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Budget – paying individuals directly to accept development is unsupportable

19 March 2014

The Royal Town Planning Institute has called for the Government to drop its proposal to pilot financial incentives to individuals to accept development, announced in the Budget. With 23,000 members worldwide working in the public, private, charitable and education sectors, the RTPI is the largest professional institute for planners in Europe.

Janet Askew, Vice President of the Royal Town Planning Institute, said:  “The RTPI feels that paying individuals directly to accept development is unsupportable. Whilst it is hard to object to pilot schemes, there are better uses of limited resources. The RTPI urges the Government to deploy its time and effort to look at potentially more effective ways to get homes built.”

Incentives for individuals to accept development have a number of drawbacks. Proposals that extend an incentive-led approach to individuals may lead to developing areas with fewer objections, rather than identifying the optimum location for communities. They send a signal out from Government that new homes are something which requires compensation, rather than something which addresses need. It is not clear how such incentives would work in relation with other mechanisms to mitigate impact such as section 106 agreements and the Community Infrastructure Levy.

The announcement appears on page 63 of the Budget Book, 2.25 ‘Development Benefits’ which reads: 

“The government will launch a government-funded staged pilot for passing a share of the benefits of development directly to individual households, including further research and evaluation of the approach.”