New Rules Mean Councils Must Publish Infrastructure Levy Spending

Details on how councils spend developers’ money will be open to public scrutiny due to new UK Government regulations.

The Community Infrastructure Levy is a charge which can be levied by local authorities on new developments in their area. It means that developers building new housing also have to pay up for roads, schools, GP surgeries and parkland, which is needed when local communities expand.

Previously, councils were not required to report on the total amount of funding received, or how it was spent, leaving local residents in the dark. But new rules introduced this week will see local communities across the country being able to see how every pound of property developers’ cash is spent on new infrastructure. With developers paying £6bn towards local infrastructure in 2016-17 alone, it will be interesting for the public to see how this money is being used.

The Government say that this new rule will ensure a transparent and accountable system, which will help local communities and developers see how contributions will be spent and understand what future funds will be spent on.

Parish councils must prepare a report for any financial year in which it receives levy receipts, and County councils must publish an infrastructure funding statement. The rules are designed to support councils and give greater confidence to communities about the benefits new housing can bring to their area.

Restrictions will be eased to allow councils to fund single, larger infrastructure projects from the cash received from multiple developments. This could potentially give greater freedom to deliver complex projects at pace.

Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB), said:

“Communities don’t realise how much developers contribute to infrastructure through local taxation. Forcing all councils to be transparent with their ambition and strategy is an important step in encouraging a shared vision and local scrutiny.”

Esther McVey, Housing Minister, commented:

“The new rules now in force will allow residents to know how developers are contributing to the local community when they build new homes – whether that’s contributing to building a brand-new school, roads or a doctor’s surgery that the area needs. The reformed rules will help developers get shovels in the ground more quickly, and help the government meet its ambition to deliver 300,000 extra homes a year by the mid-2020s.”

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