Last edited 25 Sep 2014

Development benefits scheme

In the budget 2014, the government announced that the Treasury would allocate £3.5 million to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to launch a pilot for passing a share of the benefits of development directly to households. This is part of the government’s wider strategy to increase the supply of housing.

DCLG suggest that, ‘The current planning system could be accused of not fully reflecting the impact of new housing on those living nearby, particularly the noise and nuisance of having a building site near their home for a significant period… In fairness to those who live closest and who bear the greatest burden of development in the short term we may want to do more to ensure they also see the benefits of the development….The aim of development benefits is therefore to reduce delays and blockages by providing a financial incentive directly to residents that would reduce the incentive for residents to actively oppose development… eligible households will receive a direct financial payment when the site for housing is allocated or when that development goes ahead.’

DCLG propose that the pilot will test:

  • The degree to which development benefits are likely to be effective in reducing opposition and increasing support for development.
  • The most effective approach to payments, levels of payments and eligibility.
  • The extent to which a reduction in opposition by local residents might ease planning system constraints.
  • The workability and costs of administering the scheme.
  • Whether there are any unintended consequences.
  • How the scheme would impact on the approach taken to new homes in neighbourhood plans.

On 17 September 2014 DCLG announced that it was seeking expressions of interest from local authorities to take part in the pilot. It also published Development benefits pilots: invitation for expressions of interest setting out further details and outlining the support available.

The deadline for submitting expressions of interest is 24 October 2014.

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