These calls have gained further support this week from the Local Government Association (LGA) who made a case for the removal of current national exemptions to s106 contributions and community infrastructure levy (CIL).
The association explained that it would like to see the present, outdated policy be replaced with “a more robust and transparent local viability assessment process”.
In the LGA’s submission to the government, they argued that a simplifying of CIL regulations and guidance and the removal of the restriction on pooling s106 contributions for strategic sites identified in local plans.
However, Richard Carr believes that both taxes are completely outdated in the current system and now do more damage than good to the industry. He believes that the industry would be better suited if taxes were dropped – especially for smaller firms and developers – as this would encourage more home building in the country as a whole.
He doesn’t want local planning authorities setting taxes and instead thinks a set uniform tariff should be introduced, which would be weighted heavily against large schemes on greenfield sites as they are cheaper to build on.
Richard says that there shouldn’t be any taxes on sites under 14 units, as this is preventing housebuilding growing.
Give council’s more rights
Ahead of November’s spending review, English local authorities have urged ministers for the right to set their own planning charges as part of a submission by the LGA. In a press release, the council body argued that creating locally-set planning fees would benefit tax payers.
“It would ensure effective, responsive and fully funded council planning services, removing the burden from taxpayers who currently subsidise 30 per cent of total costs,” said the LGA.
Support for local housing
The councils’ organisation has also requested for more support and assurances that local areas can use the local growth fund to support local housing and infrastructure investment strategies.
The LGA submission also insisted that local planning authorities should have the power to ensure developers prioritise brownfield sites. It has highlighted the need for councils to be able to have a say over new development on all brownfield land and proposals to convert offices to homes.