Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) reforms — consultation

In this article I want to highlight two key points. The first is the use of differential rates. Many local authorities have come to appreciate the particular financial dynamics of large strategic sites – in particular those large enough to require very substantial infrastructure provision. CIL will often be too blunt an instrument for these sites, so the trend now is for such sites to be treated differently in relation to the rate of CIL to be applied. A nil rate may well be justified – putting the clock back in the sense of “section 106 only” being the way of ensuring appropriate measures to make these sites acceptable. But inevitably it is not as simple as that. Strategic sites will be linked to the overall infrastructure plan, and the Regulation 123 list may well vary across the lifetime of the development. And provision of infrastructure elements contained in the list, falls to the local authority to ensure. So treating these sites in isolation, and in a way which is relevant over their lifetime, is more complicated with CIL in place even with a nil rate.

The second point is not a point of reform at all – but one of transition. Some of the changes proposed in the reforms are quite substantial. So one of the questions in the consultation is around the extent of the application of the reforms to charging schedules already published or adopted.

One thing is for sure, life in the CIL world is not going to become any simpler any time soon…

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