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Brighton council seeks views on new £2m infrastructure levy

A new charge on development could be introduced to contribute £2m a year towards Brighton and Hove’s infrastructure.

Developers will have to pay a financial contribution to the council when they want to build new homes, shops or student accommodation, depending on the size of the development.

Residents and businesses are being given six weeks to feed back on the proposed charges that would be brought in under the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), which allows councils to raise funds from new building developments in their area.

CIL payments could be spent on supporting infrastructure in need of extra cash, such as schools, roads, parks, flood defences and health services.

This consultation, which will be the second round of feedback that the council has sought, looks at what the charges should be for each type of development.

The charges could range from £50 per square metre for shopping unit developments to £175 per square metre for purpose-built student accommodation and new housing.

The city council has said that two strategic development sites, the Inner Harbour at Brighton Marina and the King Alfred Leisure Centre, could be zero, due to the high development costs and the need to provide significant infrastructure.

Cllr Julie Cattell, chair of Brighton and Hove’s planning committee, said that the CIL will ensure that developers add value to the city by having to invest money in the community in order for their developments to be accepted.

“It’s therefore extremely important that our residents, businesses, investors and developers get involved in the consultation,” she added.

“We have to strike the right balance between gaining income for our residents and ensuring we still make it viable for developers to build in the city.”

CIL will replace off-site payments and will be charged on a wider range of developments, and the council will be allowed to spend the money on infrastructure projects anywhere it is needed in the city.

The local authority has said that the proposed charging rates are based on an independent study that found new-build residential development, purpose-built student housing and new retail floor space could all bear a CIL charge within a recommended charging range.

Top image: oversnap

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