The Government plan for radical reform of the planning system has cropped up a number of times on other threads. The importance of this for cycling infrastructure is that, at the moment, most new local road developments, including cycling provision, are funded not by local authorities but by the developers, through what all called 'Section 106 agreements' and the Community Infrastructure Levy. Both of these are applied as conditions of planning consent for new housing estates etc. So the much-publicised new rules for design standards and mandatory cycling infrastructure will only be effective if they apply to developer-funded schemes as well as to the local authorities themselves.
Well, I now see this in a BBC report on an interview with Jenrick today:
'The government will introduce a national charge for developers - replacing the existing Section 106 agreements and the Community Infrastructure Levy - to fund projects such as schools, roads and GP surgeries, and a fixed proportion of affordable homes in a development.'
Is anybody - the relevant government departments and advisers, lobbyists from the cycling organisations etc - joining the dots here? Unless the conditions of the proposed 'national charge for developers', and the methods for spending it, mirror the new infrastructure rules for local authorities, little will have been gained.
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