Savills employed to represent industry and ensure Levy rates are realistic and don’t make house building unviable
The house building industry has taken a decisive step to ensure Local Authorities are abiding by their responsibilities with regard to the Community Infrastructure Levy.
A ‘fighting fund’ has been established by HBF’s larger members to employ real estate expert Savills to undertake core work on CIL principles and then use this to represent house builders throughout the process of establishing charging schedules.
The move is a coordinated attempt by the industry to ensure Local Authorities are setting realistic CIL levels that don’t make development unviable – as is required under CIL legislation.
The move is deemed necessary and follows the judgement in the Greater Norwich Development Area when, following representation by Savills and others from the industry, the Inspector recommended the Councils reduce the proposed residential rates by up to 35% as the rates were too high and could pose a ‘significant risk’ to the delivery of schemes. A similar decision was reached in Mid Devon where the Examiner recommended a cut in the residential rate of over half.
It mirrors an announcement earlier this month that HBF has beefed up its planning department to ensure representation at all future local plan enquiries to ensure Local Authorities were meeting their responsibilities with regards to housing plans.
Both operations will be managed by the HBF’s Plans Management Group comprising of senior representatives of its larger members as the industry responds to the Government’s new planning system and the increased powers it hands to Local Authorities.
Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the HBF said; “The new planning and regulatory systems hand significant powers to Local Authorities. We are keen to work constructively with them to ensure they are abiding by their new responsibilities.
“The rate at which CIL is set will be a huge determinant on whether house building sites are viable or not.
“We have an acute housing crisis in this country and it is imperative desperately needed housing supply is not strangled.
“We want to work with Councils to set realistic charge levels that allow houses to be built – and vital infrastructure be delivered.”
Melys Pritchett, Associate Director of Savills, who is leading the work on CIL said, “We have represented individual consortia of HBF members across the country on over 35 CILs to date. Effective engagement from the industry needs to be coordinated and supported with a strong evidence base. This commitment by the HBF and its members will allow us to positively and proactively engage with Local Authorities to assist them in ensuring their CIL rates do not prejudice the delivery of their development plans.”
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Notes to Editors:
The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is the representative body of the home building industry in England and Wales. The HBF’s member firms account for some 80% of all new homes built in England and Wales in any one year, and include companies of all sizes, ranging from multi-national, household names through regionally based businesses to small local companies: www.hbf.co.ukSavills plc is a global real estate services provider listed on the London Stock Exchange. Savills has an international network of more than 500 offices and associates across 45 countries throughout the Americas, the UK, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, offering a broad range of specialist advisory, management and transactional services to clients all over the world. www.savills.co.uk