A blog about planning, planning law and planning policy

Disclaimer

The information on this blog is not intended to be advice, legal or otherwise. You should not rely on it and I do not accept liability in connection with it. If you do have a planning law question on which you would like advice, seek legal advice from a suitably qualified solicitor. Specific advice should be sought for specific problems.

Community Infrastructure Levy – first scheme approved

The first Inspector’s decision is out on a CIL charging schedule, the document at the heart of any CIL scheme. Newark & Sherwood will be pleased that their schedule was approved. The report provides valuable guidance on CIL. No doubt we will all be reading it carefully.

Viability issues were obviously important. There were differential rates of CIL, but the Council’s proposal for a threshold in retail cases of 500 sq m did not come off. The differential rates applied not only to different developments but also different areas and the scheme appears not to apply to all types of development eligible for CIL.

Two practical issues strike me immediately. Firstly, the interaction of CIL and s.106 agreements in Newark & Sherwood will now need to be worked out carefully. Regulations 122 and 123 restrict what a s.106 agreement can do where CIL is in force. Developers, planning lawyers and consultants will need to think about the types of development covered.

Secondly, the infrastructure schedule does not of course cover all infrastructure and the Inspector properly considers the effect of CIL on negotiation of s.106 agreements for needs it does not cover. The original justification for CIL was that it would raise more money by applying across the board and not relying on individual s.106 negotiations; and that it would create greater certainty and speed to the system as developers would know in advance what they had to pay, and not face the uncertainty of s.106 negotiations. This second aim seems to have been missed completely. The imposition of CIL will not avoid the need for a s.106. And by being fixed, it may reduce what is available for other infrastructure, at least in developments where viability is not so robust.

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