Friday 08 November 2019
In response to the debate and decision on Amendment 11, Deputy Tindall - President of the Development & Planning Authority - said:
"As part of the 2020 Budget, Amendment 11 was proposed by Deputy Gollop and seconded by Deputy McSwiggan. This amendment proposed that P&R look into introducing a levy for the development of greenfield sites in Centres, with the funds received allocated to a specific fund for on-island environmental off-setting initiatives and/or infrastructure improvements.
"The Development & Planning Authority, by majority, is frustrated with the result of the decision (For - 16; Against - 19), which appears to be at odds with indications previously made by States Members for their desire for such a levy.
"A number of arguments were put forward in opposition including:
- Introducing a levy is not a budget matter
- Introducing a levy is a planning mechanism not a tax
- A levy would allow greenfield development rather than prevent it altogether
- This amendment would be putting the cart before the horse and the D&PA should consider in the round the possibility of a levy through the Island Development Plan 5 year review
"As part of the D&PA Action Plan, the Authority will look, through the 5 year review of the Island Development Plan, at whether there is a possible planning mechanism to meet the desire that has been expressed by some States' Members for brownfield sites to be prioritised over greenfield land. At this stage, it is highly likely that the recommendation would be that there is no such mechanism, and that it would require some form of fiscal measure along the lines proposed in this amendment to achieve such an outcome.
"Assuming this to be the case, it is unfortunate in terms of timescale that this amendment was defeated, and notable that it was on so narrow a margin. If Amendment 11 had been successful, it would have meant the recommendation should have been back to the Assembly this term for debate, whereas the failure of the amendment means that this will now not come back until after the five year review in 2021, at the earliest.
"The Development & Planning Authority will continue to look into a planning mechanism, but there will also be an underlying need to continue to balance three elements: the economic, environmental, and social interests as the Island Development Plan does now.
"It should also be noted that neither the D&PA nor the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure could recommend such a levy as they would be conflicted in bringing such a suggestion on its own motion."