Yvette Cooper, minister of housing, has given the go-ahead for a roof tax-style deal to kickstart housing development in Bedford.
Cooper told an English Partnerships open meeting this week that the ODPM had secured Treasury approval for a bypass to the west of the town. The ODPM and EP will provide £22m for the bypass’ construction, which it will recoup from a tariff on developers.
The deal may provide a template for the Milton Keynes growth area, which has been stymied by difficulties in introducing a roof tax to pay for infrastructure investment.
The Bedford deal follows a meeting between David Higgins, chief executive of English Partnerships, and David Miliband, the minister for communities.
Gideon Amos, Town and Country Planning Association director, told a fringe meeting at last week’s Labour party conference that the roof tax would furnish about £1.2bn for infrastructure spending in Milton Keynes.
Meanwhile the CBI has opposed a “planning gain supplement” on land that becomes more valuable because it is used for housing.
The CBI believes it is will halt development. Under Barker’s proposal, which is different from the section 106-style agreement in Milton Keynes, developers would have to disgorge a share of their profit from development.