This is entry number 98, first published on 12 February 2010, of a blog on the implementation of the Planning Act 2008. Click here for a link to the whole blog.
Today's entry reports on the publication of the final Community Infrastructure Levy regulations.
Although this blog is mainly concerned with the new regime for authorising nationally significant infrastructure projects, it does report on significant events relating to the other main concept introduced by the Planning Act 2008: the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
Local authorities will be able to raise money for infrastructure from certain developments according to a tariff per square metre, instead of the more ad hoc system under current planning law, using section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The final regulations for the introduction of CIL have just been published, and will come into force on 6 April, although it will take a while longer before CIL can actually be charged by a local authority.
Here are the main differences between the final regulations and the draft regulations that went out to consultation last July. The number of regulations has increased from 95 to 129.
Deciding the charging schedule
There is a bit more on the public examination that can take place on a local authority's draft 'charging schedule', which sets out the developments and amounts per square metre it proposes to charge. See this earlier blog entry for more on charging schedules. The independent examiner that must be appointed can now decide the procedure for this.
CIL will now be calculated on net additional floorspace, rather than gross as previously.
Exemptions and exceptions
The draft regulations allowed for exemptions for charities etc. and these have been extended and can also apply to affordable housing. There is now also provision for 'exceptions', where discretionary relief of up to 100% can be granted to anyone, subject to things like state aid rules. This provision has been singled out for particular approval by the business community.
The period allowed for paying CIL when it becomes due has been extended from 28 to 60 days, and it will also be possible to pay in instalments, which could stretch out the payment period to 240 days. If the local authority agrees, CIL could be paid in kind (e.g. land) instead of in cash.
Local authorities can now borrow against future CIL income, provided they do so prudently. They can now keep up to 5% of receipts in the form of 'administration costs'. In London, CIL can only be spent on roads and other transport infrastructure, including Crossrail. In fact the lion's share of it will be spent on Crossrail.
Relationship with s106 agreements
The final regulations have tightened up the residual s106 regime, but allowed longer for it to be phased out. From 6 April this year, s106 agreements cannot be taken into account in granting planning permission if they are for a development on which CIL could be charged, and do not reasonably relate in scale and kind to the development. A local authority cannot charge via CIL and s106 on the same development either. The transition period for CIL to replace s106 tariffs altogether has been extended from two to four years. Finally, up to five s106 agreements can now be pooled to pay for infratructure, which was not to be allowed before.