Infrastructure levy for Scotland: discussion paper

This paper is to support discussion on options for an Infrastructure Levy for Scotland, to help fund infrastructure that supports wider growth.

6 Provisions of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019

The full provisions of the 2019 Act relating to the infrastructure levy are set out in Annex A.

The main provisions are at sections 54-58. Note that these provisions stand alone in the 2019 Act and do not amend the 1997 Act. They give Scottish Ministers powers to make regulations to “establish, and make provision about, an infrastructure levy”, which is a levy:

(a) payable to a local authority,

(b) in respect of development wholly or partly within the authority’s area,

(c) the income from which is to be used by local authorities to fund, or contribute towards funding, infrastructure projects.

This power will lapse unless regulations are made within 7 years of the Act receiving Royal Assent, that is by 24 July 2026

Section 56 defines that:

““development” has the meaning given by section 26 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997,

“infrastructure” includes—

(a) communications, transport, drainage, sewerage and flood-defence systems,

(b) systems for the supply of water and energy,

(c) green and blue infrastructure,

(d) educational and medical facilities, and

(e) facilities and other places for recreation,

“green and blue infrastructure” means features of the natural and built environments (including water) that provide a range of ecosystem and social benefits,

“infrastructure project” means a project to provide, maintain, improve or replace infrastructure.”

Section 57 allows Ministers to change or clarify the meaning of “infrastructure” through regulations.

Section 54 allows the Scottish Ministers to issue guidance to local authorities about the infrastructure levy, which local authorities must have regard to.

Schedule 1 makes further provision about what the infrastructure levy regulations may do. However, this is almost all permissive, it does not specify anything that the regulations must do. This means that there is a wide scope for how the Levy can be designed, and many issues to be considered in developing the regulations.



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