Budget 2009: £600m housing development fund may provide boost for landscape sector

A £600m fund to stimulate short-term housing development could prove beneficial for the landscaping market, say industry figures.

Chancellor Alistair Darling announced the fund during today's (22 April) Budget. It is aimed at stimulating housing development in the short-term and boosting capacity in the house-building industry.

It includes £400m to "unlock currently stalled housing developments" by leveraging in private development finance and £100m of new funding for local authorities to deliver new social housing at higher energy-efficiency standards.

British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) technical director Neil Huck said: "I welcome the stimulation package because housing work has really fallen off a cliff.

"It will help the guys who have spent years doing housing developments, who have now got no work. But, as with all government statements, we'll wait to see if it follows through."

Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) chief executive Jason Lock agreed: "It has got to help. If there are more house projects that will generate more gardens, as well as commercial landscaping.

"Anything that can increase the potential work for the domestic landscaping market has got to be good. But we won't be holding our breath just yet."

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