CIL Watch #23: East Cambridgeshire CIL passes examination; Plymouth affordable homes row

The latest CIL Watch update includes examination news from East Cambridgeshire, Plymouth and Mid Devon, the lowdown on eight preliminary draft charging schedules and four draft charging schedules, and news that a church has won its appeal against a £15,000 CIL charge.

Examination news: Green light for East Cambs…

East Cambridgeshire District Council’s CIL proposals have been backed by an examiner. In a report issued last week, examiner Robert Yuille concluded that the council’s draft charging schedule "provides an appropriate basis for the collection of the levy in the area". But he recommended that the council delete a differential levy rate based on the size of retail units from its proposals.

Examination news: Affordable homes row…

A consortium of housing associations has made representations to two CIL examinations in the South West, objecting to the affordable housing assumptions used in the local authorities’ viability evidence. In a representation to Plymouth City Council’s CIL examination, consultancy Tetlow King Planning, on behalf of the South West HARP Planning Consortium, criticised the use of 15 per cent affordable housing delivery in the assumptions, when the council’s core strategy "sets an on-site affordable housing target of 30 per cent on sites of more than 15 units". "We consider that using this assumption within the viability report will put the delivery of affordable housing at risk," the representation said. "Fixing CIL at a level where the main assumption is that 15 per cent affordable housing will come forward will make it extremely difficult to deliver the development plan target in the city on a site-by-site basis."

For its part, Plymouth City Council says that it does not believe that the assumptions will put affordable housing delivery at risk. It says that its evidence base shows that in most cases, the delivery of 30 per cent affordable housing in the current market makes residential development unviable and that the 15 per cent level of provision also represents a reasonable benchmark of what the council has been able to successfully negotiate across the city in "very recent" years.

Tetlow King has also made a representation on behalf of the South West HARP Planning Consortium to Mid Devon District Council‘s CIL examination, warning that an assumption in the council’s viability report that the delivery rate for affordable housing will be 22.5 per cent falls "well below" the development plan target of 30 per cent.

New CIL proposals unveiled…

A group of four local authorities in the North Northamptonshire have published preliminary draft charging schedules for consultation. The documents – prepared by Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering and Wellingborough Councils – are out for consultation until Friday 21 December.

Corby Borough Council’s preliminary draft charging schedule proposes two charging zones for residential development, with charges of £50 and £150 per square metre. Large retail developments over 280 square metres would face a charge of £125 per square metre, while those below this threshold would be charged at £40 per square metre. Property firm BNP Paribas Real Estate produced a viability study for the council.

East Northamptonshire Council’s preliminary draft charging schedule proposes three charging zones for residential development, with charges of £50, £100 and £150 per square metre. A charge of £125 per square metre would apply to large retail developments of over 280 square metres, with no charge for those below this threshold. BNP Paribas Real Estate produced a viability study for the council.

The preliminary draft charging schedule published for consultation by Kettering Borough Council proposes two charging zones for residential development, with charges of £50 or £100 per square metre. A charge of £125 per square metre would apply to large retail developments (over 280 square metres), while a £60 per square metre fee would apply to retail developments in Kettering. Retail developments in smaller towns and villages would be exempt from the charge. BNP Paribas Real Estate produced a viability study for the council.

The Borough Council of Wellingborough’s preliminary draft charging schedule proposes two charging zones for residential development, with rates of £50 and £150 per square metre. A charge of £60 per square metre would apply to "town" retail, while retail warehouse/superstores/retail parks would face a £125 per square metre fee. BNP Paribas Real Estate produced a viability study for the council.

North Somerset Council is consulting on its preliminary draft charging schedule until 4 January 2013. It proposes three charging zones for residential developments, with charges of £0, £40 and £60 per square metre. Large-scale retail (over 280 square metres) would face a charge of £120 per square metre, while small-scale retail (below the 280 square metre threshold) would be charged at £60 per square metre. Consultancy the Dixon Searle Partnership produced a viability study for the council.

South Gloucestershire Council is consulting on its preliminary draft charging schedule until 11 January 2013. It proposes two charging zones for residential development. In the first, covering the communities of North & East Fringe of Bristol, Yate/Sodbury and Severn Beach, such developments would be charged at £45 per square metre (or £90 per square metre for small sites which fall below the affordable housing threshold). In the second zone, which covers the rest of south Gloucestershire, a charge of £70 per square metre would apply (or £115 for small sites which fall below the affordable housing threshold). A charge of £120 per square metre would apply to retail schemes across the whole district. Planning consultancy Adams Integra produced an economic viability assessment for the council.

A consultation on the London Borough of Camden’s preliminary draft charging schedule will close on 20 December 2012. The document proposes a charge of £500 per square metre for residential developments with fewer than 10 dwellings across the whole borough. There are three charging zones for residential developments with more than 10 dwellings (and for private care homes), with charges of £150, £250 and £500 per square metre (in a zone covering Highgate and Hampstead). A flat rate of £25 per square metre would apply to retail developments across the whole borough. Property firm GVA produced an economic viability study for the council, while consultancy URS produced an infrastructure study update.

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has also put its preliminary draft charging schedule out for consultation. It proposes three residential charging zones, with CIL rates of £35, £65 and £200 per square metre. A rate of £425 per square metre would apply to student accommodation and hotel developments across the entire borough, while large retail schemes (over 280 square metres) would face a tariff of £200 per square metre. Smaller retail schemes would be asked to pay £100 per square metre in the City Fringe and North Docklands, while being exempt from the levy elsewhere. BNP Paribas Real Estate produced a viability assessment for the council. The consultation closes on 2 January 2013.

Coming soon…

Teignbridge District Council in South Devon and Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council in South Wales will begin their consultations on preliminary draft charging schedules next week.

New draft charging schedules published…

Since the last CIL Watch update, a group of councils have begun the second round of consultation on their CIL plans. Those to publish draft charging schedules include:

- London Borough of Sutton (draft charging schedule out for consultation until 10 December 2012)

- London Borough of Hillingdon (draft charging schedule out for consultation until 14 December 2012)

- London Borough of Harrow (draft charging schedule out for consultation until 20 December 2012)

- West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council (draft charging schedule out for consultation until 20 December 2012)

Amended regs now in force…

Amended CIL regulations have now come into force. The amended regulations are intended to ensure that developers are not hit with unexpected costs when they seek to change the conditions of an existing planning permission by using section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Lobby group the British Property Federation welcomed the amended regulations, but warned that further action is needed. Chief executive Liz Peace said: "There are still many issues within the CIL regime that are deterring development, and we urge the Government to make the further changes needed as soon as possible. Both money and time are in short supply for local authorities to prepare their charging schedules. If changes are to be made that will affect this process, it is only fair that they are implemented as soon as possible so as to prevent wasted effort by all."

And finally…

A south London church has won its appeal against a £15,575 CIL charge. In what is thought to be one of the first cases of its kind, the Christ Apostolic Church Mount Zion International in Peckham successfully appealed to the government’s Valuation Office Agency over the London Borough of Southwark’s request for it to pay the charge. More details here.

UPDATED – Who’s charging what? Our complete table of the CIL charges that have been published to date – now arranged by region – is available here.

To tell us your CIL news, contact jamie.carpenter@haymarket.com. For CIL updates, follow Jamie on Twitter at @J_J_Carpenter.



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