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RIBA: BUDGET MUST DELIVER ON THE GROUND

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The RIBA has called on Gordon Brown to use the coming Budget to support the government's large-scale building plans.The institute said it was hoping to see an emphasis on numerous low-key measures to facilitate the grand plans that had already been announced and the funding already earmarked in the comprehensive spending review (last July) and the Sustainable Communities Plan (in February).

The RIBA's head of government relations, Jonathan Labrey, said it was now crucial 'to look at how the plans are delivered on the ground'. He called on the chancellor to put aside funds to train local authorities in design and procurement skills, and to commit to providing the transport infrastructure needed to support the planned housing developments in the South East.

The RICS has also said it will be looking for pledges of funding for transport and infrastructure in the Budget on 9 April. And it added it was concerned that property could be used as an easy target to raise taxation through increased stamp duty and business rates.

Senior policy officer David Melhuish said: 'There are lots of ambitious schemes, but a question mark over how they will be implemented.'

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