Trying to save the Golden Goose …

I spoke yesterday evening at the Martin Arnold LLP conference: ‘Community Infrastructure Levy – Or How to Kill the Golden Goose!’

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Perhaps inevitably, the first question was ‘what is the Golden Goose?’

Well as I went on to explain, to my mind, the bird that must keep on laying is the British property industry underpinning the economic recovery, and key among that is building homes in London and the South East – because that’s where most of the quality jobs are.

So why does CIL pose a risk? Well, the problem with CIL is that it’s an arbitrary tool that prioritises infrastructure payments above all else. So as a minimum, affordable housing suffers, and in many instances, development as a whole is put at risk.

There are ways to mitigate it, and a positive that has emerged from CIL (and the wider recognition of the fact that viability as an argument is now here to stay in planning), is that developers are entitled to make a profit – at least 20%.

But developers will be the ones that will carry the blame for private homes being expensive (CIL is nothing more than a land tax that goes straight to the bottom line), and there being no affordable accommodation within a scheme.

The demise of the Golden Goose may have been exaggerated by the title of the conference, but I don’t like the look of it’s flying feathers…

 

1 thought on “Trying to save the Golden Goose …

  1. Ian, I’m sorry to have missed talking to you about this last night!

    I undertook a historic comparative review of s106 and projected CIL performance at three front runner authorities and the results were quite interesting.
    Of the three only one authority showed a really significant increase in obligations under CIL for major sites, the other two came in within ten percent of their s106 financial obligations.

    Naturally the sub-s106 sites then resulted in increased total obligations.

    Any authorities that sets unaffordable CIL levels has completely missed the point and ultimately will have to roll back their charging schedule. The failure to meet affordable housing targets, and housing targets more generally, is the ideal political stick for the parties to bash each other with.

    On the other hand there are authorities who have, and continue, to make a complete dogs dinner of their s106 negotiations and as a result have massive infrastructure gaps which have themselves stifled development.

    As I was discussing with Fred at the Grace last night, infrastructure unlocks development and often results in totally disproportionate increases in property values.

    So I regard CIL as feeding the golden goose some of its own eggs rather than killing it.
    Of the three only one authority showed a really significant increase in obligations under CIL for major sites, the other two came in within ten percent of their s106 financial obligations.

    Naturally the sub-s106 sites then resulted in increased total obligations.

    Any authorities that sets unaffordable CIL levels has completely missed the point and ultimately will have to roll back their charging schedule. The failure to meet affordable housing targets, and housing targets more generally, is the ideal political stick for the parties to bash each other with.

    On the other hand there are authorities who have, and continue, to make a complete dogs dinner of their s106 negotiations and as a result have massive infrastructure gaps which have themselves stifled development.

    As I was discussing with Fred at the Grace last night, infrastructure unlocks development and often results in totally disproportionate increases in property values.

    So I regard CIL as feeding the golden goose some of its own eggs rather than killing it.

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