Building leaders urge Michael Gove to rethink infrastructure levy

A raft of huge names within the building sector have urged secretary for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove to scrap his flagship plan for an infrastructure levy.

The chief executives of Construct UK, the Building Business Council and the British Property Federation are amongst 30 signatories to a letter warning Gove towards his proposals.

A session opened in March set out plans to cost a compulsory levy on new developments to fund infrastructure works comparable to constructing reasonably priced houses, colleges and transport hyperlinks.

However fears have been raised that the system, which might substitute Part 106 agreements and Group Infrastructure Levy funds, might slash the money out there for ancillary tasks quite than improve it.

“We can’t help reforms which might be prone to depart communities with fewer new social and reasonably priced houses, combined and balanced developments and fewer of the infrastructure they want,” stated the indsurty leaders within the open letter.

“This radical overhaul of the developer contribution system presents important operational and financial challenges that can make it troublesome for current communities to understand the advantages of recent improvement of their space.”

Construct UK chief govt Suzannah Nichol instructed NCE: “It stays unclear how infrastructure levy charges and thresholds will hold tasks economically viable whereas defending the supply of reasonably priced houses and returning sufficient cash to fund the roads and wider infrastructure rising communities want.

“Compounding this, the upheaval of rolling out the levy would create extended uncertainty throughout the planning system, stifling the business’s efforts at a time after we desperately have to construct extra reasonably priced housing and infrastructure.”

A report by Pragmatix Advisory and the County Councils Community (CCN) in March warned that the infrastructure levy risked changing “one damaged system with one other”.

CCN housing and planning spokesperson councillor Roger Gough stated: “We’re involved there could possibly be even much less cash for infrastructure beneath the brand new system with these tasks handled as an afterthought.”

A authorities spokesperson stated: “We all know communities need housing developments to incorporate key infrastructure comparable to GP surgical procedures, colleges and transport hyperlinks.

“That’s the reason we now have consulted on the brand new infrastructure levy, which can guarantee we’re delivering reasonably priced housing alongside important infrastructure. We’re rigorously contemplating the responses to this session and can reply sooner or later. Any adjustments shall be steadily rolled out to verify we get it proper.”

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