Crossrail Levy Exemptions

MQT on 2009-11-18
Session date: 
November 18, 2009
Question By: 
John Biggs
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What rules will you apply if exempting a development or area from the requirement to pay a 'Crossrail Levy' and how will you ensure this is judged as fair?


Answer for Crossrail Levy Exemptions

Answer for Crossrail Levy Exemptions

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The issues affecting area and development exemptions from the proposed policy to secure contributions towards Crossrail through the planning system are complex. Subject to the outcome of next month's examination in public into the Crossrail funding alterations to the London Plan, I do not propose to make area-based exemptions. The expectation will be that all office development involving net additional floorspace of 500 sq m within the charging area shown in annexes 1 and 2 to the draft supplementary planning guidance on use of planning obligations in the funding of Crossrail (and, in some circumstances explained in paragraph 4.24 of the draft guidance, in other parts of London) will make a contribution. One of the reasons for having a policy of this kind is to enable developers and others to be clear about what will be expected.

As the guidance explains, however, under planning law and Government guidance, each planning application must be considered on its individual merits and the circumstances of each will have to be examined. It may be that requiring a contribution could put the economic viability of a scheme at risk, for example, and the guidance and draft London plan alterations it supports explicitly recognizes this. Officers are having discussions with stakeholders about how questions of viability can be assessed in particular cases. As each application is different, I cannot set out in advance blanket rules governing how every application will be dealt with. I can say, however, that they will be assessed thoroughly by professional staff, and decisions will be taken transparently and in accordance with the law.

There is a separate funding stream for Crossrail based on a proposed Business Rate Supplement (BRS) which is being taken forward, under different legislation. The BRS will be paid by occupiers of buildings with a rateable value of more than £50,000. I have published a draft prospectus on my proposals for a BRS which made clear my intention to charge the full 2p across Greater London and I am currently considering the responses to consultation. The BRS legislation does not permit me to make area-based exemptions.