RICS urges govt to think regionally
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has called on the government to introduce a clause regarding Help to Buy which allows the scheme to be adapted at regional level to properly serve individual local economies.
RICS also said the government needed to provide more clarity on infrastructure projects and also called for a longer business rate exemption period for empty commercial premises undergoing refurbishment.
It said the current rules meant it was difficult to bring existing commercial properties up to standard and the change would be a boost to small construction firms.
RICS UK head of policy Jeremy Blackburn said:
“Good quality infrastructure developments and maintenance projects can bring big economic benefits to the areas that they serve. While it’s good that the government acknowledges this, at the moment, there is no prioritisation in terms of those that can bring about the greatest benefit.
“We would like to see this addressed and projects given the go-ahead based on their economic potential, not merely because they appear next in the infrastructure investment pipeline. While we are seeing green shoots across many of the nation’s local economies, there still remain significant areas of the country that could benefit from a property-led recovery.
“The commercial property sector also needs to be looked at. Legislation around business rates is still causing problems for the high street. What we require are regular revaluations to lower the burden on businesses and make the retail sector more attractive to investors.”