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New levy on developers could increase funding for GP infrastructure

New levy on developers could increase funding for GP infrastructure

The Government has begun implementation of a new levy which could help ensure developers pay a fairer share towards local infrastructure like GP practices. 

The levy aims to give councils more power over rates and how the money is spent, as well to prevent developers negotiating down the amount they contribute. 

A consultation on the policy which launched last month will shape the Government’s upcoming regulations, however the rollout of the levy will be phased over a 10-year period.

For most developments the levy will replace section 106 contributions, which are currently used to make a development possible when it is likely to have a significant impact on the local community. 

Dr Gaurav Gupta, GPC premises lead at the BMA, said it is ‘vital’ the Government’s policy also ‘compels local authorities to consult with local health bodies’ whenever health infrastructure is included as part of a development. 

This will ensure any funding from the levy is ‘streamlined and gets where it needs to go’, he said. 

In 2018 Pulse revealed that a number of local authorities were failing to give GP surgeries a share of the infrastructure funding they received from housing developers.

And in 2020 a report by think tank Reform found that the NHS was missing out on millions of pounds from property developers.

The new levy, which is being introduced as part of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, will mean the amount developers pay is calculated after completion of the project, to ensure councils benefit from increases in land value. 

There will also be a new ‘right to require’ which allows councils to decide how much money is put towards local infrastructure such as GP practices. 

As part of this, councils will have to engage with the community to formulate an ‘infrastructure delivery strategy’ to ensure there is consensus on what projects the community needs.

Responding to the new levy, Dr Gupta said it is ‘only right that everything is done to improve and support GP infrastructure’.

He said: ‘As things stand, the funding that is meant to support new and existing GP buildings as part of housing developments often gets stuck in the system, rarely getting to the practices themselves.

‘The BMA believes that the new Infrastructure Levy, which will replace parts of Section 106, in the Levelling Up Bill, must carry the same responsibilities for local authorities and developers as the current legislation. 

‘However, it’s vital that the Bill also compels local authorities to consult with local health bodies when placing obligations on developers to include health infrastructure as part of its development conditions, to ensure that this funding is streamlined and gets to where it needs to go.

‘Only then can GPs and their practice colleagues put the funding to good use and ensure all communities have access to the care they need and deserve.’

Michael Gove, secretary of state for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said: ‘Central to our levelling up mission is ensuring local communities can take back control.

‘The infrastructure levy will do just that – giving local leaders the tools to bring forward more affordable housing and the transport links, schools and GP surgeries their communities need.

‘It will also speed up delivery and put an end to lengthy negotiations with developers seeking to shirk their responsibility to provide for local people.’

The consultation was published on 17 March and runs for 12 weeks.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Douglas Callow 11 April, 2023 5:02 pm

better late than never but will believe it when I see it Just wonder if we are seeing the beginnings of a move towards the hugely loathed US Homeowner associations

Anonymous 12 April, 2023 11:21 am

My local parish has debated how to spend section 106 money for past 5 years and it is still on their monthly agenda.

Smoke and mirrors. The govt will say that’s not their responsibility any longer.