The new rules will mean councils will now be legally required to publish deals signed between developers and authorities on roads, GP surgeries and other developer-funded community projects, so residents can see exactly how money will be “spent investing in the future of their community”, according to the government.
Developers are often required to put aside finance for local services to achieve specific planning permissions for building projects.
Prior to the landmark rule change that will reform the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), local councils and developers were not required to unveil the total amount of funding spent – or how it was spent – leaving residents lacking key financial information on projects within their communities.
Housing minister Esther McVey, said: “The new rules coming into force today will allow residents to know how developers are contributing to the local community when they build new homes – whether that’s contributing to building a brand-new school, roads or a doctor’s surgery that the area needs.
“The reformed CIL rules will help developers get shovels in the ground more quickly, and help the government meet its ambition to deliver 300,000 extra homes a year by the mid-2020s.”
According to government figures from 2016 to 2017 developers paid £6bn towards local infrastructure boosting “jobs and growth”.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB), said: “Communities don’t realise how much developers contribute to infrastructure through local taxation.
“Forcing all councils to be transparent with their ambition and strategy is an important step in encouraging a shared vision and local scrutiny.”