22 July 2010

The uncertain future of the Community Infrastructure Levy

In answer to a written question in the House of Commons, Greg Clark, Minister for Communities and Local Government, stated that the Government is considering the future of the Community Infrastructure Levy (‘CIL’).

The CIL is a fee which local authorities may charge to developers to fund local community infrastructure around a new development. Under the current regulations, charities which develop land to be used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes are exempted from paying the CIL.

Greg Clark promised that a public announcement regarding the Government’s plans for the CIL would be made shortly, leading to speculation as to what the proposals might be.

The Conservative Manifesto stated that a Conservative government would ‘scrap CIL and non-site-specific planning obligations and instead introduce a single unified local tariff applicable to all residential and non-residential development.’ If a flat fee system is introduced in accordance with the Manifesto, charities may again have to fight their corner in order to be exempted from the fee.

Jeremy Wakeham, a partner in the property group at Withers, notes that Greg Clark’s admission only adds to the current uncertainty in the planning system. ‘The Coalition Government has already abolished regional spatial strategies and housing targets without the introduction of incentives for sustainable development or transitional measures. It is a mystery how the objective of increasing the delivery of housing overall is to be achieved without some clarity over policy.

Category: Article