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Autumn Budget 2021 - Planning Implications

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak announced his Autumn Budget and Spending Review on 27th October 2021, setting out his vision for the ‘post-Covid’ era. Now that the dust has settled on this, our latest Briefing Note provides a summary of the initiatives outlined which are likely to impact planning.

The Budget follows a turbulent period of unprecedented spending worldwide, which will see inflation expected to rise to an average of 4% in 2022 according to the Office for Budget Responsibility. The economic context within which this budget was announced is certainly one with recovery and growth at its heart, with the Chancellor announcing the drive for “higher wages, higher skills and rising productivity”.

Despite the clear ambition for an economic bounce back, the Budget remained largely quiet when considering the role of the built environment and specifically the planning sector in supporting economic growth. This is in spite of declarations and policy reforms set out within the 2020 White Paper, urging sustainable growth and a rebalance of the economy.

Notwithstanding this, the Chancellor’s proposals for a ‘new digital [planning] system’, associated digital ‘pilot’ tools announced by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (‘DLUHC’) and an increase in local government grant funding piqued our interest, representing acknowledgement of the continued systematic delays experienced within the planning sector.


In this briefing note, we set out the implications of the budget on:

  • When planning goes digital
  • Funding ‘Levelling Up’ – How will the money be used?
  • Planning insight
  • Tax snapshot


Timings and next steps

We understand that the DLUHC ‘pilot’ digital scheme will run until March 2022. The additional grant funding provided as part of the ‘Levelling Up’ fund is due to be delivered over the spending review period between 2022/23 and 2024/25 whilst the new Residential Property Developer Tax will apply from 1st April 2022 to profits arising from residential property development recognised in accounting periods ending on or after that date.

For further information on the recent budget and its potential implications, speak to one of our team.

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Key Contacts

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James Wickham


Jeremy Randall