Wokingham Borough Council has just published draft proposals for charging Community Infrastructure Levy on developments in their area. A draft charging schedule as well as drafts of the Regulation 123 List (which seeks to explain which elements of infrastructure will be funded by CIL) and a draft instalment policy are all available for inspection through the Council website.
Most employment related development will face no CIL charge under these proposals.
Housing development inevitably bears the bulk of the liability, with proposals for charges of £300-£365 per square metre depending on whereabouts within the Borough the development is proposed.
Consultation on their draft proposals runs until 14 March 2014, followed by public examination in the summer of 2014 and the Council are aiming to bring CIL into operation for April 2015.
All developers, landowners and their professional advisers should consider the implications of the proposals on the viability of development sites, especially when compared to the costs of s106 obligations for developments currently being brought forward. Depending on the individual site, the total ‘cost’ of infrastructure contributions may rise or fall depending on whether planning permission is granted before or after CIL comes into force. This may dictate whether or not to accelerate or defer planning proposals or whether or not an appeal is worthwhile.
Section 106 Agreements will still survive for those elements required by the Council which are not covered by the CIL regime. This covers, significantly, affordable housing as well as other issues such as green travel plans and local employment initiatives, to the extent that they are not properly covered by planning conditions. Because CIL is a fixed charge with no scope for negotiation, it means that where site viability is marginal or worse, all the pressure for reduction in the burdens imposed by the Council will focus on these residual areas, most notably on affordable housing requirements.
Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.