12 November 2018
Norwich City Council is planning to change its policies so that developers could pay less to support local communities when large building projects go ahead in the city. The council’s Labour Cabinet will decide, at a meeting on Wednesday, whether or not to introduce a Community Infrastructure Levy Exceptional Circumstances Relief Policy which could support re-development projects, such as that proposed for Anglia Square.
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was introduced by Norwich City Council in 2013 to finance infrastructure needed to support new development.
Councillor Denise Carlo, Leader of the Green Party Group on Norwich City Council, said: “Developers who want to build in Norwich need to support the city and fund any additional infrastructure required to support their new buildings. Several private developers wanting to build in the city have persuaded the council that they should pay less than the proper requirement towards affordable housing on grounds that their scheme is financially unviable. The most high profile example has been St Mary’s Works in Duke Street, where the financial backer is a billionaire. CIL Relief is just another way for the people behind new developments to increase their profits at the expense of local residents. It’s important that appropriate infrastructure is planned and paid for by developers.”
Green councillors are concerned that no evidence is available which shows that a CIL Relief policy for Norwich is necessary. It is not apparent that any development in the city has been scrapped due to the cost of paying the Community Infrastructure Levy.
Councillor Carlo continued:
“The policy which is being considered by the Cabinet appears to allow too much leeway for developers who don’t want to pay their dues to argue their way out of doing so. The city council needs to be tougher and demand a higher standard for the city. Letting big developers get away with not paying their fair share is not good enough.”
The Community Infrastructure Levy Exceptional Circumstances Relief Policy will be discussed at a meeting of the Cabinet of Norwich City Council on Wednesday 14thNovember.