Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) will be better equipped to increase much needed housing supply among other benefits after a new combined authority for the region is formed, according to JLL.
Paul Baker, director at property consultancy JLL in Bristol, believes that the new set-up will provide the region with the strong leadership required to enable a more strategic approach to planning, housing and transport, which is the sort of thing that you will want to hear if you are planning to, or are actively investing in the region.
Baker said: “It is welcome news that we are moving a step closer to a new combined authority. Subject to a final decision by the councils in September after a period of consultation and approval by the government in October, we could see a new combined authority created next April and elections held in May for a new metro-style mayor.”
The change will mean that local decision makers will take over powers from Whitehall covering transport, investment, funding, skills training, business support, housing and strategic planning. This would give them more control over the way issues of particular strategic importance such as transport, housing and planning are handled. These are areas that could benefit from some more joined-up thinking, according to Baker.
The property consultant is now calling on people to respond positively to the public consultation that is being carried out and support the decision these three councils have made.
He continued: “Our one concern is that North Somerset is not in the group and it begs the question as to whether this will put pressure on the fringes of the combined area.
“The key thing that will be needed is strong leadership from a new metro-style mayor who will need to carefully, but boldly, navigate his or her way through any challenges with regard to competing pressures in order to fulfil the potential of the region."