DCLG seeks bidders for £3.5m 'development benefits' pilot scheme

Out-Law News | 18 Sep 2014 | 4:51 pm | 1 min. read

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has published a prospectus (11-page / 155 KB PDF) seeking volunteer local authorities and neighbourhood forums to take part in a £3.5 million pilot for its proposed 'development benefits' scheme.

Under the proposed scheme, households near to the sites of new housing developments will be directly compensated for the short-term impacts of development, such as "the noise and nuisance of having a building site near their home", in order "to reduce the extent to which development is blocked or delayed as a result of active opposition by local residents".

The prospectus said that eligible households would "receive a direct financial payment when the site for housing is allocated or when that development goes ahead". The amount of the payment "could be varied to reflect distance from the development or be a single figure".

The DCLG said that it hopes to discover through the pilot: the most effective eligibility requirements and levels of compensation; the costs and "workability" of administering the scheme; the potential impact of the discovery benefits model on neighbourhood plans; and "whether there are any unintended consequences, either within this policy or for other government objectives".

The prospectus invites expressions of interest from: local planning authorities in England where a housing development scheme is expected to commence by the end of financial year 2015/16; and neighbourhood forums or parish councils in designated neighbourhood planning areas, "where a neighbourhood plan with a housing component is currently in preparation and has not yet been submitted for examination".

Volunteer councils and neighbourhood forums will receive funding to cover the administration costs of running the pilot scheme, and will receive advice and information from "a named lead officer within DCLG".

The deadline for expressions of interest in the pilot scheme is 24 October. The DCLG said that applicants would be told of the outcomes in December.