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Experiences of running negotiable and non-negotiable developer contributions side-by-side

Wyatt, P. (2016) Experiences of running negotiable and non-negotiable developer contributions side-by-side. In: Annual Conference of the International Academic Association for Planning Law and Property Rights, 17-19 February 2016, Berne, Switzerland.

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In the post-war period, there were several largely unsuccessful attempts in England to introduce workable methods to directly tax land value uplifts. Since the 1970s a system of negotiated project-specific agreements between local planning authorities and developers/landowners has evolved into the sole mechanism by which part of land value uplift ‘released’ by the grant of planning permission is captured by government. In 2010, in an attempt to simplify and speed up the planning process – negotiated planning obligations were regarded as time-consuming and a brake on development – the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was introduced. After a slow start, CIL has now been adopted by approximately one third of local authorities. Originally intended as a simple flat rate charge to replace planning obligations, CIL now sits alongside that mechanism so that developers pay CIL to help fund infrastructure provision in the locality, whilst planning obligations help mitigate the impact of their development (including the provision of affordable housing). Over the last five years, for political as well as administrative reasons, a series of amendments to CIL and s106 planning obligations have led to what many regard as a complicated set of regulations. Payment instalment policies, exemptions for small developments and self-build schemes, reliefs for exceptional circumstances and social housing, restrictions on the pooling of planning obligations, the award of credit for re-using vacant buildings, and revenue allocations to neighbourhood groups have been introduced by central government. At the local government level, planning authorities have been adopting more and more nuanced CIL charging schedules with differential rates depending on land use and location to an extent where, in some cases, CIL is more analogous to a development value tax than an infrastructure levy. The experience of running a system of negotiated planning obligations alongside a non-negotiable infrastructure levy offers an opportunity to evaluate these policy shifts in order to assess their strengths and weaknesses and whether there are any wider lessons for international discussions of best practice in land value capture. Drawing on reviews of planning obligations and CIL the paper will consider: how much revenue has been raised and how is it being used; whether developer contributions vary depending on where and when development takes place; the types of development that generate developer contributions and how the amount of developer contributions is assessed.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Henley Business School > Real Estate and Planning
ID Code:73625

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