Senior councillors in Leeds to debate new planning levy proposal
Senior councillors in Leeds will next week discuss the introduction of a new planning levy to be invested in infrastructure improvements across the city.
The pricing structure for the proposed Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) which would be charged on most new buildings from April 2014 is to be debated by councillors at the executive board meeting at Civic Hall on Wednesday 9 October.
The new levy has been proposed due to changes to the existing national Section 106 regulations which mean the council will need to change the way in which it collects contributions from developers for infrastructure facilities such as transport, education or greenspace.
This contribution will instead be paid through the new Community Infrastructure Levy, with rates varying depending on the type of development being proposed and the area of the city it is proposed in.
The rates have been drawn up in line with similar proposals in other core cities around the country, and a broad projection of the income total it could generate for Leeds would be approximately £6.8million a year, compared to £3.5m a year under the outgoing Section 106 system.
Those responses together with an economic viability study carried out in January 2013 have been used to determine the appropriate levy rates to charge.
Should the executive board approve the proposed rates, another six-week public consultation will be carried out from late October with the proposal and any new responses received being presented to an examiner in January for a public examination.
If given approval, the new levy is currently intended to come into force in April 2014. Decisions on where and on what the Community Infrastructure levy income is spent will be taken as a separate process to the setting of the rates.
Leeds City Council executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services Councillor Peter Gruen said:
“A lot of hard work has gone into ensuring the charging levels for the new levy are at an appropriate level to help us pay for vital infrastructure improvements but also to show that we are sensitive to commercial realities and the need to support continued growth in Leeds as an attractive location for investors.
“The proposed levy rates in Leeds have been set following an extensive public consultation exercise carried out this year, with over 50 responses received from developers, businesses, parish councils, community groups, agencies and residents.
“We are very grateful to everyone who has taken part in the consultation. Their input has been invaluable in order to help us finalise our figures for something which is vitally important we get right.”
Notes to editors:
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a new tariff-based system that will apply to new development, introduced by the Planning Act of 2008.
It will partly replace the existing system of planning obligations (Section 106 Agreements), particularly for those infrastructure projects that require funding from a number of different sources.
The CIL will therefore be used to help pay for projects such as schools, greenspace and public transport schemes.
S106 agreements will remain to address necessary site specific requirements, including affordable housing.
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