The Leader of West Sussex County Council, Cllr Paul Marshall, has joined other local government and construction industry leaders in calling on the government to review the introduction of a new infrastructure levy, which has been proposed in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.
A government consultation in March 2023 set out plans to charge a mandatory levy on new developments to fund infrastructure works to support new development, such, schools and transport links as well as building new affordable homes. But concerns have been raised that the radical new system, which would replace Section 106 agreements and Community Infrastructure Levy payments, could result in less infrastructure being delivered and fewer affordable homes being built.
Cllr Paul Marshall said: “The infrastructure levy is something I strongly oppose as the expected changes would mean that West Sussex County Council would no longer be a statutory consultee on future planning development in our county.
“As a result of this, planning authorities will be able to ignore our requests for funding contributions for new education facilities, new roads, public transport and active travel schemes – all things our growing communities need.
“I also fear that the levy would result in leaving communities with fewer new social and affordable homes, which is something I’m sure our residents will be concerned about for future generations.
“The county council’s strategic priorities include developing a sustainable and prosperous economy, delivering safe and effective transport options and providing access to education, employment and other services, so this levy needs rethinking. I have therefore added my signature to a joint letter asking for the opportunity to urgently review the proposals.”
West Sussex County Council remains committed to supporting government officials in getting the best outcome for its communities from any new planning reforms.