CBRE survey also reveals only a third of Liberal Democrats support the Localism bill

Nearly a quarter of Conservative and one-third of Liberal Democrat councillors do not support the localism bill according to a survey by CB Richard Ellis. Unsurprisingly only 6% of Labour councillors are in favour of localism.

The results of the survey were unveiled at last week’s CBRE Government & Infrastructure conference in London. Opposition to the bill is expected to grow after next month’s local elections with a big swing towards Labour expected.

Speakers at the conference including Lord Digby Jones and Steven Norris voiced concerns that the localism bill is at risk of impeding growth. Former mayoral candidate and chairman of Soho Estates, Steven Norris, said: “We need to see government talking less about localism and more about the growth agenda, because it’s growth that will determine the success of this government.”

The potential lack of support for localism could impact the Government’s growth agenda, which hinges on giving local government and communities greater decision making power.

Almost one in two senior property industry decision makers polled warned that localism would increase NIMBYism and subsequently make it harder to bring forward new developments needed to encourage growth.   

Over 2,000 members of the general public were also surveyed with 78% saying that their local area was just right or already over-developed.

Alexandra Jones, chief executive at Centre for Cities, said: “Localism has the potential to play a powerful role in enabling local areas to make the most of very different local economies and to support private sector businesses to grow.

“However, currently – as the CBRE research shows - there remains some confusion about what localism means in practice; for example, whether it is about neighbourhoods or local authorities.”