Although it takes some time to pick through the detail in the Budget each year, and longer to wait for and digest the legislation implementing the changes, here are some initial highlights and points to note for those in the property development sector:

*High Speed 3 and Crossrail 2 have been given the green light;

*SDLT rates for commercial property are changing on 1 April 2016, adversely impacting commercial properties worth over £1.05 million;

*Bulk owners or buyers of residential properties won't be exempt from the increased rates of SDLT for second and additional homes;

*Government will use planning incentives and legislation to support areas that want new "Garden Villages";

*Government will bring forward measures to enable a "more zonal and "red line" planning system'; 

*Beer duty frozen again;

*Proposed legislation to ensure that pre-commencement planning conditions can only be used with the agreement of the developer, and to streamline deemed discharge of conditions;

*Potential for the existing housing guarantee schemes to expand to cover low cost home ownership;

*Push to release more land around train stations and on Council land;

Please watch our blog and other media sources for more news from Thomas Eggar and Irwin Mitchell on Budget 2016.