THE Government has said it will simplify rules requiring housing developers to pay for essential infrastructure; a move it claims will create greater transparency and make it easier for councils to deliver new schemes.
Builders are expected to pay for roads, schools, GP surgeries and parkland that is needed so that areas can cope with an influx of extra residents brought in by new housing, but it can be unclear to existing residents who is paying for what, Government says.
The rules changes are intended to make it clear to communities how much developers are paying for infrastructure in their areas, according to housing minister, Kit Malthouse MP.
Councils will be required to report the deals done with developers, and set out how the money will be spent, so that residents can see every step taken to ensure their area is ready for new housing.
It is also claimed the changes will help developers get shovels in the ground more quickly, thereby helping the Government to meet its ambition to deliver 300,000 extra homes a year by the mid-2020s.
“Communities deserve to know whether their council is fighting their corner with developers – getting more cash to local services so they can cope with the new homes built,” said Malthouse.
“The reforms not only ensure developers and councils don’t shirk their responsibilities, allowing residents to hold them to account — but also free up councillors to fund bigger and more complicated projects over the line.
“The certainty and less needless complexity will lead to quicker decisions.”
Developers were charged £6 billion in contributions in 2016/17, according to the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government. However, it added, councils have previously not had to report on the total amount of funding received or how it’s spent.