Judging by the responses from our Expert Forum, many of those in the property industry are yet to be convinced that levelling up is going to be a success.
Many eyes must have rolled at the prospect of ‘reinforcing the Green Belt’ at a time when there is too little land.
Both Jo Jackson of SEGRO and Neil Seager from Haslams Chartered Surveyors have told us about the pressure on the industrial market because there is nowhere to build the units needed to satisfy the demand for online shopping.
People don’t want industrial units and traffic near their houses unless it’s an Amazon van with their parcel. But Governments are reluctant to confront the issue in any meaningful way.
Our responses also included the risk of ‘levelling down’. What chance is there for Western Rail Link to Heathrow when it is seen as benefitting the wrong area even though its benefits go far beyond this region?
Twenty years ago, business leaders in the Thames Valley would argue that this region needs investment to drive the country forward. It was regularly described as the engine room of the economy.
But that doesn’t cut much ice now as politicians have a debt to pay to those who switched political allegiance in December 2019.
But so much has happened since then, it’s hard to know if levelling up will be sufficient. There seems a possibility that in five years it will be another of those political slogans that failed to really make anything better.
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