Built Environment General Election Insight

The New Conservative Government’s Roadmap

Good morning, the date is Friday 13th December, and we can confirm that the Conservatives have won the General Election.

But what does that mean for you? This morning, we’ll answer the nagging questions you may have about the new Government, as we head into 2020.


Quick Links

What comes next?
Withdrawal Agreement Bill becomes law and the Brexit transition period finally commences
Ministerial roles
How the manifesto pledges might affect YOU…
Property
Infrastructure
Energy & Utilities


What comes next?

Parliament resumes: According to sources, on 17 December parliament will be summoned; its business will be the swearing in of all the new MPs over the course of two days, followed by the formality of re-electing Speaker Hoyle.

Queen’s Speech: On the campaign trail Boris Johnson announced plans for a Queen’s Speech on Thursday 19 December. Due to its proximity to Christmas and short notice, this may feature reduced ceremonial features.  Several days debate then follow.

Christmas Recess: Parliament’s brief Christmas recess is expected to end in early January, when the new Government will start progressing its agenda.


Withdrawal Agreement Bill becomes law and the Brexit transition period finally commence

January should see the re-introduced Withdrawal Agreement Bill complete its parliamentary stages.  The aim will be to secure this legislation before the current Article 50 extension expires on the 31st January. The transition period will then commence, with the government having until 31st December 2020 to negotiate and secure the required approval of the new trade agreement with the EU.


Ministerial roles

Following the General Election, it’s highly likely that Boris Johnson will reshuffle his cabinet.  In politics, there are not many guarantees. The only politician pretty certain to keep his role is the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid.

BECG will be there to guide you through the changes and what this means for you, particularly the portfolios covering all aspects of the built environment.


How the manifesto pledges might affect YOU…

Now with an overall majority, the Conservative government will press ahead with its built environment agenda, as it looks to:

  • Build 300,000 homes per year by 2030
  • Achieve net-zero-carbon by 2050
  • Invest hundreds of billions into new infrastructure projects

Explore what this means by reading our new guide tailored especially for you.


Property

#Planning, #Development and #Architecture

  • Infrastructure: The manifesto includes proposals to amend planning rules, so that infrastructure is provided before people move into new homes. This will be funded by a £10 billion Single Housing Infrastructure Fund, to help with fast delivery. Key details and any needed clarifications are expected to emerge in the coming months.
  • Homes Target: The Government will continue towards its target of building 300,000 homes a year by 2030.
  • Planning System: The planning system will be made simpler for the public and smaller builders.
  • Design Standards: Local communities will be asked to provide their own design standards for new development, encouraging the Government’s Building Beautiful agenda. As part of this, the Government also expects all new streets to be lined with trees.
  • Green Belt: Brownfield development will continue to be prioritised, and the Government has pledged to protect and enhance the Green Belt.
  • Environmentally Friendly: The Government will support the creation of new kinds of homes that have low energy bills, to support its environmental targets.
  • Future Homes: The Government will encourage innovative design and technology to make housing more affordable, and accessible for an ageing population.

#Construction

  • Building Safety: The Government will continue working with the housing industry to ensure homes are safe and secure, whilst supporting high-rise residents with the removal of unsafe cladding. Testing of building materials will also continue. Recommendations from the Hackitt Review and the first phase of the Independent Review on Grenfell will be implemented.
  • Modern Construction: Modern construction methods will be supported by Government, such as modular homes.
  • Self-Build: Self-build home ownership will be supported.

#Sales

  • Help to Buy: The flagship Government scheme has been extended from 2021 to 2023, although the Government will review more ways to support home ownership following the scheme’s completion.
  • Mortgages: The Government will encourage a new market in long-term fixed rate mortgages, which it hopes will slash the cost of deposits for first time buyers.
  • Thinking Local: New homes will be offered to local people at a discounted rate of 30%. This would be funded by developer contributions through the planning process. This would be for local people who cannot currently afford a home in their local area.
  • Leasehold: The Government will look at implementing a ban on the sale of new leasehold homes, restricting ground rents and providing mechanisms of redress for tenants.
  • Stamp Duty: A new Stamp Duty surcharge on non-UK resident home buyers is planned.

Housing Associations

  • Shared Ownership: The Government will look to simplify shared ownership products by setting a single standard for all housing associations.
  • Right to Buy: The voluntary Right to Buy scheme agreed with housing association will be maintained. Following a successful pilot in the Midlands, new pilot areas will be evaluated.
  • Social Housing: A new White Paper will set out measures to empower tenants and improve the quality of social housing.

Landlords

  • Renting: A Better Deal for Renters will be brought forward. This will include abolishing ‘no fault’ evictions and only requiring one ‘lifetime’ deposit which moves with the tenant.

Local Authorities

  • Right to Buy: The Government will maintain its commitment to a Right to Buy for all council tenants.
  • High Streets: Taxes will be cut for small retail businesses, music venues, pubs and cinemas.
  • Homelessness: The Government seeks to end rough sleeping by the end of the next Parliament, by expanding pilots and programmes such as the Rough Sleeping Initiative and Housing First. Furthermore, it will fully enforce the Homelessness Reduction Act.
  • Charging Points: £1 billion will be invested to deliver a Rapid Charging Point for electric cars within 30 miles of every home.
  • Super Bus: The Government will invest in a new ‘superbus’ network and the UK’s first all-electric bus town.
  • Transport Infrastructure: Funding will be made available for City Regions to upgrade bus, tram and train services to match standards in London, including Northern Powerhouse Rail and a Midlands Rail Hub.
  • Estate Ownership: The Government will support communities living on council estates, who want to take ownership of the land and buildings they live in.
  • Regenerating Towns: The Towns Fund will go ahead, with an initial 100 towns benefiting from funds to help local economies.
  • Youth: £500 million will be invested in new youth clubs and services.
  • Culture: £250 million will go towards supporting local libraries and regional museums.
  • Community Ownership: A £150 million Community Ownership Fund will be created to help encourage local takeovers of civic organisations or community assets that are under threat, such as local football clubs, pub or post offices.

Infrastructure

  • Existing Rail Lines: The Government will invest in existing rail lines in East Anglia and the South West.
  • Unused Rail Lines: Many of the rail lines closed under the Beeching cuts will be restored.
  • HS2: The Government will consider the Oakervee Review and work with leaders in the Midlands and North to decide the fate of this project.
  • Wales: An upgrade to the A55 in Wales will progress and funding will be made available for a new West Wales Parkway station.
  • Heathrow: The Government wants Heathrow to demonstrate that it can meet its air quality and noise obligations, and that the project can be financed and built – the airport must provide a ‘realistic’ business case.
  • Air Traffic Control: New air traffic control technology will be used to cut the time aircraft spend waiting to land.
  • High-Tech Flight: The Government will look to build on progress made into pioneering work into electric and low-carbon flight.
  • Infrastructure: £100 billion in additional infrastructure spending on roads, rail and flood defences will be available, this includes £28.8 billion for road investment.

Energy & Utilities

  • Zero-Carbon: The Government plans to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050.
  • Wind Power: Delivery of 40GW of offshore wind power by 2030 is targeted, the Government said it will also enable new floating wind farms.
  • Carbon Capture: £800 million will be invested in a carbon capture and storage cluster by the mid-2020s.
  • Gas: The Government will support gas for hydrogen production and nuclear energy, including fusion.
  • Fracking: Following its moratorium on fracking in England, the Government will not support fracking unless the science shows it can be done safely.
  • Efficiency: The Government hopes energy bills can be lowered by investing £9.2 billion in energy efficient homes, schools and hospitals.
  • Vehicles: The sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars will be phased out.
  • Clean Air: New clean air laws will be set out.
  • Price Caps: The existing energy price cap legislation will be retained.
  • New Office: A new Office for Environmental Protection will establish new legal targets for air quality and other environmental measures.