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Greater Manchester mayor to raise local infrastructure cash with Crossrail-style levy

A proposed new city-regional mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) for Greater Manchester would operate in a similar way as the existing pan-London charge to raise funds for the Crossrail project, with local councils able to implement their own levies alongside the mayor's charge, it’s been revealed.

The government’s Spending Review last year revealed that Greater Manchester’s mayor is to be given "the power to introduce a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)".

A Treasury document published alongside the Spending Review said that the plan would depend on the necessary legislation receiving Royal Assent and would require "unanimous approval" of the mayor’s cabinet, which is formed of the ten council leaders in Greater Manchester.

A report to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) last month revealed that a new GMCA Order will request that the Greater Manchester mayor becomes a "charging authority for Greater Manchester (in addition to the local planning authorities) for the purposes of section 206 of the Planning Act 2008. There will need to be a number of consequential amendments to the Planning Act 2008 and the related regulations".

The document proposes that the Greater Manchester mayor’s power to charge a Community Infrastructure Levy would be a mayoral function, but would still require the consent of all ten local authority members of the GMCA.

It is envisaged that the mayoral CIL will be an additional power to those held by the GMCA’s council members as local planning authorities , in the same way as the London mayor’s power to charge a CIL is in addition to that of the London borough councils, says the document. 

The GMCA is currently consulting on the proposals, as well as on a range of other proposed devolved powers, until 18 May 2016.