Response to Government's infrastructure expenditure increase
In response to yesterday's announcement regarding the Government's planned increased expenditure on infrastructure, Chris Taylor, Product Development Director for Landmark Information Group said:
"Whilst the Government's announcement that there will a £100 billion modernisation of the UK's infrastructure and an investment in energy over the next seven years is positive news for the economy, there are elements of the spending package that will cause concern with homeowners and businesses across the country.
"Fracking has been at the forefront of the news agenda in recent times and it is once again in the spotlight following the Spending Review. With shale gas extraction identified as a major area of investment, UK homeowners face the prospect of the impact fracking could have on property prices. Fracking can result in earth tremors which can affect a property's structural viability and therefore greatly affect its value and saleability. Despite George Osborne stating that fracking is 'environmentally safe' and could provide 'cheap energy' for many years to come, small earthquakes have already occurred in the North West, where recent reports indicate that property values could drop by as much as 30%. The fact that the Environment Agency plans to provide 'quick permits' for fracking immediately raises a red flag."
"With the latest figures from the British Geological Survey revealing that shale gas deposits are far more widespread than previously thought, it's clear that fracking could affect thousands of households across the country in the very near future."
"Another key announcement which will have a major impact on many homes is High Speed Two (HS2). With predictions that the cost will be £10 billion higher than originally allocated, the project's overall cost could now exceed £50 billion. At present, local authorities have only identified properties within 200 metres of the proposed rail link as likely to be affected, but this isn't a true representation. Homes a long way outside this boundary could incur increased noise and environmental nuisance during the construction period and beyond. As reports have already revealed that around 350,000 homes could be affected by HS2 yet receive no compensation, the new increased spending figures will draw yet more criticism across the board."
"So whilst the cash injection is good news as it helps ensure that Britain continues to compete on the world stage, it is crucial that conveyancing professionals investigate whether or not a client's property is likely to be affected by fracking or HS2 so that they may make an informed decision as to their next steps. Equally, particular properties may be perceived as being at risk when that may in fact not be the case, resulting in transactions being cancelled unnecessarily."
Information about Landmark Information Group and its Energy and Infrastructure Report which identifies whether or not a property is at risk of fracking or may have an impact from HS2, is available at www.landmark.co.uk