What Is CIL?
CIL charges were introduced in early 2010 to raise funds to help provide the supporting infrastructure and facilities required for new developments such as schools or improvements to the transport network. The amount developers must pay will depend on the size and type of development and vary locally. But unlike planning obligations secured by Section 106 (s106) agreements, CIL is non-negotiable. Since its contested inception CIL has undergone numerous reforms to adapt its methods to become a viable source of funding, the latest of which looks to be a positive step in the right direction.
It has recently been announced in draft legislation that changes will be enforced to make the CIL system simpler for both developers and councils with a view to increasing the rate in housing delivery. Councils will now be required to publish the CIL payments they receive from developers and how the money will be spent in an attempt at introducing a higher level of transparency. However, the starkest change will be seen from the removal of pooling restrictions for which we believe will be beneficial for not only Councils but importantly developers also. Councils have under the current legislation only been able to collect up to five contributions to fund the same item of infrastructure using s106 obligations (Councils will once again be allowed to collect more than five contributions) which consequently has made some authorities reluctant to permit subsequent development as funding for infrastructure works was restricted. Alternatively there have also been unfortunate scenarios where funding has not been sufficient to deliver a specific infrastructure project in full because the largest developments in the area envisaged to come forward during the plan period, and which were earmarked by Councils to contribute, have not come forward.
We envisage removal of the pooling restriction will create more certainty and ultimately is more likely to mean infrastructure projects being delivered in full, which can only be beneficial to local communities. It should also mean going forward there will be fewer refusals of planning permission on sites that are otherwise acceptable, apart from there being an absence of infrastructure funding (as the mechanism preventing contributions will have been removed). This has been echoed by the Housing Minister Kit Malthouse who believes this pooling removal will lead to the council having more freedom allowing quicker planning decisions and contribute to delivering an extra 300,000 homes by the mid-2020s. The proof will be in the pudding.
If you would like to discuss how this change may benefit your development or you require any assistance on any other planning issues please don’t contact our Head of Planning Owen Pike MRTPI on 0117 338 1813 or email@example.com.