Next Tuesday, the Leader of the City Council will take a decision in response to the Infrastructure Levy (IL) proposed by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).
The Infrastructure Levy, which is part of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, is now under consultation and will replace current planning legislation over the next 10 years.
Under current Planning Obligations, the City Council can require a developer to contribute towards providing community and social infrastructure to offset the impact of a development, these obligations are often referred to as Section 106 (S106) funding.
Developers’ contributions can be used by the City Council to fund affordable housing, schools, playparks, and green spaces for the city’s residents.
Over the last 20 years, the City Council have secured developers contributions through site-specific negotiations or by using their Tariff system under S106 legislation.
Funding secured this way has been used to improve playparks in West Bletchley, install pedestrian crossings in Oakgrove and display public art for the Women’s Euros, the City Council says.
Milton Keynes City Council’s Tariff system and developer contributions combined are on track to secure millions of pounds for infrastructure across the city which includes free land for schools, playparks, and green spaces.
However, the Government’s proposal intends to scrap the existing system and replace it with the Infrastructure Levy which prohibits the City Council from securing funding for infrastructure through their current approach.
Instead, the IL would provide the City Council with a ‘right to require’ a percentage of IL funds to deliver affordable housing.
Councillor Pete Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes City Council, said: “The City Council are committed to providing more affordable housing for residents and in Milton Keynes we have a successful track record of doing just that. We are leading the way in housebuilding as for the fifth year in a row we have exceeded the target set by Central Government.
“The City Council want to continue to secure infrastructure for our growing city and we are concerned that the Infrastructure Levy will impact our ability to continue delivering the same level of growth.”
Councillor Robin Bradburn, Deputy Leader of the City Council added: “I am delighted that through the City Council’s Tariff and S106 approach we have been able to deliver new and improve existing infrastructure for our growing city. The City Council’s approach is working well and has huge benefits to communities across Milton Keynes, so it is really unhelpful that the Government has decided to replace current legislation.”