Government plans to continue with a widely opposed plan to cut empty property rate relief have been slammed by the industry.
The British Property Federation has welcomed Local Government Minister John Healey's announcement that listed buildings would be exempt from the rates relief cut.
However, it has reiterated that the additional cost, risk and uncertainty caused by the abolition of long-term relief will damage speculative development.
It believes it "will impose a severe and unpredicted burden upon property owners and businesses, and will make it more difficult for businesses to grow and expand into new premises".
Gareth Lewis, BPF director for finance and investment, said: "This summer's consultation did not invite the industry's views on the key issues of whether removing permanent rate relief for empty properties would encourage more efficient use of land and lower rents.
"In this respect the industry's view has not changed.
"The withdrawal of relief will neither result in an improvement in the efficiency of land use nor the lowering of rents.
"The dynamics of the current market are very different to the market conditions at the time these measures were hastily conceived and there is now an even stronger case for undertaking proper consultation on the more fundamental aspects of these proposals before proceeding further."
However, the BPF has backed an announcement from Housing Minister, Yvette Cooper, to modernise the planning system to encourage greener developments.
The Planning Policy Statement on Climate Change calls on authorities and developers to consider a string of renewable energy measures, ranging from on-site technologies, such as solar panels, to community heating and power stations.
It follows intense debate over the so-called Merton rule which required a specific percentage of a development's energy needs to be supplied through on-site renewable sources.
The BPF said it hoped that the Government's new measures would reflect the realities of the development industry, providing more scope for innovation and room for green targets to be met in a more efficient and cost-effective way, whether from on-site or off-site sources.
The BPF said it also supported the setting of a timetable to make all new commercial development carbon-neutral but emphasises this must be realistic and would demand intensive work to overcome many technical and cost barriers that currently exist.
Liz Peace, chief executive of the BPF, said: "Industry support for the Government's green targets will be integral to their success.
" The property industry has always been fully behind green measures to encourage sustainable development and the use of renewable energy.
"We welcome this announcement which represents a compromise between those who want total freedom to meet energy needs in the most efficient way and those who believe developers must be tied to a specific form of renewables.
"The key factor to successful green development is flexibility. It is still very early days and our technology is evolving fast.
"Therefore, it is essential that developers are allowed to use their professional judgement to work out the best energy solution for each site. This new policy statement represents a step in the right direction." :