19/03/2015 Questions to Full Council from Cllr Varinder Singh Bola

19 Mar

The below extract is taken from Redbridge Council’s approved minutes for 19th March 2015:

Question from Councillor Singh Bola to the Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration, Councillor Coomb

“Given that we desperately need new homes in this borough, but also the right infrastructure, does the Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration share my concern about the Prime Minister’s recent comments that new homes may be built without the requirement on developers to pay the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)?”

Answer from the Cabinet Member

“I do indeed share your concerns regarding the Government’s recent announcements on new homes and the Community Infrastructure Levy. These announcements have the significant potential to reduce the amount of funding available to Redbridge to build the community infrastructure required to support new housing.

The recent announcement relates to the Government’s new scheme to assist first time buyers purchasing a house through the construction of ‘starter homes’. This would require that the homes are offered for for a sale at a minimum of 20% below open market price, to young first time buyers who want to own and occupy a home. However, in return for offering discounted homes, local planning authorities such as Redbridge would be prevented from seeking developer contributions for affordable housing. This will have a significant impact on the Council’s ability to secure affordable housing for the residents of the Borough.

However, the Government wants to go further and the Prime Minister’s recent announcement indicated that the Government will seek to amend the Community Infrastructure Levy regulations in the next Parliament to also exempt discounted Starter Home developments from the levy.

Since Redbridge introduced CIL in January 2012, it has proven a very effective source of infrastructure funding, with over £15M worth of CIL liability notices issued. Approximately £3M of this has been triggered and received. A significant proportion of future CIL income could be at risk if the Government exempts ‘starter homes’ from paying CIL. Redbridge residents have made it clear that they expect new housing to be supported by new infrastructure. This will be made all the more difficult should the Government implement these proposals.”

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