You will have seen that CLG published, last friday, a revised guidance note on CIL - replacing the 2010 version (but subject to the final paragraph of this post) . Much of the 2010 wording is retained, but there are some changes. Many of these certainly give the impression that Government has been listening to the concerns expressed by the property industry, and to the comments and thoughts many of us have been airing and sharing over the last 12 months or so as CIL charging schedules have been coming through and the reality of CIL has emerged.
The key point for me in reading the new guidance, and comparing it to the 2010 version, is the increased realism. There has clearly been a heightened level of understanding as to the way in which CIL can impact adversely on development, and an appreciation of the continued role of s 106. One example of this is the closer link between the regulation 123 list (the list of projects to which CIL receipts will be applied) and the examination, together with clarity around site specific matters where 106 contributions will still be sought. Another is the recognition of how CIL impacts particularly on brownfield sites.
There is recognition that authorities may decide to identify, as a differential rate zone, a major strategic site provided the viability evidence supports this. We have blogged before that Chelmsford City Council is taking just this approach for its key strategic site (and proposing a nil rate), and it seems this is an approach CLG want to draw attention to.
The new guidance has much more to say on the interaction between CIL and s 106 obligations (largely around the "double dipping" point, but also giving more advice on "pooling" ) and the removal of some words from the 2010 version means that the guidance is now much more encouraging of the need to keep charging schedules under review. The relationship between CIL and planning conditions is also recognised.
Some of us will be attending a CIL event this evening organised by the BPF - so keep an eye on the blog for further posts on the topic.
On a final note, the new guidance does not apply to draft charging schedules already submitted for examination before 14 December 2012 - the 2010 guidance continues instead. Any preliminary charging schedules published before the changeover date, however, will need to be reconsidered in case any changes are needed. Equally, where CIL has already been adopted, early consideration should be given as to whether any review of the charging schedule is needed in view of the new guidance.