Submission of Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedules On 31 October 2013, Caerphilly County Borough Council jointly with Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council submitted their Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Draft Charging Schedules to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) for examination.
What is the Community Infrastructure Levy?
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a new charge which local authorities in Wales are empowered, but not required, to levy on most types of new development in their areas. The CIL charge will be based on simple formulae, which relate the size of the charge to the size and character of the development paying for it. The proceeds of the levy will be spent on infrastructure to support the development of the area.
Local authorities have, until now, used legal agreements (s.106 obligations) as part of planning applications, to secure infrastructure improvements and to mitigate against the impacts of proposed development. The scale and nature of infrastructure improvement through obligations is very wide, encompassing small-scale local improvements (e.g. localised traffic calming, provision of an equipped play area) to large-scale strategic improvements (e.g. Caerphilly Basin Strategic Highway Obligation). In general, however, obligations are perceived to have problems of transparency, disproportionate distribution of infrastructure costs between sites and landuses resulting from cumulative impact (particularly at a more strategic level).
The Planning Act 2008 makes provision for local authorities to prepare Community Infrastructure Levy for their own areas, which has been supplemented by the Community Infrastructure Levy, England and Wales, Regulations (CIL Regulations). CIL is a new charging system that can be applied to most forms of development to fund relevant infrastructure improvements that support the development of the authority area in accordance with the adopted Local Development Plan.
CIL is prepared and set by the local authority. In setting the Charging Schedule the council will need to consider the total costs of infrastructure provision resulting from development as set out in the Adopted Caerphilly County Borough Local Development Plan (LDP). These costs need to be considered against existing funding streams and the viability of development in the area and any funding gaps need to be identified.
The Charging Schedule will identify the landuses that will be subject to the charge. All landuses are potentially liable (with the exception of Affordable Housing which is exempt). It should be noted that the CIL would not be a standardised charge paid by all types of development. Rather differential rates reflecting the size, nature and viability of landuses within the county borough will be applied.
CIL is not intended to replace S106 obligations. It will subsume a lot of the matters and issues that are currently addressed through this mechanism. S106 obligations, however, will remain in force and will deliver site specific mitigation of the direct effects of development and will continue to be used to deliver affordable housing (which is expressly omitted from CIL).
How will the CIL relate to the Local Development Plan?
The CIL will directly assist in the delivery of the council's land use aims and objectives as set out in the Adopted Caerphilly County Borough Local Development Plan (LDP). CIL will expand on Strategy Policy SP7 Planning Obligations, which sets out the policy basis for securing Planning Obligations where they are necessary to remove obstacles to planned development.
CIL will be the mechanism for making direct contributions toward the provision of many of the allocations set out in the LDP. Overall CIL will be a significant tool for the delivery of the council aspirations in terms of social and community infrastructure and regeneration, for which there is no alternative funding mechanism.