Levy sparks fear of “low quality” houses and hotels in Streatham
Streatham could attract low quality building, it was argued, after it was revealed developers will be taxed a seventh of the price of those looking to build in areas like Waterloo.
Under Lambeth Council’s proposed charges for a new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), it would cost an additional £50 to develop per square metre in Streatham and West Norwood, but £369 for a similar space in Waterloo.
Councillor Ashley Lumsden, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said the CIL would pay for vital services like schools, health centres and libraries.
He said: “I am concerned the council’s proposals for such low levies in Streatham will leave the area underfunded and attract the lowest quality and most marginal developments.”
But council leader Councillor Steve Reed, said the funds raised would be spent across the borough and low levies would encourage more development.
He said: “It’s a tax on new developments so if you set it too high it prevents new developers coming in. You actually don’t want it high.
“What [Coun Lumsden] is actually saying is ‘Let’s keep developers out of Streatham’.”
Proposed charges show hotel development would cost £100 per sq m in Streatham and West Norwood, but £250 per sq m in Waterloo and Vauxhall.
Under the Localism Act a “meaningful proportion” of funds should be applied in the area where development takes place.
Retail development, for more than 2,500sq m sites, would cost £115 per sq m across the borough. Projected income is expected to be about £5m each year on average over the next five years in Lambeth.
The CIL will replace the current system of getting developers to pay for local infrastructure, known as section 106 contributions, which the council assesses on a discretionary basis