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Luce to lodge plans for levy on developments

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PROPOSALS for a new levy on building developments are to be lodged with the States by the Environment Minister.

Environment Minister Steve Luce said an ‘appropriate balance’ had to be struck between raising money for reinvestment and preventing the construction of new developments

However, Deputy Steve Luce said that, if approved, the new charge – the exact details and level of which have yet to be worked out – would not be introduced until after April 2019 at the earliest.

The proposition, which puts forward what the minister calls ‘a broad, low and fair charge on most developments on new land’, follows a consultation with the public and developers about the plans.

Previously Deputy Luce had proposed a levy of £85 per square metre, which architects described as a ‘stealth tax’ and claimed would increase the cost of building an average family house by £13,600. However, no figures have been included in the proposition.

In the report accompanying the proposition, the minister said: ‘It will be a requirement that an appropriate balance is struck between the need to secure investment in community infrastructure and the potential effect on the viability of developments in Jersey.’

He added that the setting of the rate would also be subject to independent review and scrutiny, following public consultation.

Under the proposals, non-residential developments under 75 square metres of new floor space – roughly the size of a two-bedroom apartment – affordable homes and charitable trust projects would be exempt.

A set percentage of the levy would be given to the parish in which a development was built, to fund parish improvements.

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