New Rules for Housing and Infrastructure
Minister of State for Housing, Kit Malthouse recently launched a consultation outlining the government’s plans to help speed up delivery of new homes with the introduction of new developer contribution rules. Several new rules have been proposed that are designed to help fund new roads, schools, play parks and other essential infrastructure projects.
The new rules are part of a package of reforms designed to address the long and complex process of negotiation for local authorities which slows down the delivery of new homes. It’s essential to ensure that the infrastructure requirements of communities are identified right at the start, so that infrastructure costs can be worked into projects at the earliest stage possible. The consultation promotes new proposals to:
- Introduce a strategic new infrastructure tariff to help pay for large scale projects which are likely to benefit multiple communities falling under a combined local authority.
- Increase certainty and transparency by requiring that local authorities publish details on how much has been collected and spent on a wider range of local priorities.
- Increase the options on how contributions can be used by local authorities for the benefit of their residents and ensure that funds are deployed on a wider range of local priorities.
- Make sure that the Community Infrastructure Levy responds to changes in land values, to ensure that villages and towns receive the contributions they deserve when planning permission is granted.
So many new building projects around the UK are met with protests and resistance from the communities where they are planned and this is understandable. When people see a new housing estate rapidly being built on the outskirts of their town or village, their first worry is usually about the impact it’s likely to have on the existing community. They are likely to worry about the ability of local schools, health centres, shops and other facilities to cope with the increase in population and are concerned that this will negatively affect their own ability to access the resources they need. Communities which already struggle with insufficient resources are likely to be most affected by this and need reassurance that the increase in homes will be backed up with an increase in resources to match.
Communities and developers alike need to have confidence that the vital infrastructure necessary to support so many new homes (and the resulting new residents) will arrive before any building work begins.
These reforms are designed to make the whole system simpler, more transparent an easier to comprehend. This is likely to increase the pace of housebuilding and will help the construction industry in its quest to deliver the necessary homes for Britain in the 21st Century. The draft measures were initially announced at the Autumn Budget of 2018 and are part of the government’s wide ranging programmed of planning reform and targeted funding to provide Britain with 300,000 new homes each year by the mid-2020s.