Do you know how much your community has been helped by new homes?
PUBLISHED: 14:01 11 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:05 11 October 2019
Not everyone is aware of how much developers contribute to community facilities - but new legislation is about to change that, says Edward Parker of Bennett Homes.
Housebuilders are often criticised for increasing the burden on existing local services, but not everyone is aware that developers contribute significant funds to enhance community facilities wherever they build new homes.
However, all this is about to change as local authorities will be required to publish exactly how the money has been spent.
Whilst most people appear to accept the need to create new homes to meet our current housing shortfall, there can be opposition to plans for new developments as local residents understandably fear the uncertain impact on their community.
Until now councils were not required to report on the total amount of funding received from developers or how it was spent, leaving local residents in the dark.
The reformed Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) rules, which come into force from December 2020, will mean they will now be legally forced to publish deals done with housing developers online so residents can see exactly how the money will benefit the future of their community.
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The building industry contributes positively to the environment, planting an estimated 6.5 million trees annually and recycling around 80pc of its waste. As a condition of planning approvals, developers make significant contributions towards local infrastructure, schools, libraries and other community facilities as well as providing affordable homes to meet local needs.
In addition to financial contributions, new Government policy will look for a net gain in biodiversity on all new developments, achievable through the installation of measures such as bat and bird boxes, hedgehog and insect habitats and the creation of wild flower meadows.
Housebuilders also help historical conservation with archaeological digs before a development commences, providing the opportunity to identify and preserve items for our cultural heritage.
Very often developers improve the current transport infrastructure. For instance at our Woodlands development in Old Costessey, we carried out a range of projects including the provision of new bus shelters with electronic signage, constructing a pedestrian bridge over the River Tud and widening a road to make it safer for local drivers.
So not only will the reformed CIL rules inform the public, they may also make them more supportive of developers when they see what they are bringing to their local area and, in turn, more positive about new housing which is sorely needed.
To find out more, visit www.bennett-homes.co.uk or call 01284 766057.
This column is sponsored by Bennett Homes.