Lord Rogers is to hold talks with chancellor Gordon Brown next month in a final bid to influence the urban white paper and pre-budget statement.
It is understood that the meeting will take place between 12 and 15 September. Lord Rogers is expected to use it as a last-ditch attempt to convince the Treasury to adopt some of the financial incentives outlined in last June’s urban taskforce report, Towards an Urban Renaissance.
A source close to the taskforce said: “October’s urban white paper would have to hint at some of the measures, but the pre-budget report in the autumn is where we are likely to get more detail on the Treasury’s plans.
“This meeting between Lord Rogers and the Treasury will probably be the last time it can be influenced.”
Lord Rogers confirmed the meeting but refused to be drawn on the agenda.
It is understood that Lord Rogers will insist that the Treasury provide cash for cleaning up contaminated sites. Another demand is likely to be that developers and businesses in inner-city areas get tax concessions.
The source close to the taskforce confirmed that these were the main issues that would be discussed. He added that a reduction in VAT on refurbishments and brownfield sites would also be on the agenda.
He said: “VAT is the hardest issue to persuade the Treasury on in the timeframe but it will be raised.
Even if it does not appear in the pre-budget statement, the urban taskforce will keep on lobbying for it.
“The meeting is a step towards meeting the biggest challenge the taskforce has, which is making the urban regeneration a government-wide issue and not just a John Prescott initiative. The Treasury needs to see it as a platform to develop policy,” he said.
Lord Rogers is also understood to be lobbying for council tax measures that penalise those holding empty properties to encourage the use of empty buildings in inner cities.
Another recommendation to be brought up at the meeting is to defer the corporation tax that developers pay when they buy land if the land is in need of regeneration. The tax would be payable when the development was in use.
Lord Rogers is believed to have met Brown a year ago, just after the urban taskforce report came out, to discuss the Treasury’s role in pushing the recommendations. Since then, he has criticised the government’s slowness in implementing them.
Last week, he raised concerns about the government’s transport spending plans. He told Building: “I am worried about the money to be spent on roads. Although I am pleased it is going on transport, it is all large scale. We need small-scale schemes like local buses and the bicycle lanes of the Continent.”
London mayor Ken Livingstone has recently offered Lord Rogers a role on the Greater London Authority, which he has accepted. This will involve him advising on regeneration issues and will give him the opportunity to implement the recommendations of his report.
The report included a blueprint for regenerating inner cities. It called for high-density housing and large-scale pedestrianisation.