'Fighting fund' created to ensure councils abide by the rules
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Development, Housing
A 'fighting fund' has been set up to ensure that local authorities are abiding by their responsibilities with regard to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
Real estate firm Savills has been hired to make sure CIL rates are realistic and don’t make house building unviable - as is required under CIL legislation.
The move follows the judgement in the Greater Norwich Development Area when the Inspector recommended that local councils reduce the proposed residential rates by up to 35 percent, as the rates were too high and could pose a "significant risk" to the delivery of schemes.
A similar decision was reached in Devon where the Examiner recommended a cut of over half in the residential rate.
The fighting fund mirrors an announcement made earlier this month by the Home Builders Federation (HBF) that it had "beefed up" its planning department to ensure representation at all future local plan enquiries.
Both operations will be managed by the HBF’s Plans Management Group, comprising of senior representatives of its larger members as the industry.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF, said; “The new planning and regulatory systems hand significant powers to Local Authorities. We are keen to work constructively with them to ensure they are abiding by their new responsibilities.
“The rate at which CIL is set will be a huge determinant on whether house building sites are viable or not.
“We have an acute housing crisis in this country and it is imperative desperately needed housing supply is not strangled.
“We want to work with councils to set realistic charge levels that allow houses to be built – and vital infrastructure be delivered.”
Melys Pritchett, Savills' associate director, said: “We have represented individual consortia of HBF members across the country on over 35 CILs to date.
"Effective engagement from the industry needs to be coordinated and supported with a strong evidence base. This commitment by the HBF and its members will allow us to positively and proactively engage with Local Authorities to assist them in ensuring their CIL rates do not prejudice the delivery of their development plans.”