CIL Watch #4: Plymouth and Mid Devon consult on levy plans

The Community Infrastructure Levy news just keeps on coming. In the fourth instalment of CIL Watch, Jamie Carpenter rounds up this week's CIL-related developments.

- Plymouth City Council has become the latest authority to publish its preliminary draft charging schedule, setting out its early plans for how it proposes to charge the levy. The preliminary plans include proposed charges of up to £60 per square metre for residential development and between £30 to £100 per square metre for retail uses. Ted Fry, the council’s cabinet member for planning, strategic housing and economic development, said: "Our officers have been talking to developers and one described this levy as the most significant thing the council will do this year." The consultation on the preliminary draft charging schedule runs until 13 December.

- Elsewhere in the South West, Mid Devon District Council appears to be slightly ahead of Plymouth. It says that it is the first authority in the South West to agree its charging structure, which proposes a charge of £113 per square metre for housing developments and a charge of £250 per square metre for large retail (all other retail is exempted). The district council’s consultation on its preliminary draft charging schedule runs until 5 December.

- Commercial property adviser GVA has announced that it has been appointed to undertake CIL viability studies for Swindon Borough Council and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. The consultancy says it has also been appointed to assist Doncaster Metropolitan Borough in considering the potential impact of introducing CIL.

- Business lobby group London First has voiced its concern over the methodology used by the London Borough of Croydon to set the proposed rates for its emerging CIL. London First has written to the council’s spatial planning service to object to the schedule on the grounds that Croydon’s CIL viability assessment – carried out by BNP Paribas Real Estate – uses development sites’ "current use value" rather than their "market value" when making calculations.

- Law firm Mills & Reeve’s Plan-it Law blog highlights a recent appeal decision, in which the secretary of state found that a section 106 planning obligation which secured a financial contribution to local health services did not satisfy the CIL regulations and should therefore be disregarded. Beverley Firth writes: "This strikes me as a finding which will be potentially worrying to many NHS bodies who may be used to recovering contributions in this way. It shows the importance of making clear how contributions meet the tests of the CIL regulations – rather than simply relying on an agreement being reached with the developer."

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