POOLE is to become the first planning authority in Dorset to introduce a new levy which will cost developers thousands of pounds more per home.

The new Community Infrastructure Levy for all new housing developments is being adopted by Borough of Poole from January 2013 and replaces the existing system of developer contributions.

Town planning experts Tanner and Tilley are warning that the charge, which will raise funds to provide necessary infrastructure, is likely to be a threat to housing development.

Charged per square metre on new floorspace it will range from £75 per square metre to £150 for the more upmarket areas of Poole.

Tanner and Tilley say to replace an existing dwelling on a large plot in north Poole with three new family houses, developers would be expected to pay £16,500, an increase of about £3,850 on the current level of contributions.

In the centre of town there would be a levy of £34,500 an increase of just over £9,000 and in Branksome Park, Canford Cliffs, Sandbanks a levy of £33,000 or more, an increase of more than £20,000.

Calling for the charge to be delayed, Peter Tanner, managing director of Tanner & Tilley, said he feared many land owners would not put sites on the market, leading to a reduction in the number of homes being built.

“Whilst on paper this level of increased developer contribution may appear to be viable, in reality developers will be expecting to off-set these additional costs of development on what they pay for the land,” he said.

“In the current market it is unlikely that they will be able to recoup these additional costs by increasing the sales price of the new homes as the market will not stand it.”

Cllr Mike White, cabinet portfolio holder for planning and regeneration, said: “CIL is an innovative new system that will provide welcome certainty to the development industry in these challenging times.

“It will also ensure that development can make appropriate provision towards mitigating its impact on the borough’s infrastructure.

“The finance raised from CIL will be used to deliver a range of critically important infrastructure projects.

“This will help ensure growth can be accommodated sustainably and contribute to securing the long term future of the town.”