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EC Harris and CBI propose measures for development of UK towns and cities

30 Sep 2013 (Last Updated September 30th, 2013 18:30)

EC Harris in partnership with CBI has proposed a set of measures for delivery of next-generation towns and cities in the UK.

EC Harris in partnership with CBI has proposed a set of measures for delivery of next-generation towns and cities in the UK.

In their new report, they have proposed the local leadership to work with businesses and the Government to build new homes, modern offices, transport links and high streets.

The proposals include a one-year business rates holiday for companies relocating to empty property; planning changes to make it easier to convert empty shops into homes.

In addition, the report also suggests that the planning changes needed for cafés and restaurants to introduce temporary outside seating; and for using public sector money to encourage investment in building projects.

According to a report also highlights the need combined strategic local leadership and proactive planning along with early private sector engagement for the development of cities and towns in the country.

CBI chief policy director Katja Hall said too many grand regeneration projects of the past have failed to deliver and public money has been wasted.

"We want to ensure growth reaches all parts of the UK and that means co-ordinated action to rejuvenate our towns and cities," Hall said.

"Thriving local communities need good amenities on their doorstep, ranging from decent housing, good leisure and public services, and most importantly – jobs."

"For businesses to invest, good transport links and modern office space are a must."

EC Harris UK regional leader Tim Neal said the private sector has an important role to play in fostering the growth of local economies and creating thriving communities across the country.

"The Government is committed to the more effective pooling of built assets across the public sector, but where deployed imaginatively, it is also possible to use those surplus assets to play a major role in making new regeneration viable for the developer community," Neal said.

"But none of this will happen without energetic, entrepreneurial and truly collaborative partnerships across public and private sector bodies."

The report added that with 1 in 7 shops in the UK high street lying empty, it should be recognised that shops will play a smaller role in the developing space of town centres.