Planning levy will not include affordable housing
Government amendments to a controversial development levy have left out plans to use funds for affordable housing.
A set of amended community infrastructure levy regulations were published this week which tighten up the rules for councils looking to implement CIL on development in their area.
The document also omitted a proposal to force local authorities to pass on a ‘meaningful proportion’ of funds to neighbourhood bodies. The government mooted the idea that CIL cash should be used for affordable housing and councils should share it with local communities earlier this year.
Currently CIL can be spent on infrastructure to support new development. Affordable housing is still negotiated through section 106 deals.
It did include details surrounding varying development after a CIL charge is introduced. Currently developers do not have to pay CIL if schemes received planning permission before the council put its CIL levy in place.
But if they change some of the development, they were liable to pay CIL on the whole scheme. The amendment ensures they will only pay on any extra floor space.
Marcus Bate, planning and CIL expert at law firm Pinsent Mason, said there is likely to be more amendments in 2013. ‘There are at least half a dozen key reforms which the government by its own admission needs to address, including the key issue of localised CIL for neighbourhoods which affects rate-setting, spending and development management,’ he said.
‘The government has shelved these reforms for too long.’
Stuart Robinson, head of planning at CBRE, said: ‘[The amendments] are merely working around the edges of this new tax on the development industry.
‘The fact remains that this wholly unwelcome burden, which was conceived by the previous government in the boom times and is proving to be a disincentive to development both in terms of the scale of the levy and the complexity of its provisions.’