I don’t think I’ve been to a public exhibition where a local resident hasn’t demanded to know about whether their pet project or local park can be funded. Time and again, we hear residents complain that they don’t know where all that CIL money and S106 contributions will go.
As a YIMBY myself, there’s a big development near me going up, with a park next to it. I told the local ward councillor to get an adult gym in the park, but who knows whether he took any notice.
As a developer, it’s difficult to reassure residents that the CIL money they hand over is being spent wisely, on local improving local infrastructure or public services.
That’s why the government’s new CIL regulations, which came into effect last week, are good for the industry, bringing better transparency for communities, councillors, developers and local authorities.
Local authorities are now legally bound to publish an annual record of CIL payments, and how every penny is spent. The old old ‘Regulation 123 list’ is being replaced by ‘infrastructure funding statements’.
The government also removed the upper limit on section 106 pooling that had previously prevented councils from pooling more than five S106 contributions into a single community project.
We’ve just dealt with a new community project in Southwark, called 231 Old Kent Road at the heart of the Old Kent Road Area Action Plan – here the multi-use facility benefits significantly from S106 contributions from a whole host of developers.
Residents should now be a click away (maybe a few clicks) from investigating where every penny is spent, be that on a new bus stop, increased capacity at a local station, or new medical facilities. And I will be able to find out about that adult gym.