Budget 2021 predictions

Predictions for today’s budget announcement include £2 billion of Government investment into building new homes on derelict or unused land.

The chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce a £2 billion housing investment which includes the building of 160,000 greener homes on brownfield land the size of 2,000 football pitches, as well as a £9 million investment towards 100 “pocket parks” across the UK.

In addition to funding for new housing developments, the chancellor is expected to announce a further £65 million dedicated to the development of new software to aid the digitisation of the town planning system. The new system will be trialled by 175 local authorities in England in its phase 1 roll out.

The Government has indicated that its funding bids are designed to support reaching the UK’s net zero target by 2050, and hopes that the plans will help regenerate parts of England and create 50,000 new jobs.

But despite these sizeable investments, there are still concerns that not enough affordable homes are being built.

Nigel Wilson, chief executive of Legal and General, speaking to the BBC said that the £1.8 billion investment was the “right direction of travel”, but was “not enough scale right now”. He also raised concerns that people living in smaller cities and towns were being overlooked because of the housing shortage.

“You shouldn’t have to be rich to be green … it’s very difficult for poorer people to get on the green [housing] ladder.

There’s a lot of active listening going on, but we don’t just want CGI housing – we want real housing built across the UK.”

Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for housing, commented:

“People buying new homes would be forced to fork out thousands to upgrade their homes in the future to cut their bills and reduce emissions.

In his Budget, the chancellor should bring forward new standards for greener homes to ensure all new homes are cheap to heat and produce minimal emissions.”

Zoe Nicholson, Green Party leader of Lewes District Council, welcomed increased building on brownfield sites but said that the Government’s investment was an “absurdly small amount of money”.

“It would be more effective if they handed this £2bn of funding to local authorities, which would allow them to build net zero council homes.

This announcement seems to be little more than a gimmick intended to distract us from the fact that their agenda is to simply ‘build, build, build’ on our countryside to the benefit of greedy developers.”

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