A group of large house builders has established a ‘fighting fund’ to challenge councils that try to set a development levy too high.
The group has employed property consultancy Savills to represent house builders at community infrastructure levy charging schedule meetings to ensure councils are setting ‘realistic’ CIL levels.
Councils can set a rate of CIL per square metre to pay for infrastructure and community facilities. The rate is non-negotiable on any new development.
The house building group, which is managed by the Home Builders Federation, said it is concerned that if levels are too high it will make development unviable.
Last week, councils in the Greater Norwich Development Area where told by an inspector that the proposed residential rates of CIL were too high and could pose a ‘significant risk’ to development.
Earlier this month, the HBF announced it had ‘beefed up’ its planning department to ensure representation at all future local plan enquiries to make sure local authorities were meeting their responsibilities with regards to housing plans.
Stewart Baseley, executive chair of the HBF, said: ‘The rate at which CIL is set will be a huge determinant on whether house building sites are viable or not. We have an acute housing crisis in this country and it is imperative desperately needed housing supply is not strangled. We want to work with councils to set realistic charge levels that allow houses to be built – and vital infrastructure to be delivered.’