More councils wanted to lead growth front-runners project

More pioneering local authorities are being asked to come forward to demonstrate how the benefits of development can be shared directly with their communities and neighbourhoods, Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark announced today.

Last November, Mr Clark announced the Government's plans to reform the Community Infrastructure Levy - which has the potential to raise an estimated additional £1 billion a year of funding by 2016 to support growth locally - and invited local authorities to apply to become part of the Front Runners' project to develop the best approach to implementing the Levy in their area.

The first phase of the project is now underway and in response to the high demand from councils, local authorities are now being offered places to take part in a second phase.

Each front-runner will have access to a tailored package of support from the Planning Advisory Service to help them set a charge for their area, which is likely to include group workshops, good practice advice, and lessons learned from the first local authorities to implement the Levy.

Reforming the Community Infrastructure Levy is part of the Government's commitment to radically reform the planning system and gives local authorities more choice and flexibility in how they fund infrastructure that they, their local communities and neighbourhoods want.

The levy will have a positive economic effect upon development in a local area, unlocking land for growth and providing developers with much more certainty 'up front' about how much money they will be expected to contribute, which in turn will encourage greater confidence and higher levels of inward investment.

Greg Clark said:

"More and more local authorities are showing enthusiasm for introducing a reformed Community Infrastructure Levy, to help ensure the rewards of growth are felt at a neighbourhood level.

"We are now looking for a further group of pioneering authorities that are not only committed to introducing the levy in their local area, but are also keen to demonstrate how the levy will act as an incentive to support growth and development."