Local people will soon be able to see how every pound of property developers’ cash, levied on new buildings, is spent supporting the new homes their community needs, thanks to new rules coming into force on September 1st 2019.
Builders of large new developments already have to make contributions for roads, schools, GP surgeries, community buildings and parkland needed when local communities expand. This is to ensure that the residents receiving new neighbours, also receive some benefits from large new developments. In 2016 to 2017 alone developers paid a over £6 billion towards local infrastructure helping create jobs and growth.
However, local authorities were not required to report on the total amount of funding received or how it was spent – leaving local residents in the dark about whether the development is benefitting them at all.
The new rules will mean that all 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. So any future developments approved will have clear details on how they will benefit the wider community.
The rules are designed to support councils and give greater confidence to communities about the benefits new housing can bring to their area.
I feel this is a step in the right direction, particularly when in areas like ours, developers continually try to build on the constituency border without confirming how the development will improve the community for residents living nearby. I know that Tamworth and Lichfield Council will start to use this new tool as effectively as possible to seek the best deals for local residents if any developments are approved.