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The third significant change made by Amendment No. 436A is that the CIL regulations may provide for substitute authorities to be CIL charging authorities in place of the local planning authority, an example of which might be the Isles of Scilly if the Council of the Isles of Scilly has its planning functions withdrawn, for instance. The council would be granted planning functions by order under Section 116 of the 2004 Act. We think that it is important to provide that power.
A second need for this power relates to the national parks, which have already been a feature of our debates. A national park is a local planning authority and prepares a development plan for its area. The national park authority must then consider the infrastructure needs of its area in line with the Governments policy in PPS12. Clause 199 therefore provides that it will be the CIL charging authority for its area, and not the local authorities within the park boundaries. However, it is important that this is discussed further with stakeholders, including the park authorities, to ensure that it makes sense. Some, with their unusual layout, consist of small areas within other charging authorities. We do not want to create a nonsense here, so for reasons of scale and efficiency it might not be thought appropriate for a small separate area to be the CIL charging authority. The amendment provides the flexibility to continue those discussions.
Amendment No. 435K, tabled by the noble Earl, Lord Caithness, covers similar ground. It would prevent the CIL regulations being able to empower the Secretary of State, Welsh Ministers and the Mayor of London as charging authorities. I am delighted to say that we are in agreement on at least two of those three authorities, but, for the reasons I have set out, we have proposed that the mayor should be a charging authority.
The second government amendment in this grouping, Amendment No. 436B, arises as a consequence of the restructuring of Clause 199 by Amendment No. 436A. The unamended clause would allow for joint committees of local planning authorities established under Section 29 of the 2004 Act to act as CIL charging authorities. Therefore, to allow this to continue, government Amendment No. 436B allows CIL regulations to provide that joint committees established under Section 29, where they include a CIL charging authority, are to exercise CIL functions in their area on behalf of the CIL charging authority. The new subsection (3), which mirrors the order-making power in Section 29(4)(a) of the 2004 Act, will permit CIL regulations to set out how joint committees can exercise those charging authority functions. Provision can be made corresponding to provision relating to joint committees in Part VI of the Local Government Act 1972. It is right that where, as we foresee, local authorities cooperate and enter into joint committee arrangements, they should be able to charge CIL as part of those new arrangements, not least to deliver sub-regional infrastructure across local authority boundaries. However, that is entirely a matter for each local authority.
A few other amendments remain in this grouping. The noble Lord, Lord Dixon-Smith, and the noble Earl, Lord Cathcart, tabled Amendment No. 436. I am a little unclear about this issue. The first possible intention of this amendment would be to provide that a developer should only be charged CIL by a single charging authority. Government Amendment No. 436A sets out that it is the plan-making authority that will be the CIL charging authoritywhich I hope clarifies the position. However, in London, given the special position of the mayor, we propose that the mayor should be involved. The amendment could also intend to require that the CIL regulations must prevent the mayor from being empowered to charge CIL in London. The alternative, that the London boroughs would be prevented from establishing a CIL if the mayor chose to do so, is equally unpalatable. However, this amendment could alternatively be designed to ensure that CIL revenue from only a single charging authority can be applied to any one item of infrastructure identified through the development plan process. In many cases that might be what happens; but in some instances the infrastructure that might be needed to support growth could be quite substantial, such as a significant flood defence scheme or new motorway junction. CIL is much better placed than existing schemes to fund such infrastructure, and these larger sub-regional pieces of infrastructure benefit from more than one boundary.
I have a note that states that I need to correct something that I said in response to the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee. She asked if the mayor will be a charging authority only when he is the planning authority. The answer to that is no, although I said yes. We propose that the mayor will be able to charge CIL on all planning permissions in London because he will determine only a handful of applications a year. Setting a charge for all applications will enable lower charges. I will write to the noble Baroness on this point because it needs a proper letter, and of course I shall copy it
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The noble Lord, Lord Dearing, who cannot be in his place today, was also concerned about how CIL would work in London, and he has asked me to ensure that his concerns are registered. I hope that I have done that, but I should say also that we are continuing to work with stakeholders in London to see whether we can do anything additionally to ensure that both the mayor and the boroughs are able to set charges that address their infrastructure needs without overburdening individual developments. He, along with others, is concerned about the eventual impact on viability. I hope that that meets his point.
The problem with going back to the conditions suggested in Amendment No. 436 could be that the voluntary approach to the funding of sub-regional infrastructure would have to be prevented in the CIL regulations, which we do not think is right. It would mean that a CIL could not be used to support sub-regional infrastructure in a meaningful way. For that reason, we have a problem with the amendment. However, I will write to noble Lords in more detail on the point. My flow was interrupted by the need to address and correct what I said previously.
Amendment No. 435J seeks to delete the reference to Section 206 and Secretary of State in the table at the end of the clause which is intended to reflect what Part 11 contains. There is no benefit in amending it so that it is incomplete, and the House authorities will update it as necessary to reflect any changes to the content of Part 11 of the Bill. It can safely be left with the House authorities.
Government Amendment No. 435H seeks to update the text in subsection (3) by providing that the table therein describes the provisions in Part 11. As a consequence of other government amendments that will add more detail on CIL to the Bill, the clauses in Part 11 which follow Clause 198 will no longer only deal with aspects of the CIL regulations but will also expressly set out provisions in regard to CIL. For example, we have tabled amendments on the procedures to be adopted in producing charging schedules and so on. This amendment would reflect the fact that these important changes have been made. They are substantive and on the face of the Bill and not in CIL regulations.
The noble Lord, Lord Cobbold, indicated that he intended to oppose Clause 198 standing part of the Bill. Given my explanation of how CIL will operate and the fact that it is supported by a wide range of industry and local government groups, I hope that he will feel able to support the clause for the reasons that I and other noble Lords have given.
This has been an important debate that has covered a range of different issues, some that are substantial and others that are technical and detailed. I hope that noble Lords have been able to follow what I have said. I am happy to write to clarify details, to continue discussions and to meet noble Lords between now and Report on anything they would like to know about how this will work.
Lord Dixon-Smith: I apologise to the MinisterI am never sure whether I should interrupt her when she is in full spate, and sometimes it is easier to deal with this kind of query at the end. She said that household development would not be eligible to pay the charge, but what are the limits of household development? There must be a limit somewhere, otherwise you could have a two-bedroom cottage being extended into a mansion and not being eligible for the charge. There is also a marginal question of whether building one house is household development. We need to be clear about the definition of what is, or is not, eligible development. In view of what the Minister said about writing, perhaps she would prefer to write on this specific issue. It is important to individuals and builders across the whole country.
The Earl of Caithness: I am grateful to the Minister for her full reply; she has lifted the lid on some of the questions and problems which this part of the Bill raises. However, she did not answer one important question, and it would be of great help if she could. When will these regulations be available? The regulations will answer many of the questions. The question which my noble friend Lord Dixon-Smith has just asked the Minister is very importantbut where are the regulations? Until we get them we will go on flapping around trying to get answers.
The noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, bowled the Minister a beautiful googly. It now appears that there will be two charging authorities in London, the mayor and the local borough, whereas if you are outside London, the local authority will be the only body able to charge. Would it not have been so much easier if this had been set out before us? We could have discussed it and had a much more sensible debate. Does the Minister now have an answer for me on regulations?
Baroness Andrews: I am afraid that it is the kind of answer that Ministers sometimes give. The department spent the summer working to ensure that we met the DPRRCs requirements to put as much as we could in the Bill so that the Committee could debate the CIL architecture as fully as possible. The regulations are being worked on. We are in major discussions with a large number of stakeholderswe will be happy to involve the noble Earland will bring them forward as soon as we can. We will do so with the best expedition.
Although it has been a wide-ranging debate, I particularly wish to draw attention to what the noble Baroness, Lady Valentine, said. She and I raised the same point but we attacked it from different points of
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The Minister did not deal with the point raised by my noble friend Lord Dixon-Smith that there would be no reduction in central government funding. Will the charge be used as an opportunity for central government to reduce funding of local authorities? It is clear that developers, individuals and, indeed, bigger companies will be charged CIL, but individuals and small businesses will not get any benefit at all. There will be no increase in infrastructure in their development and they will not get any uplift in value. They are being subjected to a new charge. For that reason, the charge must be closely linked to the development plan. We need to explore that further as we go through the next amendments.
Baroness Andrews: The entire thrust of CIL is that it is explicitly linked to the development plan. It is an additional charge which is made locally for all the reasons that I have given. As I also said, government funding will continue to provide the majority of funding for infrastructure, which is very expensive.
The Earl of Caithness: Indeed it is. The Minister has given a full reply. Later today we will cover a great deal of what we have just said as there will inevitably be a run-through following this glorified Second Reading debate. Meanwhile, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
It is apparent that while one needs to maintain a flexible approach for local infrastructure needs, protections are required to ensure that moneys collected through CIL do not fund infrastructure in parts of a council area that bear no relation to the general area in which the development occurs. One way of dealing with that is to require a nexus between the development being levied and where the infrastructure is provided. That would ensure that any infrastructure provided would be in proximity to the development occurring. That is essential if the benefits from the infrastructure are at least balanced against the costs of the levy.
There is, I believe, a consensus that an instrument of this sort represents the future for developer contributions towards local infrastructure, building on the existing system of planning obligations. CIL aims to provide certainty and transparency for developers and communities alike.
Baroness Andrews: I think we could do with some light relief after the previous amendment. I can be very brief. The amendment would change the name of CIL. It may be inspired by a desire to limit CIL spending to only local infrastructure needs. It may also be intended to make mischief, which the noble Earl is perfectly capable of.
We have made it perfectly clear that CIL is a local measure, but it cannot be limited solely to providing local infrastructure for all the reasons I have given previously, where local authorities consider that they have more strategic infrastructure than is needed to support their growth. We made it clear at paragraphs 2.28 and 2.30 in our August policy statement, which I will not read, that sub-regional infrastructure supports the needs of more than one local authority. There are important examples: hospitals, larger transport projects and waste facilities. Sub-regional infrastructure is critical to the way our communities function. It is often the most critical type of infrastructure in terms of unlocking significant housing or economic development; I have lost track of the number of instances that I know ofI am sure my noble friend Lady Ford knows them toowhere development is held up because local authorities cannot agree, an incredible amount of time is wasted while people argue over who is responsible for what and things just do not happen for years on end. We cannot afford that, and we should not rule it out in either name or substance. I am sorry to disappoint the noble Earl, but I cannot accept his amendment.
The Earl of Caithness: How disappointing. I thought I was going to be so helpful to the Minister and that she would accept my amendment with alacrity. However, I understand that there can be areas where it will be cross-boundary and that the idea of CIL is not just a local infrastructure in the way that some people would define local, but local to a whole planning area.
With regard to the Ministers letters to us, could they please be a little more personal? To receive a letter for noble Lords with an interest in the Planning Bill is rather like getting a letter from the Kremlin. If it could be addressed to a Peer with copies circulated to other Peers, it would be just a little more friendly.
(a) the Mayor of London is a charging authority for Greater London (in addition to the local planning authorities),
(b) the Broads Authority is the only charging authority for the Broads (within the meaning given by section 2(3) of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act 1988 (c. 4)), and
(c) the Council of the Isles of Scilly is the only charging authority for the Isles of Scilly.
(4) CIL regulations may provide for any of the following to be the charging authority for an area, or in the case of Greater London one of the charging authorities, in place of the charging authority under subsection (2), (3)(b) or (c)
(a) a county council,
(b) a county borough council,
(c) a district council,
(d) a metropolitan district council, and
(e) a London borough council (within the meaning of TCPA 1990).
(a) section 37 of PCPA 2004 in relation to England, and
(b) section 78 of PCPA 2004 in relation to Wales.
(2) CIL regulations may provide that the joint committee is to exercise specified functions, in respect of the area specified in the agreement under section 29(1) of PCPA 2004, on behalf of the charging authority.
(3) The regulations may make provision corresponding to provisions relating to joint committees in Part 6 of the Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70) in respect of the discharge of the specified functions.
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