Planning laws hitting region hardest in UK
CONSTRUCTION: Planning regulations are more of a hindrance in Yorkshire and the Humber than anywhere else in the country, according to a ICAEW UK Enterprise Survey.
The study found expectations for financial growth in the region were above average. However, it pointed to the high representation of construction businesses, which amplified the impact of planning regulations.
Although turnover and gross profits growth fell last year to below UK average levels, the findings suggest the region's chances of "bouncing back" over the next 12 months is higher than the UK average.
But the strong rise in capital investment growth seen in 2012 is not expected to continue and headcount growth looks set to remain flat.
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While Yorkshire and Humber businesses are also likely to have profitability as their top objective, the next most widespread priority is increasing cash balances and paying down debt – almost twice as prevalent as turnover.
ICAEW regional director Chris Manners says: "This may be a reflection of the region's above-average numbers of construction businesses – the sector which is most strongly focused on this objective.
"While employment legislation and employment tax are hindrances to about six in ten businesses UK-wide, with Yorkshire and Humber being no exception, planning regulation is considered a drawback by higher than average proportions here – a further reflection of the region's above-average construction industry base."