In submitting its response to the Developer Contributions Consultation, Cllr Mark Crane, DCN Members’ Board Lead for Stronger Economies, said:
“New developments create new demands on infrastructure in district areas. It’s vital that a revised system of developer contributions can fully support additional infrastructure and reflect the increases in land value from granting planning permissions and making allocations. Changes to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) based on fairness and transparency, and which rebalance the negotiating strength between councils and developers, will help Districts better manage local housing markets and deliver the homes people deserve and this nation desperately needs.
“Allowing councils to set different CIL rates based on the existing use of the land could help better capture the uplift of greenfield land post-permission. However, this needs to be accompanied by enhanced powers of compulsory purchase to enable local authorities to acquire allocated/permitted land not coming forward in a timely way and to deter landowners from attempting to wait for a more favourable land taxation regime. A ‘contract to develop’, which puts an agreed timeframe around build out, would help to support this.
“However, the DCN has real concerns about the proposals to maintain, in most cases for non-CIL authorities, Section 106 pooling restrictions which the evidence clearly shows is – at best – a hindrance to the delivery of new housing, particularly in lower-value areas. Section 106 pooling restrictions should be lifted completely, under all circumstances, and at the earliest possible opportunity, to help improve the delivery of new housing.
“Anti-gaming measures – such as detailing a site’s history over the past five years on application – will be needed to tackle any CIL mitigation strategies by developers, with bids for ‘relief’ refused where gaming is proven on the balance of probability, as assessed by the local planning authority.”
District Councils’ Network media office, 020 7664 3333
You can access the full consultation response here