Monday, 25 March 2013

Views sought on proposed charges for infrastructure payments

A first draft of the charges that developers will have to pay for infrastructure improvements in local communities has been published for consultation.

The consultation on the draft Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), known as the ‘Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule’, will run from 27 March to 15 May.

Based on the size, type and location of new development, the proposed charges would be used to support development by helping to fund transport improvements, upgrading parks or open spaces, schools or health facilities.

This consultation gives residents and businesses the opportunity to give their feedback as to whether they think the draft CIL rates have been set at the right level. It’s an important milestone in progressing the CIL in Leeds and gaining more infrastructure funding for the city.

Councillor Peter Gruen, executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“Leeds is a city which wants to attract investment and plans to grow substantially over the next 10 to 15 years in accordance with our draft core strategy. However, that scale of growth brings pressure for infrastructure investment, including local facilities such as schools and open spaces.

“In proposing the draft charges we have tried to strike the right balance between generating funds to help pay for that infrastructure and ensuring that Leeds remains attractive to investors.

“We look forward to receiving views on whether we have got this balance right. I want to stress that this is only the first round of consultation and represents a genuine opportunity for dialogue before the council finalises its position.”

The Preliminary Draft CIL rates are based on viability work undertaken for the council by GVA. Other evidence has also been assessed, including the amounts of money the council currently receives in section 106 agreements, market conditions, and infrastructure requirements. This produced a range of CIL rates for different uses in different parts of the city.

The council has set rates which are not expected to harm the overall viability of development in the city in this current difficult economic period.

The council will consider all the comments it receives before publishing its draft charging schedule later in the year. Representations to that draft will then be considered by an independent examiner who must approve the proposals before they can be finally adopted by the council.

It is hoped to complete this process so that the CIL charge can go live by April 2014. Decisions on exactly how and where the CIL will be spent have yet to be made, and therefore detailed spending issues are not a part of this current consultation.

Copies of the CIL consultation documents are in all the libraries and One Stop Centres, the Development Enquiry Centre in the Leonardo Building (2 Rossington Street, LS2 8HD), and at http://www.leeds.gov.uk/council/Pages/Community-Infrastructure-Levy.aspx. Details of three consultation events are also on the council’s website, and consultation responses should be sent to ldf@leeds.gov.uk.

Notes for Editors:

  • The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a new tariff based system that will apply to new development, introduced by the Planning Act of 2008.
  • It will partly replace the existing system of planning obligations (Section 106 Agreements), particularly for those infrastructure projects that require funding from a number of different sources.
  • The CIL will therefore be used to help pay for things such as schools, greenspace and public transport schemes.
  • S106 agreements will remain to address necessary site specific requirements.
For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577
email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk

ENDS

New neighbourhood framework sets the scene for south Leeds

A new framework looking at what can be improved in Middleton and Belle Isle has been produced with the help of local residents and businesses.

The neighbourhood framework is a document that sets out the development and investment opportunities in the area, including land for new homes or other types of development or improvements that are needed.
Leeds City Council engaged with the local community at the end of last year and prepared the draft framework based on comments received.

Locals commented that Middleton Park, local shops and amenities along with transport links to the city centre are good, but that further action was required to tackle anti-social behaviour and to give children more things to do. When asked about what could be changed, people thought that better play areas, more affordable housing and better policing in the area would bring great benefits.


The draft framework will be available online from Monday March 25 to Friday April 5 2013 and there are two public consultation events taking place in the local area on 25 and 26 March to offer locals the chance to comment on the proposed framework.
Go to www.leeds.gov.uk/middletonandbelleisle  to look at the draft framework and complete a survey


Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“We have worked closely with the local community to pull together the framework, and have listened to all feedback about both the positives and negatives of the areas.

“We will be consulting on the draft framework and asking locals to give us their ideas before we publish the final report to the Leeds City Council executive board later in the year for approval.”

Notes to editors
The public consultation sessions will be as follows:

Monday 25th March at Middleton Community Centre - 2pm to 6pm

Tuesday 26th March at BITMO Housing Office - 2pm to 5pm

Ends

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk