Public now able to find out what builders pay for on new housing developments

People will be able to see how every pound of property developers’ cash, levied on new buildings, is spent supporting the new homes their community needs under new rules that are now in force.

Builders already have to pay up for roads, schools, GP surgeries and parkland needed when local communities expand but councils were not required to report on the total amount of funding received or how it was spent, leaving local residents in the dark.

According to figures from the government in 2016 to 2017 alone they paid £6 billion towards local infrastructure helping create jobs and growth and now the change means that councils will be legally required to publish vital deals done with housing developers so residents can see exactly how money will be spent investing in the future of their community.

‘The new rules will allow residents to know how developers are contributing to the local community when they build new homes, whether that’s contributing to building a brand new school, roads or a doctor’s surgery that the area needs,’ said Housing Minister Esther McVey.

She pointed out that the reformed Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) rules will help developers get shovels in the ground more quickly, and help the government meet its ambition to deliver 300,000 extra homes a year by the mid-2020s.

The rules are designed to support councils and give greater confidence to communities about the benefits new housing can bring to their area and have been welcomed by builders.

‘Communities don’t realise how much developers contribute to infrastructure through local taxation. Forcing all councils to be transparent with their ambition and strategy is an important step in encouraging a shared vision and local scrutiny,’ said Richard Beresford, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB).

According to Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning at the House Builders Association (HBA), said that councils can now pool funding to get larger projects off the ground and this will help deliver the more controversial projects.

‘What’s most exciting is that developers, who often get local people asking for contributions, will be able to show exactly how vital they are for their local communities,’ he added.