ANYONE building a home in Huntingdonshire will have to contribute an average of a little under £7,000 towards the extra cost of public services – £85 per sq m. But that is about £1,000 less than originally proposed.

The change was made following an initial consultation in which “we listened to what people said to us”, said district council’s planner Claire Burton.

At present, developer contributions are levied only on larger developments, such as 10 homes or more, under what are known as Section 106 agreements with planners. These are used to ensure developers contribute to the cost of extra school places, roads, surgeries, social services and so on imposed on councils by the new residents.

But a developer putting up nine luxury homes currently pays nothing towards the £1.9billion of additional infrastructure that Huntingdonshire District Council estimates the district will need by 2026.

Under arrangements due to come into effect in April, S106 agreements will become much more restricted in scope, and the infrastructure burden will be spread more equitably under the new community infrastructure levy (CIL), for which Hunts was one of the pilots.

Preliminary plans were that new homes would have attracted CIL at the rate of £100 per sq m, which would have amounted to about £8,000 for the average home, according to HDC’s planning chief Steve Ingram.

Some developments will not attract charges, such as extensions, affordable homes, new offices, warehouses and factories or buildings for community use. But other developments that add to public costs will attract CIL, such as hotels at £60 per sq m and shops at £40 per sq m or £100 if over 500 sq m.