16/04/2013

Commercial Property e-Brief – Community Infrastructure Levy Consultation

The Government has proposed certain amendments to the The Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations including:

  1. Requiring the Charging Authority (Council) to demonstrate that it has demonstrated a balance between funding infrastructure and the potential effects of charging it on the viability of particular developments in its area.
  2. Amending the regulations to allow different rates to apply to both different uses and different scales of development where the local market and viability issues exist to justify this.
  3. Extending the draft charging schedule consultation period to at least six weeks.
  4. Amendments to ensure that there is greater clarity about what infrastructure will not be funded through S106 Agreements so there is more transparency about what the proposed levy actually covers.  It is proposed the list of potential infrastructure projects is published at the same time as the charging schedule.
  5. A proposal to extend the period in which S106 Agreements can continue to be used by one year to 6th April 2014 without having this limitation on pooled contributions.
  6. Section 278 Agreements should also be treated in the same way as S106 Agreements so that they cannot be used for highway schemes which are already included within the Regulation 123 list of infrastructure projects.
  7. Developers will now be able to offer land and/or payments in respect of certain infrastructure projects providing the council has a policy enabling this.
  8. All planning permissions, both outline and full, may now be subject to phased payments.  This will assist with developments which would otherwise have to pay the levy immediately where complex (and expensive) site preparations are required.
  9. Changing the regulation which prevents floor space being offset where a building has been vacant for more than 6 months of the previous 12 so that levy will not be payable on buildings that are refurbished or redeveloped.
  10. In addition to Section 73 applications that new stand-alone planning permissions brought forward making changes to existing schemes will also not trigger additional liabilities.
  11. Council’s will be able to extend the social housing exemption to include homes for sale at a cost below market level.
  12. It will be easier to apply the exceptional circumstances relief. 
  13. It is proposed that self-builders will be exempt from any CIL charge. 
  14. Appealing against the chargeable amount in relation to a development once development has already commenced.
  15. Transitional measure will be used to ensure that no provisions are retrospective. 

As ever, we will have to wait to see what actually comes out of this following closing of the consultation on 28 May but it appears that there is some good news for developers in the consultation increasing the flexibility on offer and correcting some anomalies. 

Please contact us should you wish to discuss any particular aspect of the consultation. 

If you would like to talk to someone about any aspect of the consultation, please contact Rob House, Solicitor in the Commercial Property (Planning) team on 0113 227 2128 or at rob.house@gordonsllp.com.