Amongst the biggest discussions over the past two months – unsurprisingly - was the Chancellor’s Budget and the effects it will have on the construction sector, the property market and the SME community. While the Government’s pledge to invest £billions on infrastructure projects was widely welcomed, many were cynical about where the finance is going to come from and @CNPlus was not alone in questioning the promise of £3 billion over the next two years. More criticism was targeted towards the Government’s ‘Help to Buy’ mortgage aid scheme, which many are concerned will lead to inflated property prices while failing to help those who need to get their first foot on the property ladder. The Department for Communities and Local Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has also come in for wide-ranging comment on Twitter over the past few weeks. The NPPF sets out the Government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied and this March has marked the end of the transition period one year on from the framework’s launch. While some Tweeters, including @nationaltrust and @civic_voice are critical of the framework’s effects on the greenbelt and implications for local communities, there remains support in the Twittersphere for national planning guidelines that have seen the number of planning appeals increase and created new opportunities for developers. It’s been an interesting debate where the lines are very much drawn with the environmentalists and rural communities on one side, and the construction sector on the other.
Amongst the big projects prompting conversation on Twitter recently is the redevelopment of Birmingham’s New Street Station, the first phase of which was finally unveiled at the end of April. The feedback has been largely positive from media and transport users alike.