National Infrastructure Plan 2014 – what does it mean for homebuyers?

Image: £2.3bn worth of investment into flood defences has been promised as part of the National Infrastructure Plan 2014.

With the recent Government announcement on infrastructure spending in the Autumn Statement, the discussion about these projects has been added to the national agenda. It would seem that one of the cornerstones of the Government’s plan for economic recovery are these large projects but what of the impact that they can have on specific areas, home owners and house buyers?

The projects announced include plans for £2.3bn of investment in flood defences and £15bn of road improvements as part of the National Infrastructure Plan 2014.

More than 1400 flood defence projects will be initiated over the next six years which will reduce the risk of flood to over 300,000 homes. The major projects that will benefit from this increased funding include the Oxford Flood Scheme, the Somerset Levels, the Humber Estuary and Tonbridge, Yalding at the surrounding areas.

Anything that reduces the risk of flooding is clearly good news and, as the details around each scheme are made available, this information will find its way into the flood reports that are readily available and widely used by conveyancers. Furthermore, once complete, these schemes should also have a positive effect on the price and availability of property insurance.

For infrastructure projects, whilst the over-arching aim is to bring improvement and benefit, there will always be individuals who are impacted negatively and any prospective homebuyer would surely want to know about these types of project so they can make an informed decision on a house purchase.

Over 1,300 new lane-miles will be added to motorway and trunk roads across the country over the next parliament with the aims of tackling congestion, increasing vehicle capacity and fixing notorious problem areas. Again, for the vast majority of motorists, this will deliver some benefits but for homeowners close to these projects it may be difficult for them to see an upside.

Infrastructure projects can take years to complete and will bring with them increased noise, dust and traffic during construction, as well as increased local traffic and disruption once they are finished. Perhaps the reason for moving to an area will be blighted or lost due to a specific project. House prices are known to be affected by large infrastructure projects both positively and negatively so, again, surely the homebuyer should be informed about local projects?

This leads onto the question of how to best deal with this emotive and subjective matter in a conveyance: