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Developers in West Lancashire set to pay new community levy

All new building projects will have to pay a charge which will go towards improving infrastructure

Councillor Martin Forshaw

Developers  in West Lancashire will have to pay a new levy to help provide or improve community facilities and infrastructure,

The Community Infrastructure Levy is a planning charge designed to ensure new developments contribute to the cost of the infrastructure they will rely upon.

The new levy is non-negotiable and is applied at a rate set out in a published charging schedule on all qualifying development.

The levy will largely replace the current system where legal agreements are negotiated on a site-by-site basis.

To introduce this charge, the council submitted its proposed charging schedule for independent examination by a planning inspector.

The examination was held earlier this year and the inspector approved the charging schedule, subject to a minor change. The schedule was adopted by full council on July 23 and will come into effect on September 1.

Planning applications which receive planning permission from September 1 for certain types of development in West Lancashire will now have to pay a charge for this development.

The scale of the charge will be based on the size, type and location of the development.

The monies collected will then be used to provide infrastructure improvements across the Borough.

This may include highway improvements, provision of new or enhanced cycle/footpaths, new or enhanced public open spaces, environmental improvements and other community related benefits.

Councillor Martin Forshaw, portfolio holder for Planning and Development, said: “I am very pleased that the Council has agreed to introduce this charge and that the planning inspector agreed with our proposals.

“We are constantly working to improve West Lancashire for residents, and charging this levy means there will be more money to contribute towards funding infrastructure provision and improvements.

“The council has taken great care to ensure these charges do not prevent development.”