The British Property Federation (BPF) has welcomed the Farrell Review’s endorsement of proactive planning, a positive relationship between the public and private sectors and strengthening the role of the public realm. In particular it supports its suggestion that VAT rates on renovation and repair for private dwellings should be cut to 5%.
The BPF advocates public-private sector collaborations as the sharing of skills and knowledge leads to the creation of high quality design and more efficient delivery of development of infrastructure. Partnerships of this type will also free up resources within planning departments, which the review also recommends, which plays a crucial part in ensuring that the government’s aim of sustainable development is met.
The VAT cut will provide developers and local authorities with a financial incentive to bring old buildings back into use, as demolition and new build are currently more financially beneficial.
Liz Peace, Chief Executive, British Property Federation, commented: “The important thing that this review takes into consideration is that a carful, proportionate approach should be taken to planning. Sustainable and sympathetic design is of course important, but we would be wary of agreeing that ‘time’ is the best test of a well built building. Communities and their needs change over time, and it is important to keep an element of flexibility within the system so that we can adapt to that.”