Press Release

Rapleys experts react to the Chancellor’s Budget

Mat Shenton

Partner – Head of Rapleys New Homes

7th Mar 2024

Kieran Rushe

Partner – Planning

Simon Harbour

Simon Harbour

Partner – Building Consultancy

Richard Curry

Richard Curry

Partner – Commercial

Mat Shenton, Partner and Head of New Homes at Rapleys said: “Despite our experts hoping for stamp duty cuts and first time buyers’ support, and a review of support for Affordable Housing, these were all sadly missing in action from the budget. The only mention of housing other than supporting investment via CGT cuts, was the re-emphasis on brownfield development in the PMQs beforehand. Although funding has been promised to ‘unlock’ brownfield sites, there is no information about how this will work and it is concerning that this is the only housing announcement to stimulate delivery when we are grossly behind on targets for all types of housing across the UK.”

Kieran Rushe, Partner in Planning at Rapleys, said: “The Chancellor lauded the data centres that Microsoft and Google are developing but there was little other mention of how the Government will support these assets across the country going forwards. As they were also missing in action from the NPPF, these specialist and crucial buildings are in danger of being ignored at a time when they are needed more and more to support the data, tech and AI needs of businesses up and down the country.”

Simon Harbour, Partner and Head of Building Surveying at Rapleys, says: “As expected there was no mention of any funding for tackling the RAAC or Asbestos crisis across the UK despite it affecting a number of public buildings such as schools and affordable housing. While some Local Authorities have tackled this, there is a real lack of a national strategy and, given the number of Local Authorities operating in the red, some are unlikely to be able to practically tackle this in 2024 either. This is disappointing and we hope at some point an emergency fund for this crucial building work will be launched, perhaps as part of an Election campaign or through incentivising the private sector to get involved.”

Richard Curry, Partner and Head of Retail at Rapleys says: “Another year, another budget without proper business rate reform, how disappointing but not unexpected.  I would have liked to have seen business rates scrapped for all businesses that are taking existing high street space, no matter which use, to stop the decline on our high street and get existing properties repurposed more quickly.”

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