Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Plan Now for Charge Changes to Come; CONSTRUCTING EXCELLENCE

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Plan Now for Charge Changes to Come; CONSTRUCTING EXCELLENCE

Article excerpt

THE Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a new charge that local authorities in England and Wales will be empowered to add costs to most types of new development.

The Government set out proposals to reform the Community Infrastructure Levy in the Localism Bill, which received Royal Assent in November 2011, becoming the Localism Act.

The money received through CIL can be used to fund a wide range of infrastructure that is needed as a result of development. This includes new or safer road schemes, flood defences, schools, hospitals, park improvements, green spaces and leisure centres.

Planning obligations will continue to be used to secure affordable housing, and although payment of CIL will be non-negotiable, the legislation allows relief for "exceptional circumstances" for payment of CIL.

In my opinion, the new charge presents several emerging issues. For instance, if a development incorporating a given level of CIL generates a higher value than the current use value (plus appropriate landowner's margin), then it can be judged that the proposed level of CIL will be viable. There is still some uncertainty on how to quantify the appropriate margin above existing land value.

In addition, each local authority will set its own charging rate, leading to differential rates. At present, revisions to current consents will be required to pay CIL contributions.

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council is part of the CIL Front Runner project, which will see them be one of the first councils to adopt their charging schedule, currently estimated for late 2012.

In addition to Redcar & Cleveland, Darlington, Gateshead, Newcastle and South Tyneside councils all intend to have their CIL Charging Scheme implemented before April 2014, but almost all of the councils in the region have stated their intention to follow suit. …

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