This is entry number 23 of a blog on the implementation of the Planning Act 2008. Click here for a link to the whole blog.

The Community Infrastructure Levy is introduced by the Planning Act 2008 and will allow local authorities (at district or unitary level, plus the Mayor of London) to charge for granting planning permission for buildings, such charges being spent on infrastructure. Regulations setting out how CIL will work are out to consultation (until 23 October 2009) and are to come into force on 6 April 2010. What will the ‘charging schedule’ look like that sets out how much you will have to pay and that local authorities will be required to publish? Today’s blog entry has a go at creating one.

At a Waterfront conference hosted by Bircham Dyson Bell today, Sarah Wood of DCLG and John Qualtrough of BDB set out how the new system is intended to work – and John foresaw some issues with it.

But first, what would a charging schedule look like? Here is a simplified example to give you an idea – but obviously the regulations are only in draft at the moment, and proper legal advice should be obtained by a charging authority to ensure that their schedule is compliant with all the requirements.

 London Borough of Blank

Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule

The London Borough of Blank will charge the Community Infrastructure Levy as set out in this Charging Schedule for liable developments in its area. The Charging Schedule was approved on 10 September 2010 and takes effect on 1 November 2010. This Schedule has been issued, approved and published in accordance with Part 11 of the Planning Act 2008 and the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010.

The CIL for a liable development will be calculated according to the following formula: R x (IP/IC) x A, where R is the charge per square metre shown in the table below, IP is the value of the construction costs index in the November preceding the year in which permission was granted, IC is the construction costs index for November 2009, and A is the gross internal floor area of the buildings that form part of the development for which permission is granted.

Click here for image

So, there you have it - you saw it here first!

At today’s conference, John Qualtrough identified four potential challenges for those involved:

  • the ‘mandatory’ issue – that paying CIL is mandatory, so developers would not have the option to fail to agree a s106 agreement and then appeal the application for non-determination;
  • the ‘residue’ issue – that the more money is spent paying CIL, the less will be available for other areas such as affordable housing;
  • the ‘spending’ issue – that local authorities will not wish to hand over CIL to infrastructure providers without strings attached; and
  • the ‘liability’ issue – that landowners will have to be careful to deal with liability for CIL if ownership changes during the lifetime of a project.  

The main focus for those currently involved in CIL will be responding to the consultation on the draft regulations by 23 October.