One of this month's blog posts raised an issue in relation to local finance considerations and planning decisions. I had seen a recent Secretary of State decision made after the coming into effect of the relevant Localism Act 2011 provision, but made no mention in the decision letter (or Inspector's report) of local finance considerations. Decisions taken after mid January 2012 should now recognise the potential for New Homes Bonus (NHB) and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to be material considerations where relevant - even if the conclusion reached is that, in the circumstances of a particular case, they are either not material or should be afforded limited weight.

I have seen one example of a committee report making mention of this, although not drawing any conclusions. It should be the case that all planning determinations where NHB and/or CIL will arise should now address these considerations and make clear whether these payments are, in the particular case, material and if so, how much weight they should carry. Officer reports, and indeed Secretary of State decision letters, should be drafted accordingly.