Builders ‘are burdened by extra charge’

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Small builders in Chorley are being unfairly hit with development charges by the council, it has been claimed.

The claim has come from a prominent businessman in the town, who says Chorley Council is ignoring new government planning advice.

This is a rejection of the Government’s initiative of trying to help small builders and, in particular, the provision of houses on small plots

Peter Gilkes, chartered surveyor, who runs Peter E Gilkes & Company, on Market Street, Chorley, said he had many clients affected.

He said: “This is a rejection of the Government’s initiative of trying to help small builders and, in particular, the provision of houses on small plots.”

The Government issued changes to the National Planning Policy with regards placing levies – known as Section 106 Agreements – following planning permission.

It suggested to local authorities that for sites of 10 units or less, with a maximum gross floor space of 1,000sq m, levies and a requirement to provide affordable housing should not be sought.

Mr Gilkes added: “Unlike many other local councils, Chorley imposes this levy on every plot.

“It was one of the first to impose the Community Infrastructure Levy, resulting in a charge of approximately £6,500 for a modest three-bedroomed house with garage.

“This sum is a significant addition to the build cost which the builder needs to recoup in the price.”

Alistair Bradley, from Chorley Council, said: “We are not the only local authority that 
has these concerns and we are working with other authorities and the local government association to explore a judicial 
review challenge to central government to resolve this 
issue.”