6.6 Vacant Site Levy
6.6 Vacant Site Levy
A vacant site levy was established under the Urban Regeneration & Housing Act 2015. This levy is a site activation measure, to ensure that vacant land in urban areas is brought into beneficial use. At the passing of this Act, the Minister stated the levy is a "visible demonstration of the Government's commitment to tackle reasons why so many key sites that are suitable for development are not coming forward at a time of such a major need for housing".
The Urban Regeneration and Housing Act set out two broad categories of vacant land that the levy may apply to:
i) Lands zoned primarily for residential purposes
ii) Lands in need of regeneration
The Levy is an integral part of the development planning process to incentivise the development of vacant or idle sites identified by planning authorities as “regeneration land” or “residential land”, with a view to bringing such sites into beneficial use. It can be imposed by planning authorities under certain conditions in designated areas where sites remain vacant and site owners/ developers fail to bring forward reasonable proposals, without good reason, for the development/reuse of such property in line with the provisions of the relevant local area or development plan.
The Council will examine lands within the City and County, as appropriate as part of its active land management strategy for the purposes as set out in the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015, in relation to the Vacant Site Levy. The Vacant Sites Register is reviewed on an annual basis (See Section 4.2.1 also).
6C To promote the redevelopment and renewal of areas identified having regard to the
core strategy, that need regeneration, in order to prevent—
(i) adverse effects on existing amenities in such areas, in particular as a result of the ruinous or neglected condition of any land,
(ii) urban blight and decay,
(iii) anti-social behaviour, or
(iv) a shortage of habitable houses or of land suitable for residential use or a mixture of residential and other uses.
The levy may be applied to all identified ‘Regeneration’ land and ‘Residential’ land in existing land use zonings. Land in the residential category must be served by the public infrastructure and facilities to enable housing to be provided and serviced. In particular, the areas covered by the following zoning objectives are considered to constitute regeneration land:
• General Business
• Mixed Use
• Urban Village
• Business, Industry and Technology Parks/Business Park
• Community Facilities
Other regeneration zonings may be identified in relevant Local Area Plans.
6D To identify vacant sites where appropriate zoning applies and maintain a Vacant Sites Register in the plan area for the purpose of the Vacant Site Levy.