DEVELOPERS wanting to build homes or supermarkets in the Selby district may soon have to pay a new levy towards improvements to the local infrastructure.
Selby District Council has launched a public consultation on proposals for a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to help meet the costs of, for example, schools and roads.
The authority says the system will run alongside existing Section 106 planning agreements to ensure new developments contribute positively to communities rather than add a burden.
The authority is proposing a charge of £25 per square metre on new housing in the south of the district, and £45 per square metre in the north, which could raise £12 million.
A spokeswoman said: “This means a ‘typical’ house will pay about £2,500 and £5,400 respectively. Supermarkets will pay £110 per square metre, which means a small budget supermarket may typically pay £130,000.”
Council leader Mark Crane said housing development over the years had not always been matched by supporting improvements, and the infrastructure was feeling the pressure.
“It is only fair that the new development that adds these pressures to our infrastructure pays its own way,” he said.
“In the past, the council has negotiated with developers for so-called Section 106 agreements. These payments contribute towards infrastructure, but are very variable in value.
“This new Community Infrastructure Levy addresses that by setting out a standard charge per square metre that development must pay. It’s fairer, simpler and faster.”
Coun Cliff Lunn, lead member for finance and resources, said he had initially been worried that the levy would simply be added on to the price of a house, making it even harder for people to get on to the property ladder, or would deter investment in jobs.
“However, the experiences of other councils that have already got a CIL in place shows that this is not the case,” he said.
“Instead, the value of land is reduced to free up capital to pay the CIL charge, and this in turn actually stimulates growth.”
Coun Chris Metcalfe, lead member for communities, said 15 per cent of the money raised would be handed to the parish or town council to spend as they deemed appropriate.
The consultation will end on February 28. For more information and to take part, people can visit their local library, the Access Selby customer contract centre in Selby, or go to www.selby.gov.uk/CIL
• The Press recently revealed that out of more than £3.2 million received by City of York Council from developers through Section 106 agreements between 2008 and 2013, about £2.7 million was unspent.