Councillors ‘Call- in’ Labour’s developer levy proposals

The Progressive Group of councillors and an independent councillor have successfully “called-in” a decision by the Labour Executive of the City Council on proposed new rates for the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). The Progressive Group say the proposals won’t generate the funds necessary to support communities, will incentivize developers to build ‘co-living’ bedsits and fail to encourage developers to build to the highest environmental standards.

The Progressive Group have also criticised the partial review rather than the full review that was previously agreed by the Council, which they say fails to take into account the consequences of the proposals on communities. The co-leaders of the Progressive Group are calling for a robust charging system that will ensure the fees paid by developers properly fund important community infrastructure in the city.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Kevin Mitchell said,

“This partial review proposes an extra charge on developers of purpose built student accommodation but a huge discount on co-living developments - unaffordable modern bedsits. It looks a lot like student accommodation via the back door and at a much lower cost levy to developers.

The levy charged on developers needs to promote mixed communities to ensure a mix of homes and accommodation rather than favouring untested co-living accommodation. The charging levy must result in the building of affordable homes - houses and flats to rent and buy for individuals and families, and decent homes for individuals and student accommodation to live on a short term basis, not an over-concentration of cramped bedsits.”

Green Party Councillor, Diana Moore said,

“Greens called for different rates of CIL to be based on the highest environmental standards,  which would mean developers building to the highest energy efficiency standards, with sustainable materials and renewable energy, would pay a lower rate, while those failing to do so would pay a higher rate. This would also mean new homes are low cost to run.”

“There is no point Labour putting weak proposals out to consultation that only developers will welcome. It is vital that opposition councillors scrutinise the proposals and recommend criteria based on decent affordable homes built to the highest environmental standards and ensure that the levy funds the infrastructure we all need to ensure neighbourhoods are great places to live.”

Councillors have called a special meeting of the Strategic Scrutiny Committee to scrutinise the Labour Executive’s decision and the charging levy proposals. This will be held on Monday 12th December 2022 6.00 pm.