Time for government action on planning
National Association of Local Councils (NALC) is demanding that the Government needs to take action now to make planning work better for communities and local people.
The Government’s flagship community benefit planning policy is in shambles. We know that local (parish and town) councils have been passed just one per cent of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) receipts from developments in their area since neighbourhood funding rules came into force, despite being promised up to 25 per cent by ministers, according to an investigation from Planning magazine.
It was further revealed in this investigation that twenty of the 43 charging authorities that had received CIL payments, totalling more than £9.2 million, over the 15-month period (2013-14). But only eight - Broadland, East Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Newark and Sherwood, Shropshire, Waveney, Winchester and Wycombe - reported that they had passed CIL funds to town and parish councils, as of last month.
The investigation uncovered payments to 56 town and parish councils in those areas, with the average sum transferred £1,648.
Under the regulations, which came into force on 25 April 2013, CIL charging authorities are required to transfer to town and parish councils up to a quarter of the levy receipts arising from development that takes place in their area.
NALC demands that:
Government and local planning authorities ensure that there is effective local enforcement around developers being held to account in adhering to Section 106 Agreements and planning conditions
Developers and planning authorities are made to pay all monies owed to parished communities under CIL
Crucial that developers and planning authorities are made to pay all monies owed to parished communities under S106 Agreements
There should be meaningful consultation from developers and planning authorities with local councils and communities around new development
It is mandatory for planning authorities to adopt CIL regimes by 1/4/15
Cllr Ken Browse, chairman of the NALC responds: “NALC is extremely disappointed about these figures uncovered by Planning Magazine, They confirm our worst fears that the system is in danger of not being fit for purpose and needs an urgent rethink.
“NALC has long argued that the problem with the Government’s strategic approach to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CiL) is that it was not made mandatory for planning authorities to adopt it; and neither was there a deadline to actually adopt one by.
With so few planning authorities (45 according to our analysis in April 2014) adopting the regime, hardly any parishes are benefitting from the CiL policy at all. These figures confirm our fears.
“If the Government is to turn round this shambolic situation in time for the General Election, it must make the scheme mandatory for all planning authorities by 1 April, 2015.
We also want proper enforcement of Section 106 policies in terms of the monies coming to the benefit of communities in an efficient and effective manner."