Planning policy requires that development should make appropriate provision of services, facilities and infrastructure to meet it needs of the development. This means that where sufficient capacity does not already exist to meet the need created by new occupiers or users, the development should contribute what is necessary, either on site or through a financial contribution. This will be done through the planning decision making process, when planning permissions are granted.
It is critical that Ipswich receives the infrastructure it needs to support the delivery of both housing and jobs growth, and to ensure that existing communities can be sustained. Growth should bring benefits to, and not adversely affect the quality of life of, existing communities.
At present, developer contributions towards infrastructure provision come through Planning Obligations (S106 agreements / unilateral undertakings) which cover on-and off-site requirements including affordable housing, open space provision, transport measures, education provision, and Habitats Regulations Assessment mitigation. S106 agreements and unilateral undertakings in the form of legal agreements between the landowner and the respective Local Authority be that Ipswich Borough Council or Suffolk County Council are formally signed when planning permission is granted. The legal agreement requires that the relevant infrastructure is delivered or that financial contributions are paid to provide the infrastructure.
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a planning charge that could be set against some types of new development in the Borough.
Although the Council recognises the preparation of a CIL in its Local Development Scheme (October 2015), due to the publication of the Housing White Paper ‘Fixing our Broken Housing Market’ and the Government’s commitment to review the current system of developer contributions, work on a CIL has been put on hold and future infrastructure funding will be considered through the preparation of a new Local Plan to 2036.
Therefore the Council is considering whether it shall adopt a standard charge approach to the delivery of infrastructure alongside Section 106 Agreements, which was brought into force by the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations in April 2010. This would permit the Council to pool developer contributions raised through the levy and spend on infrastructure requirements for both the neighbourhood in which the development forms a part and the whole of Ipswich, although in turn would limit the use of Section 106 Agreements. A review of the best way forward with securing infrastructure funding is ongoing.