Would you like developers to be charged for building in Welwyn Hatfield?
- Credit: Sarah Allison
A public consultation on whether to charge developers for building in Welwyn Hatfield will be launched next month.
The council’s cabinet approved the move to look at a schedule of charges on new developments in the borough under a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), which will create a separate fund for infrastructure such as schools, transport and leisure facilities.
The draft schedule of charges proposes that developments of 11 or more homes should be charged at £70 per square metre if located in Hatfield, £100 in WGC, Welham Green or west of Hatfield, or £230 in the other villages and rural areas of the borough.
These levels of charge reflect the differences in market values of housing between different parts of the borough which in turn affect the financial viability of development in those locations and therefore the ability of the developer to pay the charge.
Smaller residential developments, which do not have to provide affordable housing, would be charged a flat rate of £230 per square metre.
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For supermarkets, superstores and retail warehouses the charge would be £85 per square metre and for all other retail and other non-residential uses, the rate would be just £20 per square metre.
While development for education, health and community facilities would have no charge.
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Although different rates of CIL would be charged for different types of development and for housing in different locations, the council would be able to spend the money raised on infrastructure in any part of the borough.
Councillor Stephen Boulton, executive member for environment and planning, said: “We know residents are understandably concerned about how new developments in Welwyn Hatfield will be supported by infrastructure.
“The Community Infrastructure Levy has the potential to generate substantial funding to deliver these improvements for our communities so it’s important we get this right.”
It is estimated that the council could potentially raise over £30 to 35 million from CIL if even a lower target of 12,000 houses was met under the draft Local Plan period from 2021 to 2036.
The eight-week consultation is due to begin in September with full implementation estimate at September 2021.