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Developers to foot bill for Hull community projects

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Developers will have to contribute money to pay towards community facilities in Hull such as play areas, footbridges and parking bays under new planning rules.

The new Community Infrastructure Levy allows councils to set the charge they want to impose on companies building in the city – depending on the size and type of the new development.

Each council can set its own rate and this week  Hull City Council published its proposals for what the charges should be.

The proposed charges are currently £18 per square metre for residential developments and between £10 and £50 per square metre for retail developments, depending on whether they are within or outside the city centre boundary. There would be no charge for other uses.

The money raised through the charge would go towards paying for infrastructure projects in Hull.

Projects in each area of the city which could benefit from the levy have been identified and include items such as new footbridges and parking bays to major city-wide plans for cycle path upgrades and a revamp of Trinity Square.

The draft charges will be open for consultation for the next six weeks and the Council is encouraging businesses and housing providers to have their say.

Coun Martin Mancey, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport, said:

“The Community Infrastructure Levy will secure much needed funding for infrastructure across Hull.

“The rates of between £10 and £50 per square metre are proposed. The Council is committed to ensuring Hull remains a business friendly city that welcomes sustainable development.

“Businesses and housing providers interested in developing in Hull should respond to this consultation.”

Hull is the fifth council in the Yorkshire and Humber region and the first in the Humber sub-region to consult on the levy.

In line with government guidance, the charges will not be applied to:

  • Affordable Housing
  • Development by charities
  • Development less than 100 sqm which does not involve the creation of a new dwelling
  • Changes of use that do not involve an increase in floorspace
  • Development involving the creation of buildings into which people do not normally go (this includes buildings which people go into to inspect or maintain fixed plant or machinery)

Currently, councils receive contributions from developers in the form of Section 106 agreements, applied as conditions on planning applications.

However, each agreement is a legal one which has to be negotiated individually, making them complex and time consuming.

As a straightforward levy on floorspace, the Community Infrastructure Levy greatly simplifies the system. This should speed up the planning process, as well as making it easier for the developer to know what they should contribute.

The government isset to change the rules regarding Section 106 contributions, restricting their use from next year.

This makes it important that Hull moves over to the Community Infrastructure Levy.

However, Section 106 will continue to be used on certain larger developments to make them acceptable in planning terms.

The consultation will be open until September 30 at at http://hullcc-consult.objective.co.uk/portal/planning/cil/preliminary_draft_charging_schedule
Another public consultation is scheduled for spring 2014.

The Council is aiming to submit its final proposals for public consultation in autumn 2014, with the hope of adopting and implementing them by the end of 2014.

Copies of the consultation document are also available at Hull City Council libraries and customer service centres as well as at Kingston House reception, Bond Street and Guildhall reception, Alfred Gelder Street

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