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Joint Core Strategy Issues and Key Questions

8. Deliverability

National Policy Context

Planning Policy Statement 1: Delivering Sustainable Development
Planning Policy Statement 12: Local Spatial Planning

8.1. A key consideration in the delivery of the strategy for the Joint Core Strategy area is the manner in which infrastructure is planned and provided. National planning policy, as set out in Planning Policy Statement 12 requires Core Strategies to identify and plan positively for the infrastructure that will support the development of their area.

8.2. The definition of infrastructure is now wide ranging and includes many of the typical physical elements such as new highways and physical linkages but also encompasses the provision of wider environmental, utility, health, social and cultural infrastructure. All of these elements of infrastructure together contribute to creating sustainable communities.

8.3. The Regional Spatial Strategy requires local authorities to plan positively for all types of infrastructure, particularly through Draft Policies HMA3, C1, GI1, HE1 and CS1. This consultation document considers in other sections the provision of the infrastructure requirements as set out in the Draft Regional Spatial Strategy Policies. However, within this section it is important to gain public feedback on the manner in which the funding for infrastructure can be collected.

8.4. At present securing developer contributions to the provision of infrastructure is principally undertaken through a negotiation process known as planning obligations. This is a process through which developer contributions are secured from each development proposal individually in the context of the impact that the development is likely to have upon existing and already planned infrastructure.

8.5. This can, however, be a lengthy process and does not assist with long term infrastructure planning. The Government, therefore, intends to introduce a new method of securing developer contributions to infrastructure provision called the Community Infrastructure Levy. The Government has recently consulted on how this may work and proposes to implement it in April 2010. Community Infrastructure Levy could be a single standard charge that is paid by developers for all forms of development across an authority's area for both residential and non-residential proposals. Community Infrastructure Levy, however, is unlikely to be mandatory and local authorities can choose to adopt a single levy style charge for all development through Community Infrastructure Levy or continue with the current planning obligations process.

8.6. While Community Infrastructure Levy will provide authorities the opportunity to collect funds for infrastructure, it will not fund affordable housing. This will remain a separate process secured through the existing planning obligations process.

Issues: 1 / 13 / 14

Strategic Objective: 1 / 8 / 9

Commentary

8.7. The three authorities of Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Cheltenham are working collaboratively with Gloucestershire County Council to plan positively for the full range of infrastructure required to support the strategy for the future development of the Joint Core Strategy area. This work will inform the infrastructure delivery component of the Joint Core Strategy and will assist in ensuring the strategy for the area is appropriately supported by the timely provision of necessary infrastructure.

8.8. In progressing the Joint Core Strategy the three authorities are consulting on the current manner in which developer contributions are sought and the practicalities of adopting a Community Infrastructure Levy style approach as currently envisaged by Government or retaining the existing planning obligations procedure.

8.9. This will require each of the authorities to prepare a charging schedule separate to the Joint Core Strategy that sets out a standard fee to be paid by those promoting development upon the grant of planning consent. This standard levy could then be used collectively to contribute to the provision of infrastructure proposals set out in the Joint Core Strategy. It is important to note, that while Community Infrastructure Levy may provide an element of funding for infrastructure, its purpose is not to fund infrastructure entirely but supplement existing infrastructure funding accordingly.

8.10. In setting a standard charge for all development, the Joint Core Strategy must have regard to the viability of setting such a levy on development and there may be circumstances where the charge could be lower in order to ensure that development proposals still remain viable. The Councils are, therefore, also consulting on whether this is appropriate or not.

Things to consider
Outcomes
To continue to negotiate developer contributions for infrastructure provision on a site by site basis.
Infrastructure planning will remain a critical component of the Joint Core Strategy in order to demonstrate that development can be delivered in tandem with infrastructure provision. There may be, however, less certainty as to when infrastructure may be funded. There are also fewer opportunities to provide strategic infrastructure in a co-ordinated manner.
Adopt a standard levy charge for development proposals based upon the emerging Community Infrastructure Levy.
Infrastructure planning may be provided in a more co-ordinated manner than the current process. It will also enable infrastructure funds to be provided across the authority's area and not necessarily associated with the development proposal that it is collected from. This will provide a greater opportunity to comprehensively plan infrastructure.

How should the Joint Core Strategy ensure that sufficient funding comes forward so that development is supported by the provision of associated infrastructure?

Things to consider

Outcomes

A charge should be applied uniformly across the Joint Core Strategy area to ensure that all development contributes equally to the provision of infrastructure.

A charge that is applied at the same rate for all development across the Joint Core Strategy area would ensure that all development contributed equally to the provision of infrastructure. While this would assist in ensuring consistency across the Joint Core Strategy area it may result in locations becoming unviable and contributions being negotiated. This may slow down the delivery of development and infrastructure along with impacting upon overall delivery.

A charge could be reduced in defined urban regeneration areas where land values may make development proposals unviable where a 100% charge is applied.

An overall charge that makes an allowance for development within certain locations to pay a reduced levy where viability evidence illustrates that proposals will not come forward with a levy charged at 100%. This option may result in a higher overall charge for development outside of regeneration areas to ensure that the cost of infrastructure is met.


If the Joint Core Strategy should adopt a Community Infrastructure Levy approach are there any areas or circumstances where a reduced charge could be appropriate?

Sustainability Impact

8.11. You may want to consider the following Sustainability Objectives (See http://www.gct-jcs.org/SustainabilityAppraisal/Home.aspx) when responding to questions on this policy area: 8, 14, 15 and 17

 



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