About the Community Infrastructure Levy

This page provides information on the process of preparing and adopting a Community Infrastructure Levy.

The Community Infrastructure Levy

The CIL allows local authorities to raise funds from developers to pay for the infrastructure that is needed as a result of development.

Infrastructure that the levy can be spent on

The broad definition of infrastructure is set out in the Planning Act 2008 and includes

  • roads and other transport facilities
  • flood defences
  • schools and other educational facilities
  • medical facilities
  • sport and recreational facilities
  • open spaces

An Infrastructure Delivery Plan (July 2016 update) (PDF, 1.2 MB) has been prepared to support the delivery of the Local Plan Strategy. This sets out the infrastructure needed to support development over the period 2010 to 2030 to support the proposals in the Local Plan Strategy.

Benefits of a Community Infrastructure Levy

There are many benefits of adopting CIL , including that it:

  • provides a clearer mechanism for funding infrastructure in a given area, and provides clarity, certainty and transparency from the outset about how much money a scheme will be expected to contribute to infrastructure provision.
  • collects contributions from a wider range of developments
  • provides local authorities with greater flexibility to set their own priorities and spending on infrastructure projects.
  • non-negotiable and therefore should save time by reducing the overall need for full negotiations on the levels of contributions certain schemes should pay.

Working out the Community Infrastructure Levy rates

The CIL rates are informed by the following:

  • the level and cost of infrastructure needed to support planned growth in Cheshire East as indicated by the emerging Local Plan Strategy.
  • the gap between the cost of infrastructure and amount expected to be raised.
  • the impact of a future CIL charge on the economic viability of the area.

The anticipated infrastructure needs, costs and known funding steams are set out in the Council’s Infrastructure Delivery Plan which supports the Local Plan Strategy.

The impact on economic viability has been assessed by consultants Keppie Massie who have established, based on scenario testing and development viability evidence, the level of CIL different types of development in different parts of Cheshire East could support.

The Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule

Before a CIL Charging Schedule can be adopted by the Council it must be subject to two rounds of public consultation and an Examination in Public.

The Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule is the first stage of the consultation process. It sets out the Council’s initial proposals for CIL , for public consultation. It provides an important opportunity for the public, development industry and other stakeholders to provide appropriate and available evidence to inform any future CIL proposals.

The consultation on the Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule took place in February – April 2017 and the consultation responses have informed the Council’s proposals for CIL in the draft charging schedule (see below for further information on the draft charging schedule).

Community Infrastructure Levy and the relationship to the Local Plan Strategy 2010-2030

Evidence in relation to infrastructure provision and development viability are informed by the proposals contained within the Local Plan Strategy.

Informed by the outcomes of the consultation on the Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule, further work has been carried out to establish the implications of CIL on the viability of development proposals contained within the Local Plan Strategy.

If adopted, the CIL Charging Schedule will require certain types of development to contribute towards closing the ‘funding gap’ arising from the cost of the provision of infrastructure and the funding available to deliver it. CIL therefore can assist in the delivery of proposals and policies over the plan period.

The Draft Charging Schedule consultation

The draft charging schedule is the second Council consultation in preparing a CIL charge in the borough. It has taken account of all comments received in response to the Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule and further work on viability.

The consultation on the draft charging schedule took place between the 25 September and 06 November 2017. You can view all the consultation documents (including the draft charging schedule) and read the consultation responses online using the council's consultation portal (draft charging schedule page).

Following two rounds of consultation in 2017 on the proposed charges for CIL in Cheshire East, the Council is finalising its review of the comments received and currently anticipates submitting its proposals for independent examination in June 2018. The examination is likely to take place in the September and, if the CIL charge is approved, will become operational before the end of the year.

Cheshire East and the Community Infrastructure Levy charge

It is expected that CIL will come into effect during 2018. This is subject to the responses received to the consultation stages in preparing a CIL Charge and also any changes to the regulations and guidance associated with preparing and operating a CIL system.

The types of development that will be liable to pay the Community Infrastructure Levy, when adopted

The following do not pay the levy:

  • development of less than 100 square metres – unless this is a whole house, in which case the levy is payable
  • houses, flats, residential annexes and residential extensions which are built by ‘self builders’ 
  • social housing that meets the relief criteria 
  • charitable development that meets the relief criteria  
  • buildings into which people do not normally go 
  • buildings into which people go only intermittently for the purpose of inspecting or maintaining fixed plant or machinery 
  • structures which are not buildings, such as pylons and wind turbines
  • specified types of development which local authorities have decided should be subject to a ‘zero’ rate and specified as such in their charging schedules
  • vacant buildings brought back into the same use

Where the levy liability is calculated to be less than £50, the chargeable amount is deemed to be zero so no levy is due.

Mezzanine floors, inserted into an existing building, are not liable for the levy unless they form part of a wider planning permission that seeks to provide other works as well.

Based upon the current proposals set out in the Draft Charging Schedule, only residential and some types of retail developments will be liable to pay CIL .

Zero rated areas

Some parts of the Borough will not attract a CIL charge, even for new housing. These areas correspond with the existing built up areas of many towns and villages. In these locations development sites are mainly brownfield in character. These are more costly to develop because they may involve demolition or site remediation. Allied to this the value of new development is generally less per square metre than ‘leafier’ greenfield areas. The combination of higher costs and lower values renders a CIL charge unviable within many settlements. However, the built up area is defined as that which existed BEFORE the current local plan. This means that for most towns greenfield development sites on the edge of the settlement will attract a CIL charge, whereas brownfield developments within the exist built up framework will be zero rated.

The Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106 Contributions

Planning Obligations, including S106 agreements, will continue to be used and will work alongside CIL , once adopted. The CIL Regulations which came into effect in April 2015 restrict the pooling of planning obligations under S106 , so that no more than five planning obligations can be used to secure a type of infrastructure or specific project.

It is considered that S106 remains an effective way of securing the delivery of infrastructure in a timely manner and to meet the needs of the development. It is therefore proposed that, where it is justified, up to five S106 planning obligations will be used to deliver infrastructure that is needed to make the development acceptable in planning terms.

Affordable housing provision or contributions lie outside the remit of CIL and will continue to be secured through S106 . S106 will also continue to be used for local infrastructure requirements on development sites, such as local access or connection to services. Some of these requirements may be physically off site, but will be secured under S106 where they are clearly linked to the development site and are needed to make that particular site acceptable.

Many larger developments will be liable to pay both CIL and enter into a S106 agreement. The CIL payment and S106 obligations will cover different things, and developments will not be charged for the same items of infrastructure through both obligations and the levy.

How the Community Infrastructure Levy money will be spent

The Council are required to list the infrastructure types and projects that the Council intends to be wholly, or partly, funded by CIL on a CIL Regulation 123 List.

A draft Regulation 123 List is required to be submitted as part of the evidence base for the examination of the draft Charging Schedule.

The relationship between the Community Infrastructure Levy and Town and Parish Councils

Parish Councils will get a proportion of the CIL receipts raised from development in their Parish. If they have a Neighbourhood Plan in place, they will get 25% of the receipts and they will be expected to use these to deliver proposals in their plan. If so minded, they can return some of these receipts to the Borough Council to enable mutually beneficial projects to proceed.

Parishes that do not have a Neighbourhood Plan will get 15% of the receipts and this will be capped at an equivalent of £100 per dwelling per year.

Responsibility to pay the levy

The responsibility to pay the levy rests with the ownership of land on which the liable development will be situated. Although liability rests with the landowner, the regulations recognise that others involved in a development may wish to pay. To allow this, anyone can come forward and assume liability for the development.

Collecting the the levy

The levy’s charges become due from the date of commencement of a chargeable development. When planning permission is granted, the Council will issue a liability notice setting out the amount of the levy and the payment procedure. Unlike contributions collected through S106 agreements there is no time constraint for the spending of monies collected through CIL .

Paying the Community Infrastructure in installments

The Council is currently consulting on its installments policy as part of the consultation documents attached to the draft charging schedule.

Developers and planning permission

There is no CIL liability for a planning permission if that planning permission was granted before the CIL implementation date. The relevant date is the date of the issuing of the planning permission decision notice.

Monitoring the Community Infrastructure Levy

To ensure that the levy is open and transparent, charging authorities must prepare short reports on the levy for the previous financial year which must be placed on their websites by 31st December each year. These reports will set out how much revenue from the levy has been received, what it has been spent on and how much is left.

Further information

Further information on what the Community Infrastructure Levy is and how it operates can be found on the Government's Community Infrastructure Levy page.

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