Headlines: March 29th, 2010

New measures have been unveiled to speed up planning decisions and to encourage local authorities to make use of a power being introduced soon to raise funds from developers to support local developments. The new guidance will help councils set up a Community Infrastructure Levy when new regulations come into effect after Easter.

The idea is that authorities will be able to raise money from the developers of new building projects to help add infrastructure and to support new schemes, which might include schools, hospitals, roads, transport projects, libraries parks and leisure centres. The new rules will change the way Section 106 planning obligations can be used.

The Planning Minister, John Healey, has opened consultations on policies on the use of Section 106. He said he was looking to councils to follow the best examples of those authorities which have been highlighted by the Planning Advisory Service for the way they are using planning obligations to support local skills, training and apprenticeship schemes.

Mr. Healey said the power of Government investment was helping to build homes and to keep workers on sites across the country and he added: “That’s why I want councils to make full use of the new Community Infrastructure Levy, so the necessary changes to local roads, schools and hospitals can be made to support these new developments.”