Lead us not into temptation

 

cartoon temptation

KKG – Document 57

Dear Neighbour

How on earth could they resist it?

There’s the Covenant, worth £14m plus. See our update of 13 Feb.

There’s the Carrot (the New Homes Bonus) worth just short of £8m to Spelthorne. See our update of 26 June.

And then there’s the CIL.

The current arrangement for extracting money from developers is based on Section 106 agreements. So much compensation for the deterioration in air quality, so much mitigation for the added pressure on school places, quite a lot in order to have affordable homes built as far away as possible.

That system will be replaced quite soon by a new apparatus. The CIL (the Community Infrastructure Levy) will set out in advance how much developers are expected to pay, It’s based on the floor area of residential developments and supermarkets, with certain types of development – affordable homes, non-retail commercial premises, charitable enterprises – exempt.

Most of the cash raised will go into a single pot, although a small bit of it will be ring-fenced to be used to the advantage of the local community in which the development is sited. There is, though, no definition of the word “local”, and there will be no restriction on how and where the bulk of the money can be spent.

Spelthorne will be split into three charging zones. The charge in the Stanwell area north of the A30 will be £0/m² for developments of more than 15 units. The area between the A30 and the M3-A316 will attract a charge of £40/m², and the area south of the M3-A316 £60/m² . These are starting charge levels – they will increase year by year. (See Document 57 attached.)

So what would Kempton Park be worth? Let’s assume that the Council hits the 40% affordable homes target in the current Local Plan (subject to change in the imminent Local Plan review). That means 600 social housing units out of the 1500 total, which would attract no CIL charge.

For the remaining 900 open-market units, the charge will depend on their floor area. A recent study by Cambridge University found that the average size of new build houses in the UK was 76 m² – the smallest in Europe by a considerable margin. On that basis, the CIL charge would total £4.1m. But the houses planned for Kempton Park are unlikely to be that small. So, assuming they are the same average size as another very recent planning application in the vicinity (The Ridings) – 122 m² – then the CIL charge would be worth £6.58m to the Council. At least.

So there’s the whole tempting smorgasbord on offer:

Covenant    £14.2m

Carrot (New Homes Bonus)  £7.99m

CIL     £6.58m

Total     £28.77m

The Jockey Club will try to reduce this total for all the “community benefits” their new suburb will bring to the area. For example, we know that at the end of last year the Council and The Jockey Club were haggling over how much of the cost of the major re-hashing of Sunbury Cross roundabout could be deducted from the Council’s share of the Covenant.

But that doesn’t change the essence of it – especially for a Council which is so broke it is considering leasing out – or even selling – its own Council offices to try and balance the budget.

As the joke cards put it:

“Lead us not into temptation. We can find the way ourselves.”

 

Visit us at http://www.keepkemptongreen.com, Like our Facebook page, and Follow us on Twitter (links to both on the website). Leave your comments at all three.

Regards, as always

Alan Doyle
for Keep Kempton Green

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