A bit like Christmas, preparations for the Autumn Spending Review seen to come around earlier each year. The results of the Spending Review will be published by the Treasury on 25 November and we are already starting to get news of its likely content.
Last week George Osborne pledged £100 billion in infrastructure spending by 2020 – including full funding for the £15 billion Roads Investment Strategy published last year. An excerpt from his speech is below.
Yesterday, the Financial Times reported that the Spending Review is also likely to propose de-centralising the setting of planning application fees - allowing each Council to set their fees at a local level.
Whilst the first of these reports is to be welcomed - infrastructure delivery is key to unlocking development sites - I cannot help but be concerned about the reports in the Financial Times. If strict guidelines are not put in place, engaging with the local planning authority could rapidly become extremely expensive.
Infrastructure isn’t some obscure concept – it’s about people’s lives, economic security and the sort of country we want to live in. That’s why I am determined to shake Britain out of its inertia on infrastructure and end the situation where we trail our rivals when it comes to building everything from the housing to the power stations that our children will need. This is about jobs, growth, living standards and ensuring Britain is fit for the future. We must be the builders. At the Spending Review, I will commit to investing £100bn in infrastructure over the next five years and we are creating an independent commission to give us a long-term, unbiased analysis of the country’s major infrastructure needs. We need to think long-term and deliver a cross-party consensus on what we need to build.