Response to Planning for the Future White Paper consultation
This response offers JRF’s view on the Government’s consultation on reform to the planning system, Planning for the Future.
It places a particular focus on the proposal to remove Section 106 obligations and, in their place, establish a reformed Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). It explores what this change to the system could mean for the supply of affordable housing through developer contributions, and establishes policy principles on which a new Infrastructure Levy should be based.
- The new Infrastructure Levy should be designed to raise a greater proportion of development value and use this to deliver more social housing, particularly homes for social rent, than under the previous system.
- The reformed levy should sit as part of a wider social housing strategy which coordinates the various funding mechanisms for social housing. This will be key in determining the role that the Infrastructure Levy plays alongside grant funding and how different funding mechanisms are utilised across the country. The latter is particularly important in ensuring that the proposed new levy does not compound existing regional inequalities.
To ensure it is most effective in delivering new social homes where they are needed the infrastructure levy should:
- Apply to new supply brought forward through permitted development rights.
- Continue to deliver on-site affordable housing but retain an option for local authorities to opt for an in-kind payment where this best meets local needs. If an in-kind delivery approach is taken, homes delivered should meet space and accessibility standards.
- Ring-fence affordable housing provision within wider infrastructure spending in order to meet local housing need requirements.
- Require the reporting of Infrastructure Levy contributions raised and spent, with this data made publicly accessible to all to ensure transparency.