Local authorities have new powers to impose levy on developers to fund green infrastructure

Developers should be required to make a greater contribution to improving the sustainability of communities in climate change adaptation, according to an influential Parliamentary committee.

The environmental audit committee has published a report, Adapting to Climate Change, which highlighted the role of elements such as green infrastructure in meeting sustainable targets.

The report showed that the need to adapt to climate change is "poorly understood" by the public, much of business and many in the public sector.

However, it highlighted the possibility for local authorities to use a new Government Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to gain income from developers that can be used for creating green elements such as parks.

The CIL comes into force on 6 April and local authorities will be empowered, but not required, to levy the charge on new developments.

The rates will be set locally to reflect the need for new infrastructure and will apply to new builds over 100sq m internal floor space, as well as additional floor space added in redevelopments.

The Government predicted that the charge could raise £700m a year for local authorities by 2016.

The report urged the Government to encourage all local authorities to use income from the CIL to fund climate change adaptation work.

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