Levy fight just got tougher

At the introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy in April 2010, the influential parliamentary environmental audit committee urged local authorities to use the proceeds to pay for green elements such as parks, in recognition of their critical role in climate-change adaptation.

Kate Lowe - Image HW
Kate Lowe - Image HW

It was, we noted at the time, one small ray of hope on a gloomy horizon for urban landscapes. In 2011, that hope came under threat thanks to the proposed widening of the remit of the levy, which was originally devised to fund vitally needed infrastructure such as landscaping and green spaces.

We warned that while this might be good news for cash-strapped councils, it would be yet another disaster for urban green space, which after decades of financial neglect was now bearing the brunt of the heaviest public spending cuts in living memory. Since then, a consultation on handing the levy over to fund affordable housing has come and gone and the latest word from the Department for Communities & Local Government on the issue is that it is "not proposing to make this change at the present time".

Now the Government has added again to the competition for these vital funds thanks to what has come to be known as "Boles' bung" - the promise of planning minister Nick Boles of 15-25 per cent of any funds raised via the levy to communities that accept development, to spend on what they want.

No one understands better the need to drive forward desperately needed housing development than those in the professional landscape community who have been hit so hard by the sector's collapse. But adding to the pressure on the levy, which is the only public-sector funding show in town for vital landscaping and parks, really is no solution at all.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Choosing the right plant, correct planting procedure and best aftercare are the three basic rules for sucessful tree planting, Sally Drury explains.

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Mitigating climate change, providing windbreaks and reducing the risk of soil erosion are some of the best reasons for planting trees, says Sally Drury.

Dierama

Dierama

Beautiful but underused, this tall and elegant plant can persist for years, says Miranda Kimberley.


 
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Landscape Contracts & Tenders

Products & Kit Resources

BALI National Landscape Awards 2016

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space
 

Read Noel Farrer