Select committee urges government to take greater risks with public land to reap regeneration gains

MPs have accused the government of failing to jump-start stalled regeneration projects.

A report by the CLG select committee concluded that there was “little evidence that the government has a coherent strategy for addressing the country’s regeneration needs”.

Chairman of the select committee Clive Betts said: “Private investment is only likely to be attracted in partnership with public funding. Without further investment targeted at those places most in need, ministers will store up serious social, economic and environmental problems for the future.”

The committee called on the government to make more public land available to developers to regenerate the poorest areas of the country.

The report also said the government’s plan to introduce a Tax Increment Financing system from 2014, which sees money for regeneration raised through local business rates occupying the new premises, would be welcome in a number of areas of the country. However, it also warned it was not appropriate in the most deprived areas.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, backed the report’s conclusions.

She said: “Cutbacks in public spending mean the days of large injections of public money to get regeneration projects off the ground are over. This doesn’t mean regeneration has to grind to a halt though; TIF could unlock many stalled schemes where funding cannot be found from public or private, sources.”