Letters to the editor - 12/06

Break on building

[Re: Pernicious local taxation is thwarting efforts to revitalise housebuilding, yesterday]

I couldn’t believe what I was reading. This article perfectly describes exactly what is happening to smaller developers. In fact, the problems Chris Neal outlines are happening to me on two schemes. On one, I’d like to renew my planning application as it’s currently difficult to get funding to complete the building. Legislation currently allows permission to be extended for three years. But the planners will not entertain this unless I agree to pay them more money (along the lines of the taxes described by Chris Neal). They have recently changed the charges, so a renewal would count as a new permission. This leaves me no option but to start work, as I can’t afford to lose planning permission. On another site, I have applied to extend my permission and build an extra unit. But the planners say that, if I want to extend, not only must I pay the Community Infrastructure Levy on the extra property, but also on the seven I already have permission to build. How can this be just? I really wonder what the point of all these government schemes is. Councils know that developers, especially the smaller ones, don’t have the money to fight them.

Raj Thaker

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