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Last edited 09 Feb 2021
On 6 August 2020, the Government published a consultation on reforms to the planning system. The proposals are intended to streamline the process, cut red tape, harness technology and protect green space to deliver high-quality, sustainable communities.
The white paper, Planning for the future, developed with advice from the Planning Taskforce, focusses on local community agreement, with communities consulted from the very beginning of the planning process. For more information see: Planning for the future.
One of the proposals within the white paper is that the system of charging a Community Infrastructure Levy on developments and imposing planning obligations (Section 106 agreements) should be reformed, to create a nationally set, value-based flat rate charge referred to as the ‘Infrastructure Levy’.
A single rate or varied rates could be set, but the aim is that the new Levy to raises more revenue than the current system and delivers at least as much – if not more – on-site affordable housing. It will also avoid months of negotiation of Section 106 agreements and the need to consider site viability.
The proposals go on to state:
‘We will give local authorities greater powers to determine how developer contributions are used, including by expanding the scope of the Levy to cover affordable housing provision to allow local planning authorities to drive up the provision of affordable homes. We will ensure that affordable housing provision supported through developer contributions is kept at least at current levels, and that it is still delivered on-site to ensure that new development continues to support mixed communities. Local authorities will have the flexibility to use this funding to support both existing communities as well as new communities.’
‘We will also look to extend the scope of the consolidated Infrastructure Levy and remove exemptions from it to capture changes of use through permitted development rights, so that additional homes delivered through this route bring with them support for new infrastructure.’
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