Liz Truss becomes Prime Minister: the real estate industry reacts

Truss needs to get to work if she hopes to deliver on her campaign promise to double the nation’s upgrade, according to built environment leaders.

In a closer-than-expected victory, favorite Liz Truss beat Rishi Sunak for the top government spot. Truss won 81,326 votes in the Conservative Party leadership race, while Sunak garnered 60,399.

Throughout her campaign, Truss has promised to build 300,000 new homes each year in the UK if elected. It has also pledged to bring back the Northern Powerhouse Rail project and build an HS2 line between Manchester and Leeds.

Planning Priorities

The key to achieving the new prime minister’s goals may lie in planning reform, according to the chief executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute, Victoria Hills. His remarks come after a recent report by the RTPI revealed that local authorities had cut planning spending by 43% over the past decade.

Hills said: “In her run for Prime Minister, Liz Truss pledged to double down on her leveling and spark a new industrial revolution. But she will need to make immediate progress on planning reform in her first weeks in office if she is to achieve these goals…

“While we agree with Liz Truss that our planning system is flawed, complex and faces significant challenges, planners cannot be expected to do more with less in perpetuity” , Hills continued.

“Particularly in times of high inflation, we need a timely responsive planning department, but that can only be achieved if it has the right resources.

“Planning is one of the most important functions of local authorities to improve people’s lives. Without better planning services, communities will miss opportunities to upgrade, provide vital housing, improve health outcomes and fight climate change.

Danny Crump, director of urban planning at Broadway Malyan, echoed Hill’s remarks.

Crump said: “Who knows what will happen to Boris’ promised ‘Leveling Up’ under new management. But by assuming the role of community-led urban regeneration and the revitalization of main streets, especially in the current climate of soaring costs and high inflation, a new government can support the growth of local jobs and the recovery of the commerce of town centers and cities. while achieving the regional renewal promised under the initial policy.

“For this to work, Truss needs to focus on where Britons live, work and play,” Crump said.

“While the high street has suffered decline in recent years, a new system of decentralized planning control could revolutionize town centers in the North West, Yorkshire and North East, and could set the foundations on which rest our most discontented regions. rebuilt. »

Housing should be a priority

James Blakey, director of planning at Moda Living, wants Truss to focus on the housing shortage in the country.

“Now that the new Prime Minister has been announced after weeks of uncertainty, we hope to see Liz Truss working with the UK residential sector to address the appalling lack of adequate housing in the UK, across the full range of living arrangements. occupancy, requirements and prices,” he said.

“The focus on the rental housing shortage in particular is proof that the government has been too preoccupied with home ownership and needs to more enthusiastically embrace professionally managed, fund-raised rental products. institutions, such as build-to-let or single-family housing,” Blakey continued.

“With more planning, land and delivery support, this can relieve existing pressure on the UK rental market.”

James Hyman, head of residential at Cluttons, also felt housing should be a priority.

“To alleviate the housing shortage in the UK, the government must consider reinstating tax relief and incentives for private landlords to encourage them to return to the market,” Hyman said.

“The main reason why rents have risen so rapidly over the past two years is the lack of supply, which has been driven by the fact that so many private landlords have been forced out of the market as the government no longer makes viable being a private owner. .

“Furthermore, to help meet the country’s current housing supply needs, the new Prime Minister must address the huge post-pandemic bottleneck and planning consent within the authorities. local.”

Transportation is key

Steve Hogg, North West manager at JLL, meanwhile said Truss needs to focus on transportation.

“Businesses in the North West are hopeful that the confirmation of Liz Truss as the Prime Minister signals a return to the priorities set out by this government in 2019,” Hogg said.

“Businesses in the region must see a strong commitment to investing in the region’s public transport system – especially at a time when connections to the capital are under strain – healthcare and its growing digital and technology sectors quick, but they’ll also be hoping Andy Burnham gets more power to deliver on his manifesto promises.

Only by recommitting to dialogue and listening to business and civic leaders in the Northwest will we see real progress on the upgrade agenda.

The environment can’t wait

Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said green reform in the form of a retrofit strategy must be high on Truss’ agenda.

“The UK is facing an unprecedented energy crisis with more than 12 million households facing energy poverty,” Berry said.

“This dire and unsustainable situation requires immediate commitment to a long-term national renovation plan to insulate our 29 million homes to reduce energy consumption and bills.”

He later added: “Liz Truss has a unique opportunity to transform our existing homes to ensure everyone has a place they can afford to heat.

“A national modernization strategy also offers the potential to create thousands of new jobs and spur growth in every village, town and city. The energy crisis needs a green revolution, but it takes bold leadership, so I’m counting on Liz Truss to make it happen.

Breaking point

Now is the time for Truss to unite the Conservative Party and implement the upgrade policies of the previous administration, according to Vu.City chief executive Jamie Holmes.

“The leveling up showcased in the campaigns of any of the candidates and the reneging on promises to ‘level up’ the cities left behind, coupled with a series of political scandals, is the perfect recipe for mistrust and disillusionment,” said Holmes.

“Creating a disconnect between politicians and voters could make the Tories fundamentally ineligible, marking the end of their 12-year rule.

Holmes continued: “The Conservative Party must bridge the chasms created by the battle for leadership – Truss and Sunak tore each other apart like children in the playground – but must now have an eye on the bigger picture. The government must refocus heavily on leveling or risk shattering the nation’s trust for good.

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