As regular visitors to the site, or readers of the magazine, will have noticed, we’ve been working hard to let you know about the impact that the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is having on self-builders’ plans across the country.
So it pains me – it really does – to bring you more negative news of potential burdens, but this is just unmissable. I’ve just finished editing a piece by our planning expert, Sally Tagg, on the growing trend for local councils to target self-builders for Affordable Housing Contributions. Here is a highlight:
“For many years, affordable housing is predominantly provided as a planning condition on the provision of larger schemes e.g. 15 dwellings or more. However in recent years, as the number of houses being built by developers has slowed, fewer affordable dwellings have been built — just at the time in the economic cycle when they are needed more than ever. In order to address this deficit, some local authorities have implemented – and others are preparing – new planning policies to ensure that sufficient affordable housing can still be provided. As a result, the provision of affordable housing is now often being linked to the creation of one or more market units — meaning that self-builders will increasingly be asked by their local planning authority to provide a financial contribution towards the provision of affordable housing.
Contributions in respect of affordable housing are set in relation to the size of a new property, either in terms of the number of bedrooms or floor space. The affordable housing contribution recently set by Three Rivers District Council in Hertfordshire in its highest value area would be £187,500 for a 150m² property.”
Let me emphasise that again – £187,500 to build a new 150m² home in a posh part of Hertfordshire.
In other news, civil servants set up task forces to try and understand why housebuilding numbers are at record lows.