Progressive Group councillors have raised alarm at the outcome of a planning inspection of new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) rates proposed by Exeter’s Labour-run Council.
The Progressive Group of Green and Liberal Democrat Councillors on Exeter City Council put forward strong objections to Labour's proposed CIL rates which, they say, won't fund the infrastructure needed to support communities or deliver decent affordable homes.
While the Group's calls have brought about an end to discounts for the developers of luxury purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) blocks, they have condemned the subsidised rates now approved for ‘co-living’ developments in the city.
Councillor Michaell Michell, Liberal Democrat, said:
"The Inspector backed Labour's proposed charging rates which put developer profitability before local needs. CIL is an important source of funding for community infrastructure related to new developments, especially as the priority in future will be more flats and 'co-living'. The former low CIL rate for PBSA has lost the Council income for much needed infrastructure. Labour seems happy for the taxpayer to pick up the tab for these community facilities instead - or not have them provided at all."
Green Party Councillor Diana Moore said:
“Labour have not learned the lessons from the failed approach to luxury student blocks and are now offering subsidies to ‘co-living’ developers. They are rewarding developers for failure. The failure to build decent affordable homes, which are in such desperate need in Exeter.
“What we need, and what Progressive Group councillors proposed, is a charging levy which encourages the building of affordable and well insulated homes - houses and flats to rent and buy for individuals and families.”
Councillor Andy Ketchin added:
"This policy of subsidising expensive high density ‘co-living’ bedsits is a loss for everyone except the developer. All residents in Exeter will miss out because this will not lead to the necessary boost in public facilities. How else are we to provide for the numerous new co-living tenants?"