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In my view this represents a huge opportunity for our Partnerships business because the Government clearly intends that local authorities compensate for the loss of Revenue Support Grant primarily through property, whether that is through the redevelopment of their own assets, or by increasing Council Tax revenue or, from 2021, through their ability to retain 100% of business rate income.
We have more than 30 years of experience of working with local authorities, and other public bodies, to maximise the productiveness of their housing and other assets, whilst minimising the need for public funding support. For example, over the last five years we’ve seen our estate regeneration programme move to an almost total reliance on cross subsidy from the development of housing for sale and in some cases, such as on the former Britwell Estate in Slough, the development of new shopping facilities (see image above). This in turn has generated New Homes Bonus payments, and increased Council and Business Rate revenue.
We’ve also extended that cross subsidy model into the education sector where with Newham Council we have built a new primary school at the heart of the community at East City Point in Canning Town.
Meanwhile, in South Oxhey we will redevelop the existing shopping parade and associated housing in a partnership with Three Rivers District Council that will generate around 350 additional, mixed-tenure homes together with a new, commercially successful local centre.
There are undoubtedly some very serious challenges for many Local Authorities as they address this radical change in their funding. However, it is also very clear that there are huge opportunities for us to expand our very successful estate regeneration based partnership model, into other long-term partnerships with local authorities with the objective of ensuring that their property assets work as hard as possible to compensate for the loss of central Government funding.
Here you’ll find property related blog articles from the team at Countryside as well as independent experts. Expect regular tips and advice on topics such as buying a new home, interior and landscape design, setting up home, mortgages and finance, plus articles on architecture, the property market, regeneration and more.