I spoke yesterday evening at the Martin Arnold LLP conference: ‘Community Infrastructure Levy – Or How to Kill the Golden Goose!’
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…
Thanks to Ian Anderson @IceniProjects for an excellent presentation as our guest speaker this evening
— Martin Arnold LLP (@MA_Surveyor) November 6, 2013