RESIDENTS’ views are being sought about a scheme which could exempt developers of large sites in Pagham and North Bersted from a new charge.
Arun District Council is proposing a zero per cent community infrastructure levy on the housebuilders who will be developing its strategic sites at Pagham South, Pagham North, west of Bersted and Barnham, Eastergate and Westergate – which it has called zone one.
The levy, or CIL, can be imposed by planning authorities like Arun to help to improve services which will be used by those who live in the new properties.
The council launched a consultation on Monday about its proposed charges. It will end at 5pm next January 21. It can be viewed online at arun.gov.uk or in libraries and at Bognor Regis Town Hall and the civic centre in Littlehampton.
Kevin Owen, Arun’s planning policy team leader, told its planning policy sub-committee the charge had to be set at a level which still allowed development to take place.
“It is like a tax. How much we can charge depends on the value of the development.
“We then take out the cost of the development and of building it, financing it and what the developer’s profit is, and what the planning obligations are, and then we add the CIL,” he said.
“That gives us a residual value which they can pay for the land. If the levy is more than five per cent of the gross development, it could be impinging on the willingness of the landowner to sell the land. The value of the land needs to be sufficient or else the owner will not sell and it will block the development market.”
The district has been divided into four other zones for which the proposed charges for housing schemes are £100 and £150sq m for sites of 10 and under and £70 and £100sq m for larger sites.
Land to be used for flats and older people’s housing will also attract charges of £100 and £70 in various areas.
Cllr Francis Oppler (LD, Orchard) said a seminar the previous night had shown the levy would be charged at three per cent of the value of the developments to avoid deterring developers.
“If that is so insignificant to them they will not notice it, perhaps it could be a bit higher? Maybe four per cent would still be within an acceptable limit but give Arun a bit more money,” he said.
But the sub-committee’s chairman, Cllr Ricky Bower (C, East Preston) said: “The key to the problem is that if we were to push the levy beyond what is recommended it would affect the viability of the sites.”