Think back for a moment to August 2020, to the ‘Planning for the future’ white paper, and to then Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s desire for “radical reform unlike anything we have seen since the Second World War. Not more fiddling around the edges, not simply painting over the damp patches, but levelling the foundations and building, from the ground up, a whole new planning system for England.”
Alongside proposals for “growth, renewal and protection areas” and a new nationally-determined, binding housing requirement that LPAs would have to deliver through their local plans, the white paper proposed to replace the “uncertain and opaque” methods by which developer contributions are sought with a “non-negotiable, nationally set, value-based, flat-rate charge equal to a fixed proportion of the development’s value, above a yet-to-be-determined threshold, that would be levied on the scheme’s completion.”
This new infrastructure levy would “deliver more of the infrastructure existing and new communities require whilst maintaining at least as much affordable housing by capturing a greater share of the uplift in land value that comes with development”.
Further details of the now locally-determined Infrastructure Levy emerged in May last year alongside the Levelling Up & Regeneration Bill, which will provide the legislative basis for it. Then, on 17 March this year a consultation was launched seeking views on technical aspects of the design of the Infrastructure Levy.
Friend of the podcast, Simon Ricketts, convened one of his Planning Law Unplanned Clubhouse sessions on 19 April to discuss the Infrastructure Levy with a stellar panel that included Clare Fielding, Sasha Gordon, Sam Bensted and Anthony Lee. They have all kindly agreed to let Sam Stafford share a recording of their discussion for this episode.
The discussion takes in rate-setting, thresholds, buffers, the examination of Infrastructure Delivery Strategies and the impact on the delivery affordable housing.