New rules force councils to let public know the wider benefits of new housing

New rules introduced this week will see local communities across the country being able to see how every pound of property developers’ cash is spent supporting new infrastructure when new homes are built.

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), a levy on new developments, means that builders already have to pay up for roads, schools, GP surgeries and parkland needed when local communities expand – and, say the government, developers paid £6bn towards local infrastructure in 2016-17 alone.

However, before the new rule was introduced this week, councils were not required to report on the total amount of funding received – or how it was spent – potentially leaving local residents in the dark.

New rules will mean councils will be legally required to publish information of any deals done with housing developers so residents can see exactly how money will be spent investing in the future of their community.

The government says the rules are designed to support councils and give greater confidence to communities about the benefits new housing can bring to their area. Restrictions will also be eased to allow councils to fund single, larger infrastructure projects from the cash received from multiple developments, potentially giving greater freedom to deliver complex projects at pace.

Housing minister Esther McVey said: “The new rules now in force 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. The reformed 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.”

Councils will also be required to publish an annual report on the all the CIL agreements entered into with developers from December 2020.

Click here to download information and planning guidance on the Community Infrastructure Levy.

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