Updated Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) rules, which mean that communities will be able to see what developer contributions are spent on, have come into force.
The cash is for establishing community infrastructure to support new homes, including roads, schools, GP surgeries and parkland.
Previous rules meant that councils did not have to report on the total amount of funding received through CIL. Now, though, they will be legally required to publish the deals done with housing developers so that residents can see how money will be invested in their community.
Councils will be required to publish an annual report on CIL agreements with developers from December 2020.
Housing minister Esther McVey said the new rules, which came into force on 1 September, “will allow residents to know how developers are contributing to the local community when they build new homes”.
The government explained that the revised rules would help developers to “get shovels in the ground more quickly”, to help it meet its ambition to deliver 300,000 extra homes a year by the mid-2020s. The rules are designed to support councils and give greater confidence to communities about the benefits that new housing can bring to their area.
New Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) has been published alongside the new rules. It intends to further simplify advice on the CIL regime, helping communities and developers understand what is required, added the government.
The Local Government Association’s planning spokesman David Renard said: “Councils support the principle of infrastructure funding statements showing how much developers’ money is spent on local communities, and many councils already publish them. This work needs to be fully funded and councils also need sufficient lead-in time.
"The government should further reform the Community Infrastructure Levy in the upcoming Spending Round.
“This includes removing national exemptions – which reduce the amount of funding to invest in critical infrastructure to facilitate development - and allowing them to be decided by councils at a local level.”
CIL PPG can be found here on the UK Government website.
Laura Edgar, The Planner