MP attacks levy plans

John Mann MP and Coun Simon Greaves
John Mann MP and Coun Simon Greaves
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BASSETLAW MP John Mann has attacked a new council scheme to levy charges on brand-new developments in the district.

Bassetlaw Council will meet on Tuesday 31st July to discuss plans to introduce a community infrastructure levy (CIL) on new housing and economic developments in the area.

The authority is proposing to introduce a three-tier levy on properties above 150 sq m, with developments in Harworth being charged £5 per sq m, £20 for Worksop and £55 for Retford.

Mr Mann criticised the plans and said now is not the time for such a levy to be introduced.

“We are in the middle of a double dip recession and need to encourage development,” he said.

“Having a levy will put financial barriers in the way and drive any sense of recovery elsewhere.”

“These proposals need to be put on hold until we are in better economic times.”

He added: “While this is a tax that may easily be swallowed by Persimmon or the Bovis Homes of this world, it could be unaffordable for local businesses and landowners who generally employ local builders and support trades such as architects, plumbers and electricians.”

“The council must give consideration to the future of local companies.”

More than 40 local authorities are currently charging or in the process of introducing a CIL scheme.

Its purpose is to secure funds from new developments over 100 sq m floor space to help deliver new infrastructure across the district, such as new schools and road improvements.

Bassetlaw Council leader Coun Simon Greaves said CIL will help bring much-needed development to the area.

“In the future we cannot just rely on the county council to fund improvements to our schools, roads and communities, and we must ensure there is sufficient infrastructure to support future development,” he said.

“We will be keeping a watching brief on the proposed CIL charges to ensure they do not become a barrier to development.”

He added: “While the CIL is good for Bassetlaw, I will be writing to the Government to see if we can secure changes to the regulations to benefit smaller developers and those interested in self-build projects. This initiative has the ability to secure up to £30m of investment for Bassetlaw - in my view that’s a good thing.”

What do YOU think of the plans? Ring 01909 500500 or email newsroom@worksop-guardian.co.uk