Property chief hints of further levy changes
Wed 14th November 2012, 2:48 pm
British Property Federation chief executive Liz Peace has hinted that the government could make further reforms to the operation of the CIL.
Peace, appearing before a committee of MPs examining the government’s growth and infrastructure bill, said that her members were worried about the effect of the community infrastructure levy on the viability of development.
The government proposed a number of amendments to CIL regulations last month, but Peace said that more needed to be done to allay developers’ fears.
She said: “I want to make the point that the community infrastructure levy is currently being addressed and we are very hopeful that the department will come up with some sensible reforms to it.
”I think that that is almost more important than some of the material that is in the bill. “
The bill is also proposing to force councils to renegotiate affordable housing levels agreed before April 2010 if requested by developers. David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation which represents housing associations, said at the session that there was “little real hard and fast evidence” to demonstrate that housing obligations agreed as part of section 106 agreements were holding up development.
Orr argued that if section 106 were to dsappear altogether up to 35,000 homes would be put at risk, saying "Certainly from a housing association point of view, the most important thing that section 106 does is to deliver land. People often think of it as a subsidy, but it guarantees the availability of land to build new homes.
“Commuted sums off-site do not necessarily bring that same guarantee, and land access is a real and significant problem.”
But Andrew Whitaker, planning director of the Home Builders Federation, told the committee: "By far and away the largest element of cost to a residential development is the cross-subsidy of affordable housing.”