Consultation launched on developer rules which are slowing up new home building

Plans to speed up the construction of new homes in England are being held up with new developer contribution rules, it is suggested by the Government.

To combat this Housing Minister Kit Malthouse has published a consultation on changes to developer contribution rules which will speed up housing delivery.

He said that new rules on developer contributions which help fund new roads, schools, play areas and other essential infrastructure have been published in a move to quicken the pace of housing delivery in England.

Financial contributions are required from developers where additional public infrastructure is needed to support the building of new homes, with the government’s Community Infrastructure Levy collecting almost £1 billion since it was introduced in 2010.

But it is just part of a wider package of reforms to address the lengthy and complex process of negotiation for councils that slows down the delivery of new homes, precisely at a time when more are needed.

The aim is to try to ensure the infrastructure needs of communities are identified from the outset, saving time and allowing the provision of infrastructure to be costed in to projects at an early stage. It also seeks to increase the types of project that can benefit from the Community Infrastructure Levy, ensuring a wider range of community priorities are eligible to receive funding.

‘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, initially announced at the 2018 Autumn Budget, are part of the Government’s wide ranging programme of planning reform and targeted funding to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.

The consultation, which closes on 31 January 2019, takes forward new proposals that will introduce a new strategic infrastructure tariff, helping fund large scale projects which benefit multiple communities falling under a combined local authority.

They will also widen options on how contributions can be used by councils to benefit their residents, ensuring funds are spent on a wider range of local priorities and increase certainty and transparency by requiring councils to publish details on what has been collected and spent, so communities understand the benefit of development.

The Minister also wants to make sure that the Community Infrastructure Levy responds to changes in land values, ensuring towns and village get the contributions they deserve when planning permission is granted.

Figures reveal that between 2016 and 2017 around £5 billion was successfully secured from developers through Section 106 agreements to support local communities with new infrastructure and more affordable housing.

Separately, the Community Infrastructure Levy has raised an additional £940 million for those areas which have adopted it since 2010.