Reforming developer contributions – proposed Government measures

It is widely recognised that the current system of developer contributions (section 106 obligations and Community Infrastructure Levy) is too complex and uncertain. In May 2018, HUDU responded on behalf of London NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups to the Government’s public consultation on reforms to developer contributions. The Government has responded to the consultation and has proposed measures which reflect some, but not all, of the recommendations of an earlier independent CIL Review (A New Approach to Developer Contributions) which was published in February 2017.

A number of measures will require new guidance and amendments to the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010, and the Government will consult on draft amended regulations in ‘due course’.

HUDU has prepared a briefing note which summarises the key measures and comments on the Government’s response to the public consultation and the need for further reforms as advocated by the CIL Review. The briefing note can be viewed here.

There is a tension between removing planning restrictions to increase the supply of homes and ensuring that the impact of development on infrastructure is adequately addressed. Permitted development rights, such as allowing offices to be converted into residential use without the need for planning permission can also lead to poor quality homes, built in the wrong places. The Town and Country Planning Association has recently launched a campaign ‘Room to Breathe’ urging the government to reconsider permitted development rights.

Draft new London Plan examined

From January to May 2019, the draft London Plan was examined in public by independent inspectors. The new plan will provide the policy framework to shape how London evolves and develops over the next 20-25 years. In response to projected population growth, the draft plan aims to increase the supply of new housing from 42,000 to 65,000 new homes in London each year with a strategic target of 50% of all new homes being affordable. In many London boroughs higher housing targets will place additional pressure on existing infrastructure, including healthcare. Underpinning the draft plan are six ‘Good Growth’ policies, including a policy framework to create a healthy city which aims to help improve Londoners’ health and reduce health inequalities.

In 2017, HUDU contributed to the drafting of the new policies during an informal consultation stage. In early 2018, HUDU, on behalf of London NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), responded to a public consultation along with other NHS organisations. The examination provided a further opportunity to refine the policies ensuring that sufficient priority is given to health infrastructure needed to support housing growth and to ensure that the plan policies consistently and collectively help create a healthy city. Further information on the examination and the next steps can be found here.

The draft Plan was examined against the old (2012) National Planning Policy Framework. A new Framework was published in July 2018 following consultation. HUDU has produced a briefing note on the new Framework which can be viewed here.