A New Tory Stealth Tax? ?10,000 per new home?

Some surprising news came out when the council were considering a planning application in Hawkwell for 8 flats, The County Council Highways Dept were asking the developer ?10,000 per flat. as part of the planning permission. This wasn’t to do any highways work specific to this application. It was a demand from the developer for money to go towards the highways network as a whole.

According to our Head of Planning, Shaun Scrutton, this was a new policy from the County Council – demand ?10,000 per new home for their highways budget. So if we have 4,600 new homes in our district, they aim to get ?46 million pounds.

Some questions:

Is this legal?
Isn’t this a Conservative stealth tax?
How can we trust the advice of County Highways when they advise us on planning applications?
If they are going to do this, why charge the same for a one-bedroom flat and a six-bedroom mansion?
Won’t this make it harder to build affordable housing?