New PM Theresa May is believed to be considering paying Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) directly to local residents in a bid to gain support for new developments, writes property developer Richard Carr.
The news comes after she announced proposals for cash from a scheme to share the proceeds of shale gas revenues to be handed straight to households.
The move is a step away from the first announcement in last year’s Autumn Statement when it was understood that shale revenues would go to community trusts and local authorities.
But Number 10 said that the new government has “changed the consultation to ensure a greater focus on control for local communities – including insisting on proposals to transfer funds directly to households rather than local authorities”.
The new thinking from the government has made them look at rolling the approach out wider with CIL being suggested as a possible target.
The statement said: “The government will also be looking at whether this approach to the Shale Wealth Fund (SWF) can be a model for other community benefit schemes with the aim of putting more control and more resource in the hands of local households.
“Examples of where the principle could be extended include the Community Infrastructure Levy, which is currently being reviewed.”
A review of CIL is considering whether measures requiring a proportion of levy receipts to be passed to parish councils is encouraging communities to support development.
Speaking at the National Planning Summit in April, Liz Peace, who is leading the review, said that the panel hoped to have finalised its report by the middle of May, but added that its publication could be delayed by the “purdah” period for the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.