Examination of Witnesses

Part of Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:40 pm on 23rd June 2022.

Alert me about debates like this

Will Tanner:

I thoroughly welcome the commitment to maintain the neighbourhood share within the new consolidated infrastructure levy. As you say, the infrastructure levy is compulsory rather than optional and it will apply everywhere, so it represents an opportunity to share a considerable amount of revenue directly with communities where the right governance exists. Parish and town councils only cover about 37% of the English population at current levels—about a third of local authorities are fully parished—so only a relatively small number of places will be able to take advantage of this at first. The inclusion of the neighbourhood share will create a very strong incentive for local areas to put in place strong, hyperlocal governance to control local decision making and some local services within a general power of competence that exists for parish and town councils.

We know from our research that there are strong benefits from that. If you look at rates of volunteering, rates of group membership or rates of local philanthropy, all those things are higher in areas where parish and town councils exist. So I am very supportive of the Government’s efforts to try and create a stronger incentive for places to put in that local governance and to benefit from the gain from development. I would also suggest that it should create a stronger incentive for places to become more welcoming of development as a whole and therefore embrace new housing.