Tuesday, March 14, 2023

News: No Rotherham sites put forward for potential new South Yorkshire investment zone


No sites in Rotherham were put forward to the Government for the creation of an investment zone in South Yorkshire. It is unclear what impact a shift in policy will have on the borough as a potential new zone for the region is expected to be announced in the Budget.

South Yorkshire was one of 38 initial areas keen to establish investment zones in England and an expression of interest was submitted last year.

Since then, a number of changes in leadership positions in government has meant that the policy has been under review.

This week it has been widely reported that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced that he would create 12 investment zones in England when the Budget is announced on Wednesday. The Yorkshire Post goes on to report that the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) is to be invited to draw up new powers they need to grow industries and create jobs that will drive growth.

Initially announced by the Liz Truss government as part of its Growth Plan, investment zones were set to drive growth and unlock housing across the UK by lowering taxes and liberalising planning frameworks to encourage rapid development and business investment.

Measures could've included 100% business rates relief on newly occupied and expanded premises and full stamp duty land tax relief, with the need for planning applications minimised. Authorities were also promised 100% of the business rates growth above an agreed baseline in designated sites for 25 years and a single local growth settlement.

Now scaled back and based around universities and research centres there is a focus on driving growth in key sectors, including manufacturing. They could see government provide £80m over the next five years to each of the new investment zones to be used for things like tax relief for businesses, training and infrastructure.

When the South Yorkshire expression of interest was submitted Rothbiz reported on the sites included - the majority being in Sheffield and Doncaster.

Minutes from the Local Enterprise Partnership following the submission show that "a discussion was had about the possible negative impacts of the Investment Zones policy, and it was noted that Rotherham MBC had not submitted any sites in the submission."

This is despite a council strategy looking at expanding the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation District (AMID), a land supply review identifying a geographic cluster for expansion at Templeborough, and a long held desire to see thousands of houses built on former greenbelt land at Bassingthorpe.

Cllr. Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Council has previously questioned another government policy, Freeports, that saw regions compete with each other with sites that could offer simplified procedures and tax exemptions.

Images: Knight Frank


Anonymous,  March 14, 2023 at 2:31 PM  

Hardly a shock

Anonymous,  March 14, 2023 at 2:49 PM  

As usual Rotherham council still in the blocks....still hopefully the thousand of houses on the green belt,not happening is good news,last thing we need is more environmental distraction!

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