UK - The UK government is to plough £1.7bn (€2.4bn) into boosting infrastructure for planned ‘new' towns and growth areas over the next three years.

The UK Pre-Budget Report (PBR), published by the Treasury last Wednesday, said the funding would target regeneration sites such as the Thames Gateway in the southeast, and eco-towns. The PBR is one of two annual economic forecasts the government is required to deliver to Parliament.

However, a Treasury spokeswoman said it was unclear whether the government would seek additional capital from private sector sources, including pension funds.

"They're still looking at how they'll do it. They'll create the partnerships they need to achieve the best possible outcome," she said.

Projects earmarked for initial investment include the South West Regional Development Agency's mooted regional infrastructure fund. An earlier review into housing growth recommended the setting up of bespoke funding vehicles.

"It is early stages to talk about the specifics of how projects will be funded but the government is keen to continue to work with stakeholders to develop suitable funding vehicles to address this 'front funding' issue," the spokeswoman said.

An additional £300m to be invested in the Community Infrastructure Fund should encourage local authorities to increase housing supply, according the government. It has set a target to build two million new houses by 2016 and a further one million by 2020. The PBR included £6.5bn provision for social housing over the three-year period.

The PBR also earmarked a further £175m to "increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning system".

Robin Goodchild, European director of research and strategy at Lasalle Investment Management, told IPE Real Estate in July the three certainties were death, taxes, and the recalcitrance of British planning system.

He confirmed last week's PBR had not changed his mind.