Examiner approves Portsmouth infrastructure levy plans

Portsmouth City Council's proposals for implementing a new developer levy to raise cash for local infrastructure have been found sound by an independent examiner.

The examiner, David Hogger, this week recommended in a report that the council’s draft Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charging schedule is approved by the local authority in its current form. The council says that it is likely that it will start applying the charge in April.

Portsmouth’s draft charging schedule proposes a basic CIL rate of £105 per square metre of floorspace, with some exceptions.

These include a rate of £53 per square metre for town centre retail of any size and for small out-of-town retail developments of less than 280 square metres.

A charge of £53 per square metre is also proposed for hotels and residential institutions, while office and industrial premises would be exempt from the tariff.

The examiner’s report said that the council had taken a "pragmatic approach" towards setting the charging rates. He said that the proposed rates are "based on reasonable assumptions about development values and likely costs".

The examiner’s report continued: "The evidence suggests that, overall, residential, retail and employment development will remain viable across the city, if the charges are applied."

The council is now the fourth in England to have its CIL plans found sound by an examiner. Newark and Sherwood District Council, Shropshire Council and the London Borough of Redbridge reached this milestone before Christmas and have all begun charging the levy.

Consultancy the Dixon Searle Partnership (DSP) carried out a viability study on behalf of Portsmouth City Council to support the CIL rates.

CIL Watch: how councils are introducing the new developer levy


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