Community infrastructure levy updated, again.

3rd November, 2014

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) has been the subject of continual review since the implementation of the CIL Regulations in 2010. Changes were made in 2011, 2012, 2013 and most recently in February of this year through the CIL (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (the 2014 Regulations).

The 2014 Regulations provide a slightly increased emphasis on development viability. Local Planning Authorities will now face a more exacting test at Examination, with greater weight likely to be afforded to effective consultation with landowners and developers.

An exemption for self-build housing is included within the 2014 Regulations. Self-builders are required to have selected the kitchen and bathroom, and to have lived in their completed home for 3 years to remain exempt from CIL.

Previously, vacant buildings must have been in lawful use for 6 continuous months during the preceding 12 months for CIL to be limited to net additional floorspace. The 2014 Regulations relax the timescale to 6 continuous months in the previous 3 years. Transitional arrangements depend on when planning permission was granted and when the Council’s CIL charging schedule was adopted.

The 2014 Regulations provide for full planning permissions to be handled as multi-phase schemes. Formerly, only outline consents could be phased to comprise separate chargeable developments. Section 106 payments could be phased throughout the life of a scheme, whilst CIL is usually required up front. There is a need to ensure that planning permissions are appropriately drafted and agreed with the Council, securing the benefit of the flexible cash flow associated with a phased development.

Prior to the implementation of the 2014 Regulations, land could be provided in lieu of CIL payments. The delivery of infrastructure listed by Local Planning Authorities can now also be accepted. This additional provision increases the importance of influencing Councils’ draft CIL charging schedules through representations.

Speak to one of our planning team if you would like more detailed advice on CIL requirements and exemptions.