On Wednesday, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove MP finally shared the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper.
Following a string of media announcements over the proceeding days, the White Paper launch itself didn’t reveal much that had not already been shared, but there was still plenty of detail in the 300 plus page report to digest on a key topic for EIC members, especially those with an interest in brownfield.
The overarching take-away from an EIC perspective was that it was a missed opportunity for additional moves to encourage brownfield development. Our own report, Brownfield First, which was recently released in October 2021, outlined a range of recommendations to unleash brownfield's potential to drive levelling up ambitions and deliver transformative projects.
Commenting on its release, Guto Davies, Head of Policy at EIC said: “While the ‘12 national missions’ are welcome to drive activity and ensure spending remains both targeted and on track, they are nothing without properly structured long-term financing for local government to realise these political ambitions. Our concern is that the current approach remains too compartmentalised to be truly effective.
“We do, however, welcome the longer-term view on levelling up. The truth is there is no panacea and only sustained investment over the longer-term will address systemic and chronic issues.”
Peter Atchison, chair of EIC’s contaminated land group and chief executive of PAGeo Technical said: “We’re pleased to see more detail around previously announced brownfield investment – whether through the brownfield land release fund or the £400m Brownfield Housing Fund – but the White Paper still falls somewhat short in realising the true transformative potential of brownfield development. For example, EIC’s proposals for land remediation tax relief on sites with fewer than 25 units would be a simple, common-sense measure to encourage more development and it is disappointing that in a White Paper with a broad collection of ideas, this was not considered.”
To help EIC members digest the announcement, we've created an exclusive member-only briefing analysing the areas of most interest including, of course, brownfield.
EIC members have been sent our exclusive member-only breifing via email. Get in touch if you've not received yours.