The Government blames new developer contribution rules for the delays in the plans to speed up to construction process for new homes in England.
To combat this, Housing Minister Kit Malthouse has planned a consultation with a view to changing these rules, in a bid to speed up housing delivery.
The current rules on developer contributions demand that a share of the wealth is redistributed, in order to fund essential infrastructure in the areas earmarked for development. The government’s Community Infrastructure Levy has collected almost £1 billion since it was introduced in 2010.
The consultation forms part of a wider process containing plans for reforms to shorten the negotiation process with councils, which can often be lengthy and complex, slowing down the delivery at new homes at a time when more are needed.
The idea being proposed is a more forward thinking strategy which involves identifying the infrastructure needs of communities and ensuring that these are met from the outset.
Malthouse argues that this would save time and would allow these provisional plans for infrastructure to be costed prior to any development work starting. The plans also seek to identify a broader range of projects that are eligible for a share of the Community Infrastructure Levy.
‘Communities and developers must know that vital infrastructure needed to support new homes is going to arrive even before a shovel hits the ground. The billions of pounds already paid by developers has been critical in delivering the more, better, faster homes this country so desperately needs, but we must go further,’ said Malthouse.
‘These reforms will make the system simpler, transparent and easy to understand and will accelerate the pace of home building and it’s now up to housebuilders and residents to tell us what they think,’ he added.
The draft measures are part of a wider Government project which aims to fund and deliver 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s, and details of this were initially confirmed during the 2018 Autumn Budget.
The consultation will run until the end of January, and sets about identifying new ways of funding large scale projects while ensuring that the benefits are as far reaching as possible within combined local authorities.
Additionally, plans on how the procedure can be made more transparent are also up for discussion, with councils being required to publish details on incomings and expenditure.
The Minister also wants to make sure that the Community Infrastructure Levy responds to changes in land values, ensuring towns and village get their fair share of the funding once planning permission is granted.
Between 2016 and 2017, Section 106 agreements alone were responsible for around £5 billion worth of funds secured from developers, which was reinvested into local infrastructure projects including further housing projects.
All told, the Community Infrastructure Levy has raised an additional £940 million for communities which have been eligible for funding since it was introduced in 2010.