Hertsmere Borough Council will be one of the first authorities in the county to make use of a new planning levy to raise money for schools, roads and services.

The way the council will get money from developers for infrastructure in the borough, including Potters Bar, has changed under government policy,

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) will replace the current system in which councils ask developers to contribute to the area, known as section 106 agreements.

CIL is a tax the council can charge developers for new developments in the area to help pay for projects such as roads, schools, park improvements or new health centres.

The council has said it will give them more power in planning development.

Councillor Harvey Cohen, who is responsible for planning and localism, said: “The new levy is designed to be fairer, faster and more transparent and will give us a greater degree of freedom to set our own priorities for what the money should be spent on.

“We are the first area in Hertfordshire to be able to introduce the levy which will allow us to plan ahead more effectively and get more of what we want from new developments.  We need to ensure we have the right things in place to support new development for our new and existing residents and this move shows that we take this responsibility seriously.”

The charge will apply to most new developments where the proposed floor space or net additional floor space is 100sq m or more. 

The rate will be set per square metre and in Hertsmere it will vary depending on the location and type of development.

CIL charges are due to come into force later this year.