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Integrate planning and infrastructure systems – SPF

Words: Laura Edgar

The Scottish Property Federation Annual Conference called on the next government to integrate planning and infrastructure systems.

The next government was also urged to create a strong and stable tax environment and to encourage investment in the private-rented sector “to ensure that Scotland’s property industry can deliver places for people to work, play and live”.

The conference saw SPF chairman John Hamilton, Winchburg Developments, call on the incoming government to put planning and investment in infrastructure at the forefront of its programmes.

Additionally, Bill Hughes, British Property Federation (BPF) president and head of real assets at Legal & General, warned how “the possibility of draconian rent controls could ‘sound the death knell for the barely emerging build-to-rent sector’ ”.

The SPF has therefore outlined a number of recommendations for the next government, including:

  • Integration of planning and infrastructure systems to make development plans deliverable and seize the opportunities of the UK and Scottish Government’s willingness to engage in city deals to drive the economy at a local level.

  • A business rates tax system that is reviewed fairly and regularly in order to reflect the real property market.

  • Tax transaction rates that do not stymie the market and are not a disincentive to invest in Scotland.

Hamilton said: “The property industry has a key role to play in delivering new places to work, live and play in Scotland. The government has a major role to play in aligning its policies with an open-for-business approach to inward investment.

“Better co-ordination of planning and infrastructure plans, together with a commitment to regular reviews of the business rates tax would be welcomed by the industry. 

“Similarly, we must not lose the opportunity of a generation to secure significant investment in our private-rented residential sector."