Could Community Infrastructure Levy be paid directly to residents?

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.

Shale Gas

Richard Carr CIL

Is CIL damaging house building?

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”.

Continue reading

Independent panel criticises Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

Property Developer Richard Carr recently spoke out in the Bournemouth Echo about the need to rethink the way that property taxes such as s106 payments and CIL are being implemented, an opinion which is now being shared by an independent panel.

Review

Richard Carr image of Liz Peace

Liz Peace

Last week the government set up an independent panel to review CIL and look at ways in which it could be improved. Former British Property Federation CEO Liz Peace chaired the panel and told a National Planning Summit that the levy “is not providing a huge amount of funding for infrastructure” and has failed to provide a “faster, simpler, more transparent system’ than section 106.

Furthermore, she said that the review team were “not convinced that CIL has met the primary purpose of when it was set up”.

“We don’t actually think it’s providing a huge amount of funding for infrastructure, and it most certainly hasn’t provided a faster, simpler, more transparent system,” Peace said.

Continue reading

Development taxes continue to push property prices up

Property Developer Richard Carr believes development taxes such as Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and s106 payments are the reason behind the increasing house prices in the UK.

Increases

Richard Carr comments on rising house prices

Is development tax a reason for increasing house prices?

The average price of a home in England and Wales has now surpassed £300,000 for the first time ever and Richard believes there are two main factors for this:

  1. Development Taxes
  2. Demand outweighing supply

On the first point, he doesn’t understand the government’s current process. Developers are charged large amounts of CIL and s106 by local planning authorities which means that the price of the finished product is increased.

The government has therefore had to introduce a number of Help to Buy schemes to help first time buyers, using money funded by development tax!

Continue reading

Property Developer Richard Carr calls for a relaxation in development tax

Press Release

  • Poole-based property developer wants clarification on CIL and s106 payments
  • Carr believes developers are put off by high taxes involved on developments
  • A relaxation in taxes would be beneficial for the industry and help the housing shortfall

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and s106 payments are no longer viable property taxes according to Poole-based property developer Richard Carr.

Carr, who has worked in the industry for over 30 years, believes the taxes are seriously affecting the industry and are a factor in the current housing shortage that the country is battling with.

Expanding on the point, he said: “I’m very much for paying taxes and have done all my business life – and I believe property taxes can work and help projects such as social housing and community infrastructure if they are used correctly, however my problem is that I don’t believe they are.

“Community Infrastructure Levy is an outdated tax that developers have become disillusioned with. The line between CIL and s106 payments has become faded and clarification is need from the government to explain why they are in place.”

Currently, ministers are debating new proposals for development property tax and how it will be applied. Planning Minister Brandon Lewis is considering an overhaul of S106 payments and CIL.

Carr added: “I believe they should be abolished for 24 months on condition that the development is started within 12 months from grant; it should only be implemented on Greenfield sites that are inherently cheaper to develop.

“How can it be correct for a developer to pay £385 planning fees on a 500 square foot flat and the same for an 18,000 square foot house?”

Ministers propose changes to CIL and s106 payments

In a move which has delighted property developer Richard Carr, Ministers unveiled last week details of planning reforms and ‘financial benefits’ reporting.

Developers to benefit

Get rid of CIL says Richard Carr

Richard Carr supports the reduction of CIL

The government has proposed that council tax revenue, business rate revenue and s106 payments should all be included in the new report.

Ministers also confirm that the new requirements to set out the financial benefits of planning applications would be drawn widely and take into account a variety of factors.

The report will look at and go beyond ‘local finance considerations’ and take into Community Infrastructure Levy.

Continue reading

Government set to introduce changes to national planning policy

Strengthening the presumption in favour of ‘starter home’ developments is one of a raft of changes to be implemented as part of a new national planning policy, writes Development Specialist Richard Carr.

Changes

Richard Carr Planning Permission s106

Richard Carr supports the NPPF changes

Ministers will soon being consultations on a number of proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), with the following areas set to be discussed:

  • Broadening the definition of affordable housing
  • Increasing the density of development around commuter hubs
  • Supporting sustainable new settlements and helping development on brownfield land and small sites
  • Helping the delivery of housing allocated in plans
  • Promoting and aiding the delivery of starter homes

Starter Homes

If Ministers get the go-ahead, they plan on introducing a statutory requirement which would see a number of ‘starter homes’ delivered on all reasonably-sized housing developments. Another change would see the widening of low-cost homes to fall within the definition of affordable housing.

Continue reading

Government launches review into Community Infrastructure Levy

As discussed last week by Development Specialist Richard Carr, the government has stepped forward to conduct an independent review into Community Infrastructure Levy.

Review in motion

Richard Carr wants an end to taxes

Richard Carr wants to see an end to s106 and CIL payments

Last week, Richard Carr criticised the development tax for being outdated and preventing economic growth. Former CEO of the British Property Federation Liz Peace will led the government review to assess if the tax is meeting its original objectives of providing a faster, fairer, more certain and transparent means of funding infrastructure via developer contributions.

Ministers will: “assess the extent to which CIL does or can provide an effective mechanism for funding infrastructure, as well as recommend changes that would improve its operation in support of the Government’s wider housing and growth objectives.”

Continue reading

New report highlights damaging effect of planning cuts

Development specialist Richard Carr has long cited the effect that a lack of resources within local planning authorities (LPA) is having upon the planning system and his beliefs have been supported by a new Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Report.

Damaging

Richard Carr Planning Permission changes

Staff cuts within planning offices will effect economic growth

The research undertaken by the RTPI found that staff cuts are undermining the planning service. Reports from the North West and Scotland revealed that cuts in planning staff of more than 30% in LPA over the past five years is now undermining economic recovery.

Although this research was based on LPAs in the north of the country and Scotland, Richard Carr believes that similar pressures and restraints are also been placed on staff in his local planning authority in the south of England.

He believes that the country’s ability to deliver homes, schools, hospitals and major infrastructure is being put at risk by the aforementioned cuts.

Continue reading

Case made for removal of CIL and s106 contributions

Last week, property specialist Richard Carr supported the Federation of Small Business’ claims that the number of developer taxes is affecting house building in the UK.

Richard Carr wants an end to taxes

Richard Carr wants to see an end to s106 and CIL payments

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.

Continue reading

Richard Carr supports the FSB’s CIL recommendations

Property specialist Richard Carr believes that the number of taxes placed on developers is affecting the number of homes being built and is now pleased to see that the Federation of Small Business (FSB) has spoken out about the issue.

Costing the economy

Richard Carr Social Housing

Should CIL be dropped on social housing projects?

A report commissioned by the FSB explains that local planning authorities could be costing small house building firms millions of pounds in revenue. Like Richard, the FSB believe taxes such as the Community Infrastructure Levy should be blocked to prevent viable housing projects not being built at a time when the country has a big void to fill.

Small firms typically take on projects of 10 units of less and compared to larger developments they had significantly higher basic building costs. The FSB’s report found that the council wasn’t taking this into account when working out the level of CIL to be paid by developers.

Continue reading