these policies creates risks for developers and hinders long-term planning.

In addition, the lack of council support, funding, grants, and overall support for property developers has been a major concern. Without adequate support from local and central governments, developers are left to navigate the complex regulatory landscape on their own, often leading to costly delays and setbacks in their projects. This leaves developers with limited resources to overcome these challenges.

The introduction of new building regulations and safety legislation, such as Gateway 2, has also added to the complexity of property developments. Delays in the release of updated guidance and standards by the government further complicate the process of securing building controls approval.

Overall, the viability of developments in the North West is heavily influenced by a range of factors, from rising building costs and outdated policies to planning constraints and lack of council support. Local and central governments need to work closely with property developers to address these challenges and create a more favourable environment for successful developments in the region.

Only through collaboration between all stakeholders and effective policymaking can we ensure the growth and sustainability of the property development industry in the North West.

  • Christopher Howell is head of the family at Belgravia

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Your Comments

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I don’t think its appropriate for local or central government to own the risk in property development to enable private enterprise.

By H

This post is oddly one-eyed compared to the vast majority of things on PlaceNorthWest.

I shall be lighting a candle before mass for those poor struggling property developers who are beset by enemies on all sides.

By JohnMac

    Hi JohnMac! This is a comment piece and separate from our news content. Thanks – Julia

    By Julia Hatmaker

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